Google Assistant is built
to keep your information
private, safe and secure.
When you use Google Assistant, you trust us with your data, and it’s our responsibility to protect and respect it. Privacy is personal. That’s why we build simple privacy controls to help you choose what’s right for you. Explore this page to learn more about how Google Assistant works, your built-in privacy controls, answers to common questions and more.
Starts in standby
Google Assistant is designed to wait in standby mode until it detects an activation, like when it hears 'Hey Google'. When in standby mode, your Assistant won’t send what you are saying to Google or anyone else.
Once Google Assistant detects an activation, it exits standby mode and sends your request to Google servers. This can also happen if there is a noise that sounds like 'Hey Google' or an unintended manual activation.
Learn more about how Google Assistant handles audio recordings, Web & App Activity and Ad Personalisation.
Is Google Assistant recording everything that I say?
No. Google Assistant is designed to wait in standby mode until it detects an activation, like when it hears 'Hey Google'. When in standby mode, your Assistant won’t send what you are saying to Google or anyone else. Once Google Assistant detects an activation, it exits standby mode and sends your request to Google servers. This can also happen if there is a noise that sounds like 'Hey Google' or an unintended manual activation.
How do I activate my Google Assistant?
You can activate your Assistant in a few ways, depending on your device. For example, you might say 'Hey Google' or activate it manually by holding your phone’s power button or Home button.
How do I know when Google Assistant is activated?
The status indicator on your device, such as an on-screen indicator or flashing LEDs on top of your device, lets you know when Google Assistant is activated.
Why does Google Assistant sometimes activate when I didn’t intend it to?
Google Assistant might activate when you didn’t intend it to because it incorrectly detected that you wanted its help, for instance, when there is a noise that sounds like 'Hey Google' or you manually activate it accidentally. We are constantly working to make our systems better at reducing unintended activations.
If that happens, and your Web & App Activity is turned on, you can say, 'Hey Google, that wasn’t for you', and your Assistant will delete what you said from My Activity. You can also review and delete your Assistant interactions in My Activity at any time. If Google Assistant activates when you didn’t intend it to, and your Web & App Activity setting is disabled, your Assistant interaction will not be stored in My Activity.
To tailor Google Assistant to your environment better, you can adjust how sensitive your Assistant is to activation phrases (like 'Hey Google') through the Google Home app for smart speakers and smart displays.
What is Google Assistant doing when it is in standby mode?
Google Assistant is designed to wait in standby mode until it detects an activation. In standby mode, the device processes short snippets of audio (a few seconds) to detect an activation – like when you say 'Hey Google'. If no activation is detected, then those audio snippets won’t be sent or saved to Google.
What happens when Google Assistant detects an activation?
Once it detects an activation, your Assistant exits standby mode – this includes if there is an unintended manual activation or a noise that sounds like 'Hey Google'. Your device then records what it hears and sends the audio recording to Google servers to fulfil your request. The recording may include a few seconds before the activation to catch your entire request.
You’re always in control of whether or not any audio recordings sent to Google servers are then saved to your Google Account. By default, we don’t save your audio recordings. You can check your current setting by viewing the 'Include voice and audio recordings' tick box under the Web & App Activity setting.
Designed for privacy
By default, we don’t retain your Google Assistant audio recordings. Visit “Your data in Google Assistant” to learn more about how your data makes Google Assistant work for you.
Does Google Assistant save my audio recordings?
By default, your audio recordings are not retained. You can choose to save your audio recordings by ticking 'Include audio recordings' under the Web & App Activity setting.
What’s the benefit of saving my audio recordings to my Google Account?
If you’d like to help improve our audio recognition technology for everyone, you can choose to have your audio recordings securely retained and made available to our speech improvement systems. This helps products like Google Assistant improve their ability to understand language even better in the future. Learn more about this process.
Is anyone other than me able to listen to my saved audio recordings?
