Voice commands and searches are becoming more and more popular, but not everybody wants to be force-fed with them. If you’re in the category wanting to disable “OK Google” listening on your Android phone, you’re at the right place because that’s exactly what we’re going to teach you in today’s article.
Unfortunately, disabling OK Google on your phone is not a simple, straightforward process that requires the tap of a button and you’re done. You will have to do some digging and spend some time dealing with it – but fortunately it’s something that you only have to do once in order to shut it down forever. And it’s worth it!
And when you want to disable “OK Google” you have two options: the first and easiest is to simply instruct it not to react to any voice commands (but it will still listen); and the second and a bit more difficult, to completely shut it down (which also shuts down some other features you might keep).
We’re going to talk about and walk you through the steps required for each of the options you have to turn that off, so let’s get started!
1. How to disable OK Google from reacting to voice commands
This is the easiest thing to do, even though it doesn’t completely stop Google from “listening” to your commands even when the phone is off. But at least it won’t react at all and you can’t use any voice commands – which is exactly the result you’re after.
In order to do it, here are the steps to follow:
1. Launch the Google App and then tap the hamburger menu in the lower right corner (looks like three parallel lines).
2. Tap the Settings button, then tap “Settings” once more under the Google Assistant menu:
3. Scroll down and, under “Devices” tap “Phone”. There, simply turn off Google Assistant:
4. Alternatively, if you don’t want to disable Google Assistant completely, you can only turn of the “Access with Voice Match” option which still keeps Voice commands active, but they will only work on the home screen:
This is it. Doing so, you will no longer have Google react to your “OK Google” voice command – but this doesn’t prevent it from listening.
2. How to completely shut down OK Google
If you want to completely stop OK Google – for example if you’re a bit more concerned about your privacy – you have to go through a bit of extra trouble. And this fix is not ideal – you’ll see why, but it does get the job done. Here’s what to do:
1. Launch the Settings app of your phone – this varies from model to model, but it’s usually available int he Apps menu or by swiping down on your homepage to bring up your phone’s notifications and tapping the cogwheel there.
2. Once you’re in your phone’s settings, scroll down until you find a menu for your Apps. Again, this varies from device to device and it could be something like “Apps”, “Apps and notifications” “Applications” and so on. You’ll know it when you’ll tap it – it will show you a list of all the apps installed on your device.
3. Once there, scroll down until you find the Google app and tap it.
4. Now tap the Permissions tab and hit the toggle switch next to “Microphone”:
This will prevent Google from listening to your device and completely shut down OK Google.
However, this is not ideal if you’re still using or planning to use some of the phone’s voice features in combination with Google. For example, launching the app and tapping the microphone there to issue a voice command or perform a search will no longer work.
But, probably if you’re reading this guide, this won’t affect you too much as you probably want “OK Google” to stop and you don’t care too much about voice commands either. But if you do, you can always try the first fix anyway.