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How do I stop Google from listening via voice recording quietly?

Are your conversations being monitored by your phone? Do you suspect that your phone is listening to you? Are you concerned that Google may be keeping a record of your conversations? Does Google have a record of your verbal exchanges? If so, what options do you have to protect your privacy?

It’s no secret that modern technology can feel a bit like Big Brother, with questions about how your data is collected and used by companies like Google. One of the most common questions is whether Google is always listening on your phones. It’s understandable, as it can be quite alarming to think that your phone may be recording your conversations without your knowledge. Fortunately, it’s easy to understand the facts and take steps to ensure that Google is not listening to you. To find out the answer and how to stop Google from listening to you, here is an overview of the facts and how to stop Google from listening or recording your voice.

How do I stop Google from listening via voice recording quietly?

Content Summary

Does Google Always Listen on Android Devices?
How to listen to Google Voice and Audio recording?
How to stop Google from listening via voice recording quietly?
Toggle off “Hey Google” Voice Match setting in Android
Toggle off “Hey Google” detection setting in Google Maps and Android Auto
Deny Microphone Access permission for Google App
How to disable Google Assistant feature completely
How to stop Google from listening on iPhone?
How to turn off Google Voice and Audio Activity History
How to set time to auto-delete Google Web & App Activity History
What are Google’s uses for Voice Data?
How to use Google Assistant without voice command
Concerned about your phone may be listening? You are in control.

First off, it’s important to keep in mind that Google is not actually listening to your conversations but it does have access to your microphone, which it can use to collect data. This data is then used for the purpose of providing better user experience. For example, it may be used to improve voice recognition for the Google Assistant and provide personalized search results.

It is not actively searching through the audio it collects, so it’s not like anything you say will be used to target ads or influence search results. Instead, the audio collected by Google is used to improve its products and services. It is done by recording snippets of conversations, which are then analyzed to improve voice recognition.

Does Google Always Listen on Android Devices?

Prior to progressing, it is important to explain what type of data Google collects from an Android device. While a brief overview on how to stop Google from monitoring an iPhone will be provided later, our main focus here is on Android as it pertains more to the current topic.

If you have enabled a specific setting on your Android device, you can use the wake phrases “OK Google” or “Hey Google” to activate the voice command feature. Prior to the wake phrase being spoken, the device is listening for the specified keywords, but is not recording or uploading all audio to Google.

Similar to worries relating to the Amazon Echo, continuously recording and saving every sound a device picks up would lead to an abundance of unnecessary data. Even if the “OK Google” wake word is not enabled, voice commands can still be used (and will be recorded by Google). Users can launch Google Assistant or tapping the microphone icon on the search bar to prompt for a voice command.

Users can launch Google Assistant or tapping the microphone icon on the search bar to prompt for a voice command.

Google records voice commands spoken to a phone. For example, if a user were to ask “OK Google, how old is Jack Black?”, the recording of the query, as well as a few seconds of audio prior to the query, would be kept by Google.

The recording of the query, as well as a few seconds of audio prior to the query, would be kept by Google.

How to listen to Google Voice and Audio recording?

Google provides an easy-to-access portal to view all of your interactions with its services, including voice recordings of your interactions with Google Assistant. This portal can be accessed conveniently via your mobile device by navigating to the Google category within the Settings app. Alternatively, accessing the portal from the web is even simpler:

Step 1: Go to the My Google Activity page. The My Google Activity page contains a compilation of activities including YouTube videos viewed and apps opened on an Android phone.

Step 2: To view only voice recordings, click Filter by date & product at the top of the list, located just below the search bar.

Step 3: To view all activity with recordings, scroll down and select both the Assistant and Voice and Audio checkboxes. To further narrow your view, the Filter by date section at the top allows you to set a timeline, such as Last 30 days.

To view all activity with recordings, scroll down and select both the Assistant and Voice and Audio checkboxes.

Step 4: Click on the Apply button.

Step 5: You will be presented with a timeline of your voice activity recordings as recorded by Google, listed from the most recent. To view the recording details, click Details under the entry. To listen to the recording, choose View Recording. To delete the recording, click the X button located beside the item.

To view the recording details, click Details under the entry. To listen to the recording, choose View Recording. To delete the recording, click the X button located beside the item.

How to stop Google from listening via voice recording quietly?

It is possible to disable Google’s voice recording on an Android device by accessing the relevant toggle in the settings. If desired, additional steps can be taken after making this change. The instructions provided here are based on a typical stock Android device, though the process may differ slightly depending on the model.

Toggle off “Hey Google” Voice Match setting in Android

Step 1: Open the Settings on your phone.

Step 2: Enter the Google category.

Step 3: Scroll down and select the Settings for Google apps option.

Step 4: Select the Search, Assistant, & Voice option.

Step 5: Select the Voice option on the Settings page.

Step 6: Tap on the Voice Match entry.

Step 7: Toggle off the Hey Google slider to disable OK Google or Hey Google wake phrases detection.