If you decide to save your audio recordings, portions of them may be reviewed to help us improve our audio recognition technologies.
For example, audio recordings can be used for Google’s audio review process. During this process, a sample of machine-selected audio snippets is disassociated from their Google Accounts. Then trained reviewers can analyse the audio to annotate the recording and verify if the words said were accurately understood by Google’s audio recognition technologies. This helps a product like Google Assistant improve its ability to understand language even better in the future.
Can the Government access my audio recordings?
Government agencies from around the world ask Google to disclose user information. We carefully review each request to make sure that it satisfies applicable laws. If a request asks for too much information, we try to narrow it, and in some cases we object to producing any information at all. In our Transparency Report, we share the number and types of requests that we receive. Learn more
Do you sell my audio recordings or other personal information?
Google never sells your audio recordings or other personal information.
Easy-to-use privacy controls
To control which interactions are stored, just say something like 'Hey Google, delete what I said this week', and Google Assistant will delete those interactions in 'My Activity'.
Where can I find my privacy controls?
Just ask Google Assistant questions like, 'Where can I change my privacy settings?' to get answers to the most common privacy and security questions. Or you can always visit 'Your data in the Assistant' directly to access your privacy controls.
You mentioned that I can delete my Assistant interactions in My Activity. How does that work?
You can review and delete your Assistant interactions from My Activity, or by saying 'Hey Google, delete what I said this week'. Visit your Assistant settings to access additional controls.
Can I set up my data to auto-delete?
Yes, you can have your activity data auto-delete from My Activity. Choose a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved – 3, 18 or 36 months – and any data older than that will be automatically deleted from My Activity on an ongoing basis.
How does Google Assistant use data to personalise my experience?
Data from your Google Account can personalise your Google Assistant experience and make your Assistant more useful to you.
There are certain questions that require your data for Google Assistant to help. For example, if you ask 'When is my mum’s birthday?' your Assistant needs to reference your contacts to know who 'mum' is, and look up her birthday. Or if you ask 'Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?' your Assistant uses your current location to give you the most relevant answer.
Google Assistant also uses data to provide you with proactive suggestions. For example, your Assistant can notify you when there is traffic on your usual routes by using your location.
Google Assistant can improve your results using activity in your Google Account. For example, if you ask 'What should I make for dinner tonight?' your Assistant may use previous search history to provide personalised recipe recommendations.
You can always visit 'Your data in Google Assistant' to view or delete your data, check your current settings and find out more about the controls available.
Can I control whether Google Assistant gives me personalised results?
Yes. Google Assistant makes it easy for multiple users to each have a personalised experience on a shared device. To receive personal results – like directions to work or personalised recipe recommendations – only when your Assistant recognises your voice, set up Voice Match by following these steps. Family Link users can also get personal results from Google Assistant by following these steps.
On mobile and shared devices like speakers, you can control access to personal results by changing your settings. And on mobile, you can control how personal results appear on your lock screen.
Hey Google, tell me about Guest Mode
With Google Assistant’s Guest Mode, you now have even more control over your Assistant activity on your home devices. By saying 'Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode', you can turn on Guest Mode whenever you don’t want Assistant interactions to be saved to your Google Account or used to personalise your experience. You can leave Guest Mode at any time to return to a personalised experience. Just say, 'Hey Google, turn off Guest Mode'. Guest Mode is now available on Google speakers and smart displays in all supported languages.
How do I turn on Guest Mode? And will it remain in this mode until I choose to turn it off?
To turn on Guest Mode, just say, 'Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode' to your speaker or smart display. To return to your personalised Assistant experience, just say, 'Hey Google, turn off Guest Mode'. Your device will remain in Guest Mode until you or someone else leaves the mode.
How will I know if my device is in Guest Mode?
When you're in Guest Mode, your device will play a special chime. On displays, you'll also see a guest icon on the screen. And if you’re not sure, you can always ask. Just say, 'Hey Google, is Guest Mode on?'
