Google Assistant is a great way to easily interact with your phone to perform searches and a variety of tasks without lifting your finger. Its functionality continues to grow everyday and it’s increasingly becoming an integral part of our smartphone experiences.
Unfortunately, Google Assistant doesn’t always work the way it is supposed to. Users have come across quite a few problems when using it. Is Google Assistant not working for you? Join us as we take a look at some of these issues and offer potential solutions on how to fix them! Note that these are problems that apply to most Google Assistant devices, including Google Home speakers.
Once you get it fixed, be sure to check out our guide to the coolest things you didn’t know you could do with Assistant.
If you are trying to use “Ok, Google” on your phone and Google Assistant is not working … first make sure your phone properly supports it! There are a few minimum requirements that your device needs to meet to able to run Google Assistant.
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow or higher
- Google app version 6.13 or higher
- Google Play services
- 1.5 GB of RAM or higher
- Display resolution of 720p or higher
- Phone language set to English (US, UK, Canada, India, Australia), French (France, Canada), German, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese (Brazil).
There are a few ultra-affordable smartphones though that don’t come with a HD display or with at least 1.5 GB of RAM. The major catch though is the Android version requirement, with only 50% of Android smartphones currently running Android 6.0 or higher.
How to enable Google Assistant
Even if your device is compatible, you may still need to enable or download Google Assistant to be able to use it.
- Open the Google app.
- Open the hamburger menu by tapping on the three line icon at the top left corner, and go to Settings.
- Under the “Google Assistant” section, open Settings and tap on Turn On.
- On some devices, you may need to download the Google Assistant app from the Google Play Store. You can find the app here.
Google Home problems – and how to fix them
First off, it’s important to note that Google Assistant is what powers Google Home (and Home Mini). This many of the problems are going to be the same regardless of what hardware Google Assistant is running on.
That said, if you are having problems with Google Home and Google Assistant not working for you, there are some specific issues that affect only the Google Home speaker itself. Let’s take a closer look.
If Google Home refuses to listen to you, the first thing is to ensure that it is connecting properly. Connection problems happen, unfortunately. Here’s a few steps you should take to ensure your connection isn’t to blame.
- Turn the speaker off, then back on. Do the same for your modem and router. Sometimes it is as simple as that.
- Didn’t work? Double check other devices that connect to your router and modem. Are they also having problem? If so, the problem might have something to do with your modem/router, and not your Google Home at all.
- No luck? Now you might want to attempt moving your Google Home to another room. Perhaps your wireless connection simply isn’t strong enough to reach your router.
- Next step is to connect Google Home to a 5GHz wireless network in your setup, instead of 2.4GHz. You can do this through the Google Home companion app.
If you are still having problems, your Google Home or Home Mini might have a larger problem and you’ll likely need to have it serviced under warranty.
Google Home not responding
Your Google Home appears to be connected but it isn’t responding to you? There a few things you can check in this scenario.
- First, make sure your mic isn’t switched off. Four yellow lights will appear on the light ring if the mic is in fact off. Even if it appears not to be, try switching it on/off anyhow. You never know.
- If this doesn’t work, you may want to try moving your Google Home as other devices (noisy appliances, etc) might be causing mic interference.
- Finally, power down your Google Home. It’s amazing how many hardware problems can be solved by a simple reboot.
If you’ve tried all these steps with no luck, you’ll want to head to myactivity.google.com. This will show you past recorded activity. Listen in to see if there is any noticeable static or other issues. If so, you’ll want to perform a factory data reset.
After this you’re only step forward is to contact the Google Home Support Team.
Google Home doesn’t know where you live
If weather, traffic updates or other location based responses aren’t correct your address may not be set correctly. To fix this:
- Open the Google Home app on your phone. Tap the hamburger menu in the top left.
- Here you’ll select “More Settings”. Scroll to the bottom and select Personal Info under Google Account settings.
- Tap Home & Work locations.
- Enter your home address, tap ok.
There are some standard troubleshooting steps you can try first to help resolve the issue.
- If your device has a default voice service like Bixby or Alexa, you may need to disable it to use Google Assistant.
- Make sure that all the required permissions are granted for Google Assistant to run properly. Go to Settings – Apps – Google app and under Permissions, tap on Select All.
- Check if the device Assist app is set to Google. Go to Settings – Apps. Tap on the gear icon at the top right corner and open Assist and Voice Input. Under Assist app, make sure that Google is the selected choice.
- Make sure that the Google app is updated to the latest version.
- Open the Google app and go to Settings – Voice – Ok Google Detection. Enable “Ok Google at any time.”
- Google Voice and Audio activity and Web and app activity should be enabled.
- Trusted Voice should be enabled. Open the Google app and go to Settings – Voice.
- Retrain the voice model. To do so, open the Google app and go to Settings – Voice – OK Google voice model – Retrain voice mode.
Google Assistant not working after recent update
Sometimes you’l find Google Assistant not working after updating the Google app. Google releases software updates often and the next one may fix your problem. Until then, some devices allow you to uninstall the current update you are on.
- Go to Settings – Apps – Google app.
- Tap on Storage and tap on both Clear Cache and Clear data.
- If a More menu is available, tap on Uninstall updates.
- Reboot the device and see if the problem goes away.
- You can also try reinstalling the update from the Google Play Store again. Some users have found that issue to be resolved even after going back to the latest update after following the steps listed here.
Problems where the best option is to wait for an official update
There are a few current problems that don’t have any confirmed workarounds, and the best option is to wait for an official software update.
- Not working on Xiaomi smartphones – A recent update from Xiaomi has seemingly broken Google Assistant on a majority of Xiaomi smartphones. Some users have found that disabling the lockscreen password seems to help but the issues seem to return after a few days.
- Cannot control Philips Hue smart lights – A lot of users have come across problems when trying to control their Philips Hue lights using the Google Assistant. Some mention that the issue may be because of the Philips Hue app. Either way, a future software update will hopefully solve this.
- There is one workaround that has worked for a few users. Go to meethue.com and delete all the “google null” entries (which happen when attempting to link Google Assistant to the Hue app).
- On your phone, go to Settings – Apps – Default apps – Browser and set the native browser of the device (eg. Samsung browser in case it is a Samsung device) as the default.
- Then set up the lights as you normally would and everything should work as expected.
There you have it for this quick look at some issues that users have come across with Google Assistant! Hopefully you figured out why Google Assistant was not working. Any other tips? Let us know about them down in the comments.