When completed, Google Assistant will no longer respond to the wake phrases “OK Google” or “Hey Google” on your Android phone. As a result, your phone will no longer be continuously listening.

Toggle off “Hey Google” detection setting in Google Maps and Android Auto

To ensure that Google does not listen while using Google Maps and/or Android Auto, it is necessary to disable the Google Assistant voice detection for those respective applications. Both steps will lead to the same menu.

Perform below steps to disable “Hey Google” through Android Auto:

Step 1: Open the Android Auto app.

Step 2: Tap the Hey Google detection entry under the General section.

Tap the Hey Google detection entry under the General section.

Step 3: Toggle off the While driving slider to turn off Google Assistant detection in Android Auto app.

Toggle off the While driving slider to turn off Google Assistant detection in Android Auto app.

Step 4: Tap on the Delete voice model option to erase the voice profile which Google had tied to your account.

Perform below steps to disable “Hey Google” through Google Maps:

Step 1: Open the Google Maps app.

Step 2: Tap your profile picture in the top right corner.

Step 3: Choose the Settings option.

Step 4: Go to the Navigation settings, tap on the Google Assistant settings.

Go to the Navigation settings, tap on the Google Assistant settings.

Step 5: Tap the Hey Google detection entry under the General section.

Go to the Navigation settings > Google Assistant settings > "Hey Google" detection entry.

Step 6: Toggle off the While driving slider to turn off Google Assistant detection in Google Maps app.

Toggle off the While driving slider to turn off Google Assistant detection in Google Maps app.

Step 7: Tap on the Delete voice model option to erase the voice profile which Google had tied to your account.

Note: When you’re driving, you may want to consider using hands-free access to play music, get directions, and perform other tasks. This is because it is a safer way to drive and avoid potential distractions. For instance, if you have Google Assistant enabled in your vehicle, the “Hey Google” feature can provide you with hands-free access to your music, directions, and other tasks. This can help you keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, which is important for safe and attentive driving. Therefore, you may not want to disable the “Hey Google” feature when you are in the car.

Deny Microphone Access permission for Google App

To further enhance your privacy, you can prevent the Google app from accessing the microphone by the following steps:

Step 1: Open the Settings on your phone.

Step 2: Select the Apps & notifications or Apps on Android 12.

Step 3: Tap on the App info option.

Step 4: Scroll down to the Google app and tap on it.

Step 5: Tap on the Permissions option.

Tap on the App info option. Scroll down to the Google app and tap on it. Tap on the Permissions option.

Step 6: Select the Microphone option.

Select the Microphone option.

Step 7: Choose the Deny or Don’t allow option for Microphone permission.

Choose the Deny or Don't allow option for Microphone permission.

Step 8: Tap on the DENY ANYWAY option for the warning about some parts of your device might not work as intended, which is normal.

How to disable Google Assistant feature completely

If desired, the Google Assistant can be completely disabled. The following steps outline how to do so:

Step 1: Open the Settings on your phone.

Step 2: Enter the Google category.

Step 3: Scroll down and select the Settings for Google apps option.

Step 4: Select the Search, Assistant, & Voice option.

Step 5: Select the Google Assistant option on the Settings page.

Select the Google Assistant option on the Settings page.

Step 6: Scroll down to locate the General option, tap on it.

Scroll down to locate the General option, tap on it.

Step 7: Toggle off the Google Assistant option to disable it completely.

Toggle off the Google Assistant option to disable it completely.

Step 8: Tap on the TURN OFF option for the confirmation.

How to stop Google from listening on iPhone?

If you use an iPhone, Google’s presence may not be as pervasive compared to using an Android device. On iOS, Google Assistant is available as a separate app. It can’t listen for the “Hey Google” or “OK Google” wake phrases unless you have the app open and active, so you don’t have to worry about it always listening in the background. If you have worries regarding Google Assistant’s listening capabilities on iPhone, the best course of action would be to remove the application.

Follow below steps to disable the “OK Google” and “Hey Google” voice detection by the Google app for iPhone:

Step 1: Open the Google app.

Step 2: Tap on your profile picture located at the top right corner.

Step 3: Choose the Settings.

Step 4: Select the Voice and Assistant option.

Choose the Settings. Select the Voice and Assistant option.

Step 5: Toggle off the “OK Google” hotword slider to prevent the Google app from starting voice search.

Toggle off the "OK Google" hotword slider to prevent the Google app from starting voice search.

To take additional steps to protect your privacy, you can deny microphone permissions for the Google app (and the Google Assistant app, if installed). To accomplish this:

Step 1: Open the Settings on your iPhone.

Step 2: Navigate to the Privacy > Microphone option.

Navigate to the Privacy > Microphone option.

Step 3: Toggle off for the Google and/or Google Assistant app to prevent them from being able to access your microphone.

Toggle off for the Google and/or Google Assistant app to prevent them from being able to access your microphone.

How to turn off Google Voice and Audio Activity History

Disabling “OK Google” or Google Assistant on your phone does not affect other devices, such as a tablet or Google Nest device, nor does it prevent Google from storing voice data in the event of a voice search on Chrome.

