Google recently removed the toggle that turned off the Google Feed, but now there’s a new method that will let us disable it from working.
Update 2 – Google has now officially rebranded the Google Now Feed into what they’re calling Google Discover. This means the name has changed but the end goal of using the company’s machine learning technology to suggest content for you to read is still the same. With this change hopefully being in its final form, I have written yet another tutorial to show you how to disable the Google Now Feed which is now being called Google Discover.
Update – Now it looks like Google is playing hot potato with this feature. When I wrote about it last year there was a simple toggle in the settings section of the Google application. This was removed and that is why I wrote this guide detailed below. However, it seems that the toggle is back so if you are having trouble with the Google Now Feed then be sure to look at the older guide first as it includes the updated way of turning this feature off.
Earlier this year I wrote up a step by step guide that showed you how to disable the Google Now Feed so that you could save some battery life. I’ve found this to be true since the service pings your location and is constantly doing work in the background in an attempt to preemptively suggest things for you.
Back then, there was a simple toggle that would let you disable the feed and that’s all there was to it, but recently the application has been updated and the toggle is no longer there.
I did some research on this subject since I had been getting a lot of complaints about the previous method no longer working. As expected, the toggle is no longer there so I had to figure out another way around this. Then I remember that when you first setup the phone it asks you if you want to enable the feed. Thankfully, there’s a way to disable the Google Feed without even needing to do a factory reset or anything and that’s what I want to show you today.
I will be demonstrating this on the Google Pixel XL phone, so some of the initial steps may be different on another phone since many OEMs restructure their Settings application.
Note – Some are reporting that this will wipe all of the icons and widgets from your Home Screen. As shown in the video, it didn’t happen to me, but it could happen to you so be aware of that
Disable Google Feed
- Launch the Settings application
- Tap on the Apps & Notifications option
- Then tap on the App Info option
- Locate and tap on the Google application in the list
- Tap on the Storage option here
- Tap the Manage Space option
- Tap the Clear Data/Clear All Data option
- Then tap OK to confirm
- Press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen
- Do NOT open the Google app again (or it will trigger the feed)
While all of this will still work if you perform a factory reset, we’re going to avoid all of that since we only need to focus on the Google application itself. Again, I did this with the Pixel XL but it will also work on the other Nexus and Pixel devices. Some of the steps could be different for other OEM smartphones and tablets so feel free to ask if you’re stuck or need help. To start, we need to launch the Settings application so we can get to the details page of the Google app.
For the updated Pixel and Nexus phones, this means tapping on the Apps & Notifications option and then tapping on the App Info menu at the top. This will give you a huge list of all the applications you have installed on your device so just scroll down until you can tap on the Google app. From here, you’ll want to tap on the Storage option and then the Manage Space button. This is where you should see either a Clear Data or Clear All Data button.
We want to tap on this Clear Data button so that we can reset the preferences of the Google application and the Google Feed. You’ll see a prompt appear asking if you’re sure you want to delete this data. You won’t be signed out of your account or anything, we’re just deleting the data for this specific app here. Once that is done, you can press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen and then swipe over to the Google Now panel to check and make sure the Google Feed has been disabled.
As shown in the video, the Google Feed will stay disabled as long as you don’t open up the Google application and choose an option at the bottom of the Feed prompt. Even if you say you want to skip the Google Feed, for some reason it actually re-enables itself. This is either a bug (because the whole system is being updated), or Google actually wants to force you to use the Google Feed. You can still use the Google search widget on the Home Screen, and use the Google Now panel too.
As long as you don’t open the Google application and choose Skip or Get Started, then the Google Feed will stay turned off. If for some reason you need to go into the settings of the Google application, you can do this by going into the Google Now panel and tapping the 3-dot menu at the top.