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Solved: Google Home Mini Not Responding (2023 How-To Guide)

Google Home Mini Not Responding

“Hello? Earth to Google Home Mini. I’ve asked you to turn on music 3 times.”

Most days, your Google Home Mini is super reliable.

But on other days, it gives you the cold shoulder.

So why is this happening?

Read on to learn more:

  • Why your Google Home Mini won’t respond.
  • 5 quick ways to get your Google Home Mini to respond.
  • How microphone sensitivity can affect its response time.
  • Why your Home address is needed for your Google Home’s response.
  • What house items should be avoided so your Google Home Mini can respond.

Why isn’t my Google Home Mini responding?

Your Google Home Mini isn’t responding because you’re speaking too far away. It doesn’t understand your question. The mic is muted and your hot word activates another device. The device may be caught in software bugs. Other appliances may interfere due to their noise and Wi-Fi and electrical use.

Google Home Mini not responding: 5 causes & fixes

#1: The Google Home Mini is too far away

You don’t like it when people talk unnecessarily loud… So you rarely do it.

In this case, you might want to make an exception. Because it could be that your Google Home Mini can’t hear you.

Google Home Mini’s mic is designed to pick up your voice easily.

But did you know? Its mic sensitivity can be adjusted. And your device’s settings may not be optimized.

“Don’t be shy! Come closer, please.” – Your Google Home Mini

Talk nearer to your device. When asking a question or simply activating it. This way, there are no obstructions. Or distance affecting its sensors.

Setting up your Google Home Mini’s microphone

Modifying the mic sensitivity hits 2 birds with one stone.

It protects your privacy. Because your Google Home Mini would respond only to your voice. And it saves your sanity. Yes, no more screaming.

To change the mic sensitivity settings:

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Select the device you want to change. Here, it’s your Google Home.
  3. Choose Settings. It looks like a gear in the upper right corner.
  4. Find Device Settings.
  5. Select Audio.
  6. Tap Hey Google Sensitivity.
  7. You’ll see a slider. Drag it higher to make the mic more sensitive. And lower to lessen.

Done adjusting? 

Test it out. 

Your Google Home Mini should respond.

Be sure to use the correct hot word, “Hey Google” or “OK Google”. You’ll see an LED light blink or spin on top of the device. This means Google Home Mini hears you.

#2: It doesn’t understand your question

Ah, Google Home Mini. A smart little fellow. Telling you the weather and traffic.

Hey, it even plays along with you in an icebreaker.

From interesting questions like “Do you believe in ghosts?” to self-aware ones like “Do you ever get tired of asking questions?”. It always has something up its sleeve.

But it actually can get confused too.

It’s like being in a spelling bee all over again, right?

The pronouncer says the word. Gives the definition. Uses the word in a sentence. Then, repeats it.

And in your head, you’re like, “Say that again?”

Embarrassing, I know. Well, your Google Home Mini is with you on this one.

So how will you know that your Google Home Mini actually gets you?

“Sorry, I wasn’t listening.”

So you asked a question. The device doesn’t say anything. Heck, it didn’t even flash a light.

Again, be patient.

To make sure your Google Home Mini understands you:

  1. Say the question clearly.
  2. Follow it with “Hey Google / Ok Google. Repeat the question.”

Doing this ensures that it has heard you properly.

Is it still giving you that awkward silence?

You can try:

  • Modulating your voice.
  • Asking another question.

Make your voice louder or softer. See if it responds to the volume change.

Also, if it replies to another question, try rephrasing your original one.

#3: There is interference with other devices

Your house is brimming with tech.

A Nest Thermostat here. A Google Home Mini there. A Nest Sensor. A smart TV.

Going to your kitchen. There’s a fridge. A coffee maker. A microwave.

What a comfortable home! “What could go wrong?”

Of course, everything has its downsides.

All these things produce noise. And emit electromagnetic fields.

To humans, it isn’t much of a bother. We don’t even notice these.

But for your Google Home Mini – it can be a living nightmare.

Your Google Home Mini is a great listener. But it doesn’t want to hear you making hummus with your blender.

Also, it needs a strong Wi-Fi connection to function well. This includes answering you when you constantly ask about the existence of aliens.

Give your Google Home Mini the peace it deserves.

Create a conducive place for your device

Asking Google Home Mini a question? These things shouldn’t be in between you and the device.

These things are:

  • Tall furniture.
  • Concrete walls.
  • Loud appliances.
  • Plugged kitchen gadgets.
  • Other gadgets that use a lot of Wi-Fi bandwidth.

Dense materials like concrete can muffle sound. Tall furniture such as wooden bookshelves may be a problem too. As well as appliances that are turned on.

A Google Home Mini may not hear you. Because your smart TV is too loud. It can’t recognize your voice among the noise.

Try turning TVs and speakers down. Also, turn off noisy appliances. Like blenders, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines. So nothing competes with your voice.

