Why is Android Auto voice commands not working?

Android Auto is Google’s in-vehicle infotainment system that extends the Android platform into the car. Through Android Auto, drivers can access useful apps and services like Google Maps, Google Assistant voice controls, messaging, and music playback while keeping their eyes on the road.

One of the key features of Android Auto is the ability to use voice commands through Google Assistant. Using voice commands allows drivers to send messages, get navigation directions, play media, and more while keeping their hands on the wheel. However, Android Auto’s voice commands may sometimes not work properly.

There are several common reasons why Android Auto’s voice commands may not be working. This article will outline the main issues that can cause problems with Android Auto voice controls and provide troubleshooting tips to help get voice commands working again.

Microphone Issues

One of the most common reasons for Android Auto voice commands not working is microphone-related issues. The microphone may not be working properly, the microphone settings could be configured incorrectly, or Android Auto may not have microphone permissions.

If the microphone on your phone or car is faulty, broken, or obstructed, Android Auto will not be able to detect your voice commands properly. Make sure the microphone is clean and nothing is blocking it. Test the microphone in another app to confirm it is working. Replace or repair the microphone if needed.

The microphone settings in Android Auto must also be properly configured. Go into the Android Auto app settings on your phone and confirm the microphone is selected and the microphone volume level is turned up enough to detect your voice. You may need to adjust the sensitivity if it is not picking up your commands.

Finally, check that Android Auto has been granted microphone permissions. Open your phone settings, go to app permissions, and make sure Android Auto has access to the microphone. If not, toggle permissions on. This allows Android Auto to use the microphone when connected to your car.

See this Google support article for more troubleshooting steps on Android Auto microphone issues.

App and Software Issues

One common reason Android Auto voice commands may stop working is because the Android Auto app itself needs to be updated. According to Why Is Android Auto Not Working? 8 Troubleshooting Fixes, bugs and issues in older versions of the Android Auto app can disrupt voice control functionality. Users should make sure they are running the latest version of Android Auto by checking for app updates in the Google Play Store.

Additionally, the Android Auto team frequently rolls out server-side updates that can resolve bugs without requiring a full app update. Restarting the Android Auto app ensures any new updates are properly applied. If voice commands are still not responding after an app restart, fully uninstalling and reinstalling the Android Auto app may be required to clear out any corrupt data.

Incompatible or outdated software on an Android phone can also contribute to Android Auto issues. As noted in Android Auto not working? Here’s how to fix it, Android Auto requires Android 6.0 or higher, so any older Android versions will not fully support voice commands. Updating to the latest Android OS via a system software update can resolve software-related problems.

Bluetooth and Hardware Issues

One of the most common reasons for Android Auto voice commands not working is Bluetooth connectivity problems between your phone and car. Bluetooth can sometimes fail to pair or have intermittent connection issues that disrupt voice commands. According to Android Authority, “Make sure Bluetooth is enabled” as one of the first steps in troubleshooting Android Auto problems (source).

Problems with the physical hardware like cables and ports can also cause Android Auto voice command issues. For example, a faulty USB cable between the phone and car head unit could lead to connectivity problems. Using the original cable that came with your car or phone is recommended. Inspect cables for any damage or loose connections (source).

Lastly, check for any software updates for your car’s infotainment system as hardware manufacturers will periodically release firmware fixes for Bluetooth, Android Auto integration, and voice recognition improvements. Keeping hardware and firmware updated could resolve Android Auto voice problems.

Network and Connectivity Issues

One of the most common reasons for Android Auto voice commands to stop working is problems with your network connectivity or signal strength while connected to Android Auto.

Android Auto relies on a stable high-speed mobile data connection between your phone and the vehicle’s infotainment system. If the network signal is weak or intermittent, this can disrupt the Android Auto connection and lead to issues using voice commands.

Similarly, if mobile data is disabled on your phone or your phone loses its data connectivity to the network while using Android Auto, this will cause voice commands to fail. Android Auto voice requires an active data connection to function properly.

Enabling a VPN on your phone can also sometimes interfere with Android Auto connectivity and cause voice command issues. Try disabling your VPN temporarily to see if that restores full functionality.

If you suspect network or connectivity problems, try moving your phone closer to a window or outside your vehicle to get a stronger signal. In areas with poor reception, Bluetooth issues may also occur, so try switching to a wired USB connection.

Restarting both your phone and vehicle head unit can also help reconnect and re-establish a stable data connection to restore functionality. Check your network strength indicators and disable any connectivity options that may be disrupting Android Auto.


