Google Assistant is one of the coolest and most helpful features in Google’s suite of products, but it can be a little overbearing at times. Whether it’s answering to commands from the TV or potentially listening in to private conversations, you’ll want to tell Google Assistant to take a break sometimes.
Beyond turning off Google Assistant, there’s also plenty of ways you can customize how it interacts with you. We’ll cover everything you need to know in this guide.
How to turn off Google Assistant
If you want to completely deactivate Google Assistant on one of your devices, it’s easy to do. Here’s how:
- Open the Google app on your phone.
- Tap on More at the bottom-right.
- Tap on Settings.
- Tap on Google Assistant.
- Scroll down to Assistant Devices (or Devices on some phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE), and tap on Phone or any other device you have listed where you want to turn Google Assistant off.
- Tap the Google Assistant toggle to turn it off.
You can also just say, “Hey Google, turn yourself off,” to get directions on how to do it.
How to tweak your Google Assistant settings
You can tweak all sorts of different settings in the Google app if you go to More > Settings > Google Assistant as we showed you above, but what if you want to turn off specific triggers?
Sometimes Google Assistant will pick up your voice even if you’re not issuing a command, so it can be frustrating around the house. An ideal solution is to set the app preferences so it’ll only pick up voice commands when you’re in the car. Here’s how to do that on a Samsung Galaxy phone — the path will be slightly different on a different device.
- Go to Settings and tap Apps.
- Tap the Three Vertically-Stacked Dots at the top-right for more options, and tap Default apps.
- Tap on Device Assistance App (or Assist App).
- There are various settings you can change here, and they’ll be different depending on your device. For example, the Galaxy S20 has the option to turn off on-screen text or image analysis, but the Pixel 3 has the option to turn off Active Edge here, which is a feature that allows you to squeeze the phone to launch Google Assistant.
- Tap the Gear icon to dig deeper and access more options. Tap Voice Match.
- You can now toggle off Access with Voice Match but leave on While Driving.
How to temporarily turn off Google Assistant on smart home devices
Maybe you have a smart speaker, smart display, or smart clock, and you want to turn Google Assistant off temporarily or you want to turn it off regularly at specific times. You can change the Google Home preferences in Downtime to have Google Assistant available at certain times or for specific devices. Here’s how:
- Open the Google Home app.
- Tap Home and select a device.
- Tap the Settings gear icon.
- Tap Digital Wellbeing > New Schedule.
- Pick all the devices you want to apply it to, then tap Next.
- Pick the days and choose a ready-made schedule or create a custom schedule, then tap Next.
- Choose start and end times, then Next > Done.
If you change your mind, it’s easy to reverse any of these settings by following the same path. Bear in mind that Google Assistant is improving all the time. We have a great overview of the voice commands you can use to get the most out of your smart device.
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