Google Assistant is a useful tool that allows you to interact with your phone via voice commands. It is also a functional virtual assistant that can launch apps, find information and perform many other tasks. If you have discovered that the Google Assistant does not work on your phone, you may have a compatibility problem, settings, data that does not work with your Google app or any of many other problems.
How to know if Google Assistant is compatible with your phone
When Google Assistant first appeared, it only worked on a limited number of phones. Since then the compatibility has increased, but the phone still has to meet some minimum specifications. If your phone does not meet these requirements, it cannot run Google Assistant.
- Android 5.0 or later
- Google App version 6.13 or later
- Google Play Services installed
- At least 1.0 GB of memory
- Set to a compatible language
Google Assistant works with many languages, including Chinese (traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish. However, speech recognition works best with English.
If the Google Assistant is compatible with your phone and doesn’t work, try the following troubleshooting steps:
- Make sure Google Assistant is enabled. Google Assistant is enabled by default on some devices, but there are cases where you need to activate it first.
If your phone requires you to enable Google Assistant before using it, start by opening the Google app, then tap the menu icon (three vertical lines) or Other. Then go to Settings > Google Assistant > Activate. If you do not see these options, Google Assistant is not installed or is active by default on your device.
Some Android devices require you to download the Google Assistant app, rather than include it with the Google app. In this case, download the Google Assistant app directly from the Google Play Store.
- Make sure the “OK Google” detection is enabled.
Open the Google app, then select More > Settings > Voice > Speech Correspondence. So make sure that Access with Voice Match and Unlock with Voice Match are activated.
- Make sure the microphone works. The Google Assistant won’t work if you don’t hear it. Perform a visual inspection of the microphone and make sure it is not blocked by dirt.
Cleaning a microphone is similar to cleaning a charging port and you can use things like compressed air and toothpicks to carefully remove dust, dirt and other materials.
- Try using Google Assistant in a quiet area. If the “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” commands do not work and you are in a noisy area, move to a silent space and try again. Google Assistant is pretty good at distinguishing your voice from the crowd, but excessive background noise can prevent it from working properly.
- Check your connectivity. Google Assistant does not work exclusively on your phone. The app transmits your voice commands to Google servers, which perform heavy work. Make sure you are able to access the Internet and check if other apps that require data connectivity work. Try switching to a Wi-Fi network, if available.
- Restart the phone. In some cases, there may be a problem with the Google Assistant or Google app that can be resolved with a simple reboot.
- Search on Twitter #assistentegoogle, check the Google Assistant support forum and take a look at the subreddit dedicated to Google Assistant.
Doing this type of search can reveal if there is a general problem with the Google Assistant as a whole or a new bug with the Google Assistant related to your phone or the version of Android you use.
If you don’t see people complaining in any of these places, then the problem is probably just yours.
- Disable Bixby, if your phone is enabled, as it can interfere with the Google Assistant. The same applies if you have Alexa on your phone. Make sure Google Assistant is the only active virtual assistant on your phone and check if it works.
- Update Google Play Services if you don’t have the latest version.
Google Assistant requires Google Play Services, so being left behind with updates can make it stop working.
- Update Android if you don’t have the latest version.
If Android 4.4 or earlier is installed on your phone, Google Assistant is not available. Update to a newer version or update your phone if you can no longer update the operating system.
Although Google Assistant is compatible with Android 5.0 and later versions, there may be conflicts with the phone’s hardware, the Android version you have installed and the Google Assistant.
If you are not using the latest version of Android available for your phone, update it completely and then check if Google Assistant works.
- Google Assistant is able to understand you only if you have a good voice model. If it was not set up correctly first, or if the voice model is damaged, it will not work properly.
Here’s how to configure the voice model:
Open the Google app, then go to More > Settings > Voice > Voice Matching > Replay Voice Pattern. Then tap More and clearly say the phrases indicated in the phone’s microphone.
- If the Google Assistant still doesn’t work and you’ve recently updated the Google app just before the problem started, this could be the problem.
What to do when the Google assistant stops working after an update
Google sometimes interrupts the Google Assistant feature when updating the Google app and it is also possible that the app data on the phone has been damaged. When this happens, the best option is to delete the locally stored data and, if possible, return to a previous version of the app.
In some cases, uninstalling Google app updates and reinstalling the update will resolve the issue. In other cases, you will need to uninstall the update and then wait for Google to make a correction that works with your specific hardware.
Here’s how to clear the Google app cache and uninstall updates:
- Go to Settings > Apps > Google.
Instead of Apps, you may see Apps and Notifications or another similar option.
- Tap Storage.
- Tap Clear memory and Clear cache.
- Return to the previous screen and touch the menu three (three vertical points) or Other, if available on the phone.
- Tap Uninstall updates, then tap OK.
This option is not available in all versions of Android. If you don’t see it, you won’t be able to try this fix.
- Restart your phone and see if Google Assistant works.
- If the Google Assistant still doesn’t work, try updating the Google app. If it still doesn’t work at that point, you’ll have to wait for Google to issue a correction.