How to Customize “OK Google” Activation Phrase

  • Google allows you to change the default “OK Google” activation phrase to a custom voice command on Android devices.
  • Customizing the activation phrase can improve privacy and prevent unintended activations.
  • The process involves updating settings in the Google app and may vary slightly across Android versions.

As an expert in digital assistants and voice interfaces, I understand the importance of personalization and control over these powerful tools. The “OK Google” activation phrase is a convenient way to access the Google Assistant hands-free, but it can also lead to unintended activations or privacy concerns if others inadvertently trigger your device. Fortunately, Google provides an option to customize this wake word on Android devices.

Why Customize the Activation Phrase?

Changing the default “OK Google” command has several potential benefits:

Improved Privacy: A custom phrase is less likely to be picked up accidentally by your device when others are speaking nearby. This reduces the risk of the assistant activating unexpectedly and recording private conversations.

Personalization: Choosing your own unique wake word adds a personal touch and can make the experience of using the Google Assistant feel more tailored to your preferences.

Avoiding Conflicts: If multiple people in your household use voice assistants, custom activation phrases can prevent devices from getting confused about which user is making a request.

Accessibility: For users with speech impairments or accents, an alternate activation phrase may improve the accuracy of voice detection.

How to Change the Google Assistant Wake Word

The process for customizing the “OK Google” activation phrase is straightforward but may vary slightly depending on your Android version and device manufacturer’s customizations. Here are the general steps:

  1. Open the Google app and navigate to Settings > Voice > Voice Match.
  2. Tap the “Voice Model” entry and then select “Retrain Voice Model”.
  3. When prompted, say the new activation phrase you want to use instead of “OK Google”. Google recommends choosing something simple and distinct.
  4. Follow the instructions to repeat the new wake word a few times so Google can create an accurate voice model.
  5. Once trained, your new activation phrase will be enabled, and you can start using it to trigger the Google Assistant.

Pro Tip: If you have trouble getting the new wake word to register, try speaking more clearly and reducing background noise during the training process.

Choosing an Effective Activation Phrase

While you can technically use any words or phrase you like, there are some best practices to consider when selecting a new wake word:

  • Keep it short and simple: Longer phrases are harder for the device to detect accurately.
  • Avoid common words and names: Terms that occur frequently in everyday speech increase the risk of unintended activations.
  • Use distinct sounds: Phrases with unique vowel and consonant combinations are easier for voice recognition.
  • Consider your environment: Choose something that contrasts with background noises in your home or office.

Some examples of potential custom wake words include “Hey Buddy”, “Computer Time”, or even something fun like “Abracadabra”.

Reverting to the Default

If you ever want to go back to using “OK Google” as your activation phrase, the process is simple:

  1. Open the Google app and go to Settings > Voice > Voice Match.
  2. Tap the “Retrain Voice Model” option.
  3. When prompted, say “OK Google” a few times to re-train the default wake word.

Your device will now respond to “OK Google” commands again.