How to Set Up Google Home Routines

Unlock your smart speaker's most powerful feature

Using a Google speaker as an ever-present assistant or as a buddy to play games with is all well and good. But, to do more with your smart speaker, create routines to run several tasks with a single command. Routines are easy to create.

What Is a Google Home Routine?

A Google Home routine is a set of actions that a Google Home device controls with a single command. Google Assistant has six built-in routines waiting for you. These routines are:

  • Good morning
  • Bedtime
  • Leaving home
  • I'm home
  • Commuting to work
  • Commuting home

Each of these ready-made routines can be customized. Within each routine, you'll find a set of parameters that you can edit:

  • When I say: Sets a trigger word or phrase for the routine.
  • The Google Assistant should: Assigns the tasks to be completed with the verbal cue.
  • And then play: Plays music along with the task.

How to Create Custom Google Routines

If the ready-made routines aren't what you want, create custom routines. Here's how:

  1. Open the Google Assistant app.

  2. Select your Profile icon in the upper-right corner to open the user menu.

  3. Select the Assistant tab under your user name.

    Tap the Assistant tab on the Google Home app.
  4. Select Routines to open the Routines menu.

  5. Select the Blue + icon in the lower-right corner to create a new routine.

  6. Under When I say, choose a voice command to start the routine. You can also treat it as an alarm, setting it to start the routine on a certain day at a specific time.

    How to created Google Home Routines.
  7. Under The Google Assistant should, select Add Action. This gives you the option of adding a custom action. Alternatively, select popular actions to choose options from a list.

    The list suggests things like lights, plugs, weather reports, commute information, and other actions. If you select from the list, you can customize a choice by choosing the Settings Gear (where available), and then selecting Add in the upper-right corner after making your choices.

    How to add and edit Google Home Routine actions.
  8. Under And then play, select Add Media. A screen displays where you select the media you want to play during this routine. Some options include:

    • Music: Uses the default music player that you set for Google Assistant. To change this setting, select the blue link default music service when selecting the music for the routine.
    • News: Provides several major news outlets that you can prioritize by your level of interest.
    • Radio: Tunes the media selection using a radio station call sign.
    • Podcasts: Either continues the last podcast you played or plays the latest episode of a specific podcast.
    • Audiobook: Plays and accepts voice-control for audiobooks from Google Play Books.
    • Sleep sounds: Plays a variety of white noise type sounds like rain or ocean waves.

    Select Add after selecting a media source and customizing the settings.

  9. When you finish adding actions and music, go back to the New Routine screen and select Save in the upper-right corner. The routine is added to your list of routines and is accessible when you say Hey Google and give the prompt you chose.

    How to add media to and save a Google Home Routine.

    A routine can be deleted from its edit screen. Instead of tapping to save, tap the blue trash can icon to delete the routine.

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