Not everyone is excited about Amazon’s “Drop In” intercom-like feature. But Amazon enables it by default—even if you choose “Later” at the splash screen. So here’s how to turn it off entirely.
Amazon’s recent Echo update builds on the new Echo calling/messaging platform they released earlier this year. It allows people from your contacts list (including other echos in your house) to “drop in” any time they want to chat with you—like an intercom.
Technically, this feature is opt-in—you have to approve certain contacts before they can drop in on you. But the feature itself is still enabled by default, which is strange (and annoying). If you like the feature and enjoy using it either as an instant-calling tool between you and your friends (or just as an intercom system in your house), that’s great. But if you don’t want anything to do with the feature, we’ve got you covered.
First things first, you’ll disable any enabled “drop-in” contact settings you’ve set (if you’ve tried the feature out). If you haven’t used the feature, you probably don’t have any contacts set to allow drop-ins, but it doesn’t hurt to double check.
Open up the Alexa app on your mobile device and select the messaging icon in the middle of the bottom navigation bar, then click on the contacts icon in the upper right corner, as seen below.
Within the Contacts menu, select all of the contacts (one at a time) that you’ve enabled the drop in feature with. If you’ve only used the drop in feature as an intercom, then the only contact you’ll need to worry about is your own.
Toggle “Contact can Drop In anytime” to off.
Repeat this process for any other contacts you may have enabled.
Next, we recommend toggling the “drop in” settings on each individual Echo unit. Strangely, even though you’re not fully opted in to the drop in feature when you receive the update, the Alexa app automatically turns on the “drop in” feature on every Echo connected to your account. Even though technically this doesn’t fully activate the system until you pair it with an approved contact, this didn’t sit very well with us. If we skip a setup step by selecting “later” that doesn’t, in our minds, translate to “OK we’ll start the process for you and partially enable it.”
Open up the Alexa app again and select the menu icon in the upper right corner. Note that the app is now complaining that we disabled its access to the phone’s contact list. That’s because we went even further and removed the Contacts permission from the Alexa app—which isn’t entirely necessary, but we did it anyway. You can read more on how to do this for iPhones and Android.
Within the menu, select “Settings”.
Within the Settings menu, select any of your Echo devices that are drop in compatible, like the Echo and Echo Dot seen here.
In the settings for each individual device, select “Drop In”.
Congratulations! After wading through far too many menus you’ve successfully toggled off every single setting related to the new drop in feature and you can go back to using your Echo the way you did in the pre-Echo-messaging days.