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"Ok Google, I've had enough": how to deactivate Assistant

"Ok Google, I've had enough": how to deactivate Assistant

Yes, I agree the Google Assistant can be very useful and has evolved considerably since it first arrived on our phones, but what if it keeps coming up when you don't need it, or you just don't want your phone to be always listening? In this article, you'll find out how you can turn it off and go back to your old life before Google Assistant.

Why is it activated by mistake?

For me personally, I’m particularly annoyed that Google Assistant is activated without me having asked for it. The assistant appears multiple times whenever I unlock my smartphone. If I don’t need it (99% of the time), I have to close it before I can perform the actions I want. This happens because I might have accidentally pressed the Start button on my smartphone, which is set up to open Google Assistant.

Once it’s opened, the assistant captures your voice, analyzes it and performs the action you’ve indicated. You might even have your smartphone in your pocket and activate Google Assistant by accident. If you’re in the middle of a conversation, your device might pick up a fragment of what you've said and think you’re asking a question… and then answer you! This happened to me recently when I was talking to a friend. Suddenly, a voice from my pocket began to speak about the tomb of some Egyptian pharaoh. And believe me, at the time we weren’t in an exciting debate about Egypt.

How to turn off Google Assistant

If something like this has happened to you too and you’re sick of Google Assistant (even though you'll laugh at the more surreal searches), it’s time to turn it off. There are 3 different options that we’ll explain below.

Completely deactivate it

If you choose to disable Google Assistant completely, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google app and select Menu (the three bars)
  2. go to Settings
  3. Google Assistant section click Settings > Phone and disable the Assistant option
deactivate google assistant
Deactivate it and forget about it / © AndroidPIT

Deactivate the support button

In most cases, deactivating the Assistant button will be enough. This way, you’ll no longer be able to access Google Assistant via the start button, which will prevent you from accidentally activating it.

  1. In the Settings menu, select Applications, then Default applications, and then tap Device assistant app. 
  2. Here you can specify which assistant app you want to open when you press the start button. In my case, I could choose between Google and having no supporting app.

This is the least radical option, as you can continue using Assistant whenever you want, but without having to worry about it being activated unintentionally. Note that the exact wording of the path can vary, for example: Settings > Apps and notifications > Default apps > Assist and voice input

deactivate google assistant2
The least radical option / © AndroidPIT

Uninstall updates

Google Assistant is a relatively new development, as it didn’t exist in previous versions of Google. If we could go back to those versions, we wouldn’t have the Assistant.

So it can be as easy as that: uninstall the updates and you’re free of Google Assistant. Of course, all the other novelties that you might like will also disappear...

  1. Under Settings > Applications, go to Application manager and search for Google.
  2. When you open the Menu (the three little dots), you’ll see the Uninstall updates option pop up.
deactivate google assistant3
You can also go back to a previous version / © AndroidPIT

What do you think? Does Google Assistant bother you or is just the opposite? Have you had any strange experiences with Google’s trusty sidekick? Let us know in the comments!

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61 comments

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  • thank you for this post, I hate Google Assistant almost as much as my iPads Siri, thank you, no more Google Assistant no more problems


    • There are no three lines when I open the Google app. Any other suggestions? I've disabled it before but they keep turning it back on somehow -- and eliminating things like the three lines. Any other suggestions?


  • marco sarli
    • Admin
    3 weeks ago Link to comment

    Yes! The end of the assistants is here. If there ever was a stupid, annoying and useless feature it was this.


  • Bluez 1 month ago Link to comment

    Excellent guidance !
    The opening of Google Assistant from the start button has been annoying me, no end for a long time now.
    Tanks a lot.
    PS: thank you for providing pictures to illustrate the steps. My phone is in French, and there’s nothing obvious about matching the French menu words to your English system.


  • Can you disable Google Assistant and still have voice control? My 95-yr old mother is blind and can't see the screen. She depends on the ability to say "Call Doug" and have it dial Doug's number. That's all i need it to do. Any ideas?


