"Ok Google, I've had enough": How to turn off Google Assistant

"Ok Google, I've had enough": How to turn off Google Assistant

There is no denying that Google Assistant can be a very useful tool. In fact, it has also evolved considerably since it first arrived on our phones. But that's no reason to continue using it. I have also heard people often complain 'Google assistant keeps popping up' – that too on occasions when they don't really need it. 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 come up by mistake?

For me personally, I’m particularly annoyed that Google Assistant is activated without me having asked for it. I am sure you might have felt the same at least once. In fact, I also managed to find that a lot of people are searching 'how to delete Google Voice' on Google search. No wonder! 

As you might have already guessed, this is mainly because Google Assistant is invoked multiple times when you unlock your smartphone. There are multiple ways this can happen. Whatever the way, once it’s opened, the assistant captures your voice, analyzes it and performs the action you’ve indicated causing unnecessary delays.

Hell, you might even have your smartphone in your pocket and activate Google Assistant by accident. If you’re in the middle of a conversation, your device might pick up a fragment of what you've said and think you’re asking a question… and then answer you! This happened to me recently when I was talking to a friend. Suddenly, a voice from my pocket began to speak about the tomb of some Egyptian pharaoh. And believe me, at the time we weren’t in an exciting debate about Egypt.

How to turn off Google Assistant on your Android smartphone

If something like this has happened to you too and you’re sick of Google Assistant (even though you'll laugh at the more surreal searches), it’s time to turn the feature off. There are many options to go about this. Let's explore a few. 

How to turn off Google Voice

If you choose to disable Google Assistant completely, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google app on your phone and select the More option (the three bars)
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Select 'Google Assistant'
  4. Scroll down to General  (you might have to scroll down quite a bit)
  5. Uncheck the Google Assistant option.

You will see a pop-up warning you about the features that will not work anymore when you do this. Ignore the message and click 'Turn Off'. 

And that's it! You have successfully learnt how to turn off 'hey Google' for this Google Account.

Disable Google Assistant Steps 1
Step by step procedure to disable Google Assistant on your smartphone/ © NextPit
Disable Google Assistant Steps 2
You may receive a pop-up message asking if you really want to disable Google Assistant/ © NextPit

How to disable Google Assistant from accidentally turning itself on

While the first option mentioned above will completely disable Hey Google, you might be looking for a solution that is less drastic. Perhaps you are annoyed by Google Assistant popping up when you are actually trying to do something else and don't really want to disable it completely. Well, we have a solution for that as well!

On many Android smartphones, there is a dedicated button to invoke Google Assistant. Then there are some others which invoke (often annoyingly) Google Assistant when you press long-press the power button. Let us now learn how to disable them both. 

In the Settings menu of your phone, select Applications (or Apps), then go to Default applications, and then tap Device assistant app. (There might be slight variations in the menu structure depending on the brand of the phone you use - but you get a basic idea of where to look)

  1. Here, you can specify which assistant app you want to open when you press the start button. In my case, I could choose between Google and having no supporting app.
  2. If you select your 'Default Assist app' as none, Google Assistant shall no longer be invoked when you accidentally hit a button or even when you say 'Hey Google'

As mentioned earlier, this is the least radical option of the two as you can continue using Assistant whenever you want, but without having to worry about it being activated unintentionally. 

deactivate google assistant2
The least radical option / © NextPit

How to disable Google Assistant on Google Home devices

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.

Turn Off Google Assistant
Turning off the microphone on Google Home devices is a simple way to disable Google Assistant/ © NextPit

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? Does Google Assistant bother you or is just the opposite? Have you had any strange experiences with Google’s trusty sidekick? Let us know in the comments!

This article was last updated on December 9, 2020. The comments have been carried over from a previous version of the article.

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  • Michael Masseri 4 weeks ago Link to comment

    Now my microphone speech to text is gone! Fuk u Google I hate the dam assistant. I need my home button for other shit. Wtf! Stop forcing us to take shitty updates. Like I want to talk to a dam phone that can't decipher Your F's from S's I'll be there saying the word 20 damn times and not once does it get it right...

  • melinda 4 months ago Link to comment

    I've turned off Google Assistant but now the phone won't stop interrupting what I'm doing to ask if I want to turn it on. Help!

  • Butterfree 6 months ago Link to comment

    Honestly this hasn't solved the issue unfortunately. I have followed this, and still, when I hold my home button on my (android) phone and double click my earphones it still appears. It's deeply frustrating, and is blocking the functionality of my earphones!!
    I dearly hope it is just me being stupid and there is a simple way to stop it from asking "Turn on google assistant!", but even when disabling it as stated here, it continues to fuck me over!

  • LeahHodges 7 months ago Link to comment

    Thanks google for you updates

  • Deborah Jul 21, 2020 Link to comment

    What a nuscence! It kept recording all the private conversations between my wife and I. Then we would here a strange voice asking the most bizzarre and irrelevant questions! Talk about rude and invasive! This goes beyond "BIG BROTHER!! I never turned it on not was never asked if I wanted my life to be recorded a d provided to God knows who! It bad enough you have to give up most of your civil & constitutional rights to add an app to your device and, of course, grant full access to your contacts, photos, e-mails and on and on. Where,why and what reason does anyone all this "gossip" for? Is it political? If people don't agree with a politician's viewpoint, what happens to them. If folks don't care for a particular product, what then? This is not the future, it is now! Who do think has the bankbook to afford to buy all this info? It is not for us l This is an aide to control the masses. Some people may find it to be a treasure in helping get their day in order & on track. Great! Just ask yourself, who else is reading it and should ANYONE know where you are going and why? If you use as a journal or a diary, should the "terms and conditions" of a corporation" take precedence over "The bill of rights", "The Constitution" and every Privacy Law enacted by our lower courts and the Supreme Court! Please, just be very careful and use what God gave you, the brain.

