Google Home and Google Nest: How to troubleshoot the 3 most common problems

If your Google Home setup gets stuck looking for devices, doesn't recognize your voice or can't connect to smart home devices, troubleshoot with these steps.

Dale Smith Former Associate Writer
Dale Smith is a former Associate Writer on the How-To team at CNET.
Dale Smith
5 min read

The lights may be on, but who's going to help troubleshoot when Google Assistant doesn't respond from your Google Home?

Chris Monroe/CNET

Google Home and Google Nest smart speakers and displays can answer dang near any question you put to them, but when something does go awry with your device, it's not like you can just ask, "OK, Google, what's wrong with you?" to figure it out. Chances are, however, there's probably a quick and easy solution to whatever issue is plaguing your Google Home speaker or hub.

Although generally pretty reliable, Google Home speakers and displays do glitch out from time to time. Not to mention, they rely on other devices in your home network to function -- your modem and router, smart home hubs and bridges, and your smartphone. If any one of those breaks down -- your router goes kaput or a bridge gets unplugged -- the whole system could crumble.

If your Google Home gear suddenly starts acting up, being obstinate or not responding to anything you say at all, here are three of the most common Google Home problems and how to troubleshoot and fix them.

Watch this: Google's Nest Hub Max smart display tracks your face

Google Home app doesn't see any devices

When you're trying to set up a new Google Home speaker or hub, the "No Devices Found" error is the Google Home equivalent of the blue screen of death. You can't do a thing until you figure out what's causing it. 


Your Google Home app will scan the room for compatible devices, but if nothing turns up you'll have to troubleshoot the problem.

Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET

If you're getting the "No Devices Found" message when you're trying to set up your device with the Google Home app, here's how to troubleshoot. Note that some steps are a bit different for iPhones and Android phones.

For iPhone

Make sure you have Bluetooth turned on.

1. Tap Settings > Bluetooth

2. Make sure the toggle is on.

Make sure you have the latest version of the Google Home app installed.

1. Open the App Store.

2. Tap your user icon in the upper right corner.

3. Scroll down to see a list of apps that need to be updated.

4. Either select Update All or locate the Google Home app and choose Update just for it.

Force close and relaunch the Google Home app. 

1. Either double click the home button or swipe up slowly from the bottom edge of the screen to open the app switcher.

2. Swipe the Google Home app up and off the screen.


Some Google Home troubleshooting steps are different for iPhones and Android phones. 

Angela Lang/CNET

For Android phones

Make sure you have Location Services turned on.

1. Tap Settings > Security & Location > Location > Use location.

2. Make sure the toggle is on.

3. Tap Settings > Apps & notifications > Google Home app > Permissions > Location.

4. Make sure the toggle is on.

Make sure you have the latest version of the Google Home app installed. 

1. Open the Google Play store.

2. Tap the icon of three stacked horizontal lines in the top white bar.

3. Tap My apps & games.

4. Either select Update All or locate the Google Home app and choose Update just for it.

Force close and relaunch the Google Home app. 

1. Tap Settings > Apps & Notifications 

2. Locate the Google Home app.

3. Tap Force Stop.

Google maps app is seen on an android mobile phone

On Android phones, Location Services needs to be turned on for the Google Home app to communicate with your devices.

SOPA Images

For both iPhones and Android phones

Connect to your Google Home device directly over Wi-Fi. 

1. Tap Settings > Wi-Fi.

2. Look through the list of available Wi-Fi networks for either "GoogleHomeXXXX" (where XXXX is a string of numbers) or the name of the Google Home device you gave it when you set it up (i.e. "Kitchen").

3. Tap your Google Home device to connect.

4. Open the Google Home app to set up your device.


Google Home's ability to tell your family apart by their voices is great, but when it quits working it's time to retrain it.

James Martin/CNET

Google Home doesn't recognize my voice

Your Google Home knows your voice and can recognize all your family members by theirs. Sometimes, however, that system fizzles, and the Google Home can't tell you apart from anyone.

If that happens, retraining the Google Home to recognize your voice again will usually fix the problem.

For both iPhones and Android phones

1. Open the Google Home app.

2. Click your personal icon in the lower right corner. 

3. At the bottom of the Google Assistant heading, tap More settings.

4. Tap Assistant in the menu bar at the top. 

5. Tap Voice Match > Teach your Assistant your voice again.

6. When a popup asks if you'd like to Cancel or Retrain, choose Retrain.

7. Follow the requests to speak to repeat the training phrases.


Home networks can get complicated, especially with a lot of smart home devices. When one part glitches out, the rest might stop working too.

Leslie Gornstein/CNET

Google Home can't connect to my lights or the smart home

For a lot of folks, their Google Home is more than just a smart speaker or display -- it's the brains behind their entire smart home. But when you suddenly can't turn on the lights or the AC with your voice any more, you might start to think a smart home isn't such a genius idea after all. Here's what to do.

First, check if you can control your smart home devices from their individual apps. Brands such as Phillips Hue, Ring Doorbells and Nest Learning Thermostats all have their own respective apps you can use to control their gear. If you're missing one or more of them, go to the App Store or Google Play and download them by searching for the product name. 

The growing crowd of smart speakers is ready for your command

See all photos

If you can't control your smart home directly, make sure the devices you're trying to operate are connected to your network. 

If you can control, for example, your lights from the Hue app, the problem is not likely the bulbs (which means the issue may be with your Google Home). 

Next, make sure you're using a mobile device that has the same Google account that is currently linked to the Google Home. 

For both iPhones and Android phones

1. Open the Google Home app.

2. Click your personal icon in the lower right corner.

3. Verify the current account listed is the same Google account that is linked to the Google Home.

4. If not, tap the arrow button next to the account name and select the account that is linked to the Google Home. 

5 new Google Assistant actions for your home and phone

See all photos

When all else fails, reboot your whole network. Unplug everything, wait about three minutes, then go back and plug in everything one at at time in the following order, waiting for each to power on completely before starting up the next:

1. Your modem.

2. Your router (if it's separate from your modem).

3. Any smart home hubs or bridges.

4. Your smart home gear, including smart bulbs, switches, locks, doorbells and cameras.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your Google Home running smoothly for a long, long time. Shout out in the comments if there are any other problems you may have encountered with your Google Home and we'll look into fixes.

In the meantime, have you cleaned your Google Home lately? If not, you may not be getting the most out of it. Check out our extensive list of Google Home Quick Tips to learn how to control your smart home like a boss.

Originally published last year.