How to use OK Google when the screen is off

How to use OK Google when the screen is off

You might not think that having Google Assistant running all the time is the best idea for your privacy and security. Anyone can unlock your phone by using the same voice as yours just by emulating yours. If you turn off the screen of your device, they can turn it on by saying “OK, Google,” and voila, complete control over your device. In this article you will learn How to use OK Google when the screen is off.

How to use OK Google when the screen is off
How to use OK Google when the screen is off

But having the option to activate Google Assistant anytime is convenient. People don’t mind taking any security risks since they are so used to using their phones while doing other things. It is an extra step to turn on the screen, even though it is relatively small.

Therefore, you should be able to unlock your phone without turning on the screen by saying, “OK, Google.” False! The situation is more complex. Not everyone agrees with that. It is not the case that all phones are created equal, and not all phones should be able to unlock through voice commands.

The configuration process is as easy as pie if your device supports voice unlock natively. To enable Voice Match, you need to turn it on. The “right way” to use Google Assistant with the screen-off isn’t possible if your phone doesn’t support this feature.

However, which smartphones come with this feature pre-installed? We can’t tell for sure. Several older Nexus phones and the Pixel devices should support this, but my Pocophone F1 worked as well. Various forums explain which phones support this feature and which phones do not. Also, Google still hasn’t officially released this information.

When your phone’s screen is off, you can only verify whether it supports OK Google by checking the assistant settings. Your phone likely supports this feature if you find the option to unlock using your voice in the settings. Unfortunately, there are no other options in that case. I apologize for any inconvenience.

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Enable “Unlock with Voice Match”

You will be able to set up a Voice match with your device if you own one that supports unlocking with the voice. Follow these steps to set it up:

  1. Navigate to the Settings page.
  2. Select Google > Search, Assistant & Voice > Voice.
  3. Speak your command.
  4. Choose the voice matching option.

That’s all. You’ll be able to unlock your phone by simply indicating it’s locked with a voice command. Now Google Assistant listens all the time, even when the screen is off.

The only way around this is if you can’t find this option. You can try some of these (if we can call them that) alternatives (if we can call them that) if you want to use Google Assistant when the screen is off. Nevertheless, they’re less convenient than the native feature.

Android Auto

One unusual, slightly less convenient solution will let you use Google Assistant with the screen off. You can use the Assistant everywhere if you run it all the time in the background on Android Auto.

Install Android Auto from the Play Store if it is not currently installed on your device. Then you need to grant a few permissions and accept the terms of usage, and you’re ready.

Since Android Auto includes Google Assistant as a feature, and you shouldn’t be using your phone while driving, you can interact with your device even when it’s off. Android Auto works as long as it runs in the background.

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