Most modern Android smartphones let you access the Google Assistant by simply saying the phrase “OK Google” or “Hey Google”. In much the same way that you can say “Hey Siri” on an Apple iPhone.

It’s a very handy feature. For example, you can make phone calls or open specific apps while your hands are busy with something else, such as driving.

Sometimes, often after an update of hour appsor Android version, OK Google will simply stop working. This can be a real painif you use the function often, but figuring out why it no longer works isn’tall that straightforward. So if your phone is suddenly giving you the silenttreatment, here’s how to get to the bottom of it.

Troubleshooting OK Google

While we may think of the OK Google phrase andthe Google Assistant are inextricably linked, you can still use OK Google ondevices that don’t support the Google Assistant. The steps to ensuring that OKGoogle is switched on properly are different depending on whether the devicehas the assistant or not. So the first thing you’ll want to do is confirm this.

So how do you know if a given device has the assistant? It’s actually pretty easy. All you have to do is hold the home button and see what happens. If you get a little popup that says “How can I help?”, then the Assistant is present and correct.

You may also be prompted to switch the assistant on, in which case you should certainly do that. In either of these cases you’ll be following the steps that go along with the assistant being present. Let’s start with the easier one, for phones that don’t have the assistant.

Ensuring OK Google is On forDevices Without the Assistant

On devices that don’t support the GoogleAssistant, you have to use the Google app to activate this function.

First, open the Google app. This is literally an app on your phone with the name “Google”. Now, tap the menu “hamburger” icon, then Settings > Voice > Voice Match.

There should be an option called “Access withVoice Match”. Turn that on in orderfor OK Google to work.

Ensuring OK Google is On forDevices With the Assistant

If your device has the Google Assistant, youcan switch on voice matching pretty easily.

First, pressand hold the home button. This will summon the Google Assistant. There’s alittle icon at the bottom left of the popup which looks a bit like an inboxwith sunbeams coming out of it. This is the one:

Tap this icon and the Assistant will expand to fill up the whole screen. Now, tap your profile picture and then tap “Settings”.

On this screen, tap on “Assistant”.

On the bottom of the screen, under “Assistant Devices” tap on your device.

All you have to do now is to toggle “Access with Voice Match” to on.

Check For Updates

It seems that, in some cases, OK Google might stop working because there are updates pending. If your phone hasn’t been connected to WiFi internet in some time, you may have missed some updates.

So be sure to update Google apps via the Play Store and to install any OS updates that may be pending as well. If any components weren’t working because of this things should go back to normal.

Retraining Google on Your Voice

If OK Google was already on, but still doesn’t work, you might have to retrain the system for your voice. This only takes a few seconds and involves you saying a few phrases, so that the software can learn what you sound like.

It’s possible that your microphone may not be working as it did before, your voice may have changed slightly or something else has rendered the model inaccurate.

In order to do this, go to exactly the samesettings page where you enabled voice match above.

Now, tapon “voice model” and then “retrain voice model”. Now just follow theinstructions.

Disable Competing Apps

The Google software is always listening tocatch you saying “OK Google”, but there are other applications that maypotentially interfere with its ability to do so. If you have intensive,resource-hogging applications running in the background, disabling them might improveOK Google’s performance. After all, sometimes it’s simply slow to respond.

If OK Google stopped working after another app updated or was installed, that might also be a clue. You may want to to disable or temporarily uninstall other apps that listen for voice input, or have been updated or installed since your problems started.

Clean Your Microphone

It’s a relatively long shot, but you may be having trouble with the Ok Google command because something is interfering with your mic. The microphone aperture on modern phones is tiny, so oil and debris from your skin can clog it up.

Using an earbud, gently clean the microphone aperture to see if that improves things. It’s probably not this, but if you’ve tried everything else, it can’t hurt!

Getting Your Voice Back

Hopefully, after running down thistroubleshooting checklist, your iteration of OK Google is working as it should.Which is a good thing, since our voice assistants are becoming more and moreindispensable when it comes to getting through a busy day. At the very least,you always have someone willing to listen to your needs.