Just as how Google Assistant can be a great tool when used the right way, it can also be annoying because of the "Ok, Google" command activation errors. You may also want to learn how to disable Google Assistant if you happen to be privacy-conscious and don't really want your phone continuously listening to the things you say. In this article, you'll find out how to get rid of Google Assistant in a few simple steps.
- Why does Google Assistant launch by itself?
- How to turn off Google Assistant on your mobile device
- How to disable the "Ok Google" command on your smartphone
- How to disable the Google Assistant activation button or activation gesture
- How to disable Google Assistant on Google Home devices
Voice assistants use a feature known as "hotword" to function, in which a particular keyword acts as a trigger to activate an action. In the case of Google Assistant, hotwords include commands like "Hey, Google" and "Ok, Google." Other companies such as Apple, Amazon and Samsung also use this feature in their respective voice assistants: Siri, Alexa, and Bixby.
However, this system has its fair share of flaws, ending up being activated by "false accepts", that is, having the software recognize what humans said as being the "hotword" resulting in activating the service. And that's why the Google Assistant can launch by itself on your smartphone once too often.
The issue became so relevant to the privacy of users that false accepts in Google Assistant have already become the subject of a lawsuit in the US.
Another reason may be related to the dedicated button or gesture activation that has been set up on your smartphone to launch Google Assistant. By remapping this button on your smartphone or disabling gesture activation, you can also prevent Google Assistant from launching by accident.
If something like this has happened to you too and you’re sick of Google Assistant, it’s time to turn the feature off. There are many options to go about this. Let's explore a few.
That said, the first thing that you need to know about Google Assistant is that this service cannot simply be uninstalled. So, you'll need to disable the feature on your smartphone. Thus, you will need to access the system settings to stop using the voice assistant. I'll show you how to do just that below.
Turning off Google Assistant:
- Launch the Google app on your smartphone.
- Click on your profile image (at the top of the screen).
- Select Settings.
- Select Google Assistant.
- Navigate to the General option.
- Disable the Google Assistant option by tapping on the slider button.
- Once this is done, a pop-up will appear warning you about the features that will not work when you disable Google Assistant on your mobile device. It is also here that you can delete your search history on Assistant (recommended if you usually save your voice searches).
- Click Turn Off.
If instead of turning off Google Assistant, you might simply want to prevent the service from activating by itself, I would recommend disabling the "Ok, Google"/"Hey Google" command on your smartphone. This way, you can continue using Google Assistant but ensuring it is triggered without your consent. In order to do this, check out the step-by-step instructions below.
- Open Settings > Google > Setting for Google Apps.
- Select Search, Assistant & Voice.
- Select Voice.
- Navigate to the Hey Google section and select Voice Match.
- Disable the Hey Google option.
By doing this, you will still be able to voice enable Google Assistant in driving apps like Google Maps and Android Auto. However, if your intention is to turn off voice commands completely, click on Driving Setup, link available in the pop-up window, and disable the While Driving option.
And you're done! Google Assistant will not accidentally activate from voice commands from now on.
On selected Android smartphones, there is a dedicated button to activate Google Assistant. In other cases, this shortcut can be configured using on-screen gestures. Often, these dedicated gestures or buttons unintentionally activate the digital assistant on the smartphone.
However, there is an option in the system settings that allows you to remove such a function or, in the case of Android 12, will allow you to remap the quick access method to the voice assistant. Below, you can check out the most practical solution to prevent Google from listening to your conversations by activating the feature as a result of an accidental touch on your smartphone:
- Launch Settings > Apps > Default apps.
- Select Digital assist app.
- Click on Default digital assistant app.
- Select None.
This way, you can continue using Google Assistant on your smartphone from the Google app or search box on your device's home screen. However, it prevents the service from being triggered unintentionally.
If you are heavily invested into the Android platform, chances are you already own a Google Home smart speaker or another Google home smart device. While most of these devices are heavily dependent on Google Assistant, Google still offers users the option to disable "Hey Google" commands on these devices.
Prevent Google Home devices from actively listening for "Hey Google" or "Ok Google"
The simplest way to ensure that your Google Home devices are not actively listening to your conversations is to engage the dedicated mute button that most of these devices come with. This action effectively disables Google Assistant features for that particular device.
To turn on Google Assistant for these individual devices, all you need to do is to flick back the 'mute' button to the on position. This feature lets you individually manage these devices and you do not need to turn off Google Assistant for the entire account.
Well, that pretty much sums up our article on how to turn off Google Assistant. What do you think of this tutorial? Did you choose to turn off Google Assistant or just limit the voice activation feature in the service? Let us know in the comments below.
Guide updated on March 2022 with updated instructions. Existing comments on this page were not removed and may refer to previous versions of this article.