If your Google Home has stopped working, you're not alone. Devices have seemingly been bricked by recent a software update from the company. Google says issue only affects 'small number' of devices but the total number is not currently known. Here's what to do if you think your device is affected.
Automatic software updates sent by Google appear to have rendered some older models of its Home smart speakers unusable.
Home devices receive and install software updates without requiring input from the user, typically overnight to avoid interrupting normal operation. But recently some users have discovered their units — specifically original Google Home and Google Home Mini units — have become completely unresponsive with their lights illuminated.
In many cases described on Reddit and support forums no amount of resetting or troubleshooting has seemed to help, which would suggest new firmware had "bricked" the device.
Reports of the issue have been appearing since at least last month, but the number of complaints looks to have grown over time. Still it's clear that the problem does not affect all devices, begging the question as to why a few Homes were completely bricked by an update that the rest handled fine. Google has acknowledged it is working on a solution.
"It has been very difficult for our team to diagnose this issue and we understand why many of you have been frustrated with this ongoing process", wrote Google employee Rachel Chambers this week on a support forum thread that has hundreds of replies. "We appreciate your patience as we work through this."
The Google Home and Google Home Mini were the first two versions of the web giant's Assistant-powered smart speakers, launching in 2016 and 2017 respectively. This was followed by the Home Max, Home Hub (later renamed Nest Hub), Nest Hub Max and Nest Mini, none of which appear to be affected by the issue.
While some US media have reported that Google was refusing to replace unresponsive devices unless they were under warranty, others have confirmed with the company that this is not the case and new units are being provided to customers who want them. Thankfully, Australia's consumer protection laws are harder to weasel out of.
What to do if your Google Home has stopped working
A local Google spokesperson told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that users experiencing the problem could expect a fix or replacement.
"We are aware of an issue that's causing a small number of Google Home and Google Home Mini devices to no longer function," the spokesperson said. "A fix will roll out soon and we are replacing affected devices in the meantime."
You can contact a Google Australia here. Alternatively, taking it back to the place of purchase (with a receipt) should result in a replacement or refund.
So to summarise, you can either wait for the software patch, contact Google Australia or take it back to the shop you bought it from. Best of luck!