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Fix: Phone not reacting to “Hey, Google”

Phone not reacting Hey Google

There are fields where Google meets heavy competition and then there’s the market of on-device voice assistants where Google Assistant is unmatched. One of the key features is the ability to trigger the Assistant with your voice using the phrase OK, Google or Hey, Google on your smartphone. However, some users report that the phone is not reacting to Hey, Google voice trigger. We made sure to provide a list of viable solutions below.

Why is Hey Google not working on my phone?

Firstly, try with OK, Google instead of Hey, Google. For some reason, it better distinguishes that command. If that doesn’t work, check your Assistant settings or clear cache and data from the Google app and configure everything again.

1. Make sure that voice access is enabled

In order to access Google Assistant with voice, you need to ensure two things. Firstly, to confirm that Google is set as the default voice assistant and, secondly, that the Hey, Google voice access is enabled in the app settings. Also, check Settings > Apps > Google app > Permissions and grant Google microphone permission.

The first task is not necessary on devices with stock Android as they don’t offer alternatives. However, most OEMs offer alternatives (e.g. Bixby on Samsung), meaning that you need to select the default Assistant on your own.

Here’s how to select the default voice assistant on your Android device:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps (App manager or Manage apps).
  3. Open All apps.
  4. Tap on the 3-dot menu and select Default apps.
  5. Open Voice assistant.
  6. Select Google as your default provider.

Now, onto the second option that you need to check. What you need to do is access Google Assistant settings and make sure that the Hey, Google/OK, Google trigger is enabled. If you are unsure how to do it, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open Google Assistant from the Home Screen and tap the Snapshot icon in the bottom left. Then tap on your Account image to open Settings. Alternatively, you would want to navigate to Settings > Google > Account services > Search, Assistant & Voice > Google Assistant.
  2. Tap Voice Match.
  3. Make sure that the Hey Google is not responding to hey google

2. Retrain voice model

If you are still unable to access your Assistant by voice, make sure to retrain the voice model. Although slim, chances are that it can’t recognize your voice and thus won’t work. Once you’ve done that, move to the next step and check the language options.

Here’s how to retrain the Voice model on your Google Assistant:

  1. Navigate again to Google Assistant settings, as explained above.
  2. Open Voice Match.
  3. Tap Voice model.
  4. Tap on the Retrain voice model.
  5. Follow instructions until a new Voice match is not responding to hey google
  6. Try accessing Google Assistant by voice again.

3. Check languages

Although Google Assistant supports 12 languages at the moment, it works the best with English (US). Now, we fully understand that it shouldn’t make any difference if you choose, for example, English (UK) as the default language, but it seemingly does.

So, if you are using your Assistant in English, make sure to switch to English (US) and look for improvements. If you are uncertain how to do it, follow these instructions:

  1. Open Assistant settings yet again.
  2. Select Languages.
  3. Set English (United States) as the default language.
  4. Try triggering Google Assistant with voice.

If your phone is still not reacting to the Hey Google prompt, make sure to try with step 5 below.

4. Check Google services settings

Since recently, Google provides an Assistant trigger on all headphones when the screen is locked, not only Pixel Buds. So, if your problem with the voice trigger appears solely when using earbuds or headphones, you need to enable this option in Settings. Of course, for it to work, your headphones or Bluetooth earbuds need to have a built-in microphone.

Here’s how to enable Hey Google on any headphones/earbuds:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Google.
  3. Select Account Service.
  4. Select Search, Assistant & Voice.
  5. Enable Bluetooth or wired headsets to access Google Assistant from the lock not responding to hey google

5. Clear data and cache from the Google app

Finally, you can clear all local cache and data from the Google app and set everything again. Hopefully, that will resolve the issue at hand. Also, don’t forget to set Google again as your default voice assistant after the process of clearing data is done.

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

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Tap All apps.
  4. Locate and open the Google app.
  5. Tap Storage.
  6. Tap Clear data.
  7. Now, tap Clear All Data.
  8. Restart your device and give it a go.

If that doesn’t work, open Play Store, locate Google, and tap Uninstall. This will remove updates from the app. Update the app again and try to trigger the Assistant again.

And, that should do it. Thank you for reading and make sure to leave your comments in the comments section below.

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.