Google Assistant prompt on the Google Pixel 3 XL

It’s hard not to feel like you live in the future when you say “OK Google” to bring up Google Assistant. However, that illusion can quickly fall apart if you utter those two magical words and absolutely nothing happens.

Maybe your phone doesn’t like you. Maybe you didn’t speak loud enough. Maybe you don’t have Google Assistant turned on. Regardless of the reason, let’s take a look at how to fix issues with the OK Google phrase.

Also read: You can now send Google Assistant reminders to forgetful ones in your family


1. Rule out simpler fixes

It’s worth looking around a bit to rule out simpler fixes. For example, check your language settings — OK Google might not be working because you’re speaking the wrong language.

  1. To check the default language, open the Google app and tap More on the bottom-right corner.
  2. From there, tap SettingsVoice > Languages.
  3. You can pick multiple languages, but make sure to tap and hold the language you want as your default.

Also check the microphone on your device. There might be debris or dust in the microphone hole that makes it harder for your device to pick up your voice. Finally, make sure you’re not in a loud environment. OK Google detection has improved over the years, but a loud crowd will still render it useless.

2. Make sure Google Assistant is on

Because Google Assistant reacts to the OK Google phrase, it makes sense to check whether Google Assistant is on in the first place. On your Android device, tap and hold the Home button. If you’re asked to turn on Google Assistant, tap Turn on. Those with Pixel devices can’t use OK Google without first turning on Google Assistant.

Also read: Google Assistant guide: Make the most of your virtual assistant

3. Make sure that the OK Google command is enabled

If your device has Google Assistant, here are the steps to turn on OK Google:

  1. Tap and hold the Home button.
  2. Tap the compass icon on the bottom right.
  3. Tap your profile picture or initial on the top right.
  4. Tap Settings, then tap Assistant.
  5. Scroll down to the Assistant devices section, then tap your device.
    1. If you have Google app version 7.1 and below, turn on Say “OK Google” any time.
  6. At the top, toggle Google Assistant on.
  7. In the Voice Match section, toggle Access with Voice Match on.

If your device doesn’t have Google Assistant, here are the steps to turn on OK Google:

  1. Open the Google app.
  2. Tap More on the bottom-right of the screen.
  3. Tap SettingsVoiceVoice Match.
  4. Toggle Access with Voice Match on.

4. Turn off adaptive battery and battery saver

There’s a possibility of your device’s adaptive battery and battery saver features hindering its ability to detect the OK Google phrase. Here’s how to turn both features off:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Battery.
    1. Adaptive battery: Tap Adaptive Battery, then toggle Use Adaptive Battery off.
    2. Battery saver: Tap Battery Saver, then tap Turn off now.

5. Update the Google app

Your OK Google problem might boil down to the Google app not being updated. To check for any updates, here’s what to do:

  1. Open the Play Store.
  2. Search for the Google app.
  3. In the Google app page, tap Update.
    1. If you see Open instead of Update, you already have the latest version installed.

Also read: Google Assistant not working? Here’s how to fix it

6. Re-train the OK Google voice model

Sometimes, voice assistants need a bit of re-training in order to improve recognition. Google Assistant is no different, but you can re-train the voice model in the hopes of improved responsiveness to your voice. Here’s how to re-train your voice model if your device has Google Assistant:

  1. Tap and hold the Home button.
  2. Tap the compass icon on the bottom right.
  3. Tap your profile picture or initial on the top right.
    1. If you have Google app version 7.1 and below:
      1. Tap “OK Google” detectionDelete voice modelOK.
      2. Turn on Say “OK Google” any time.
      3. Follow the steps to record your voice
  4. Tap Settings, then tap Assistant.
  5. Tap Voice Match.
  6. Tap Teach your Assistant your voice again, then tap Retrain to confirm.
  7. Follow the steps to record your voice.

Here’s how to re-train your voice model if your device doesn’t have Google Assistant:

  1. Open the Google app.
  2. Tap More on the bottom-right part of the screen.
  3. Tap SettingsVoiceVoice Match.
  4. Tap Delete voice model, then tap OK to confirm.
  5. Turn on Access with Voice Match.
  6. Follow the steps to record your voice.

And that’s how to fix OK Google! If you think we missed something, let us know in the comments below.

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