Why Do People Want to Disable Google Assistant?
When the world saw Google unveil their own AI assistant, impressive didn’t even begin to describe it. At first, it was seen as a mere alternative to Siri, but Google quickly built upon their assistant and proved that it was more than just an assistant. Eventually, the Google Assistant was also made a part of Google Home (their smart home system, another impressive project). We now arrive at a time where phrases like “Alexa, play…“, “Hey Siri…“, and most importantly, “Hey Google…“, are understood by everyone. These AI assistants aren’t always perfect and can even be annoying, pushing some users to learn how to turn off Google Assistant, turn off OK Google.
Why Does Google Assistant Randomly Turn On?
This is the big question we have: what makes Google Assistant randomly respond to us? Firstly, let’s think about how the app actually works.
For instance, you open the application, and you say something along the lines of “Ok Google, remind me to…“, and the assistant completes the task. Without getting too technical, the app analyses the things you tell it. It takes your voice, turns it into a format it can understand (e.g., voice waves), and uses this to recognize your instructions. Most important about this process is the voice recognition.
Everything you say goes through the assistant’s recognition system, and it translates your voice into an instruction it can read. Just like humans don’t always hear things correctly, neither does the Google Assistant. As a result, you could be talking to a friend while reading texts on your phone, and the Google Assistant mishears something you say and interprets it as “Ok Google…“.
Consequently, this activates the assistant and can be disruptive. If that happens frequently, then you might want to disable Google Assistant temporarily.
Another example will be if you have Google Assistant on a smart home. Since these devices don’t require you to open the app and work by simply listening for phrases like “Hey Google” and “Ok Google,” it’s much more common for them to activate accidentally. Depending on your settings, there may even be times where it activates while the smartphone is in your pocket.
Different Methods for Turning Off Google Assistant
Now that you have an idea of why users want to turn off Ok Google, you might realize it’s in your best interests to turn it off too. From our experience, there is never one single solution that gets perfect results, but rather, a trial and error approach is the best direction to take things. So, to guide you through disabling the assistant, here are the solutions we believe are the most effective.
How to Disable Google Assistant
To start with, we’ll look at how to turn off Google Assistant altogether. Doing this will basically turn off the assistant, making it not function at all.
- Step #1 – Launch the Google application.
- Step #2 – Tap on the menu icon (3 straight lines).
- Step #3 – Select “Settings” and swipe down to select “Phone.”
- Step #4 – Locate “Google Assistant” and tap the slider to disable it.
If you do this and turn Google Assistant off, enabling it again is easy. Just follow these steps again but tap the slider so that it’s blue, and you’re good to go! As a reminder, this disables every aspect of the Google Assistant.
How to Disable the Support Button
Instead of disabling the whole thing, there’s a way to disable Google Assistant’s support button. What this does is, basically, if you have been accidentally using Google Assistant from the start button, disabling this setting reduces the risk of that happening.
In comparison to the first method, this has the benefit of letting you still use the app.
- Step #1 – Open the Settings app and scroll down to “Applications.”
- Step #2 – Tap on “Default applications” and choose the “Device assistant app.”
- Step #3 – Switch the setting for the app that opens when the start button is pressed. Anything other than Google is fine, but the likely option is to use no app.
You might instead find this setting under accessibility, as it differs for some devices. Making this change will stop Google from opening anytime that you press the start button. Just like before, if you want to reenable this, then just go back to the same menu page. Switchback the setting so that the start button opens Google whenever you press it.
How to Downgrade Google App
Last of all, if you only recently started to experience problems with Google Assistant, the most recent app version could be the problem. Your first instinct may be to uninstall the app, but Android actually lets you uninstall updates. This feature is useful for this exact situation, and here’s how to do it.
- Step #1 – Open the Settings application.
- Step #2 – Make your way to “Applications > Application Manager.”
- Step #3 – Swipe down the list to locate and tap the “Google” app.
- Step #4 – At the top of your screen, tap the three dots, and select “Uninstall updates.”
- Step #5 – Wait a moment until the process is complete and open the Google app to confirm the downgrade.
After that, you will have to wait for a few days so that you can check whether or not the persistent problem is fixed. Doing this won’t turn off Ok Google, but rather, it will help you to determine where the issue lies. Instead of assuming that the device is faulty, the microphone doesn’t work properly, or the Android OS is broken, it might just be that the latest Google app has a bug.
By the way, if you are facing the issue of Google Play Store Downloading Pending, click to read more.
Tips for Changing Google Assistant Settings
Even though you should have, by now, been able to disable Google Assistant, a few settings changes can minimize future problems. Given that people were always fond of voice recognition when they were driving, you might not want to disable the app.
Driving and using a mobile phone isn’t just dangerous, but it’s also illegal in most countries. But at the same time, there can be situations that need urgent attention. Keeping this in mind, here’s a quick tip for drivers.
- Step #1 – Open the Settings app and scroll down to tap “Apps.”
- Step #2 – Tap the menu icon at the top and select “Default apps.”
- Step #3 – Tap “Device assistance app” and press the cog icon next to it.
- Step #4 – Here, you will see a range of accessibility settings that you can adjust freely.
Of all the settings you see here, an important one would be “Access with Voice Match.” In this scenario, you would want to disable this setting. However, once you disable it, you can instead enable the “While driving” option.
As a result of changing these settings, Google Assistant won’t respond to voice recognition anymore. But when you are driving and can’t pick up your phone, it will automatically enable voice recognition.
So, the app won’t respond like normal, and it would appear to be disabled for the majority of the time. As soon as you get in your car and start driving, you can respond to texts, make calls, set reminders, and everything else you’d usually do with Google Assistant.
Conclusion on How to Turn Off OK Google
We all love our smart homes and the abilities they have. Amazon’s Echo has Alexa, and it’s even possible to use your iPhone to connect smart home technology. Google has been pushing out its own AI smart home, Google Home, and with it, there is a Google Assistant. After you figure out how to turn off Google Assistant, it hopefully won’t continue to activate randomly. It isn’t just annoying, but at times it is very inconvenient (like if you’re in a public place). On the off chance, the problem keeps happening, it might be time to research a different AI assistant.