What Happens if You Tell Alexa to Self Destruct?

In a world of countless AI assistants, the versatility of Alexa makes it more than just a smart service. You can rely on it for a lot of things, and it can be your primary source of information. Of course, that is just the basic stuff as Alexa can do so much more. Of the many features that the Amazon Echo device comes with, one is to self-destruct.

It is not exactly something that you should be afraid of. In fact, it is the most fun way for you to play tricks on people using your Echo device. A simple code command given by the user is followed by a countdown leading to the sound of an explosion. While that process is playing out, Alexa is busy wiping all your data from its storage, or at least that is what it sounds like when nothing is really happening.

What is the Self Destruct Code for Alexa?

alexa device black with accessories

If you decide that you want to initiate the self-destruct code on Alexa, then you have two options to choose from. These are both different commands that you say to initiate the self-destruct sequence. We call it a sequence because the commands are followed by a countdown from 10 to 0, ending with the sound of an explosion. (1)

The first command that you can use is “Alexa, Code Zero Zero Zero Destruct Zero”. The second command is “Alexa, initiate self-destruct sequence.” Please note that while the statements are different, their impact is the exact same and you will get the same countdown response from your Amazon Echo device.

What Really Happens When You Initiate Self-Destruct on Alexa?

One of the things that smart voice assistants are becoming more and more effective at is being fun. You can hear jokes from your Alexa Echo device, ask for advice, play games, and so much more. However, if you feel annoyed at your Echo device, you can let that frustration out by simply initiating the self-destruct sequence.

While you may think you have found the easiest way to wipe your Alexa, it is just a harmless prank and an Alexa easter egg. The self-destruct sequence is not a real function and is just baked into the system for fun. The code references Star Trek and is great for a good laugh with your friends. Of course, the fun part comes when you freak someone out with this if they do not know about the self-destruct joke.

Imagine sitting with your parents or at your friend’s place and you tell the Echo device to self-destruct. The look on their faces would surely be priceless when they hear the entire thing! All you need to do is put a little effort into it and make your command sound serious.

Of course, some people might want to wipe their data from their Alexa devices completely. For that scenario, you can either open the Alexa app to reset your device to factory settings. A more convenient but less commonly used method is to have your data automatically wiped after a set timeframe which could be days, weeks, or months. You can configure these settings in the Alexa app easily.

Why Did Amazon Include the Self-Destruct Mode in Alexa Devices?

amazon device alexa with yellow light ring

The competition between the top smart voice assistants is quite tough and having a few tricks up your sleeve is never a bad idea. Amazon is aware of this requirement and self-destruct is just one of the ways in which they keep their users engaged. The best assistant would be one that is not only reliable but also fun to use and just have as part of your daily life.

As mentioned previously, the “Alexa, Code Zero Zero Zero Destruct Zero” command is, in fact, a reference to the popular Star Trek franchise. If you want to know specifics, it is the command used by Captain Kirk to initiate the self-destruct sequence on the Federation Starship Enterprise NCC-1701 and NCC-1601B. Anyone invested in the Star Trek universe has already understood what this reference is.

Of course, most of you must be wondering why put such a reference on Alexa in the first place, right? Well, the explanation is simple, and it is Jeff Bezos’ fanatic attachment with Star Trek. So much so that the CEO of Amazon also admitted in an interview in 2016 that the Echo devices were inspired by the popular sci-fi series. (2)

alexa easter eggs

Given the fact that Bezos is a Star Trek fanatic, you can certainly expect to see a lot more Alexa Easter eggs in the Echo devices than just the self-destruct sequence. Some other Alexa Easter eggs that you can try on your Alexa Echo device include the following:

  • “Alexa, live long and prosper.”
  • “Alexa, damage report.”
  • “Alexa, what would Dr. McCoy say?”
  • “Alexa, fire photon torpedoes!”

It is delightful to hear Alexa respond according to the commands, especially if you are also a Star Trek fan. Last but certainly not least, if you are wondering whether Alexa is also capable of speaking Klingon, the answer is YES! You can also try and find other codes like the super Alexa mode which is a reference to Konami. You can activate super Alexa mode by using the phrase “Alexa, Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.”

Why is Alexa Self-Destruct Code Not Working?

The answer, as explained above, is that it is not meant to. Regardless of how many times you try it, your data will never be wiped from this command, nor will you see the device physically explode after the countdown. It is meant to be an Alexa easter egg and that is all it will ever be, so why not just have fun with it and manage your Alexa device the proper way if you want to wipe it for real. Now that you know what happens if you tell Alexa to self-destruct, we hope you will have fun with it just like we did.

You may want to check other Alexa learning guides we’ve written below;






References
(1) explosion – https://www.britannica.com/science/explosion
(2) popular sci-fi series – https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-lists/best-science-fiction-tv-shows-of-all-time-65434/

About John Fox

ebbb364ee14268bd3b77496cab3d1d78?s=90&d=mm&r=gJohn Fox has worked as a security consultant for over 20 years. During his time in the industry, he's learned about what it takes to ensure your home and family are always safe.

With Safe Now, he's taken those two decades of experience and decided to share it with others to help them figure out how to make the right choices for their businesses and families.

John writes tips and guides to prevent crimes, as well as product recommendations, and tips for what to do in case of an emergency and how to protect yourself at all times.