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Why is an Amazon Wishlist not removing items?

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Gifted: find out how to avoid doubling up on Amazon Wishlists (Photo by George Dolgikh on

Amazon’s Wishlist service is still the best available, letting you tell friends and family precisely what you want for Christmas and birthdays. However, particularly when older or less “tech experienced” people attempt to use it, it can be confusing when bought items aren’t removed from an Amazon Wishlist.

Let’s explore how the system works and why an Amazon Wishlist is not removing items.

The correct way to buy from an Amazon Wishlist

You can add items from Amazon to your Wishlist using the Add to list button or link on every product page. If you wish to add something from another website, then you need to make use of the Amazon Assistant browser add-on. It’s available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera. Sadly, there isn’t anything for Safari. The Amazon Assistant is great but be wary of what you give away by having it installed – it tracks every site you visit.

When shopping from someone’s Wishlist you should use the Add to basket button next to the item on their list. Here’s an example from the website and from the app:

Amazon Wishlist on website
Amazon website
Amazon Wishlist in Amazon app
Amazon iOS app

If you purchase the item any other way, Amazon doesn’t know you’re buying it from the list and won’t remove it. If the Wishlist item has been added from another site then Amazon will NEVER automatically remove the item.

How to remove an item from someone’s Amazon Wishlist

Amazon Wishlist website

As mentioned previously, if you’re buying the item from Amazon and you add it to your basket directly from the Wishlist, it will be automatically removed.

However, in all other circumstances (for example, you’re not buying from Amazon or you forget to buy it from the list) then, next to the Wishlist item, there will be a link named Buying this gift elsewhere? The screenshot above is taken from the website, but the same link can be found on the app too.

Click on that, confirm that you’ve bought the item and it will be removed from the person’s Wishlist.

Other reasons a purchased item may remain on a Wishlist

There are a couple of other reasons why an item may appear to remain on a list, even after purchase.

There is a required quantity of more than one

When adding an item to a Wishlist, you can specify how many of the product you’d like. Here’s an example of one, where there’s a request for two, with none having been bought so far:

Amazon Wishlist on website

If not all of the required quantity has been purchased, the number will reduce down but the item will remain on the list.

Your Wishlist filter includes purchased items

This is one that gets a lot of people. When viewing one of your own Wishlists you can filter and sort the results. This includes viewing both purchased and unpurchased items. If this is selected then, even when an item has been bought, it will still appear on the list.

To change this:

  • On the website, click Filter & Sort on the top right of the list. Ensure Filters is set to Unpurchased.
  • On the app, click the three horizontal dots in the top right-hand corner of the list. Next to Show ensure Unpurchased is selected.

Wishlist checklist: How to make sure you’re doing the right thing

To summarise all of the above, bear in mind the following when purchasing from and viewing Amazon Wishlists:

  • If buying an item from Amazon, use the Add to basket button on the Wishlist
  • If buying an item from another store, make sure to click the Buying this gift elsewhere? link
  • Make sure the item on the list isn’t showing a Needs figure, which means that the person wanted more than one of the item
  • When viewing your Wishlist make sure the filter is only showing unpurchased items

How do you delete an Amazon Wishlist?

About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.

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