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4 min read 79 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.

AndroidPIt google pixel XL 9848
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) > "Ok Google" detection. From there, enable the Say "Ok Google" any time option. 

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Enable "Ok Google" and retrain the voice model from this menu. / © 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) > "Ok Google" detection. 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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  • "Ok Google Isn't Working"

    You forgot the comma after "Ok".

    • Brittany McGhee
      • Admin
      • Staff
      1 week ago Link to comment

      While you're correct from a grammatical perspective, as you can see in the screenshots above, Google doesn't use the direct address comma in their style. That is the reason why we haven't used it here.

  • LOL, check for "debris". Man, the stories I could tell of some of the crap I've found inside phones, printers, computers, photocopiers, fax machines over the years. Everything from a McD's french fry inside a 9,000 dollar copy machine, to a dead mouse, squeezed into the drum & drum cleaning blade of a wide format 80,000 dollar Kip printer. I know I get people saying "I can't charge my phone" and using magnification, it looks like a colony of micro-organisms living inside the charge port.

  • Sorin 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Ok Google, write a comment in my place, because I do not want to type!
    Ok Google, and now please translate in Romanian!
    OK Sorin, scrie te rog un comentariu în locul meu, pentru că eu nu am chef să tastez !
    OK Sorin, now can I post the "Post Comment" command?
    Ok Google, yes, please! Thank you.
    P.S. My name is Sorin and that's why Google's assistant talked to me saying "Ok, Sorin" !!!

  • disabling S Voice worked for me on an S7 Edge

  • I'm using Huawei mate 10 pro and There is one more issue with '' okay Google '' that you haven't noticed Mr. Matt Pearson. My problem is that '' okay Google '' was working very well and suddenly just '' okay Google detection''stopped and I can't start it again.. Just I'm not able to turn it on.. I think that may happened when I set my voice for that 'okay Emy' ' voice wake up which is useless.. Or maybe the reason is something else? Is there somebody who can help me to fix this?

  • I have excellent connections but ok google detection keeps saying I have poor connection disabling me from retraining my voice.
    I've even did a hard reset and it worked for rwo minutes and then went back to not responding.

  • Hi,
    I am having the same problem when I tried to retrain google, it is not recognising my voice anymore. I tried several ways , turned off the device but even then google is not recognising my voice.

  • Turned it off turned it back on and tadaa!!

  • I came across this issue today on my Note8 - turns out the issue was Power Saving Mode! Because it restricts background apps I'm assuming it was disabling the "OK Google" detection to save power. Turned it off and the detection worked immediately.

  • My Android's Google Assistant no longer does anything, either when I tap the microphone icon or when I say "Ok, Google." All that happens in either case is that the colored spinning icon, that's supposed to indicate that the app is working on something, just spins. Forever, until I cancel out of it. I am unable to retrain the voice recognition because, again, when I tap on that option under the Settings, all I get is a forever-spinning color wheel icon. I've already tried soft resetting the phone and reloading the app. Any ideas? Thanks.

  • I have a problem in which the phone detects a voice command when I say nothing. It's really getting to my nerves because I can be alone, hearing music with the headsets on and suddednyl the music stops to get the message of "Please go to google configuration to..."

    The thing is... The headsets do not have a microphone. Does anyone know how to flat out deactivate that? I have and HTC 626

  • Aaron 9 months ago Link to comment

    So yeah Google no longer get any input from my Mic. Everything else does but for some reason goggle doesn't. Google acts like everything is ok but when I start it up to listen it comes up but wont recive anything through the mic. Guess I may have to go and use S Voice.

  • Bill 9 months ago Link to comment

    I read nearly all of the suggestions...finally found one that worked for me on S7 Edge Nougat. Went to Google Play store, search for Google...uninstall...stay on that screen...wait until it show "Update" on the left and "Open" on the right...Do an Update and then start the app. You have to repeat a lot of the steps you've done before but now "Ok Google" works every time from any screen, locked or open.

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