Why can’t I unlock my phone with Google Assistant?

If you are unable to unlock your phone using Google Assistant voice commands, there are a few potential causes and solutions to try.

Is Google Assistant set up correctly?

The first thing to check is whether Google Assistant is set up properly on your device to respond to voice commands. Here are some quick tips:

  • Make sure Google Assistant is enabled on your phone – Check in your device settings.
  • Voice Match should be set up so Google Assistant recognizes your voice.
  • Under Assistant settings, confirm access to Voice Match and Personal results is turned on.
  • For added security, you need to have lock screen personalization enabled in Smart Lock.
  • Your phone needs to be unlocked initially before Google Assistant can access settings.

If Google Assistant voice commands are not properly set up, this is the most likely reason why you cannot unlock your phone using just your voice.

Do you have a compatible Android device?

The device you are using needs to be compatible with Google Assistant unlock for this feature to work properly:

  • You must have an Android smartphone running Android 7.0 Nougat or later.
  • Google Assistant unlock is only available on Pixel or Nexus devices at this time.
  • Your Android security patch also needs to be up to date.

If your device does not meet these compatibility requirements, Google Assistant unlock simply will not be available or function on your device.

Is your internet connection working?

Since Google Assistant relies on an internet connection to access voice command capabilities, you may run into issues if you have a spotty connection:

  • Make sure WiFi is enabled and connected on your phone.
  • If using mobile data, check that you have a strong 4G LTE or 5G connection.
  • Try disabling and re-enabling WiFi to refresh the connection.
  • Toggle airplane mode on and off to force a new mobile connection.

Without a consistent internet connection for Google Assistant to access, any voice commands including unlocking your phone will not work properly.

Have you trained your voice model?

For enhanced security, Google Assistant uses voice match to verify your unique voice signature when accessing sensitive commands like unlocking your phone:

  • Open the Google Assistant app and go into Settings > Voice Match.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to record multiple voice samples.
  • Retrain Voice Match if you have gone through any major voice changes.
  • Delete and re-add Voice Match to reset the voice model if needed.

With an extensive voice sample, Google Assistant can more accurately verify your voice and unlock your phone when commanded.

Are you using the exact voice command?

The specific phrase you use to unlock your phone matters when issuing Google Assistant voice commands:

  • “OK Google, unlock my phone” is the standard command.
  • Do not substitute “phone” for “device” or other words.
  • The command must include the wake words “OK Google” for Assistant to respond.
  • Use natural speech cadence and pronunciation for best results.

If you stray from the exact unlock command Google Assistant expects, it may fail to recognize and act on your voice request properly.

Did you disable any permissions?

Specific app permissions must be enabled for Google Assistant phone unlocking to function:

  • Check that Google App has permission to use the microphone.
  • Confirm Google Assistant has permission to access Device Personalization Services.
  • Enable access to Smart Lock and Voice Match in Assistant settings.
  • You may need to manually re-enable permissions that were previously denied.

With microphone or other key permissions disabled, Google Assistant will be unable to interpret or carry out voice commands to unlock your phone.

Is your phone up-to-date?

To ensure compatibility with the latest Google Assistant features and voice commands, your phone software should be up-to-date:

  • On Android, install all available operating system updates.
  • Update the Google App and Google Play Services to the latest versions.
  • Consider a phone software reboot after major updates.
  • If issues persist, uninstall and reinstall updates as needed.

Unless your phone is running the most recent software, certain Google Assistant capabilities may not be accessible.

Could ambient noise be interfering?

Excess background noise in your environment can interfere with Google Assistant understanding your voice commands accurately:

  • Move to a quiet space with minimal disruptive sounds.
  • Turn off music, television, fans or other loud devices.
  • Reduce echoes by closing doors or moving away from hard surfaces.
  • Speak louder and enunciate more clearly to cut through noise.

Minimizing ambient noise improves the accuracy of Google Assistant voice recognition for a better chance of successfully unlocking your phone hands-free.

Did you accidentally limit voice recognition?

On some Android devices, you can limit Google Assistant’s access to always listening for the unlock command:

  • Go to Settings > Google > Account services > Voice.
  • Make sure “Ok Google” detection is set to From Any Screen.
  • Disable From Lock Screen to allow unlocking from anywhere.
  • You may need to retrain Voice Match after changing settings.

If voice recognition is limited to certain screens only, Google Assistant may fail to detect the unlock command on your lock screen.

Is Face Unlock interfering?

On Android phones with Face Unlock capabilities, you may run into issues using voice unlock:

  • Disable Face Unlock in your phone’s security settings.
  • OR – Go to Smart Lock and remove Face Unlock as a trust agent.
  • Face Unlock takes priority over voice unlock for security reasons.
  • With Face Unlock off, Google Assistant can access voice unlock.

For phones with both Face Unlock and Google Assistant unlock, you cannot use both simultaneously and may need to disable one for the other to work.

Could notifications be interrupting?

Certain notifications popping up on your lock screen can inadvertently interrupt Google Assistant listening for voice commands:

  • Disable lock screen notifications for apps that are not essential.
  • Consider turning off notifications entirely from the lock screen.
  • Silence non-essential notifications during key times.
  • Be patient and reissue voice commands if interrupted by notifications.

Notifications popping up just as you try to use Google Assistant voice unlock can prevent the command from being recognized.

Is your lock screen customized?

Extensively customized lock screens on some devices may cause issues for Google Assistant accessing voice unlock:

  • Use simpler wallpaper without vibrant colors or complex patterns.
  • Limit notifications displayed on the lock screen.
  • Remove visual widgets like clock faces from the lock screen.
  • Use a standard password/PIN unlock if needed temporarily.

Troubleshooting may require temporarily simplifying your lock screen to eliminate any elements that could interfere with Google Assistant.

Did you check Google app settings?

Diving into the Google app settings reveals additional options that can affect Google Assistant voice unlock:

  • Confirm Google Assistant is enabled.
  • Check for updates to the Google app.
  • Under Services, enable Device Personalization Services.
  • Make sure Google activity controls are enabled.

Digging through the Google app settings may reveal additional toggles/controls that need to be adjusted to allow Google Assistant full functionality.

Are you using lockdown mode?

Android’s optional lockdown mode is designed to maximize security by limiting Smart Lock features:

  • Lockdown mode requires manual unlocks and disables voice unlock.
  • Disable lockdown under Smart Lock settings to re-allow voice unlock.
  • You cannot use lockdown mode and Google Assistant unlock simultaneously.
  • Lockdown mode takes priority for maximum security.

While in lockdown mode, no Smart Lock convenience features like voice unlock will be available on your Android device.

Did you clear app data?

Clearing app data can sometimes reset issues with Google Assistant voice unlock:

  • Open your phone’s Settings > Apps.
  • Select the Google app and choose Clear Data.
  • Redownload the latest Google app update after clearing data.
  • Retrain voice match and re-enable permissions as needed.

As a last resort, wiping the Google app data can clear any corrupt files or settings preventing voice unlock from working properly.


There are many potential reasons Google Assistant may fail to unlock your Android phone on voice command. Start by ensuring Google Assistant is fully set up with all necessary permissions enabled. Check for device compatibility, internet connection, proper voice training, exact command phrasing, and minimal background noise. Eliminate any factors like Face Unlock that can interfere with the Assistant. Diving into settings to disable notifications, customize the lock screen, update software, and wipe app data can also help resolve issues. With the right troubleshooting steps, you should be able to get flawless hands-free voice unlock using your Google Assistant.