Alexa Fast Tips Friday: Block Explicit Songs From Amazon Music

Great news! Amazon’s rolled out a feature parents have wanted ever since the first Echo shipped: the ability to block explicit songs from Amazon Music on Alexa devices.


Parental Control


Note that as per usual, this feature is being rolled out to Alexa device owners in groups and the Alexa app update is being rolled out bit by bit as well. Those in the US who don’t yet have access to this feature will likely get it in the coming days. Since I’m in the US I can’t be certain this feature is being introduced outside the US as well, but if not, it should be coming soon.

Please also be aware that the information provided here is accurate as of this writing, on 5/11/18, but is subject to change in the future as Amazon releases updates to its devices and software.

What The Explicit Filter Does

The explicit filter blocks playback of songs from Amazon Music that use common explicit words and phrases. When the explicit filter is on, songs from Amazon Music that contain explicit lyrics cannot be played.

IMPORTANT NOTE: With the exception of Kids’ Edition Amazon devices (see Kids’ Edition Dot, below), toggling the explicit filter on or off turns it on or off for ALL of your Alexa devices, you cannot set it on a per-device basis. I have tested this with my own devices, and can confirm that turning on the explicit filter for one Alexa device turns it on for all the Alexa devices registered to the same account.


How To Turn It On

The explicit filter can be toggled on or off within the Amazon Music app, but you can also use Alexa voice commands. To turn on the explicit filter, say the wake word followed by this command:

“Block explicit songs.”


How To Turn It Off

Because the whole point of this is parental control, the toggle for explicit filter cannot be turned off with a voice command unless you grant that permission in the Alexa app.

In the Alexa app, go to Settings > Music & Media (scroll down, it’s under the Alexa Preferences heading) > Voice Deactivation (scroll down, it’s under the Explicit Filter toggle). The toggle is off by default, as shown in the screenshot below. Toggle it on to enable voice deactivation of the explicit filter.

Explicit Filter Toggle

Now you can ask Alexa to “turn off the explicit filter” to turn the filter off.


Kids’ Edition Dot

Amazon’s FreeTime suite of parental controls and content curated especially for kids comes pre-installed on every Kids’ Edition Amazon device. This means the new Kids’ Edition Dot comes with the explicit filter turned on by default. Amazon’s relevant help page says this:

Echo Dot Kid’s Edition, and other Alexa-enabled devices that have been labeled as kids’ devices, have Explicit Filter turned on by default. Only the parent for the child’s profile can turn off this setting.


Related Links

Explicit Filter on Alexa-enabled Devices

Amazon FreeTime Unlimited

About the Explicit Filter (Amazon Music help pages)