How to stop your Android phone from listening to you by disabling 3 microphone-related features

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How to stop your Android phone from listening to you by disabling 3 microphone-related features
Android users can disable "OK Google" and prevent the voice assistance software from listening in.Crystal Cox/Business Insider
  • If you want your Android phone to stop listening to you, you can disable its "OK Google" feature in the phone's Settings app.
  • To thoroughly stop your Android from listening, you can also turn off listening while driving and disable the Google search app's microphone.
  • Android phones are configured to listen to you in order to respond to wake words like "OK Google" and perform voice commands.

Your phone may be silently listening to everything you say. That's because smartphone voice assistants like "OK Google" need to know when to spring into action.

To activate your Android phone's voice assistant, all you need to say are wake words "OK Google" or "Hey Google." Your phone uses only your audio starting with - or just before - the wake word and ending when you've completed your command.

These interactions are archived to improve the service. You can see all your Google Assistant commands by visiting My Google Activity. Click Filter by Date & Product and then choose Voice & Audio.

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While having a voice assistant at the ready has its advantages, this understandably raises privacy concerns for smartphone users. So if you'd rather not have your phone listening to you, you can disable the features that do it. You'll need to disable "Hey Google," audio monitoring while driving, and the Google search microphone.

Once you do, Google will no longer listen for your voice.

How to stop an Android from listening to you by disabling Google Assistant

1. Open the Settings app.

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2. Tap Google.

3. In the services section, select Account services.

How to stop your Android phone from listening to you by disabling 3 microphone-related features
Open the Account services link for Google in the Settings app.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

4. Choose Search, Assistant & Voice.

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5. Tap Voice.

6. In the Hey Google section, select Voice Match.

7. Turn off Hey Google by swiping the button to the left.

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How to stop your Android phone from listening to you by disabling 3 microphone-related features
You can turn off "Hey Google" microphone monitoring with a tap.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to stop an Android from listening to you by disabling audio monitoring

After disabling Hey Google in the Voice Match menu, as depicted in the section above, stay in the same window.

1. Tap Driving Settings.

2. Turn off While driving by swiping the button to the left.

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How to stop your Android phone from listening to you by disabling 3 microphone-related features
Don't forget to turn off monitoring while you're driving.Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to stop the Google search app from listening to you on your Android

1. Launch the Settings app.

2. Tap Apps & Notifications or Apps, depending on your device.

3. Select See all apps if required. Otherwise, scroll down and tap Google.

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4. Choose Permissions.

5. Tap Microphone.

6. Select Deny to prevent Google from using the mic.

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How to stop your Android phone from listening to you by disabling 3 microphone-related features
Deny Google use of the microphone to prevent your phone from listening to you.Dave Johnson/Business Insider
How to clear your Google search history on your Android phone or tablet How to turn off location tracking on your Android device How to set up Google Assistant on iOS or Android so it responds to 'OK Google' How to activate voice controls on your Android device, and make Google searches or open apps with your voice
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