[1] https://support.google.com/androidauto/answer/6348190?hl=en

[2] https://www.asurion.com/connect/tech-tips/android-auto-not-working-here-is-how-to-fix-it/

Incorrect Setup

One common reason Android Auto’s voice commands may not be working is if the voice command settings are configured incorrectly, or the steering wheel buttons are not properly set up to activate voice commands. According to Google’s Android Auto help page, there are a few ways to activate voice commands, including using the microphone icon, pressing and holding the steering wheel button, or saying “Hey Google.”

To ensure voice commands are enabled, go to Settings > Google > Google Assistant in your car’s display system. Make sure “Voice” is toggled on. You may also need to allow access to your microphone in your phone’s app permissions. Double check that the steering wheel voice command button is correctly mapped to activate Android Auto voice functions, and not another virtual assistant.

If the microphone icon does not appear or voice commands do not activate when pressing the steering wheel button, your Android Auto setup requires further configuration. Refer to your car’s instruction manual on how to enable voice commands. You may need assistance from your car dealership to ensure everything is correctly mapped if the steering wheel buttons are not responsive.

Background Noise

One common issue that can prevent Android Auto’s voice commands from working properly is too much background noise. The microphone in your vehicle needs to clearly pick up your voice commands, but loud music, open windows, air conditioning, engine noise, and conversations with passengers can all contribute to excessive background noise. This makes it difficult for Android Auto’s speech recognition software to understand what you are saying.

As noted in this Reddit thread, many users have struggled with Android Auto misunderstanding commands due to background noise, especially with music playing loudly: https://www.reddit.com/r/android_beta/comments/15wlopd/android_auto_issue_poor_sound_quality_after/. Turning down the music volume, closing windows, and asking passengers to be quiet can help increase the signal-to-noise ratio so your commands are interpreted correctly.

You may also need to adjust the microphone settings or placement in your vehicle. Refer to your owner’s manual or infotainment system settings to optimize the microphone for voice commands and reduce background noise pickup. Speaking loudly and clearly while facing the microphone can also help overcome some background noise challenges.

Unsupported Languages

One common reason Android Auto’s voice commands may not be working is if your phone’s default language or your selected language in the Google Assistant settings is not supported by Android Auto. According to the Android Auto website, Android Auto’s voice assistant currently supports Danish, German, English (AU/UK), Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai and Chinese languages.

If your phone or Google Assistant is set to a language not on that list, the Google Assistant and voice commands in Android Auto may not function properly. You can check your phone’s default language in your system settings. To change the Google Assistant language, go to the Google Assistant settings in the Android Auto app and select from one of the supported languages as shown here.

Switching to a supported language should allow the Google Assistant and voice commands to start working again in Android Auto. If your language is still not supported, you may need to switch your phone’s default language as well. While inconvenient, this is currently the only workaround until more languages are added.

Voice Recognition Issues

One common reason Android Auto voice commands may not be working properly is issues with the voice recognition technology. Google Assistant relies on advanced AI and algorithms to understand natural language voice commands. However, it can sometimes have trouble recognizing certain accents, speech patterns, or pronunciations [1]. This can lead to commands being misinterpreted or not understood at all.

Certain regional accents like Southern American English or strong non-native accents may be particularly prone to issues. The voice recognition system was trained on more generalized American and British accents. It can struggle with some accents if it hasn’t been exposed to enough samples to understand the variations in pronunciation and diction.

In addition, some people naturally speak faster, louder, or quieter which can impact recognition. Words that are slurred together or uncommon vocabulary can also stump the system. While Google is continuously working on improving voice recognition for diversity of accents and speech, it still has limitations currently.

If you suspect your accent or speech patterns are not being recognized well, try speaking slower and more clearly. Enunciate each word carefully and pause slightly between commands. Also speak at a moderate volume, not too loud or quiet. Consider using simpler phrasing as well. With practice, you may be able to modify your speech to improve recognition rates.

But in some cases, the technology may continue to struggle with your particular voice and accent. Using manual touch controls is an alternative option if voice commands remain unusable.


In summary, there are a few main reasons Android Auto voice commands may not be working properly:

Microphone or hardware issues can prevent Android Auto from detecting voice input. Check microphone settings and connections. Try different cables, clear debris, or test with another phone.

The Android Auto app itself could be malfunctioning, or may need reinstalling. Ensure the app and connected phone software are up to date. Force stop or reinstall the app if issues persist.

Connectivity problems like weak cellular signals or unstable Bluetooth can disrupt Android Auto voice features. Try switching Bluetooth devices or move to a location with better signal strength.

Incorrect setup is a common source of problems. Double check that Android Auto is enabled on your phone, the car, and head unit. Retrain voice model or redo setup if needed.

In most cases, Android Auto voice commands issues can be resolved by troubleshooting hardware, connectivity, app, and configuration settings. With some patience and testing, you should be able to get voice controls working reliably again.

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