  • my 95-yr old blind mother depends on being able to say "Call Doug" and the phone will dial Doug. Right now, the Google Assistant come up and says it needs to find some more information and just sits there doing nothing. How do I go back to what it used to do? This is very frustrating.


  • What is the actual name of the "Google app"?! The app named "Google" is just the normal search bar. There should be a simple Setting to get rid of this Google Super-crap.


  • It doesn't work since Google will keep asking you to turn it on and turn on by itself with the message box need to press back to skip and that is really, suck, I use the button to do other things than this useless assistant.


  • I was just sitting at my desk, minding my own business, updating data on my computer when a voice from nowhere said, "I'm sorry I'm still a little buggy". This has never happened to me before and it frightened the life out of me. When I looked at my Samsung S9 this exact phrase was typed on the screen with an picture of a ladybird. How did this happen and why?


  • Whenever I use my headphones, it starts talking thinking im talking to it. I have turned everything off repeatedly, I have disabled everything google related, followed all the steps here and now it nags me constantly with voice, of course, to turn it back on. I am at my wits end. I am trying to uninstall all the updates now and hope that makes a difference. I am planning on a new phone sometime in the next couple months, I was going to go with a pixel 3, I am seriously rethinking that, this thing is intrusive and beyond obnoxious.


    • lesnow 5 months ago Link to comment

      Try completing disabling the google app. I did this about a week ago and all continues to be quiet on my phone.


    • This is why I avoid "upgrading" the Android version in my very old phone.


  • tried all the suggestions but this IRRITATING app STILL POPS up. Cant Google make it Simple to remove FFS. Dammmmm Annoying!


    • lesnow 5 months ago Link to comment

      Barry: I ended up completely disabling my google app and so far, this seems to be the only thing that has worked. See my thread below. Good luck!


      • Thanks Les, I did a factory reset on the tablet and now working 100% without Assistant (& Voice). Phew!


  • Class Action Lawsuit: clearly Google has a vested interest in preventing customers from accessing the Google Assistant disable function. No doubt, this is just another way for Google to gather more information about user habits(under the
    guise of "being at the ready to assist our valued customer). If there's a plausible way to sue Google, guaranteed lawyers will line up for the profit


  • Google assistant is like a demon or computer virus like "lesnow" commented below. My experience has been that it just takes over my phone. If I am listening to Spotify tunes, it will change my songs.If I want to watch YouTube video it will stop and start it over and over again. It will control the volume on my phone going up and down, up and down. I uninstalled the Google updates so hopefully I can have my life back lol


  • lesnow 5 months ago Link to comment

    Google assistant is like a demon or computer virus. It keeps popping up no matter the actions taken against it. I have a new Nokia 2.2 with a support button on the left edge tied to the google assistant -- and it's the only thing I don't like about the phone. All this button does is bring up google assistant, and it's very easy to accidentally press it when holding the phone, putting it in/out of my pocket, pressing the power button, or adjusting the volume. I have tried the following actions to de-activate (there is no way to permanently uninstall this feature), but to no avail: (1) de-activate support button (same as your #2 action above), (2) completely de-activate google assistant (same as your #1 action), (3) turn off auto-update of my apps. I found that every time the google app auto-updated (or so it seemed), the assistant would automatically re-enable and over-ride my de-activation of the support button. So then google assistant would pop back up again. However, even turning off auto-update of my apps STILL did not prevent the assistant from popping back up again within a couple of days. Finally, just now, I uninstalled the google app back to factory settings, per your suggestion #3. I'm really hoping this will work because so far, nothing else has. (fingers crossed). -Jonathan


    • lesnow 5 months ago Link to comment

      Follow up: Dropping back to the baseline google app did NOT work either. Apparently, google assistant is now built into the factory google app. So I don't seem to have any options at this point to disable or remove google assistant from my Nokia 2.2 phone.

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