We use cookies on our websites. Information about cookies and how you can object to the use of cookies at any time or end their use can be found in our privacy policy.

"Ok Google" not working? Here's how to fix it

"Ok Google" not 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 this is real life, not science fiction and sometimes the best tech just doesn't work. Some 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.

Jump to:

1. Check if you're not alone

I can be good to know when the problem is on Google's side rather than yours. Check Twitter, Reddit and Google's support forums to see if other users are complaining that "OK Google" and "Hey Google" voice detection has stopped working on their phones. 

Sometimes the most common solution, to simply retrain Voice Match to fix OK Google detection, isn't working because the options to do so in the settings are grayed out. In this case, when you've gone through the options detailed below, you'll just have to wait for a fix to be rolled out by Google. Be warned, Google doesn't always announce these fixes promptly, so keep an eye on the online communities.

2. 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 automatically. 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

3. 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 careful cleaning / © AndroidPIT

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

Although there is no clear reason why, it appears as though Google Assistant is 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 press it and select Disable

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

5. 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.

Did you try turning it on? / © AndroidPIT

6. 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.

  1. Open Settings > Google >Search > Voice 
  2. Make sure that access with Voice Match is toggled on
  3. From there, tap Retrain voice model and repeat "OK Google" and "Hey Google" when prompted.
  4. Assistant should once more respond to your voice as normal.

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

Recommended articles

Readers' favorite comments

  • Ronald Larsen Mar 11, 2018

    Uninstall (uninstall updates) Google app from Settings -> Apps -> Google -> ... (tap the three dots on top right) -> Uninstall updates. Now setup Google voice. Once successful, you can update Google app back to the latest version.
    This fixed the issue for me Sony Performance Android 8.0


Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • MrG 1 month ago Link to comment

    This article assumes that the problem is a user problem, doesn't go beyond obvious, simple fixes. Google Assistant issues are widely documented, and many variables matters, such as Android version, handset (Pixel settings are unique to Android phones) yet this article, by not going deeper, will end up wasting the time of 95% of readers.

  • Jimmy 2 months ago Link to comment

    google voice still not working with android auto any answers

  • Wow, talk about a useless waste of space. Your article basically assumes the reader has never encountered a smart phone before.

  • Vivsim 3 months ago Link to comment

    Thanks for the great article, but I'd like to say that, contrary to what you say, Google Assistant does have some features that work when not connected to the internet. I don't know them all but one is the ability to make phone calls. I've used this for a long time when driving but, suddenly, it stopped working, and there is little help on the internet. After much searching, I cleared both storage and cache in the Google app. It didn't help but I mention it in case it's necessary in conjunction with the next steps that did help. I changed the language in the phone's settings to English - US. I then rebooted. When I tried to make a phone call offline, it said that internet was required, so I connected to the internet and made a call. I then turned off the internet and tried to make an off-line call. It again said I needed to be on the internet. I ignored that and tried a second time to make an offline call, and it worked. I can't explain why it was such a carry-on, but I'm now happy that it works, although I'm a bit miffed that I had to change my preferred language from English - UK to English - US. English - UK has worked fine for almost two years, and I am English, so I don't understand why it doesn't work now. However, I'm very relieved to be able to make off-line calls through Google Assistant again. Hope this helps someone.

    • Interesting. I tried everything I could think of and following your change I added English UK and removed English US. I live in the US but I figured since the Brits have a little better revision on English for some reason I'd just give it a whirl. As soon as I made the change I could go turn on voice match and everything was back to normal. Prior to this when I tried to retrain voice match it'd just set and spin. To verify that it was this change that fixed my issue I went back and added English US and removed English UK and I no longer had google assistant. Simple enough to add English UK back in. Maybe Google knows UK English is better? Thanks so much to vivsim for finding the solution even though we have to use each others version of English it worked.

  • GoPolo 5 months ago Link to comment

    Been trying for the past 30 min on one plus 7 pro with no luck. Tried all listed, removed notification apps. Rebooted several times. Nothing.........?
    I used it a lot before all this, sucks not to have it.

  • Uninstalling the Google app worked for me.

  • My LG android was in Battery Saver Mode. Battery went low, low, low, and phone automatically went to saver mode. Had to find the BSM settings and change it back. All works now.

  • Never had any issues with OK Google, maybe it depend on the phone or Internet connection?

    • Hello, i found the solution go to : your google app Settings => voice => change the region to some countries that is not banded like USA UK etc...
      and also use it same on your device Settings => search and type "region" and change it

  • marco sarli
    • Admin
    6 months ago Link to comment

    It works, sort of, but I do not really like to use it

  • Battery saver mode must be OFF. Also assistant was connected to Waze app, so I went to Waze settings/ Google assistant, and trained voice profile in there too. Now it works.

  • ljmuk 7 months ago Link to comment

    Language does not have to be American English, mine is set to British English & started working again when I switched back on a few permissions that I had switched off.

  • ash Apr 2, 2019 Link to comment

    My google assistant was working perfectly until today... First of all, I got a google home today and was setting it up. In the meantime, my phone went through a reboot and update. So I had to wait to set up my google home till my phone restarted. Then while setting up my Google Home, My son decided to be a smart a** and said "ok google" and it responded to him! It was supposed to respond only to my voice. I muted the microphone on my Home, and asked my son to say it again. He did, and my phone responded to him. He then asked it what his name was and it gave my name. So i started researching. I tried to retrain the voice recognition after deleting the voice models, it kept telling me it already recognized my voice and would not allow me to retrain it. I then cleared google cache and other settings and tried to retrain it. Well, this time, it would not respond at all to anyone saying "ok google" so now, i am waiting for my phone to charge enough to set it back to factory settings.

    • kolzie1 10 months ago Link to comment

      I am having the same issues. Google Assistant will not work when I say "Ok Google". It started about a month ago. I have been on the phone with Samsung and Google and both have passed the buck, and neither have solved the issue. When I try to retrain the voice recognition it tells me I am already recognized and that I am all set and it will not let me retrain. Will be back to taking with Samsung in a few minutes in another of several attempts to get this resolved.... very frustrating !!! Anyone have any suggestions?

  • Microphone for me. Just used the voice recorder and that kicked it into life. Retrained voice and bingo

  • Lodi Feb 28, 2019 Link to comment

    I deleted and reinstalled the app! It worked...

  • Go to the Play Store and update the Google app. It actually worked

    google assistant voice is not working properly on may phones ... "access with voice match" being greyed out, then when you try to change that and do a new voice it won't let you, initially saying unable to access microphone, but later attempts not saying that and just not accepting your voice ... I lost 20 hours of my life trying to find the solution online and trying heaps of supposed solutions .... this is the only thing that worked for me, did it by semi-logical-accident.

    The solution was to turn OFF the microphone permission for the main GOOGLE app AND LEAVE IT OFF!!! ... Then when I went to do my next voice recognition, it popped something up that asked me to ALLOW access to the Microphone, which I did and it worked :)

Show all comments
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing