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How to set default playback devices for Google Home

Tired of constantly telling your Google Home which device to play music or videos on? Now you can set defaults.

By default, when you tell a Google Home ($130 at QVC) speaker to stream some music or a podcast, playback will begin on the speaker you issue the command to.

However, if you happen to have a Chromecast or Chromecast Audio plugged into a speaker system, you might want the audio to play through that instead. Of course, you can choose which device you want the music to play on by saying something like, "OK, Google, play Manchester Orchestra on [Chromecast Audio name]."

Doing that once or twice isn't so bad. But if your collection of Google Home speakers and Chromecasts is growing, you likely have a couple of devices you'd prefer music or video to play on without having to specify each time. Fortunately, you can now change the default device for music playback or pick a default Chromecast for video playback. Here's how.

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Choose separate default playback devices for video and audio.

Taylor Martin/CNET

To set a default playback device:

  • Open the Google Home app for Android or iOS.
  • Tap the Devices button in the top right corner of the app or tap the hamburger button in the top left to expand the left menu and select Devices.
  • Tap the three vertical dots in the top right of the card for one of your Google Home speakers (it doesn't matter which on you select) and select Settings.
  • Scroll down and tap Default media playback.
  • Tap the radio button to the right of one of your devices under Listen on for default audio playback.
  • Tap the radio button to the right of one of your devices under Watch on for default video playback.

Now when you tell one of your Google Home speakers to play music or some other type of audio, it will automatically begin playing on the device you selected as the default, rather than on the speaker you gave the command to.

With video, rather than having to specify which Chromecast you want to play a show on every time, playback will default to the Chromecast you selected as default. This also works for powering on and off a TV with Google Home.