The instructions below show how to modify your "hosts" file in order to opt-out of Alexa's direct traffic measurement.

To change your hosts file in Mac OS X, you'll need to know your adminstrator password on your computer. As long as you have that, we can proceed!

Step 1 Starting Terminal

Let's start by opening up your Terminal program. Find this by going to Spotlight (the Spotlight in the top right of your screen). Clicking on the icon will bring up the Spotlight menu:


In the text box that comes up, type in Terminal. You'll get a screen that looks like this:


The Top Hit should have a picture of a black screen and say Terminal. Click on that to open the Terminal program. You should then have a new program with a screen that looks like this:

Note: The colors might be different – maybe black text on a white background, or some other scheme. You will also have something else other than Macbook:~ user$ there, likely whatever you've named your computer and your username on it. It's okay that it looks a little different, as long as you have a $ at the end and a blinking cursor after it.

Step 2 Opening Your Hosts File

Type sudo nano /private/etc/hosts in the window.

Press return. You'll get a warning that looks like this:

That means you did everything correctly so far. Type in your password and press return. If you typed it in correctly, you'll get the following screen. (If not, try again. If you see the prompt with the $ again, start over from the top of Opening Your Hosts File.)

Note: Your file might not look exactly like this. That's okay! It may look somewhat different, depending on what configuration options and programs you've installed over time.

Step 3 Editing Your Hosts File

Move your cursor to the bottom. Your mouse won't work here, so you'll have to use your keyboard. Just press the down arrow a few times, until you're at the first blank like at the bottom.

Once you're there, type in:

Your screen should now look like:

If it looks correct, press control-X (not command-X!) to continue. (If it doesn't look right, correct and retype it in until it does.)

The bottom of the screen will change to say:

Press y. The screen will then show:

Press return. You'll be back to the earlier Terminal window, looking like:

All Done

And you're done! Go ahead and close Terminal by pressing command-q. Now you will no longer be counted by our service. Should you wish to undo this in the future, follow these steps to open and remove those lines.