Google agrees to replace its bricked Home and Home Mini smart speakers

If your Google Home or Home Mini device was bricked following a recent firmware update, the company says it will replace it.

It also says it has developed a fix to prevent any future updates from ruining other Google Home and Home Mini speakers.

In an emailed statement, Google told Digital Trends: “We are aware that a small number of Google Home and Google Home Mini devices are affected by an issue that causes the device to stop working.

“We have a fix that will prevent the issue from happening and will be rolling it out soon. We are replacing affected devices.”

We’ve asked Google when it intends to launch its exchange program, and when the fix will be rolled out so that owners of the Home and Home Mini speakers can be certain their devices won’t malfunction. We’ll update this piece when we hear back.

The issue came to light several months ago when owners with affected devices started posting their experiences on a number of forums, with many having problems resetting their device following an over-the-air update. In most cases, the speaker’s LED lights remain on, but the device refuses to function.

Google originally acknowledged the problem four weeks ago, saying at the time that it was working to resolve the issue. There had been fears that affected customers with speakers out of warranty might not receive any help, but Google’s promise this week to replace bricked devices at no cost will be very welcome.

If you’re unlucky enough to be lumbered with a malfunctioning Google Home device, a couple of workarounds have proved successful for some people. For example, it may sound like a blindingly obvious method, but first try unplugging it for 10 seconds and then plugging it back in.

If that fails to bring your bricked speaker back to life, then try performing a factory reset (instructions for different devices here).

It’s great that Google has finally responded with some positive news, but affected owners will now be keen to learn when they can exchange their device for a new one, and when the over-the-air update will be rolled out.

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