The Google Assistant was a hot new feature of Allo, Google’s messaging service which debuted back in May 2016. The virtual helper has come a long way since then, by adding tons of new features and expanding to smartphones, tablets, speakers and more.
If you own an Android handset, it probably has the Google Assistant on board. But while the AI-infused wing-man can be very helpful in some situations, you’ve probably already experienced the annoying instances in which the Assistant opens on its own.
This might happen while your pressing the Home button on your device for a bit longer than necessary, or sometimes even as your phone sits quietly in your pocket.
Alternatively, you might not need the Assistant’s help at all. Or not all the time anyway. So what can you do to silent Google’s active helper? Keep reading to find out what are your options.
Deactivate it completely
To completely deactivate the assistant, open the Google app on your phone. Then tap the hamburger menu located in the lower right corner. From there access Settings>Google Assistant (on top)>Settings>Phone. From here you’ll be able to toggle off the Assistant option.
Only deactivate the support button
This is the less radical option you have at your disposal. By deactivating the support button, you will avoid scenarios where the Assistant pops up as you long press the home button a bit longer than necessary.
On a number of Android handsets, you’ll have to access the Device menu, go to Applications>Default applications>Device assistant app. From there, you’ll be able to choose which assistant app you want to open when you press the start button. You can usually choose between Google’s and no supporting app.
But I was using the OnePlus 6 for this tutorial. So on this particular model, you’ll need to go to Buttons under Customization and find the Home button category. Under Long press action, I have the Search assistant enabled by default. But you can easily change that from there.
The third option you have is to go back to a previous version of Google where the Assistant didn’t exist. You can easily do so by uninstalling the updates to your Google app.
To do so access Settings>Applications and find the Google app. Click on it and find the three-dot menu located in the upper right corner. You’ll see the Uninstall updates option.
However, keep in mind that once you choose to use the options, other improvements might also disappear and you won’t have how to access them anymore. So think carefully, before you act.