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4 min read 112 comments

"Ok Google" isn't working: here's how to fix it

Google Assistant was supposed to help us all exist in a futuristic utopia where we carried our own permanently available assistants in our pockets. But instead, many Android users have found that the feature has just left them repeating the phrase "Ok Google" over and over again into an unresponsive phone, no doubt drawing some strange looks in the process. 

But don't despair just yet, there are a few simple fixes you can try that should get the voice recognition software working and keep your thumbs free from the risk of repetitive strain injury.

1. Check your language settings

If Google Assistant isn't responding to you, maybe it is because you're speaking the wrong language. US English will be the default language for many users, but it's still worth checking in the Settings menu and altering as required. To do this, go to the Google app and then its main menu, then go to Settings > Voice (under Search), and then select the appropriate language(s) from the Voice menu.

There you will see dozens of language options, each one with a checkbox, so you can set primary and secondary languages if desired. Google will automatically detect which language you're speaking and switch between them automagically. If you're multilingual, be warned that voice recognition for languages other than English can sometimes be subpar.

google settings voice language english 1
Check first that the default language is set to English (US). / © AndroidPIT

Updating your language pack may also solve your problem. From the same Voice menu, go to Offline speech recognition and download or update your English (US) language pack.

google offline speech 2
Check to make sure your offline languages are up-to-date. / © AndroidPIT

2. Check the microphone on your device

As a voice-based system, Google Assistant relies on uninterrupted access to your smartphone's microphone. When you open the Google app, the microphone icon on the right hand side of the search bar should appear bold, with fully-formed lines. If it has a dotted line, you may have a problem with your microphone.

This may be caused by debris in the small microphone hole often found next to the charging port – have a careful poke around with a safety pin or similar to clear it out and you'll often fix the problem. If that doesn't work, check the microphone settings within the Google app.

Occasionally, apps running in the background are making noises which may interfere with the microphone picking up your voice, so check these too – and close any that you think may be making noise.

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The microphone hole sometimes requires a careful cleaning. / © AndroidPIT

3. Disable S Voice or Bixby if you have a Samsung

Although there is no clear reason why, it appears as though Google Assistant (and the older Google Now) are not always compatible with Bixby (or the older S Voice app) on Samsung phones. If you have a Samsung with Bixby or S Voice installed and would prefer to use Google's voice assistant instead, your best bet might be to disable Bixby or S Voice on your device entirely. To do this, just locate the app icon for S Voice or Bixby and then long long press it and select Disable

disable s voice 4
Long press the S Voice or Bixby icon and select the Disable option. / © AndroidPIT

4. Rule out all the simple fixes

This may be stating the obvious, but Google Assistant does need Wi-Fi or mobile data to operate, so make sure your device is connected before you try a search. Also, and this is probably the oldest advice in the book, it never hurts to do a quick reboot – sometimes magic really does happen. And last but not least, check to make sure "Ok Google" detection is actually turned on. To do this, open the Google app and then its main menu, then go to Settings > Voice (under Search) > "Voice Match" detection. From there, toggle the feature on. . 

gassnotwork
Did you try turning it on? / © AndroidPIT

5. Retrain "Ok Google" voice model

Sometimes, for reasons unknown, Google Assistant doesn't retain the commands you have given it. If all else fails, it might be time to retrain your digital companion. In order to do this, you'll need to open the Google app and then its main menu, then go to Settings > Voice (under Search) > Voice Match. From there, tap Retrain voice model and say "OK Google" three times, as you did when you initially set it up.

Have you had problems with Google Assistant? Have we missed any useful fixes? Let us know below. 

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  • My Ok Google is mostly alright, except the more recent updates have made it a little less responsive to a few root apps. Not all, just certain ones. Even with no connection, I could get them to open when I said Ok Google, now I get a error. A connection, I will get a reference to it, instead of opening. I wonder if new security features are changing features, I may not update, this, or gplay services if it’s going to break things.


  • My "Ok Google" is not unlocking my phone like it used to. Every time I say the magic phrase the PIN input pops up. Argh.. I've already verified Trusted Agents and Smart Lock is enabled. I think one of the more recent security "updates" may have broke something. They've now fixed the slow login with the July 5th update, but now broke another. (Google Pixel 2)


  • Mark
    • Admin
    2 days ago Link to comment

    It is not working for you because it is to busy sending everything it hears to Google. It is listening just not the way you want. I will never have one of these spy devices in my house.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/researchers-show-siri-alexa-exploited-175543411.html


  • OK, OK, OK, Okay: Google, sometimes I don't think you're really listening to me and I'm talking to the wall.


  • My ok google used to work but for some reason it has stopped working for me and does not activate when i say ok google.

    die ok google widget does not display say ok google.

    System and Google language set to US English.
    Unlock with voice enabled.
    Voice match set
    HTC U11+
    Android 8.0.0
    HTC Sense Companion


  • yesterday my Google Assistant quit working. it does record my query or command but it doesn't do anything with it. I followed all these troubleshooting steps including a reboot but nothing changed.


  • Eventually I found why "Say Ok Google" doesn't work on my Nexus 6 :-(

    and open: "Use Voice Match ("Ok Google")"
    under "Learn about locking options"
    you will read:
    "When you say "Ok Google" from a secure lock screen and we're able to recognise your voice, you can ask Google to do things for you or visit sites, without manually unlocking your device.

    Learn how to turn on "Ok Google".

    Note: Voice Match isn't available for Nexus 6 devices."

    So, why just only our Nexus 6 has been punished!?


  • One thing that could be added to simple fixes is "restart your phone". That's what worked for me.


  • "Ok google detection" "unlock with voice match" "voice match" I have those tree always unvailable because of wrong language, and I have everything in english US, so I guess that there is some bug.


  • Here's new one....
    I m using redme 3s prime with android 6.0.1 and all apps totally upgraded with 4g data network but when I go for voice match it says check your connection..can u help.... Thanks....


  • My assistant wasn't recognising my voice very reliably so I retrained it and now it won't work at all although it gets through the retrain procedure successfully.


  • For me the option to turn Ok google detectioin anywhere always stays off? Can anyone help?


  • The problem is: I click on "Ok Google" detection, turn on "From any screen" feature, a screen pops up, I click next, I say Ok Google 3 times, it successfully detects my voice,but I don't get the option to click next, it's just stuck there and I can only click on "Finish Later" which takes me back and "From any screen" feature is turned off! How can I fix this?


  • After repeating "ok goggle" three times it just stays on that screen. I know it can hear my voice because I see a check mark next to the ok goggle when I say it but it just stays on that screen. Am I supposed to do something else? Please help


  • Uhhh, wow . . . I spent hours, off and on, trying to get my voice recognition to work to open "Hey, Google." I got to the end and the "simple fixes." I restarted my phone and joila . . . They should put that first for those of that can only afford the cheap seats, lol. Moto E4 . . . android


  • Doesn't work on Huawei Mate 2, keeps saying device is locked. "OK, Google" worked at one time. I've given up using 90% of the junk on these phones that doesn't work properly. More trouble than it's worth. Though something started draining my battery. Looks like might be Google Assistant.


  • Android Auto was great...until I did the ATT marshmallow update today. Now search function is useless.

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