To pause voice history across all connected devices on your Google account, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Go to the My Google Activity page, sign into your Google account if needed.

Step 2: Click the Web & App Activity section above the list of items.

Step 3: Uncheck the box with labeled Include voice and audio activity to prevent Google from linking your voice activity with your account. This action will prevent Google from saving audio recordings of voice commands associated with your account, helping you achieve the desired goal of preventing Google from listening.

Uncheck the box with labeled Include voice and audio activity to prevent Google from linking your voice activity with your account.

Once this is completed, it is recommended to clear the previous recordings Google has stored. You have the option to delete all preceding Google activity or just audio interactions. To eliminate all records related to your Google account, take the following steps:

Step 1: Go to the My Google Activity page, sign into your Google account if needed.

Step 2: Click on the Delete activity by option located at the left sidebar.

Step 3: Select the All time option to delete everything, or Custom range option to define your own time period.

Select the All time option to delete everything, or Custom range option to define your own time period.

Step 4: Select all the product listed.

Step 5: Click on the Next button.

Step 6: Click on the Delete button to erase everything you’ve selected.

To delete only voice activity, begin by selecting Filter by date & product. Check Voice and Audio, as well as any other activity types you wish to delete. When finished, click Delete to remove the selected items.

How to set time to auto-delete Google Web & App Activity History

Google offers an automated activity deletion feature that allows users to keep their data stored with the company for a predetermined amount of time. This eliminates the need for manual deletion on a regular basis, thus reducing the amount of personal information kept by the company.

Step 1: Go to the My Google Activity page, sign into your Google account if needed.

Step 2: Click the Web & App Activity section above the list of items.

Step 3: Click the Choose an auto-delete option near the bottom of the box.

Step 4: Select the Auto-delete activity older than option.

Step 5: Click on the drop-down menu to choose to automatically delete your Google activity after 3 months, 18 months, or 36 months.

Click on the drop-down menu to choose to automatically delete your Google activity after 3 months, 18 months, or 36 months.

If you have disabled voice recordings, then this step is not necessary. However, if you have left them enabled, be aware that auto-deletion will erase all web activity, not just voice recordings.

What are Google’s uses for Voice Data?

It is important to be aware of the fact that, apart from Google, only you can access the voice data stored in your Google account. This means that such data is kept secure and out of the reach of any potential attackers. However, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your Google account and activity from unauthorized access. This can be done by setting up strong passwords and two-factor authentication for your Google account, monitoring any suspicious activity and staying aware of the latest cyber security threats. Additionally, Google provides its users with various security settings that are important to review and configure to ensure the maximum level of security. Taking the necessary precautions will ensure that your Google account and activity remain safe.

Google uses your voice activity data to improve the accuracy and efficacy of its products. This data helps Google learn the sound of your voice and understand how you pronounce words and phrases. Furthermore, it allows the tech giant to recognize it’s your voice when you say “OK Google”. This data is also used to make further improvements to speech recognition across Google products. Google states that this data is collected and stored securely and that this activity data is not associated with your account. The company also uses advanced security measures such as encryption and secure storage to protect your information.

This is all useful, but one of the biggest corporations in the world keeping records of what you say is nonetheless concerning. An algorithm could easily parse through this information to figure out what you’re interested in based on what you say, and even synthesize a false version of your voice or take other actions that could be used against you. Further, it could be used to target ads, manipulate public opinion, or even create false identities in order to commit other malicious acts. Such an infringement on personal privacy is concerning, and is something that must be addressed, not just by the company in question, but by legislators, who must ensure that such data is collected and stored responsibly, and that people’s privacy is protected.

How to use Google Assistant without voice command

Google Assistant is a powerful tool that can help you with a variety of tasks, whether you prefer to use your voice or not. To access the feature without using your voice, you can open Google Assistant and tap on the keyboard icon in the bottom right corner.

To access the feature without using your voice, you can open Google Assistant and tap on the keyboard icon in the bottom right corner.

This will allow you to type out commands, which will be followed by a response from Google Assistant as if you had used your voice.

This will allow you to type out commands, which will be followed by a response from Google Assistant as if you had used your voice.

Even if voice recognition isn’t enabled on your device, you can still benefit from the features that Google Assistant has to offer. Additionally, turning off voice recognition completely can help protect your privacy by preventing your device from eavesdropping.

Concerned about your phone may be listening? You are in control.

We’ve discussed the details on what types of information Google listens to on your Android phone, how to delete voice history data, and the methods used to prevent further recording. It’s true that disabling these features may cause a bit of inconvenience, but it’s worth it to know that your conversations are not being tracked by Google.

Chances are that most people are unaware of the extent of Google’s voice recording capabilities and the fact that they are collecting and storing this data. As such, it is important to remain informed and take the necessary steps to protect your privacy. By taking the time to delete your voice history and disable the voice recording feature, you can rest assured that your conversations will remain private and secure.

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