How can I get Google Assistant to stop talking back?
March 26, 2021 4:27 PM   Subscribe

I have a Pixel 3XL and I use the flashlight regularly. I use the 'Okay Google, turn on flashlight' trick and the Google Assistant says, "Turning on flashlight", and then it does it. When I'm done using the flashlight I say, 'Okay Google, turn off flashlight' and the Assistant says, "Turning off flashlight", and then the light goes out. I don't want the Assistant to tell me anything. I just want it to *silently* turn on/off the flashlight. What can I do to make that happen? I'd prefer not to install an extra app, if possible.
posted by mcbeth to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You could turn the flashlight on/off the old fashioned way, via the Quick Settings panel, or you could turn your Alarm & Notifications volume all the way down. That, of course, has the side effect of silencing any other notifications you have set, so that may not be the best option in your case, but that's what I did with my Pixels (2XL and now 5) and I don't ever hear the Assistant talking to me.
posted by pdb at 4:53 PM on March 26, 2021

Best answer: According to, you need to

Speak "OK Google"

Tap on the button that brings up settings for it

Pick settings / assistant

Locate Voice and Speech section, and tap on "Speech Output",

Select "Hands-free only" which will turn off the acknowledgement.
posted by kschang at 5:41 PM on March 26, 2021 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Yeah, the fiddly bit is that I do prefer to hear Assistant audio for nearly all other purposes, I only want it to be silent WRT to the flashlight.

I tested the settings via the link and adjusted the hands-free only, but found it affected all of the Assistant feedback - so now I'll need to decide whether I want Assistant to always be quiet and only respond to me on my phone screen regardless of the reason I'm calling on the Assistant, or whether I want to hear the Assistant voice and I should quit griping about the 'Turning on flashlight/Turning off flashlight' part.

Thanks for the quick replies, much appreciated.
posted by mcbeth at 6:49 PM on March 26, 2021

Alternate approach: clone the Moto X "chop chop to toggle flashlight" function by using this app

Not voice activated, but no verbal acknowledgement either.
posted by kschang at 11:31 PM on March 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

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