Many Android users are complaining that OK Google doesn’t work when screen is off. If you are one of them facing the same issue, we have some good news for you. And that is we are going to share why the Google Assistant doesn’t work when the phone is locked.
Additionally, we will also uncover some methods of enabling Google Assistant even when your smartphone’s screen is off.
If you are interested in this topic, then let’s get down to business…
Methods of Using OK Google Doesn’t Work When Screen Is Off
Before we share the methods, we have some things to talk to. First off, enabling Google Assistant all of the time is not a good idea. Why? Because in that case, you will be able to unlock your phone by just saying ‘OK Google’ or ‘Hey Google’.
Similarly, any other person can try to do that as well. So, if they can imitate your voice, they might unlock your phone without your permission. This is a serious security issue. As a result, even Google doesn’t allow these settings by default.
We know that it feels good to activate Google Assistant whenever you want to. But, unfortunately, there are a few more issues that you will face in enabling the Google Assistant all the time.
The first one is the additional battery usage. If you want Google Assistant to work even when the screen is off, that means the assistant will have to be running in the background even when your phone is locked.
And, you know that this will drain a lot of your battery life on its own. To keep the Google Assistant running in the background and not consume much battery power, your smartphone should come with special hardware.
And not many smartphones are equipped with such hardware. That is why, whether you can keep the Google Assistant active or not in the background will depend on your smartphone.
Now, if you have such a phone, then you can check the next method here. But how do you know whether your phone supports that or not? Unfortunately, Google hasn’t published an official list of such smartphones.
However, if you see that your phone has the ‘Voice Match’ settings under the settings of Google Assistant then you could do that. Otherwise, we have alternative options for you. So, let’s go…
Method #1 Use the Voice Match Settings
If you are lucky enough to own a smartphone that has this settings, you can follow the steps to enable it down below.
Steps to Follow
- Navigate to the ‘Settings’ menu on your Android phone
- Next, tap on the ‘Google’ option from there
- Now, from the next page, tap on the ‘Search, Assistant & Voice’ settings
- A new page will open. And from that, you will have to select the ‘Voice’ option
- Next, locate the ‘Voice Match’ option. This is the step where you find out whether your phone is capable of running Google Assistant in the background or not. If the ‘Voice Match’ settings is not available there. You will have to skip this method
- Anyway, after selecting ‘Voice Match’, toggle on the ‘Unlock with Voice Match’ settings to enable it
Congratulations! Now the Google Assistant on your phone will be running all the time. Yes, even the screen is turned off. That way, you will be able to trigger Google Assistant whenever you want by saying ‘OK Google’.
Method #2 Use Android Auto App
We know that there are not a lot of smartphones that have the ‘Voice Match Unlock’ setting. In that case, we have an alternative for you.
However, we should make it clear to you that it is a bit cumbersome process. Also, it will drain your battery much faster as well.
In this method, we will show you how to use the ‘Android Auto’ app to enable Google Assistant all the time. If you are not familiar with ‘Android Auto’, this is an official app from Google that works as a driving companion. You can use your favorite apps on your phone while driving with the help of this app.
However, it also allows you to trigger Google Assistant anytime you want to. That is why we are going to use this app to keep running Google Assistant in the background all the time. So you can unlock your phone even if the screen is off. So, let’s learn how to do that…
Tips on Using ‘Android Auto’ App
- Simply install the ‘Android Auto’ app on your phone and launch it
- From now on, Google Assistant will be running in the background as long as the ‘Android Auto’ app is running as well
- However, if your phone has killed the ‘Android Auto’ app, then you will not be able to access the ‘Google Assistant’ when the screen is off
Issues with Android Auto
Using ‘Android Auto’ to keep Google Assistant working in the background is a good workaround. However, it has some limitations and drawbacks as well. Let’s see what those are and how to combat them…
- The major issue with using ‘Android Auto’ is that it will drain a lot of the battery life of your smartphone as it will be running continuously in the background
- Next, you will receive notification from both ‘Android Auto’ and ‘Maps’ app constantly
- Another issue is that if you use ‘Android Auto’, the ‘Google Maps’ app will be on ‘Car Mode’ always
Now let’s learn how to fix or at least alleviate these issues to some degree.
Optimize Battery Draining By ‘Android Auto’
‘Android Auto’ will drain your smartphone battery backup to a greater extent. So, if you have a phone with high battery amperage, you should not have any issue with it. However, if your phone comes with a small battery, then you should follow the next steps to save some battery juice.
- Navigate to the ‘Settings’ menu on your smartphone
- Now, go to the ‘Apps & Notifications’ option from there
- Then navigate to the ‘Advanced’ option
- Next, tap on the ‘Special app Access’ option from the bottom
- Now, you will have to lactate and tap on the ‘Battery Optimization’ option from there
- In doing so, a pop window will appear on the screen with 2 options. You have to select the ‘Optimize’ option
This will reduce battery consumption by ‘Android Auto’ a bit without killing the app automatically. That means the app will run in the background but will not drain the battery as it would usually do.
Fix the Constant Notifications
Once again, there is no permanent and tidy fix to this issue. But we can reduce the flow of notifications from the ‘Android Auto’ app. Here’s how…
Steps to Follow
- First, let the notifications appear on the notification drawer
- Then, tap and hold on each of the notification. In doing so, a few options will appear. From them, you will have to select the ‘Minimize’ option from there
This will minimize the appearance of the notifications from ‘Android Auto’. So, you will receive the notifications as usual. But they will not be as distracting as they would.
Fix Google Maps Car Mode Issue
As you know that with the launch of ‘Android Auto’, Google Maps would start running in ‘Car Mode’. This would not suitable while you are walking as you will not be able to receive the commute information or walking routes in this mode.
Unfortunately, there is no fix to this issue. So, you can’t change the ‘Car Mode’ to any other modes while using ‘Android Auto’. In this case, the fix is to stop using the ‘Android Auto’ (‘Force Stop’ the app) temporarily while you need to use the Google Maps to the fullest or need walking routes.
You may be thinking why Google doesn’t offer this feature on every Android phone out there. This is a valid question. However, you also know that Google is not allowing it because of security vulnerabilities. That is why we have shared multiple methods to fix the issue: OK Google doesn’t work when the screen is off.
Furthermore, we have discussed why some phones have the ability to do that while others are not. Then again, we are also with the general consensus that Google should integrate the ‘Voice Match’ settings to every Android phone. However, until they do that, we will have to use workarounds.
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