Put your Google Home Mini away from plugged appliances. Microwaves can emit strong radio waves. These mess with Google Home’s sensors.

Google Home Mini uses Wi-Fi to respond. It collects data online to give you answers.

Lessen doing online activities that use a lot of bandwidth. Like video streaming and downloading. So your Google Home Mini can use the bandwidth it needs.

Another way is to put your phone, laptop, or tablet away from the device.

#4: Software bugs are slowing its response time

What do some people and Google Home Mini have in common?

Fear of bugs.

Software bugs don’t have 8 legs. Nor wings. Nor do they crawl or fly.

They are glitches in a computer program or system. This causes the device to give a wrong result. Or to act in unexpected ways.

Restart Google Home Mini

There are 2 ways to restart your Google Home Mini, which are:

  • Manually.
  • Using the Google Home app.

To manually restart your Google Home Mini:

  1. Disconnect it from the power source.
  2. Wait for one minute.
  3. Plug the device back in.
  4. See that your Google Home has already connected.

To restart the Google Home Mini through the app:

  1. Launch the Google Home app.
  2. Select your Google Home.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. At the top right, look for More. Tap it, and select Reboot.
  5. Wait for your Google Home to restart completely.

Reset your Google Home

Reset Google Home Mini

Your preferred settings will also be deleted in this process. Make sure to remember them.

Warning: Do this step only when other troubleshooting steps have been ineffective.

The resetting process is different for Google Home and the Mini version. Unlike restarting, this can’t be done with the app.

To reset your Google Home Mini:

  1. Go to the bottom of your device.
  2. Search for the factory reset button. It’s a small button below the power cord. Push and hold it.
  3. Wait for 5 seconds for it to reset. Hold it for 10 seconds more.
  4. Let go when you hear a confirmation sound.

#5: The device’s mic is muted

Online meetings are now the new normal.

Whether it’s to discuss a new project at work. Or to drink with friends.

But there’s always that one person. Who forgets to turn on their mic.

So here goes 10 minutes of looking for the unmute icon!

Seriously. Don’t be that person to your Google Home Mini.

The Google Home Mini has a microphone. When on, it can hear your questions and hot words.

Some users turn off the microphone at times. For privacy reasons. Or to prevent the device from accidentally waking. Yes, the Google Home Mini can mishear some words.

You may have done this. And forgot to activate the mic again.

Unsure how to keep the mic on? Watch this video to learn more:

The microphone switch is found on the device. You can only manually start it.

To check your Google Home Mini microphone:

  1. Go to your Google Home Mini.
  2. Look for the microphone mute button. It’s on the back.
  3. Toggle the button.
  4. Google Assistant will tell you if the mic is on or off. Adjust when necessary.

Once the mic is switched on, your Google Home Mini should respond.

Bonus: You have another device with Google Assistant on

It’s like having two friends with the same name. In the same party.

You call out to one. And both turn their heads.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

But your Google devices aren’t having any of that!

Your phone and your Google Home Mini may have Google Assistant on.

Since both wake up with “Hey Google”. Your phone reacts when you mean to call your Google Home Mini.

We don’t want them to fight over you in a jealous quarrel.

Give them the right attention. Or be sure that you’re calling out to the right device.

Adjust your phone’s Google Assistant settings

Currently, you can’t change the hot words in Google devices.

There are two temporary fixes, which are:

  • Disabling the “OK Google” command.
  • Completely turning off Google Assistant.

To stop your phone from responding to “OK Google”:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Google.
  3. Choose Setting for Google Apps.
  4. Tap Search, Assistant, and Voice. Then, Voice.
  5. Scroll through Hey Google.
  6. Select Voice Match.
  7. Disable Hey Google.

Note: This doesn’t turn off Google Assistant for Google Maps and Android Auto.

To completely turn off Google Assistant:

  1. Open the Google app.
  2. Select More. It’s at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Choose Google Assistant.
  5. Go to General.
  6. On the Google Assistant option, swipe the slider to turn off.
  7. You’ll see a pop-up. This will warn you about all the features that will stop working after disabling. You can also delete your search history.
  8. Hit Turn Off.

After this, only your Google Home Mini would respond to “OK Google”.

Be aware of your speaking distance

Maybe you don’t want to turn off your phone’s voice activation.

Calling out to your Google Home Mini? Just be sure that your phone is not within listening range. Keep it away so it won’t respond.

People also ask:

Why won’t my Google Home mini turn on?

Your Google Home Mini won’t turn on because it isn’t plugged correctly.

The Google Home Mini’s battery isn’t removable. It should always be connected to its power source. Only use the cable in the product box.

See four lights lighting up on top of the device? This means it’s turned on.

If all troubleshooting fails, you can contact support.

Google will check if you qualify for a replacement. Bought your device from the official Google store? Then, you’re in luck. They will ship it and send you an email with instructions.