The Google Assistant smart speakers and screens are designed to listen to voice commands and respond with answers. However, you may not want your Google Home or Nest to listen all the time. That̵
Before we get started, it’s important to understand what it means when we talk about devices like the Google Nest Mini and Nest Hub ‘listening’. These devices are technically ‘listening’ all the time, but they aren’t recording you all the time.
RELATED: How (and why) to sign up for Google recording storage
A smart speaker or display is like a dog. It can hear you when you speak, but it only recognizes certain commands. The Google Assistant only starts to really ‘listen’ (record) when it hears ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google’.
That said, it is possible to completely prevent the device from hearing you at all. Google has added physical mute switches to all Google Assistant devices. When you slide this switch, the microphones are turned off and the unit will not listen or respond.
These mute switches are located on the back or bottom of the devices. We help you find the switches on some of the commonly used Google Assistant devices.
Tip: If the switch is orange, you know the microphone is off.
On the Google Nest Mini / Home Mini, the switch is on the bottom.
On the Google Nest Audio, the switch is on the back.
On the Google Nest Hub, the switch is located on the back of the display.
To turn the microphones back on, you have to manually turn the switch back on. It can be tricky to need a physical switch for this, but it’s the best way to really make sure the mics are off.