How to Set up and Use Google Assistant on Your Chromebook

Get ready to 'Ok Google!' your laptop

Google Assistant is invaluable on phones and other devices, but it can also be used on a Chromebook. To do so, you just need to find and enable the Google Assistant option. However, there are several settings you can configure to customize the Google Assistant experience from your Chromebook. Here's how to set up and use Google Assistant on a Chromebook.

Google Chromebook

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How to Turn on Google Assistant on Chromebook

To activate Google Assistant on Chromebook, you'll just need to enable it inside your Chromebook settings.

However, it's important that you also customize Google Assistant so you can have the service work exactly the way you would like.

  1. First, select the time at the bottom right corner of your Chromebook desktop. In the pop-up window, select Settings.

    Chromebook settings
  2. In the Settings window, scroll down to Search and Assistant, and select Google Assistant.

    Google Assistant disabled
  3. In the Google Assistant window, enable the toggle switch to the right. This will enable several other Google Assistant options below it. These settings are:

    • Related Info: If enabled, Google Assistant will show you notifications with information, apps, or actions that are related to the text currently on your screen.
    • OK Google: If you set this to Always on, the Assistant app will respond when you say "Ok Google" followed by a command. Set this to On (Recommended) so this feature is only enabled when the Chromebook is plugged in or charging.
    • Notifications: Allows Google Assistant to show pop-up notifications on your taskbar.
    • Preferred input: When enabled, Google Assistant will listen for voice inputs from you first. If disabled, the keyboard will be your primary input for commands.
    Google Assistant options

Customize Google Assistant Settings

To customize your Google Assistant experience, it's important to set up individual settings. These settings, according to Google, allow the app to "individualize" your Assistant experience.

To customize your Google Assistant settings:

  1. Select the time in the bottom right corner, then select Settings > Google Assistant.

  2. Select Google Assistant Settings. This will open a new window where you can customize everything about what Google Assistant knows about you.

  3. On the You tab, select Your places. On this screen, customize Home and Work addresses to match your own home and work locations. You can also select Add a new place to add any locations that you frequently visit. Press the x in the upper right corner of the window to close it when you're done.

    Home and Work settings are important to include, since they will allow Google Assistant to provide you with navigation to these locations whenver you say the words "home" or "work" while asking for directions.

  4. Still on the You tab, select Getting Around. Make sure the settings for how you commute are accurate.

    Getting Around settings
  5. From the You tab again, select Weather, then make sure the temperature units match the one used in your region of the world.

    Weather settings
  6. Finally, from the You tab, select Activity Controls. It's very important to scan this page carefully and make sure you're okay with Google Assistant accessing your information as described. These activities include:

    • Your Chrome history and activity
    • Voice and audio recordings
    • Your mobile device location history
    • YouTube history and activity
    • Ad personalization
    Activity controls settings

    Select My Activity to see a history of your Google Assistant activity that you can view at any time.

  7. The other tabs in the Google Assistant settings are Assistant and Services:

    • Assistant: Your language and whether you want to receive emails of news and new features
    • Services: Customize what apps or services Google Assistant will use when you want to launch notes or lists, music, your calendar, and reminders.
    Assistant Services tab

    The items in the Services tab are very important to set up because it will allow Google Assistant to automate a lot of the actions you do inside the apps and web services you use the most.

Protect Your Privacy With Guest Mode

If you're concerned about privacy, manage your Google Assistant with its Guest Mode feature, which is available on any Google Assistant-enabled devices. If you activate Google Assistant on your Chromebook, you'll be able to take advantage of this function.

When you activate Guest Mode, Google won't save any Google Assistant communications to your account and won't include your personal information, such as contacts or calendar items, in search results.

There are many situations where Guest Mode could prove handy; for example, if you have people in your home and you don't want their Google Assistant interactions saved to your account. Or, use it if you're planning a surprise for a family member and don't want to leave any evidence behind.

You don't need to activate Guest Mode in your Chromebook settings. To turn on Guest Mode, you or any visitor in your home would say, "Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode." To turn it off, say, "Hey Google, turn off Guest Mode." If you're unsure of your status, say, "Is Guest Mode on?"

To learn more about Guest Mode, say, "Hey Google, tell me about Guest Mode."

How to Start Using Google Assistant

Now that you've enabled Google Assistant on your Chromebook, you're ready to use it.

There are hundreds of Google Assistant commands to help you with everything from fitness and shopping to productivity and sports. To get started, try some of the following actions using your voice with Google Assistant:

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