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Google Assistant not working? Here's how to fix it

Make sure Assistant is always listening!
By
October 28, 2021
Google Assistant stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There could be plenty of reasons for Google Assistant not working on your device. Fortunately, most of the problems are minor and can be fixed within a few minutes without much technical knowledge. Just follow the steps below to get everything back up and running. One of them should solve the problem.

Editor’s note: Some of the instructions in this article were generated using a Pixel 4a with 5G running Android 12. Keep in mind that steps can be slightly different depending on the device you’re using.

Are Google services down?

As hard as it is to believe, sometimes Google services go down too. It’s a rare occurrence, but it can happen, so you should first check if Google’s servers are having problems.

The easiest way to do this is to check a website like DownDetector.com. There’s a page for Google and Google Home, so check them out before moving to the next sections in this post. The site even includes a live outage map to see if the issue is local.

Read more: The best Google Assistant devices for the home

If Google’s servers are down, there’s nothing you can do but wait it out.

Make sure your device supports Google Assistant

Samsung Galaxy 2021 smartphones
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Does your smartphone even support Google Assistant? The latest devices should all be in the green, but some older phones won’t take advantage of the digital assistant. Check to see if your phone supports it by looking at the requirements listed below.

Google Assistant requirements:

  • Android 5.0+ with at least 1GB of memory.
  • Android 6.0+ with at least 1.5GB of memory.
  • Google app 6.13 or higher.
  • Google Play services.
  • A screen resolution of at least 720p.
  • Device language needs to be supported.

More: Google Assistant commands you should know

Enable Google Assistant

If your Android device is new and you’re having issues with Google Assistant not working, chances are the service is turned off. Go ahead and check.

How to enable Google Assistant:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Google.
  3. Select Settings for Google apps.
  4. Tap on Search, Assistant & Voice.
  5. Hit Google Assistant.
  6. Go into Hey Google & Voice Match.
  7. Toggle on the Hey Google option.

Check for updates

Google Play Store on smartphone stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Running an older version of your Google and Google Assistant apps is usually not that big of a problem, but you can come across some compatibility issues from time to time. You’re best off updating everything, especially if you’re having problems with Google Assistant not working.

Google Nest speakers and smart displays are updated through the Google Home app, so go ahead and update your smart devices through there. Also, update the Google Home app, while you’re at it.

Here: How to update apps from the Google Play Store

Additionally, you might want to update your phone if there’s an upgrade available. Google Assistant is deeply baked into the Android operating system, so chances are bug fixes and improvements are included in newer Android updates.

How to check for Android updates:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select System.
  3. Tap on System update.
  4. Hit Check for update.
  5. Follow instructions to update, if available.

Restart your phone!

This is one of the most common troubleshooting tips in existence. I recommend it every time someone has issues with any device, and it honestly works most of the time. Restarting your device might help when you’re having problems with Google Assistant not working. Just give it a try and see if a reboot fixes everything.

Check your internet connection

Wi Fi devices stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Google Assistant not working could be due to a faulty internet connection. It is a service that relies heavily on data, after all. You can’t really use Google Assistant offline, so you need to ensure your internet is working.

An easy way to check if the internet is operational is by performing any other internet-based tasks using the same device. It could be something as simple as launching a browser and doing a Google search. Those using Wi-Fi should also try using another device and making sure the network is alive.

A good solution for a faulty Wi-Fi network is a simple router restart. There’s usually a dedicated button for rebooting the router, but simply unplugging and plugging the device back in works too.

If you’re using cellular data, you might want to see if your data connection is on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Network & internet.
  3. Select Mobile network.
  4. Toggle Mobile data on.
  5. If you’re outside your country or network coverage, also toggle Roaming on (this may incur extra charges).

Also read: What are Google Assistant routines?

Retrain Voice Model

Sony Xperia 1 III Google Assistant
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

It’s possible that Google Assistant is not working because it doesn’t recognize your voice. This is easy to fix, as all you have to do is retrain Voice Model.

How to retrain Voice Match:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Google.
  3. Select Settings for Google apps.
  4. Tap on Search, Assistant & Voice.
  5. Hit Google Assistant.
  6. Go into Hey Google & Voice Match.
  7. Tap on Voice model.
  8. Hit Retrain voice model.
  9. Read the displayed commands out loud when requested.
  10. Hit Finish.

Disable other assistants

Many of you may be using other digital assistants along with Google’s. A prevalent one is Alexa. It’s a great alternative, but it can often create conflicts with Google Assistant when using both in tandem. Try disabling any secondary digital assistant and see if that helps with Google Assistant not working.

In the case of Alexa, here’s how to disable it:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Tap on the More button.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Go into Device Settings.
  5. Tap on Alexa on this phone.
  6. Toggle off the Enable Alexa Hands Free option.

Want to keep Alexa?: How to turn off Google Assistant

Still can’t figure out what’s going on? Google has a dedicated help center for Google Assistant users, as well as a community where you can ask questions. Alternatively, you might want to consider performing a factory data reset. It’s a bit of an extreme solution, as it will wipe the phone clean, but all settings and software issues should be cleared.