The Amazon Echo has basically been the most popular smart speaker throughout the past couple years, but now there’s finally a new player in town. Google Home is the search giant’s new connected speaker, and it’s taking aim right at the Echo. Powered by the all-new Google Assistant, Google Home can control your lights, answer queries, play music, take notes, and a lot more.
If you pre-ordered Google Home from the Google Store, you should be receiving your device any day now. Multiple retailers have put the device up for sale, too, if you’d rather pick one up from a brick-and-mortar store. So if you’ve just received your Google Home and are wondering how to set it up, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our full guide on how to set up and use Google Home.
How to set up Google Home
First thing’s first – since Google Home doesn’t have a screen, you’ll need to set up the device using your smartphone. To do so, you’ll need the Google Home app, which you can download from the Google Play Store at the link below.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, plug the included power adapter into a power outlet, and plug the other end into the input on the bottom of the speaker. Your Google Home should start booting up and display a colorful array of lights.
Next, move to your smartphone. Open the Home app, and tap the devices icon on the top-right of your screen. Find the Google Home entry on the Devices screen, then tap Set up, then Continue.
Your smartphone will now switch to a temporary Wi-Fi network on your Google Home. Once you’re connected, you’ll need to ensure you’re connected to the correct Google Home device. Tap the Play test sound button. If you hear a sound from your Home, tap I heard it.
Next, we’re going to name your new device. You can choose from a variety of different room options, depending on where you want to keep the device. If you don’t see your room listed or want to use a different name, select Other, then type in your desired name. Once you’ve named your device, tap Continue.
Now it’s time to connect your Google Home to a Wi-Fi network. Choose the network you’d like, then type in your Wi-Fi password. You can also choose to have the app automatically fill in your Wi-Fi password from your phone rather than typing it in. If you’d like to use the saved network password, tap OK. Once your device has successfully connected to a Wi-Fi network, tap Continue.
At this point, the device will automatically download and install an update.
Once the update is complete, tap the Sign in button to add a Google account to your Home. On the next screen, select your desired Google account, then tap the blue Continue button.
Of course, Google Assistant will be much more helpful if it knows your personal information, such as calendar events and flights. If you’d like to give Home access to this information, tap Allow. In order to get more accurate weather, traffic and local business information, you can also enter your address. After entering your address, tap Set location.
The next screen will give you the option to receive email notifications about new features, apps, offers and more. If you’d like to receive notifications, toggle the notification button on, then tap Continue.
As of right now, Google Assistant only works with a handful of music services which include Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify and Pandora. Tap the music service you’d like to set as your default, then press Continue.
The setup process is now complete. Tap Continue, and get ready to learn how to use Google Home. The Google Home Tutorial will give you some examples of voice commands you can use with your new device. If you’d like to continue with the tutorial, tap Continue. If not, tap Skip.
Congratulations! Your Google Home is now set up.
How to use Google Home
Now that your Google Home is all set up, you’re probably wondering how to use it. The following guides will teach you how to control volume, reboot, factory reset, mute and enable Guest Mode on your Google Home.
How to control volume on Google Home
Fun fact: the top panel on Google Home is actually a touch pad. You can use it to increase and decrease volume, play and pause music, and more.
If you’re near your Google Home and need to adjust the volume, press your finger down on the top panel, then simply move your finger in a clockwise direction to increase the volume. To decrease the volume, move your finger in a counterclockwise direction.
Alternatively, you can say “Hey Google, increase volume” or “Hey Google, increase volume to maximum” if you’d like to make the volume louder. Of course, you can also say “Hey Google, decrease volume” or “Hey Google, decrease volume to minimum” if you need to lower the volume.
How to mute Google Home
If you don’t want your Google Home to make any noise whatsoever, there’s a quick and easy way to mute the device. On the back of the device, you’ll see a microphone button towards the top. Press that once, and you’ll hear your Google Assistant say “microphone off.” This means your Google Home won’t be able to answer any queries, play music, or basically do anything else until you unmute it.
To unmute your Google Home, just tap the microphone button again. You’ll then hear Google Assistant say “microphone on.”
Alternatively, you can say “Hey Google, mute your microphone.” Your Google Home microphone will then be muted, though you’ll need to tap the microphone button to turn it back on again.
How to reboot Google Home
Is your device not working properly? Perhaps a soft reset will do the trick. Here’s how to reboot your Google Home.
To reboot your device, open the Google Home app on your smartphone, then tap the Devices button on the top-right of your screen. Find your Google Home device, then tap the overflow menu button (three vertical dots), then choose Reboot. You’ll then be prompted to reboot your Google Home. Tap OK, and your device will reboot.
How to factory reset Google Home
If you need to factory reset your Google Home, there’s a quick and easy way to do so. You won’t be able to use your voice or Home app to factory reset your device, but the process is very simple.
Warning: This will clear all data from your Google Home. This process cannot be undone. You will have to set up your Google Home device and relink any previously linked home control smart devices (thermostats, lights, etc) again.
On the back of the device, locate the microphone button. Press and hold the button for about 15 seconds. You’ll hear Google Assistant confirm that it’s resetting your device, and you should see a series of lights fill up a circle on the top of the device. Once that circle is filled up, your connected speaker will be reset to factory settings.
How to enable Guest Mode on Google Home
If you’re hosting a social gathering and want to give others access to your Google Home, there’s an easy way to do so. Enabling Guest Mode on your device lets you keep your password private and allows guests to cast from their Android or iOS devices as long as they’re in the same room as the Home device.
If you’d like to enable Guest Mode on your Google Home, just follow these steps:
Open your Google Home app, then tap the Devices button on the top-right of your screen. Find your Home device, then tap the overflow menu button (three vertical dots), then choose Settings. Scroll down and select Guest Mode. Turn the Guest Mode toggle on, and the app should generate a four-digit PIN for your device. This is the PIN you’ll share with your guests.
From there, casting to the device as a guest is easy. Just open up any Google Cast-enabled app, then tap the cast icon. Tap Nearby device, then follow the prompts to connect. If you’re having trouble with audio pairing, ask your host for the four-digit PIN. You can find the PIN on the Devices screen of the Google Home app.
Congrats – you can now use your friend’s Google Home device, even if you’re not on the same Wi-Fi network.
If you’re having trouble with any of these steps or have any questions for us, be sure to leave a comment below. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!