How to turn off ‘OK, Google’ always listening feature in Google Now

Google Now has a neat ability to listen for the “OK, Google” command to automatically launch the app and get you into Search as fast as possible. But, you may not want Google Now to listen to that prompt or hotword for some reason or another. Good news–it’s super easy to turn off!

Join us after the break to find out how.

Turning off the “OK, Google” hotword


To turn off the hotword detection, open the Search app. You can find this in your App Drawer, and you can usually access it by holding down the home button as well.


Next, at the top left there’s a hamburger menu. Tap it and head into Settings > Voice.


Next, head into OK, Google Detection. From here, you can toggle it on or off.


Keep in mind that, even if you have it off, you can still head into Google Now and tap the microphone on the right side of the Search bar to use your voice. It’s certainly not as convenient as using the hotword, which gets you into Search right away, but still enables you to use your voice to search.


And that’s all there is to it! If you decide to keep it off, but want to turn it on at some point in the future, just follow the same steps. It really is a simple on-and-off toggle.

About the Author: Brad Ward

Brad is a tech enthusiast, writing and tinkering with all things technology since 2011. He currently bounces between the LG G3 and his beloved Moto X! His interests include reading, entrepreneurship, the gym, and of course, queso.

  • bungadudu

    Good to know.

  • Joe

    Please Note: For OK Google to work, the language setting needs to be set to English US

  • PC on 

    I have a nexus4 and the mic icon is greyed out indicating that its not listening on he home screen , however it is listening in Google Now.
    In the settings the Hotword detection is turned on

    What could it be ?

    • sabie_ZA

      Go to the google now settings > voice and make sure that Language is set to English (US).

  • Kevin J.

    Tap on your multiple icons from home screen scroll to the Left until you see Widgets tap on widget and scroll until you find the Google task bar with mic, you can choose between clear or grayish white. Press down and drag to the home screen and wham it’s back. I hope that helped you to get it back.

  • Bryce Kenyan

    Google = CIA
    Facebook = CIA

  • ‘M’I’S’S’I’N’G’N’O’

    even though you may turn it off it will turn itself back on when you exit and reenter the screen I have seen the google help forum where it been mentioned it won’t stay on

  • Adrian Torrealba

    Go to settings. Applications, applications manager , google app, permissions and disable microphone and any other permission you dont want it to have.

  • stormy1

    I cant seem to turn off the ok google app, I like the feature where I can hit the microphone and talk, but I don’t want the microphone always on, I feel like I’m being bugged, it was working fine the way I wanted it to until recently, I noticed it was back on, kind of creepy if you ask me. I took away the permission for the google app to have access to the microphone, and now it’s no longer on, but now I miss the feature where I can hit the microphone button for a search, I don’t mind press to talk but voice activation is to creepy, anyone know why this feature went buggy on us?

    • PP Saini

      Same here. It seems that in fixing the issue where it would turn off on people that want it on, Google has created an issue where it turns on for those who want it off

    • Erin

      Agree – I liked the talk search and having the option to press the record button to talk-text, but I wanted it by my choice and not automatically. It keeps getting confused on me when I’m trying to listen to music with headphones

  • Choda Boy

    Whether intentional dishonesty, or complete incompetence, the Google home screen search widget is ALWAYS listening now, despite the settings indicating it should not. You used to need to press the microphone icon to initiate voice search. Now, regardless of your choice or the settings, you can say “OK Google”. Try it for yourself! Google refuses to respond to repeated requests for comment.

  • Mac Pelao

    that doesn’t work anymore.. Even if I disable it and it shows OFF, when I say OK Google, it opens up waiting for me to say something.. Google has disabled the ability to turn this off for a reason.

  • Erin

    Mine keeps dysfunctioning when my headphones are plugged in. It keeps thinking I’m wanting it to listen and goes to that screen and stops my music. It’s beyond annoying. They need to fix this or I’ll eventually have to ditch android if I can’t listen to music on phone without aggrivation.