hidden features of iOS 12

You can stop your phone from activating a web search with your voice when it hears the OK Google hotword by following these steps.

Google likes the idea of you activating a web search with your voice using the OK Google hotword, but not everyone likes it when this happens. It can definitely be convenient for those times when you want to go a web search with Google using your voice, but it can also trigger at unexpected times.

With the introduction of Google Home, they obviously want us to have these products all throughout our home.

So this means anytime you’re watching a video (from Google or any other technology enthusiast), they can trigger your phone, tablet and Google Home device all at once with one two quick words. Thankfully, there’s a way to completely turn off this OK Google hotword trigger from being detected on your device and that’s what I want to show you today. Also, there are ways to limit where this hotword can be triggered too.

Disable OK Google

  1. Launch the Google application
  2. Tap on the Hamburger Menu icon at the top left
  3. Tap on the Settings option
  4. Tap on the Voice option
  5. Tap on the OK Google Detection option
  6. Toggle all of these features off (or select and choose which ones to disable)

Explanation

Doing a search with your voice can sometimes be much quicker than doing one manually by typing on a phone. I will generally opt for this method, but instead of saying the OK Google hotword, I will tap on the microphone icon to start the search. I’m just not a fan of the OK Google hotword in general, but things are getting better. At least with Google Home you can say Hey Google instead of OK Google.

Still, I would rather change this completely like we can on some Motorola smartphones. In any case, having a voice search triggered on my phone, tablet and Google Home all at the same time can be quite annoying. So I like to disable this feature on most of my device. To start, you’ll want to launch the Google application (which is normally found in the App Drawer). From here you can expand the Navigation menu by tapping on the Hamburger Menu icon, or by swiping in from the left side of the screen.

Disable OK Google Toggles
Your settings might look different, but you can toggle the OK Google hotword trigger from here.

You’ll find a Settings option here, and in there is another option called Voice. Once you get into the Voice section of the Google app settings, you should see another option called OK Google Detection (this should be toward the top). Tapping on this option will take you to the set of toggles that control the OK Google hotword detection trigger. These toggles are different depending on which phone you have.

Some devices like you trigger OK Google while the phone is locked (and the screen is black). Others will require you to be in the Google app itself (or at least the Google Now Launcher), and then there are others who will let you activate it anytime the screen is on and anytime the phone is charging. So you’ll just want to read through these toggles to find out how things are setup.

If you don’t want OK Google to trigger a voice search at all, then you’ll need to toggle all of these options off. Once that is done, you can press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen so you can test your changes.

1 COMMENT

  1. Note that this either doesn’t work in Android 6 or only works for a little while and then the Google App starts doing whatever it wants regardless. I have the voice settings disabled but the App will pop up from time to time anyway, usually when I’m driving which is a dangerous distraction.

    • That’s weird, I’ve had it disabled on my Marshmallow phones for months. I could see an app update switching it back to default status, but other than that this setting will stay off when you toggle it off. you could try to clear the app cache/data and then toggling it off again

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