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Is Google Home giving you trouble? Solutions to the most common problems

google home problems
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Designed to help you control the various smart devices and Google services in your life, Google Home functions similarly to the likes of Amazon Echo — except, you know, for Google stuff. While the Home is a nifty product and promising voice assistant, things don’t always go as planned. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the more common issues with the Home, along with a few tips for making things right. Below, we’ve listed a series of typical Home problems, along with their various solutions.

More: So, what smart home devices currently work with Google Home?

I can’t keep Google Home connected to my Wi-Fi network

A known issue with some Google Home devices, this occurs even if a user places it directly beside a router or antenna. The Home may not connect properly to the network or may not maintain a reliable connection.

Solution:

  • Try rebooting the device. To do so, launch the Google Home app on a connected device and select Devices in the upper-right corner. Select the Home device, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, then select Settings. Next, select More before tapping Reboot. If this sounds like a lot of work, unplug the Home device and leave it unplugged for roughly one minute before plugging it back in and reconnecting it.
  • If rebooting the Home a few times still results in a dropped connection, we suggest contacting Google Support and asking if there’s anything wrong with the connection or router. Google offers great support options for the Home and may be able to help.

Google Home ignores me and doesn’t respond to my voice

Solution:

  • Check and make sure the Home’s mic is on — after all, it could have accidentally turned off. It also helps to check the indicator light located on the speaker; four lights means the mic is off. Turning the mic back on is done using the button on the back of the speaker.
  • If the speaker is on, but it still doesn’t seem to be responding, check the physical placement of the Home. Is there any chance of noise interference? Dishwashers, air vents, and a host of other noisemakers may prevent the Home from hearing users properly. If so, try moving it to a quieter area and see if it works better.

My voice commands also turn on my Google phone, laptop, and other devices

Solution:

  • It’s certainly annoying to start commanding a phone instead of the Home device, or both at the same time. There’s not much you can do to avoid this. However, we do suggest changing the activation phrase or “hot word” for either device. The default phrase “OK, Google” prompts the Home and other Google devices to listen. While you can change your phone or browser phrase, “OK, Google” is the only prompt for the Home..
  • To change the “hot word,” go to the device and install the Open Mic+ extension, which adds the ability to change the phrase from “OK Google.” Now you can set it to something like, “OK, Jarvis” or “Hey, Jeeves.”

I can’t add events or reminders to my calendar with the Home

Solution:

  • Wait. This is one of those odd cases when Google pushed the Home before fully completing its companion software. On paper, the device’s design allows it to fill in a calendar via voice commands (much like the Echo), but this doesn’t exactly work as advertised — yet. The Home doesn’t access calendars or reminders, though it does feature the ability to tell users about them. We expect Google to add the option in a later update. For now, owners simply need to enter those things manually.
  • Also keep in mind that for now, the Home only works with one calendar. We mean that in the sense that it only works with a single user’s calendar, and it only works with that user’s default calendar. If you have a Google Work calendar, it won’t give you reminders or events from it, yet.
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