Many of Google's devices come with Google Assistant built-in and ready to go right out of the box. However, if you want the option to use 'OK, Google' or 'Hey, Google' on your smartphone or tablet, there are some extra steps involved.

The Top 100+ Google Assistant and Google Home Commands

How to Set Up 'Okay, Google' aka 'Hey, Google' on Android

To see if your Android device is prepared to use Google Assistant, say, "Hey Google" or "OK Google," or press and hold the Home button. Select Turn On when you see the prompt.

Turn on google assistant on Android

If that doesn't work, keep in mind what you need to use Google Assistant on your Android:

  • Android 5.0 or higher
  • Google app 6.13 or higher
  • Google Play services
  • 1.0 GB of memory
  • Device set to one of the languages listed here (English, German, Spanish, and others)

OK Google works when your device is locked, too, but only if your device has Android 8.0 or higher.

Here's how to check those requirements, in order:

  1. Check your Android device for an update, and then update to the newest Android version if it’s outdated.

  2. Update the Google app to the latest version. Check its current version by opening the Google app and going to More > Settings > About.

    Google App more, settings, about screens.

  3. Open Google Play services on Google Play, and select Install if you see it.

  4. Enable developer mode and then go to Settings > System > Advanced > Developer options > Memory to check that you have more than 1 GB of memory.

    Android system, developer options, memory use screens.

  5. Confirm that your phone or tablet is set to a language on the list mentioned above. To find the language settings, tap Settings > System > Languages & input > Languages.

    Android system, languages and input, and languages screens.

How to Set Up Google Assistant on iPhone or iPad

iOS devices must have iOS 10 or higher and be set to a supported language. Unlike Android devices, Google Assistant isn’t included on iPhone or iPad, so you have to download the mobile app.

  1. Download Google Assistant.

  2. Sign in with your Google account when asked.

  3. On the Google Partners page, select Continue.

     Google Assistant Partners screen on iPad

  4. Tap Allow on the prompt about sending notifications. Decline if you don't want to get alerts from Google Assistant.

  5. Optionally, enroll to get updates from Google about new features, offers, and other things for Google Assistant, and then select Next.

  6. When asked about microphone access, select OK. This is required if you want to speak to Google Assistant.

    Prompt from Google Assistant to access the microphone on iPad

How to Use Google Assistant on an iPhone

Using OK Google or Hey Google to talk with Google Assistant isn't as streamlined on iOS as Android. The Google Assistant app for iOS has to be open and active (in other words, it's the app on the screen that you see) for it to respond to your voice.

However, you can use Siri to open Google Assistant if you want a somewhat hands-free experience by setting up the voice command “Hey Siri, Hey Google.”

With Google Assistant on your iPhone, you can ask a Google Home device to find your lost iPhone. Say, "Hey Google, find my phone," and your iPhone will emit a custom sound, even if it's in silent mode or on Do Not Disturb.

How to Set Up OK Google on Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch can respond to OK Google as well, and setup is easy.

  1. Tap the screen to wake up the watch if the display is dim.

  2. Swipe down from the top and select Settings (gear icon).

  3. Tap Personalization.

  4. Turn on "OK Google" detection.

You can turn off the OK Google feature if you don’t use it.

How to Fix It When Google Assistant Is Not Working FAQ

  • Why is Google Assistant not available on iOS?

    The Google Assistant app for iOS is not available in all countries. Make sure you correctly set the region on your iPhone.

  • How do I use Google Home with my iPhone?

    To use Google Home with your iPhone, install the Google Home app, select Get Started, and then log in to your Google Account. Select Set Up and follow the instructions.

  • How do I set up OK Google on my Samsung?

    Samsung mobile devices run Android, so the steps are the same for setting up Google Assistant. Just hold down the home button or say “Hey Google” to get started.

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