How to Use Google Home Routines

Routines are a set of actions that your Google Home can perform, activated by a single voice command. You can customise existing pre-set routines in the Google Home app, or you can create your own personalised routines from scratch, using a wide variety of available actions.

Create and Manage Routines

Learn how to customise, create and use Routines with your Google Home speaker and the Google Home app on your mobile device.

Step 1 – Your Google Home app comes with several pre-set routines. To view and edit them, tap the menu button at the top-left, and select “More settings”. Scroll down and tap the “Routines” section. Here you will see all of the existing routines displayed (e.g. “Good morning”, “Bedtime” etc.)

Step 2 – Below each routine name, you will see how many actions are associated with it. Tap any of the routine names to start editing it. All of the routines can be edited, but different routines will have different amounts of actions available to be added and used. View a few to see the difference.

Step 3 – Routines are split into sections: “When I say…”, “My assistant should…” and “And then play”. The first is the command, then second contains the main actions you can set it to perform, and the third is for additional actions. You can manage and edit each of these sections individually.

Step 4 – For example, saying “Good morning” could take the phone off silent, tell you weather, reminders and commute information. It could then give you the news headlines from a variety of sources (BBC, CNN, etc.,) and then play your favourite radio station until you tell it to stop. All from a single command.

Step 5 – Tap the checkbox next to each action to add or remove it from the routine. If the action has a gear icon next to it, you can tap this to see further settings. For example, the play radio action allows you to choose the radio station you want to use, and music settings lets you choose the music source.

Step 6 – You can also change the command that activates the actions (although you will still need to say “Hey/Ok Google” first). Most pre-set routines have a couple of commands already set, but you can add a new one by tapping the top section, then tap + and type your desired command.

Step 7 – If none of the pre-set routines meet your needs, you can create your own from scratch. Open the routines settings in the Google Home app and tap the + button. Start by editing the command you want to use to activate the routine. Simple commands seem to work best, so keep it short!

Step 8 – If you wish, you can set a day/time of day when the routine activates automatically. You can still activate the routine with the command at other times. Next, add an action, either by typing the name of a Google Assistant command, or by tapping “Choose popular actions”, selecting and tapping “Add”.

Step 9 – When finished setting up the new routine, tap the check mark at the top and the screen will change to display all routines. Your created routine will be given the name of the command word you used (e.g. “Entertain me”). Test the routine by saying the command to your Google Home speaker.

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Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. Working for international publications in both print and online, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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