In 2014, Google enabled hands-free voice search on the desktop version of Chrome, the company's popular web browser. However, Google removed this feature from laptops in 2015 due to its low usage and impact on battery life, although it is still a primary feature on Chromebooks.
But all is not lost. You can still do voice searches in Chrome for the desktop with a simple click. You can also enable hands-free voice search on your mobile devices through the Google app. Here's how to enable hands-free voice search in Google Chrome.
A note on the chaos of the wizards
The Google Assistant is very convenient (and fun). On Chromebooks and Android devices, it's similar to using Cortana on Windows 10 and Siri on macOS. However, if you own standalone Google Home devices like the Mini, search chaos can ensue.
For example, if you request the weather, the response may be sent from a nearby home device instead. Since you want to see and hear the results on your mobile device or PC, pumping the information through another device is not ideal.
If you want results solely on your mobile device or PC, we recommend closing a door or moving it (or your home device) to another location so that both of them don't listen to your command.
Desktop Method: How to do a voice search in Google Chrome
Step 1: Open Google Chrome and / or open a new tab if necessary
Open Google Chrome. If it opens directly to the Google Search home page, skip to step 2. If not, be sure to open a new tab in Chrome by tapping the plus sign icon to the right of your existing tabs.
Step 2: Tap the microphone icon on the Google search bar
On the Google search homepage, tap the microphone icon on the right-hand side of the search bar.
Step 3: Say your question or command
After tapping the microphone, you'll be taken to another screen where Chrome is waiting for you to issue a search command or query. If Chrome doesn't have access to your microphone, you may not be able to use voice search from the Chrome browser. To enable access to your microphone, click the video camera icon (with a red X) in the browser's address bar on the right. Then select Always allow https://www.google.com to access your microphone. Then reload the Google homepage.
When you have made all the settings, simply say your command or question clearly and loudly enough for the microphone to pick it up.
Step 4: display your search results
Once Chrome understands your command or question, you should be automatically directed to the correct Google search results page to display the information you requested.
Chromebook method: how to do a voice search in Chrome OS
Step 1: Activate the Google Assistant if you haven't already
Click the system clock in the lower right corner, followed by the gear icon that appears in the pop-up menu. The Settings page will appear on your screen. Click Search and Assistant on the left and Google Assistant on the right.
On the following screen, click "Toggle" next to Google Assistant to activate this function (blue), if you have not already done so. A drop-down menu also shows an OK Google setting with three choices: On (Recommended), Always On, and Off. In this section you can also reset your language match if the Google Assistant is not responding.
Step 2: Say your question or command
With the Google Assistant active, just say "OK Google". A small popup appears above the toolbar with the question: "Hello, how can I help?"
In this example we said, "Show me the weather." The results will appear in the Google Assistant bubble as shown above. You can click or ask additional questions for more information.
If you're doing a specific voice search and want more results, click the little G-Search button in the lower right corner. The Chrome browser is displayed. You can click or ask additional queries to get more results.
Mobile method: How to enable hands-free voice search on mobile devices using the Google app
You can turn on hands-free voice search on your mobile devices, but you cannot do this through the Chrome app. This is done in the Google app. The method differs depending on whether you are using an Android or iOS device.
Step 1: Open the Google app and open Settings
If you're on an Android device, first run the Google app and tap More Three dot icon. You can find this in the lower right corner of the screen. Then tap the settings.
For iOS users, open the Google app and tap Profile picture Icon and navigate to the settings.
Step 2: Activate your Hey Google / OK Google settings
Once in the settings, Android users should select the voice Tab. Select from there Language match and make sure the switch for that is on Hey google Feature. This is how you enable voice search on your phone. For users who have never had Hey Google on their Android device, note that the software won't recognize your voice right away. It will take time to familiarize yourself with your voice and preferred commands. If so, the Google Assistant will ask you to speak to the device several times during the setup process.
iOS users tap Voice and assistant in their settings. After selecting this option, you'll need to indicate that you want to use the term "OK Google" for your device. according to Google. That should start the voice-activated assistant.