How To Completely Disable The Google Voice Assistant On Android

The Voice assistant feature is one that can be incredibly convenient but is at the same time also highly controversial. That also with good reason as your phone is literally listening in on you, all the time. Your device, be it your phone, home pod, Alexa or any other Voice enabled device can and does hear all of your conversations.

This recorded data is then, in anonymized form (maybe), processed and saved on servers far away and out of your reach. This makes it possible that devices can actively learn how you talk, what your preferences are and how it can customize your experience.

All this happens of course to make your life easier, at least for now. But it can also be misused, servers can be hacked, data stolen and present a very real risk to expose your private life.

If this is scary to you, and you want to opt-out of Voice activated commands you can do so and every device offers settings for this. But in reality these settings often don't disable it completely, for this to happen you have to dig deeper.

We're going to show you how exactly you can do this for your Android mobile phone in this guide.

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How To Completely Disable The Google Voice Assistant On Android

How To Completely Disable The Google Voice Assistant On Android authorMarc

If you'd like to completely disable the Google Voice Assistant on your phone, which includes the "Okay, Google" command then it's not sufficient to disable the Google Assistant option in your settings.

It's not enough to disable this option 

Disable Google Voice Assistant

Disabling the above option simply turns off the software, so that the Voice command "Okay, Google" doesn't trigger the assistant anymore.

Your phone is still listening in though...

Disable Microphone Access

The only way, short of getting one of these old flip-phones, is to completely disable Microphone access for Google Voice Assistant.

This will also work with any other Voice enabled app btw.

No matter if we're talking Amazon Alexa, Homepod etc. Disabling Microphone access effectively disables the apps ability to record your conversations. Of course some things can still go awry, software bugs could cause this option to become ineffective for example.

But short of malice and software bugs, this really disables specific apps from listening in on you.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Go to your phone settings (Settings app)
  • Tap once on the "Apps" or "Application Manager"
  • Select the  app you want to prevent from accessing your microphone
  • Select "Permissions"
  • Scroll down until you see "Microphone" and turn it off (grey'ish background means off)

If you're a more visual learner, here the same steps but in pictures:

1. Open your settings app

Your settings icon might look a little different, but it's always a little gear icon

2. Tap once on "Apps" or the "Application Manager" icon.

In this Android version we have the "Apps" menu

3. Scroll until you find the app you'd like to prevent from using your microphone, then tap it once.

4. Tap once on the "Permissions" menu

5.  Tap the "Microphone" options once to turn it off.

Make sure the button has a grey background, this means it's off.

As of now, this is the only "fool-proof" way of preventing apps from listening in on your everyday life.

The loss of convenience comes with a feeling of more privacy, and that might be worth it to you.

Hopefully this was helpful for you!