    Deactivated Account

  • Kylehobie16 Jul 15, 2020 Link to comment

    I love the Google Assistant for things like setting reminders, timers, websearches and calendar events. But I absolutely can't stand the voice responses and there doesn't seem to be any way to turn that crap off. It's a deal killer for me. For instance, I get up at 4:45AM, and when I turn off the alarm that wakes me up, the Google ass says, "Good morning Kyle. (long pause to make you think it's over) Have a nice day." All at what seems to be full phone volume because you can't control the voice volume. With my wife trying to sleep next to me, this is absolutely unacceptable. Who needs their phone to tell them, "good morning"? That's about as meaningful as my right shoe telling me the beer is good. I picture the Google geniuses sitting in their collaborative space thinking up new ways for the assistant to wedge its way into our lives. All those little shits are single, so they don't care if their dream Andriod wakes them up in the morning. I'm surprised they don't come up with a sexy voice to use. Think, Allyssa Milano saying "Hey sexy nerd, have a fantastic day and may the force be with you sweet cheeks!"

  • tequilasoup Jul 2, 2020 Link to comment

    I'm not in any way blind to the convenience of voice commands. In the past I've used Assistant with much better results than Siri or Alexa which are downright annoying. I do, however, have a big problem with the constant tracking and recording our modern devices do in the background. Yes, the manufacturers swear up and down that it's private and in many cases anonymous, but were it so benevolent data mining wouldn't be a billion-dollar industry. So I've chosen to live without the convenience of voice commands. I've even disconnected my Xbox Kinect for the same reason...it's ALWAYS listening.

  • Rus Jun 23, 2020 Link to comment

    I think the best thing to do is to disable the Google application and revoke all its permissions.

  • marco sarli
    • Admin
    May 8, 2020 Link to comment

    Yes! The end of the assistants is here. If there ever was a stupid, annoying and useless feature it was this.

  • Bluez May 3, 2020 Link to comment

    Excellent guidance !
    The opening of Google Assistant from the start button has been annoying me, no end for a long time now.
    Tanks a lot.
    PS: thank you for providing pictures to illustrate the steps. My phone is in French, and there’s nothing obvious about matching the French menu words to your English system.

  • Lcheesman Feb 16, 2020 Link to comment

    Can you disable Google Assistant and still have voice control? My 95-yr old mother is blind and can't see the screen. She depends on the ability to say "Call Doug" and have it dial Doug's number. That's all i need it to do. Any ideas?

  • Lcheesman Feb 16, 2020 Link to comment

    my 95-yr old blind mother depends on being able to say "Call Doug" and the phone will dial Doug. Right now, the Google Assistant come up and says it needs to find some more information and just sits there doing nothing. How do I go back to what it used to do? This is very frustrating.

  • joheben Feb 14, 2020 Link to comment

    What is the actual name of the "Google app"?! The app named "Google" is just the normal search bar. There should be a simple Setting to get rid of this Google Super-crap.

  • TâioânBíhúnTW Feb 1, 2020 Link to comment

    It doesn't work since Google will keep asking you to turn it on and turn on by itself with the message box need to press back to skip and that is really, suck, I use the button to do other things than this useless assistant.

  • Clair Worsfold Jan 29, 2020 Link to comment

    I was just sitting at my desk, minding my own business, updating data on my computer when a voice from nowhere said, "I'm sorry I'm still a little buggy". This has never happened to me before and it frightened the life out of me. When I looked at my Samsung S9 this exact phrase was typed on the screen with an picture of a ladybird. How did this happen and why?

  • anotherlittlething Dec 30, 2019 Link to comment

    Whenever I use my headphones, it starts talking thinking im talking to it. I have turned everything off repeatedly, I have disabled everything google related, followed all the steps here and now it nags me constantly with voice, of course, to turn it back on. I am at my wits end. I am trying to uninstall all the updates now and hope that makes a difference. I am planning on a new phone sometime in the next couple months, I was going to go with a pixel 3, I am seriously rethinking that, this thing is intrusive and beyond obnoxious.

    • lesnow Jan 3, 2020 Link to comment

      Try completing disabling the google app. I did this about a week ago and all continues to be quiet on my phone.

    • joheben Feb 14, 2020 Link to comment

      This is why I avoid "upgrading" the Android version in my very old phone.

  • BarryBass Dec 20, 2019 Link to comment

    tried all the suggestions but this IRRITATING app STILL POPS up. Cant Google make it Simple to remove FFS. Dammmmm Annoying!

    • lesnow Dec 27, 2019 Link to comment

      Barry: I ended up completely disabling my google app and so far, this seems to be the only thing that has worked. See my thread below. Good luck!

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