How Do I Turn Voice Search Back On In Chrome?

In 2014, Google released a feature to the desktop version of the Chrome browser that allowed users to search hands-free via their voice. Only a year later, the feature was removed because it was not popular and reportedly caused issues with battery life on certain laptop computers.

Fans of the feature may be wondering if it is possible to get the feature back or how else they may use hands-free typing and searching with Chrome. This discussion will explore how to turn voice search back on in the Chrome browser for both desktop and mobile devices.

Making A Voice Search On Google Chrome Browser

One of the nice things about the original Google search voice feature was that it had an “always-on” setting. You could make searches from across the room if you wanted to! Unfortunately, this isn’t possible with the new Chrome browser search function. You have to click the microphone option to initiate the voice search feature.

Here’s how to access the search voice feature.

  1. Open a new page or tab in Google Chrome.
  2. Tap the microphone icon in the search bar. It is located to the far right.
  3. When you tap the icon, you’ll be prompted to allow or deny Google access to your microphone. For voice search to work, you need to press allow.
  4. Next, the screen will change and you’ll be prompted to say “Hey Google,” followed by your search question.
  5. Once your search is completed, Google will recognize when you’ve stopped speaking and enter your request as a search.
  6. Then, you can browse your search results as normal.

Making Voice Searches With The Google Chrome OS

Making Voice Searches With The Google Chrome OS
Making Voice Searches With The Google Chrome OS

If you own a Google Chromebook or are otherwise using the Chrome operating system, you can enable the Google Assistant. To turn it on, click the bottom right corner (where the clock, wifi, and notifications icons are). This will open the system menu. If you click the gears icon, you’ll open the Settings menu.

Scroll down the Settings page until you see the “Search and Assistant” section. Click the arrow next to “Google Assistant.” This will open the settings for Google Assistant. You can click to enable the service from this menu. Again, you’ll find the search voice option next to the OS’ search bar.

You can also select turn on “Ok Google.” This option will open the Google Assistant any time you say the command. This is the same function of the always-on, hands-free Google voice search feature from 2014.

It’s worth noting that when you use Google Assistant, your searches appear in the white, chat-bubble box of the Assistant’s interface. If you need to see more information or view the entire Google search results, then you need to click on “G Search.” This will open the Chrome browser to the search results page.

Accessing Hands-Free Voice Search With The Google App

Accessing Hands-Free Voice Search With The Google App
Accessing Hands-Free Voice Search With The Google App

For mobile users, you may be wondering how you can use the hands-free Google voice search function from your device. This will depend slightly if you’re using an Android or iOS device. In either case, however, you’re going to have to download the Google app, which is different from the Chrome app.

When you open the Google app, press the three dots in the corner of the screen. This will allow you to access the Settings menu. From there, you can find “Voice” settings. For iOS, you will be able to select whether you want to have a hands-free search voice from this menu.

If you’re using an Android device, press “Voice Match” and turn on the “Hey Google” option. This will allow for hands-free searching. You will have to respond to a few voices prompts, which are designed to give the Google Assistant AI some data about your voice.

Tips On How To Avoid Voice Search Chaos Between Devices

What happens when you have Google’s hands-free voice search enabled on multiple devices? Imagine saying “Hey Google,” within range of your mobile device, Chromebook, and Google Home device. Suddenly, you have three Google Assistants trying to respond at once.

You need to think strategically about which devices you use the most and how often they are within range of another voice-enabled device. For instance, you may decide to turn Google Assistant off on your laptop, because it is always in range of your mobile phone.

Where you position your Google Home device is also key. You should try and place it somewhere convenient, but also where your other Google Assistant devices are out of reach from.

Alternatively, you can try and get in the habit of turning Google Assistant off on all devices but one when you are home. Then, re-enabling it when you leave for work or errands in the morning.

Is Google Assistant Better Than Siri And Alexa?

You may be wondering why to go through all the trouble of enabling the hands-free Google Assistant in the first place. Is Google Assistant really that much better than Siri and Alexa? Naturally, every user has their their own preference. Some people are simply familiar with Siri and prefer its interface. Alternatively, you may already have an Amazon Alexa device, so investing in Google Assistant products is less appealing.

That said, data does support Google Assistant being the most effective voice assistant of the bunch. It has a 92.9% score when it comes to answering questions and requests correctly. That’s almost 10% more than Siri and 12% more than Alexa.

So, if you often find yourself struggling to get your voice search AI to understand your request, it may be good to switch to Google Assistant. 

It also depends on what you’re using the device for. For searching, Google is king, but Siri is great for communicating with contacts. Amazon has the edge with shopping.


Voice search is a major trend that is improving the way we receive and interact with information. The ability to hands-free search with our devices is really useful. With this guide, you are now prepared to enable the Google Assistant hands-free search function on all of your applicable devices.


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