How to use the OK Google command from any screen on your Android phone (including the lock screen)

How to use the OK Google command from any screen on your Android phone (including the lock screen)
Earlier this year (in June, to be exact), the official Google app for Android received a pretty big update, which brought us the ability to use the OK Google command everywhere on our phones (meaning from any screen - even the lock screen). This is available on devices running Android 4.3 or later. Obviously, many Android users know this, and have already enabled the feature on their devices. However, if you’re new to Android, or simply didn’t know this until now, we’re here to show you how to use the OK Google hotword from any screen.

Here it goes: open your Google app and scroll down until you see the menu icon on the bottom-right side of the page. Tap on the menu icon, then go to Settings -> Voice -> “OK Google” Detection. After that, you’ll see several options that can be activated, or deactivated, and you need to simply check the box next to “From any screen” to enable it. You’ll then be prompted to agree to the fact that Google can store your voice recordings (to help improve recognition). After you agree, you have to teach Google the sound of your voice by saying “OK Google” three times. And that is all: from now on, the power of Google Now is always with you, as long as your screen is on.

To use OK Google from your lock screen, you need to enable it separately - this is done in the same window where you enabled the use “from any screen.” As always, we’ve included screenshots to illustrate the whole process. 

Before enabling the use of OK Google on any screen, make sure your Google app is up to date (check if it needs to be updated at the reference link below). Also note that your Google app's default language must be set to English (US).


reference: Google app (Play Store)

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19 Comments

1. astarling10

Posts: 25; Member since: May 12, 2014

Wow, I didn't know it would work on the lock screen. Now I can use it more in my car while driving. thanks for the post!

11. uktel3315

Posts: 49; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

That function "From any screen [ ]" (image-4) is disabled in my galaxy s5.

19. rushrob2112

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 26, 2014

That's because you have your default language set to English UK...It only works using English US. Set your language to English US and say OK Google 3 times in a voice resembling Yogi Bear and John Waynes lovechild and you'll be up and running in no time. Once you have done this, you can 'retrain' your voice and slowly remove the American drawl and speak correct English ( English, English) and Google will recognize it eventually. Google still won't pay it's corporate taxes in the UK though and will continue to avoid paying £120 million a year because david cameron and barack obama bin laden are shafting each others arseholes in a bid for global domination!

2. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Great feature, though it would be best if it functioned even with the screen off like the Moto X, or allowed you to set your own launch phrase. A feature for the next update I'm sure.

7. thegandalf

Posts: 22; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

actually you can do that , I tried with my Nexus 5 and it still work when the screen turned off. update: It worked only when I charging it. Still cool though.

3. icekendee

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

It can function like moto x even if its locked when its charging

4. a_r_s_e_n

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

I am definitely going to try this !!

5. Scott93274

Posts: 6032; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

That's cool, but it still has a dependency that it's charging though. Once they get past that then it'd be all the more awesome. Still, you can have your phone plugged in and charging in the car so....

6. jesusnexo unregistered

I think its only charging because of batteru life, motk x has a special cpu only for voice recognizion that most phones dont have, thats why it is only available during charge times.

8. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

Funny thing is that the SD800 has a dedicated chip for that also. Some developer / hacker made a proof-of-concept via the Nexus 5 earlier this year. He activated the device while the screen was off, just like the Moto X. I wonder if Android L is going to finally utilise it.

9. AlikMalix unregistered

I prefer siri, but without touching my phone "hey siri, open Google" "peep" "ok Google" "bleep" "who was 15th president blah blah blah" Like I said I use siri, but in u must use Google - voila. Not hatin' just another option for those who didn't know.

10. mokhtar

Posts: 405; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

try also commander .. :)

12. LuckyS

Posts: 154; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

The mere fact one needs this tutorial means that "one" should not use android.

13. troutsy

Posts: 382; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Are "you" writing in third person?

16. LuckyS

Posts: 154; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

Yes, third person singular. Correct me if I'm erroneous, not a native speaker.

18. redbaronk12

Posts: 99; Member since: Dec 14, 2013

Maybe "one" simply was not aware the feature became available after an update. Thanks PA!

14. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Awww yea! Note 3 just got better. Great way to hooks me over til the DROID Turbo comes.

15. Tycoon

Posts: 28; Member since: Nov 10, 2010

Great tip (tho it would be nice to be turned on by default). Nevertheless, I suppose I don't have the "from any screen" option because I'm running Google Play Edition on my Galaxy S4.

17. sasch

Posts: 40; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

still is not doing it for me i have been trying this now for weeks and its not hearing me, it shows the sound waves but not accepting my ok google at all. on the note 4 that is please help id love to use it like on my moto x 2nd gen

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