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Smart Home

27 tips for your new Google Home speaker

The essential tips you need for your new Google Home, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max.

Josh Miller/CNET

Congrats on getting your new Google Home ($99 at Walmart) speaker! Once you plug it in and set it up, it's time to start making it work for you.

Google's smart speaker can do a whole lot more than give you a weather forecast or play music. It's a powerful tool that can control your other smart home devices and automate your life with a simple voice command. If you're a proud owner of one, here the are tips you need to know.

Now playing: Watch this: The first 5 things to do with a new Google Home speaker

Where should you put your Google Home?

Google Home speakers are small enough to fit in most places around the house, but they can serve specific purposes in different rooms.

If you spend a lot of time getting ready each morning, there are nine reasons to put your Google Home in the bathroom. Maybe you like to cook, or your family generally congregates in the kitchen. In that case, your Google Home should live there, where it can set timers, answer cooking questions and control smart appliances.

Need more help deciding? This guide helps you figure out where your smart speaker should live.

Google Home speakers are good looking just as they are, but if you want them to blend into your decor, there are ways to customize their look.

Master the basics

Your new Google Home has plenty of interesting features and can perform a lot of actions. But before you dive into all of them, start with the basic settings.

Read more: Check out the best Google Home commands for health, nutrition and fitness

How to talk to Google Assistant

For the most part, you'll be interacting with your Google Home through spoken commands. You can ask your new speaker anything you'd type into Google, plus a whole lot more.

The full list of Google Home voice commands is long and growing, but there are several you'll actually use regularly:


With big speakers, the Google Home Max can fill your home with music.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Rock out to music

Playing music will likely become one of your favorite things to do with your Google Home. Here are few tips to get you started:

Control your smart home devices

Google Home speakers can serve as a central hub for all of your smart devices. For the most part, it can control any smart home product you already have.

To get started, we have seven ways to build your smart home around the Google Home. Then, learn how to control your lights and thermostat with Google Home.

How to fix common problems

Once you've set up your Google Home, you shouldn't need to mess with the settings or troubleshoot. But no software or hardware is perfect, so you should know about the four most common Google Home issues and how to fix them.

Even more tips

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