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.
  • This Routine will: Assigns the tasks to be completed with the verbal cue.
  • Add action: Adds more actions to the Routine.

Google Assistant also has a slew of Routine action ideas in its ready-made Routines. For example, in the Good Morning ready-made Routine, suggested actions include, "Tell me what happened today in history, "Tell me a poem," and "Tell me about my commute.

Add a Routine shortcut icon to your Android device to access your favorite Routines quickly and easily. In the Routines section of the Google Home app, tap Add to Home Screen.

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 and select your profile icon.

  2. Scroll down to settings and select Routines.

  3. Select New.

    Google Assistant app with profile picture, routines, and New highlighted
  4. Select Add Starter. This will determine how your Routine begins.

  5. Choose how you want to prompt your Routine. Select Voice Command, Time, or Sunrise/Sunset. We'll use Voice Command in this example.

    Sunrise/sunset Routines automatically detect your location, allowing you to create morning and evening Routines. For example, have your living room lights come on automatically at sundown, or have your sprinklers turn on at dawn.

  6. Since we chose Voice Command, we'll type a phrase for our Routine, such as "Let's Get Ready." Tap Done.

    Google Assistant settings with "Add Starter," "Voice command," and "Let's Get Ready" highlighted"

    If you chose Time for your starter, you'd select a time for your Routine to begin. If you chose Sunrise/Sunset, you'd opt for Sunrise or Sunset.

  7. Tap Add action to choose what this Routine will do.

  8. Select a category, then select a specific action or actions. Depending on the action, there may be additional steps to complete, for example, if you're setting up music with your Routine. Tap Done when finished.

  9. Tap Save to save your new Routine.

    Google Assistant Routine settings with "Add Action," "Get info and reminders," and "Save" highlighted
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