Why Won't Google Assistant Work With My Phone?

'Not available on this device' can mean compatibility or corrupted data issues

Google Assistant is a useful tool that allows you to interact with your phone through spoken commands. Sometimes, however, it just won't work right with your phone.

Reasons Why Google Assistant Isn't Working

If you've found that Google Assistant won't work with your phone, you could have a problem with compatibility, settings, corrupted data in your Google app, or any one of several other issues.

When Google Assistant first appeared, it only worked on a small number of phones. Compatibility has increased since then, but your phone still needs to meet some minimum specifications. If your phone doesn't meet these requirements, it can't run Google Assistant.

How to Fix Google Assistant Issues

If Google Assistant isn't working, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Make sure that Google Assistant is enabled. Google Assistant is active by default on some devices, but there are cases where you have to turn it on first.

    Some Android devices require you to download the Google Assistant app, rather than including it with the Google app. If that's the case with your phone, download it directly from the Google Play store.

  2. Make sure your microphone is working. Google Assistant won't work if it can't hear you. Perform a visual inspection of your microphone, and make sure it isn't blocked by debris.

    Cleaning a microphone is similar to cleaning a charging port, and you can use things like compressed air and toothpicks to remove dust, dirt, and other materials carefully.

  3. Try using Google Assistant in a quiet area. If the "Okay Google" and "Hey Google" commands don't work, and you're in a noisy area, move to a quiet space and try again. Google Assistant is pretty good at picking your voice out of a crowd, but excessive background noise can keep it from working correctly.

  4. Check your connectivity. Google Assistant doesn't run solely on your phone. The app transmits your voice commands to Google's servers, which do the heavy lifting. Make sure that you're able to access the internet, and check to see if other apps that require data connectivity work. Try switching to a Wi-Fi network if one is available.

  5. Reboot your phone. In some cases, there may be a problem with your Google Assistant or Google app that a simple reboot can fix.

  6. Search Twitter for #googleassistant, check Google's Google Assistant support forum, and take a look at the subreddit that's devoted to Google Assistant.

    Doing this type of search can reveal if there's an overarching problem with Google Assistant as a whole or a new bug with Google Assistant that pertains to your phone or the version of Android that you use.

    If you don't see people complaining in any of those places, then the issue is probably on your end.

  7. Disable Bixby, if your phone has it enabled, as it can interfere with Google Assistant. The same is true if you have Alexa on your phone. Make sure that Google Assistant is the only active virtual assistant on your phone, and check to see if it works.

  8. Update Google Play Services if you don't have the most recent version. Google Assistant requires Google Play Services, so falling behind in updates can cause it to stop working.

  9. Update Android if you don't have the most recent version. If you have Android 4.4 or older installed on your phone, Google Assistant isn't available. Update to a newer version, or upgrade your phone if you can no longer update the operating system.

  10. Retrain the Google Assistant voice model. Google Assistant is only able to understand you if it has a good voice model. If it wasn't set up correctly in the first place, or if the voice model is corrupted, it won't work right.

  11. Clear the cache on your phone. Google sometimes breaks Assistant functionality when they update the Google app, and it's also possible for the app data on your phone to get corrupted. When that happens, your best option is to clear the locally stored data and then go to Settings > Apps > Google and select the three-dot menu > Uninstall updates.

  12. Contact Google. If nothing else works, you may need to get some extra help. Check Google Support, or schedule a repair appointment with your wireless carrier.

  • What are the requirements for Google Assistant?

    To use Google Assistant, your phone and operating system must be compatible. You must have Android 5.0 or higher, Google app version 6.13 and up, and at lest 1.5GB of memory. You should also have Google Play Services installed, and your phone should be set to a supported region and language. You can see a list of compatible options on Google's support site.

  • How do I change Google Assistant's voice?

    First, activate Google Assistant. From there, you can change its voice by going to your profile icon > Settings > Assistant > Assistant Voice.

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