You usually want a response when asking your Google Home device a question. When you issue a command, however — say, telling your Google Assistant to turn on the lights — you don’t really need a vocalized answer. If you find it distracting when your Google Home responds out loud to every command, there are a few ways you can silence these replies.
Change your Google Assistant’s speech output
The best way to take care of Google command responses is to change the Assistant’s response settings, which you can do by opening the Google Home app on your phone and accessing the settings.
Under “All settings,” tap “Assistant voice.” Hit “Speech output,” and you’ll see all your Google devices listed. Select the one you want to change the settings for, then tap “Hands-free only.” Google Assistant will show responses on your phone with this option on, but it won’t say them out loud.
You may also see options labelled “Full,” “Brief,” or “None.” If you choose “Brief,” Google Assistant will still respond out loud to your commands, but the responses will be shorter. Selecting “None” will turn them off entirely.
How to create custom commands on your Google Assistant
If that doesn’t work for you, you can try a workaround using custom Google commands with IFTTT. This process can be a hassle, but it can be helpful:
- Go to IFTTT.com and sign in or sign up.
- Click “Search” and search for “Google Assistant.”
- Click “Google Assistant,” then “Connect.”
- Enter the details of your Google account that you use for your Google Home.
- After connecting your account, click “New Applet” under your username.
- Click “this.”
- Click “Google Assistant.”
- Fill in the trigger fields for however you want to control the command, then click “Create trigger.”
- Click “that.”
- Choose the action you want it to complete.
- Put nothing but a space for the response section.
- Click “Create action,” then “Finish.”
After that, you can use your custom Google commands to control your Google Home like normal, but putting just a space in the response section will make sure the Assistant doesn’t say anything when following the command.
How to adjust or turn off “Hey Google”
If you have an issue with Google Assistant responding when it shouldn’t, you can adjust your “Hey Google” settings. First, open the Google Home app and select the device in question.
Tap “Device settings,” then “Audio,” then “Hey Google sensitivity.” From there, you can adjust how sensitive the voice recognition is. You should turn the sensitivity down if it’s responding to background noise or other things that aren’t commands. If you want to avoid voice commands entirely, find the microphone button on the back of your Google Home and just turn that off.