You Can Finally Silence Google Assistant by Simply Saying ‘Stop’

You Can Finally Silence Google Assistant by Simply Saying ‘Stop’
Photo: Andrew Liszewski - Gizmodo

In an effort to be at your beck and call 24 hours a day, your smart speaker or hub is constantly listening so that it can immediately respond to every inquiry. But for those times when they respond accidentally or ramble on too long with a response, Google Assistant devices can now be quickly silenced by simply saying “stop!”

It’s become somewhat of a game in our house to try and figure out what triggered the recognisable ding of our Google Assistant devices when no one specifically uttered the trigger words: “hey, Google.” The devices frequently misinterpret similar-sounding phrases, and everything from discussions about “grey poodles” to mentioning Star Wars’ Sy Snootles (happens more often than you’d think) has brought Google Assistant to life.

Most of the time our smart speakers don’t respond any further after the ding and can simply be ignored, but every once in a while they’ll think they’ve been asked a question that requires a long-winded answer no one wants to listen to. In the past, this has required another “hey, Google” followed by “stop” to silence Google Assistant (often said while shouting over the assistant’s voice so the device actually hears the request). But according to a tweet shared on the official Google Twitter account on Tuesday, it’s now much easier to immediately shush Google Assistant.

Users can now simply say “stop” at any point while Google Assistant is talking and the device will immediately shut up. From our testing this morning, it seems to work as promised, but only while Google Assistant itself is speaking. If a song has been accidentally triggered, or a video no one asked for starts playing, users will still need to say “hey, Google” before asking the device to stop playback.

The new feature appears to be part of the rollout of Google’s Quick Phrases, which came to light last October and allow common functions on Google devices, like answering calls or silencing alarms, to be done using short voice commands without the need for saying wake words like “hey, Google” first. More of these Quick Phrases will probably be introduced in the coming months (XDA Developers had discovered more than 15 of them for Google’s smart home devices), but we’re glad Google has prioritised this one.