Enable Google Assistant on your Chromebook

Ever wanted your Chromebook to act like a Google Home, Google Home Mini or Max? If so, this quick tip is for you.

Before we start, I’m going to assume your Chromebook is on the stable channel (v.72 upwards).

Activate Google Assistant flags in Chrome

First, type the following into the Chrome browser address bar:

chrome://flags

and press return.

Now, in the ‘Search flags’ box, type ‘assistant‘.

You should now see three options:

To use Google Assistant activated by just the keyboard shortcut, set Enable Google Assistant from ‘Default’ to ‘Enabled’.

However, if you’d also like to use Assistant Voice Match (will only respond to your voice) and Google Assistant with hardware-based hotword (your Chromebook will always be listening for the ‘OK Google’ hotword) set all three from ‘Default’ to ‘Enabled’.

Now, click on the blue ‘restart now’ button and the browser will close and reopen.

When the browser reopens, click on the top right three vertical dot menu button, then down to click on ‘settings’.

Now, in the top blue bar with a spyglass and ‘search settings’ type ‘assistant‘.

Click on ‘Google Assistant’ and you will now see:

Move that slide button to the ‘on’ position and you will now see several more options:

For me, they’re all useful so I have them all switched on. But take a glance yourself to see if they suit you.

When done, exit back to your home page or just close Chrome if you no longer need it open. That’s the ‘hard’ part done. Now it’s time to play!

How do I get the Google Assistant to pop up?

You now have two ways to make the Google Assistant appear and respond:

1. Press and hold the Search key, then press the a key and release.

or

2. Say, ‘OK Google‘ (only if you set the Google Assistant with hardware-based hotword flag)

And that’s it. You now have Google Assistant on your Chromebook. Have fun!

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Friendly disclaimers:

This advice might not work on all Chromebooks.

Experimental settings in Google Chrome can be flaky. If they work, great. If not, please don’t get too hung up about it 🙂  

ChromeOS and Chromebooks are constantly evolving. By the time you read this, things might have changed. In the near future, there will probably be no need to activate the Chrome flags and all you’ll need to do is switch the Google Assistant setting on. Maybe one day the Google Assistant setting will be on by default and this article will be redundant. But until that day I hope you find the above useful.