Quick fixes: Google Assistant doesn’t respond to specific commands


Google Assistant didn’t respond to “Hey, Google, set a timer.”

Quick fix

Reset home address in the Home app

The full story

Over the weekend, my partner and I decided it was finally time to upgrade our Wi-Fi router. We had been contently operating on a relatively ancient OnHub router until we got the warning from Google that it was turning off the controls for the OnHub as of this coming December. We bitched a bit and then bit that bullet and used a Google-offered discount to purchase a Nest WiFi router and point.

Having decided on a lazy Memorial Day weekend, we thought that Monday would be the perfect day to finally get around to switching from the old router to the new — and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, right?

Yeah, right.

I won’t go into the various small issues that we hit before we actually got everything working. (Hint for OnHub owners: don’t just disconnect your OnHub from your modem before you begin setup — power it down completely.) But after a few random annoyances, we finally got everything set. We sat back, and my partner asked Google to set a timer for 15 minutes.

The response: ‘’I cannot set a timer at this moment. Please try again in a few seconds.’’

He tried again and got the same response. He asked it for information — that worked fine; asked for the weather — no problem; told the speaker to lower its volume — no response whatsoever.

Out of curiosity, I told Google to set a timer. No problem, timer set. It lowered its volume for me as well.

Except for the satisfaction I got out of the idea that our new router liked me better, this was obviously a problem. The Google Support page had the usual “uninstall everything” solution, which we didn’t really want to do. Finally, after some searching, I found a solution that worked for us in Google’s community pages.

Here’s something to try if your Google Assistant won’t set a timer for you or do other specific tasks:

How to fix it

  • In the Home app, select the Settings icon
  • Tap on Home information > Home address
  • Tap Remove > Remove. This will completely remove your current home address.
  • Tap Add home address
  • As you start typing, Google will start listing addresses; choose yours
  • Tap Next > Done

Now, any timers or other requests that Google Assistant has been ignoring should work. Good luck!

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