PSA: Google Homes Are Being Bricked by a Recent Update

A Google Home Smart Speaker on a tv stand with a plant.
Google

You may not realize it, but your smart speakers and smart displays receive frequent firmware updates. These upgrades typically happen overnight, so you probably won’t notice a change until Amazon, Google, or Apple implements a noticeable new feature. Unfortunately, some users are finding that a recent update has made their Google Home speakers unresponsive.

Orange Lights and No Response

According to several users on both Reddit and Google’s support forums, users are waking up to find unresponsive Home devices. Thus far, the problem only seems to affect the full-sized Google Home that was first released in 2016.

If you’re worried that your unit is suffering from the same problem, check for orange lights on the back of the speaker. Those lights and a refusal to respond to voice commands likely means your Google Home may have received the broken update.

Some users are reporting they are on the preview program, but not every report we’ve seen mentions that fact, so this could be a general update. Google has already acknowledged the problem and is investigating.

A Suggested Fix May Help

The good news is that there is a potential (unofficial) fix for the problem. It’s somewhat like factory resetting your Google Home, but you’ll need to take some extra steps. Afterward, you’ll need to run through the setup process again.

  1. Submit feedback about the problem from your Google Home app. Be sure to mention “GHT3” and “orange LED light” in your feedback.
  2. Disable your home Wi-Fi to prevent the Google Home from continually attempting to connect.
  3. Unplug the Google Home, wait one minute, and then plug it back in.
  4. Say a command to the device to confirm it can’t connect to the internet.
  5. Perform a factory reset by pressing and hold the mute microphone button for 15 seconds. The Google Home will confirm it will factory reset.

Now set the Google Home unit up and hope it works. If it doesn’t, contact Google for more support. We’ll update this post when we know more.

Source: Reddit and Google Support via Android Police

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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