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Google Assistant is not talking back? Top 5 fixes

google assistant cover 2

There’s hardly any competition when it comes to digital assistants on smartphones as Google Assistant, at the current state of matters, wipes the floor with other options. Besides features and capabilities, ease of use, and UI, Google’s Assistant comes built-in on so many devices and it’s available to most Android users around the world. But it’s not all praise and some underlying issues cast shade on the overall experience. For example, some users report that Google Assistant is not talking back.

If you are among those users, make sure to check the steps we listed below. We hope that these steps would help you but, just to be specific, consider reporting the problem to Google Support, as well.

Why is my Google Assistant not talking to me?

There are a few reasons why Google Assistant might not be talking/providing voice responses to your queries and commands. Firstly, make sure that the Speech output is set to Full in the Assistant language settings. Putting Google as the default voice assistant should help, too.

Alternatively, you can clear the local data or, be even more thorough, uninstall app updates and check for improvements.

1. Enable Speech output and Default Voice Assistant

The first thing to do is to check if the Speech output is enabled. Since people weren’t satisfied with the way Google Assistant was too conversational, Google introduced the middle ground. So, nowadays you can choose between standard Full speech output, Brief output, and None speech output (unless hands-free). This setting affects responses to queries, actions, and routines.

Therefore, make sure that Google Assistant Speech output is set to Full, to get all voice responses, just like before. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Google > Settings for Google apps> Search, Assistant & Voice.
  2. Tap Voice and, under Spoken results, toggle All voice searches.
  3. Now, get back to the previous menu and open Google Assistant.
  4. Open Assistant voice.
  5. Tap on the Phone under the Speech output section.
  6. Select assistant not talking

In addition, not all Android skins offer Google Assistant (or Google) as the main Voice assistant. So, you’ll need to set the Assistant as the default option yourself. Follow these steps to set Google Assistant as the default Voice assistant on non-stock Android skins:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Tap All apps (App manager or Manage apps).
  4. Tap on the 3-dot menu and select Default apps.
  5. Set Google as the default voice assistant assistant not talking

2. Check Assistant Language and Text-to-Speech settings

Moving on, make sure to set the Assistant Language to English (US). Yes, you can use more than a few alternative languages, but the results and conversational capabilities may vary.

Here’s how to change Assistant Language to English (US):

  1. Navigate to Settings > Google > Settings for Google apps > Search, Assistant & Voice again and open Google Assistant.
  2. Select Languages.
  3. Open the list and select English (United States) as your default language.
  4. Get back and open Voice Match. Remove and enroll your voice match again by following the instructions.
  5. google assistant not talking

Another thing to check is found in the Accessibility settings and that’s the default Text-to-Speech service. You’ll need to set Google Text-to-speech Engine as the default one. Here, you can also change Speech rate, Pitch, and Intonation.

Follow these settings to set Google Text-to-speech Engine as your default option:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Accessibility.
  3. Open Text-to-speech output.
  4. Make sure that Google Text-to-speech Engine is set as the Prefered assistant not talking

3. Update the Google app and leave the Beta program

The next thing to do is to ensure that the Google app is up to date. Moreover, if you enrolled in the Beta program, leaving it isn’t the worse idea. Although you’ll get the latest features first, Beta releases are frequently plagued by minor bugs.

So, the next troubleshooting step is leaving the Beta program and updating the app. You can also reinstall it, but it’s not necessary. Here’s how to leave the Google app Beta program and update the app:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Look for Google.
  3. Open the Google app from the list of results.
  4. Scroll down and leave the Beta program if you are enrolled in it.
  5. If not, just tap Update if updates are available.

4. Clear data from the Google app

If the previous steps failed and Google Assistant is still not talking to you, clear the app’s data. You can try with just the cache first and, if that doesn’t help, clearing all locally-stored data is an obvious next step.

Here’s how to clear cache and data from the Google app:

  1. Again, navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps (Manage apps or Apps Manager) > Google.
  2. Tap on Storage.
  3. Tap Clear Cache.
  4. Restart your device.
  5. If Reminder notifications are still not coming through, tap Clear Storage and then OK to confirm the action.

5. Uninstall the Google app updates if Google Assistant is not talking

Finally, the next step is to restore the Google app to its default values. Since this is a system app (on most official ROMs, at least), it can’t be uninstalled completely. But, uninstalling updates and re-updating the app should address the majority of issues you have encountered.

Here’s how to uninstall the Google app updates on your Android:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Locate and expand Google.
  3. Tap Uninstall updates.
  4. Restart your device and make sure to install updates before moving to set up Google Assistant.

Alternatively, you can remove your Google account and sign in again. To do so, just navigate to Settings > Accounts > Your Google account. Remove the account, restart your device, and sign in again. Or, reset your device to factory settings, although we can’t guarantee that even such a drastic measure will address the problem. You can learn all that you need about the factory reset procedure before moving forward.

And, on that note, we can conclude this article. If you have an alternative solution for the Google Assistant not talking, be so kind as to share it with our readers and us in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in February 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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