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How to Use Hands-Free Voice Search in Google Chrome

Learning how to use hands-free voice search in Chrome is a breeze, but it has gone through some changes over the years. In 2014, Google introduced hands-free, always-on voice search in the desktop version of Chrome, their popular web browser. However, due to low usage and its impact on laptop battery life, Google removed this feature in 2015. Fortunately, you can still perform voice searches in Chrome for desktop with just a click. Additionally, hands-free voice search can be enabled on mobile devices through the Google app. Here’s how to get started.

Dealing with Assistant Chaos

Google Assistant is incredibly convenient and enjoyable to use. On Chromebooks and Android devices, it’s similar to Cortana on Windows 10 and Siri on macOS. However, if you have stand-alone Google Home devices, like the Mini, requesting information can become chaotic. For example, when you ask for the weather, the response may come from a nearby Home device instead of your mobile device or PC. To avoid this, simply close a door or relocate the Home device so that it doesn’t interfere with your voice commands.

Conducting a Voice Search in Google Chrome

Enabling hands-free voice search on the desktop version of Chrome is not possible. However, you can turn on the microphone with a single click. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open Google Chrome. If it doesn’t open directly to the Google search homepage, open a new tab by clicking the Plus Sign icon to the right of your existing tabs.

Step 2: On the Google search homepage, click on the Microphone icon located on the right side of the search bar.

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How to enable ok google hands free voice search in chrome chromebook match

Step 3: After clicking on the microphone, you’ll be taken to another screen where Chrome will be waiting for your search command or question. If Chrome doesn’t have access to your microphone, you won’t be able to use voice search. To grant access, click on the Video Camera icon with a red X on the right side of the browser’s address bar. Then, select “Always Allow https://www.google.com to Access Your Microphone.” Finally, reload the Google homepage.

Once you’re all set up, simply speak clearly and loud enough for the microphone to capture your command or question.

How to enable hands-free voice search in Google Chrome

Step 4: View the search results. Once Chrome understands your command or question, it will automatically take you to the correct Google search results page to display the information you requested.

Conducting a Voice Search in Chrome OS

Enabling hands-free voice search on a Chromebook is possible through Google Assistant. Here’s how:

Step 1: Make sure Google Assistant is enabled. Click on the System Clock in the bottom-right corner and then click on the Gear icon. The Settings page will appear. Select “Search and Assistant” on the left and then “Google Assistant” on the right.

How to enable hands-free voice search in Google Chrome

Step 2: On the following screen, activate Google Assistant by toggling the switch next to it. You’ll also find an “OK Google” setting with three options: On (Recommended), Always On, and Off.

How to enable hands-free voice search in Google Chrome

Step 3: With Google Assistant active, simply say “OK Google.” A small pop-up will appear over the toolbar, asking, “Hi, how can I help?”

How to enable hands-free voice search in Google Chrome

Step 4: The results will appear within the Google Assistant bubble. You can click on or speak additional queries for more information. If you want more search results for a specific voice search, click the small G Search button in the bottom-right corner, and the Chrome browser will open. From there, you can click on or say additional queries for more results.

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How to enable hands-free voice search in Google Chrome

Step 5: To improve voice recognition and reduce the risk of command mistakes, it’s recommended to go back to the settings page and select the Voice Match setting below “OK Google.” This will guide you through a basic voice test to help Google recognize your voice when using your Chromebook.

How to enable hands-free voice search in Google Chrome

Step 6: If you plan on primarily using voice commands for work or navigation, you can enable the Preferred Input option, which will default to voice commands for your tasks.

Enabling Hands-Free Voice Search on Mobile via the Google App

To enable hands-free voice search on your mobile devices, you’ll need to use the Google app instead of the Chrome app. The process differs slightly depending on whether you’re using an Android or iOS device.

Step 1: For Android users, open the Google app and tap on your Profile Picture icon located in the top-right corner. Then, tap on “Settings.” iOS users should open the Google app, tap on the Profile Picture icon, and navigate to “Settings.”

Step 2: In the Settings menu, Android users should select the “Voice” tab. From there, choose “Voice Match” and make sure to toggle on the “Hey Google” feature. By doing so, you’ll activate voice search on your phone. If you’ve never used “Hey Google” on your Android device before, it may take some time for the software to familiarize itself with your voice and preferred commands. During the setup process, you may receive prompts from Google Assistant to speak into the device.

iOS users should tap on “Voice” in their settings. Then, specify that you’d like to use the term “OK Google” for your device, according to Google. This will launch the voice-activated assistant.

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How to enable hands-free voice search in Google Chrome

And there you have it! With these steps, you can take advantage of hands-free voice search in Google Chrome across different devices. Enjoy the convenience and efficiency of voice commands for your searches.

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