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

google home
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.

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.
  • Google Home recently learned to recognize multiple users. To take advantage, open the Google Home app, select the card that says Multi-user is available. (If you don’t see it, tap the icon in the top-right to see all of your connected services.) Hit Link your account, then repeat short phrases like, “OK Google,” and “Hey, Google” to teach it to recognize your voice. Repeat as many times as necessary for up to six different accounts.

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 your default calendar, as you can now have six different accounts linked to the device. If you have a Google Work calendar, it won’t give you reminders or events from it, yet.

Google Play Music will start to play music, then suddenly freeze

Solution:

  • This is a known problem with not just Google’s proprietary service but also with streaming platforms such as Spotify.
  • After making sure the Home is updated, the best bet is to reboot the device and see if music plays as it should. In the app, select the Home device, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, then choose Settings. On the Settings page, select More and tap Reboot. If this sounds like a lot of work, simply unplug the Home and leave it unplugged for about a minute before plugging it back in and reconnecting it. This is not a guaranteed fix, however, and may not work forever. Google appears to be actively addressing this problem, and future updates are likely to address it.
Google Home
Google Home

I ask my Home questions, but it rarely knows anything

Solution:

  • Try unplugging the Home, waiting for a minute, and plugging it back in. It may also require a reboot to kick it into gear.
  • If this doesn’t work, double-check to make sure the Home links to a Google account with its location turned on . Additionally, make sure the Google account is able to answer questions regarding calendars, flights, and other items chosen during the initial setup process.

Google isn’t recognizing the correct location for my home

Solution

  • Sometimes Google Home isn’t very good at even identifying a home. This poses a problem while asking for nearby services, weather reports, and other location-reliant items. There are limits on how accurate the Home can get, and we’re hoping for greater accuracy in the future. For now, however, specifying a home address may make a difference.
  • To do this, start by opening the Home app. Afterward, select the top-left button to access additional settings. Select More Settings, go to Google Account Settings, and choose Personal Info. Then, select Home & Work Locations. Here, simply enter a street address to see if it’s able to locate the home.

My Home randomly responds, even though no one talked to it

Solution:

  • Try moving it away from TVs, radios, and other vibration sources. Place it on a sturdier surface and see if it helps. It’s known that Home devices randomly speak up, even if someone hasn’t actually activated them. Fear not; the Home isn’t haunted — it’s just a little overeager.

My Home only says something is wrong and to “try again in a few minutes”

Solution:

  • This problem likely stems from a residence’s network connectivity. The Home is trying to connect to the internet, but it’s either not responding or taking too long. If other smart devices in your home aren’t working, check if the internet works before fully rebooting the home’s router.
  • If the internet works fine on other devices, try rebooting the Home itself. We suggest a full reboot, which requires completely unplugging the device and waiting a minute before plugging it back in. If this doesn’t work, contact Google Support and explain the problem. Considering this may require diving into detailed IP info, it’s always best to have help at this stage.
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