Can anyone turn Guest Mode on or off on my device?
Yes. Anyone interacting with your device can turn Guest Mode on and off.
What about children? Will they be able to turn Guest Mode on and off?
If I turn on Guest Mode on one device, will it turn on for all of my devices?
No. Putting a device in Guest Mode does not turn it on for multiple devices.
What features work while I’m in Guest Mode? What doesn’t work?
In Guest Mode, you can still enjoy the convenience of your Assistant, like asking questions, controlling smart home devices, setting timers and playing music. However, personalised results will not be available until you leave Guest Mode. These include your calendar, shopping lists, saved contacts and more. At any time, you can say, 'Hey Google, turn off Guest Mode' to return to your personalised experience.
When Guest Mode is turned on, can other apps still save my history?
Your Assistant interactions, including all of your voice queries, won’t be saved to your Google Account. If you ask your Assistant to interact with another app or service, like your music provider or another Google product, that app or service may still retain your activity history within that app.
How does using Guest Mode affect my future experience with Google Assistant? For example, will I see personalised recommendations based on my Guest Mode activity?
While in Guest Mode, your Google Assistant activity history won’t be saved to your Google Account and won’t be used to personalise your Assistant experience. For example, if you look up recipes while in Guest Mode, those searches will not be used by Google to tailor recipe recommendations for you in the future. However, because other products may still save your activity if you interact with them while in Guest Mode, your YouTube and maps activity while in Guest Mode may still be used to recommend future videos and places to go.
If I’ve already chosen to save my audio recordings with Assistant, will those recordings still be saved while in Guest Mode?
Even if your audio recordings and Assistant activity on the device are normally saved to your Google Account, this won't happen in Guest Mode.
Built for families
Google Assistant offers a range of ways to keep your whole family entertained and on track. Tools like Family Link can help you manage how your family interacts with Assistant.
How does Google Assistant provide family-friendly content?
Google Assistant provides a variety of activities, from stories, to games, to learning tools for children and families, including some content provided by third-party developers. These developers must qualify to publish content for families on Assistant by having an Expert approved app, or entering into a partnership agreement with Google for their family-friendly Action. Any Actions intended for children provided by third-party developers must meet specific requirements of our Actions for Families programme, in addition to our standard Action policies. We review these Actions for compliance with our policies and requirements before they are generally available in Google Assistant.
How can I manage what content my family members receive through Google Assistant?
You can set content controls for shared devices in your home, like smart displays, using the Digital Wellbeing controls in the Google Home app. With these settings, you can manage downtime schedules, content filtering settings and limit certain activities, such as phone calls. You can also decide if these settings apply to guests and supervised accounts managed with Family Link, or all users of that device.
You can set limits for individual children using the parental controls offered in Family Link. On shared devices, you can link your child’s account to the device using Voice Match, so that Assistant can recognise them. Once your child is enrolled, they can only access non-Google Actions with the 'For families' badge, and are prevented from taking certain actions, such as making purchases through Assistant. These limits apply on any Google Assistant devices where they are enrolled. For more information about how a Family Link account works with Google Home and Assistant, see the Google for Families Help.
How does Google Assistant protect children's personal information?
Google does not share personal information, such as your child's name, email address, voice recordings or specific location, to Actions for Families providers. These providers also agree not to solicit personal information from users in their Google Assistant conversations. We take action if we find any actions violating these policies.
Does Google Assistant save audio recordings from children’s features?
We do not save audio recordings from interactions with children’s features like Actions for Families activities or YouTube Kids videos, unless we have consent to do so for a Google Account managed with Family Link that has opted in to include audio recordings. For more details, see our Privacy Notice.
Can I remove any data from my child's Google Assistant activities?
Yes. You can access, export and delete your child’s saved activity by signing into their account managed by Family Link. You can also manage your child’s activity settings through the Family Link app, or by visiting families.google.com and clicking on your child’s profile. For more details, go to g.co/childaccounthelp.