Chrome OS has a hidden feature that lets you use Google Assistant on your Chromebook. It’s tucked away as an experimental feature on the Flags page, and when enabled, lets you take advantage of Google Assistant directly from the desktop.
When you enable anything from chrome://flags , you’re using experimental features that haven’t been tested on all devices and could misbehave. Although Assistant is enabled, you can potentially run into a few bugs along the way, so be careful when playing around with some of these flags.
How to Enable Google Assistant
Fire up Chrome, paste chrome://flags/#enable-native-google-assistant into the Omnibox, and hit “Enter” to go directly to the Google Assistant flag.
Note: Google Assistant isn’t available on all devices yet, though it’s scheduled to be enabled on all Chromebooks with the release of Chrome version 77. If you don’t see the flag, check to make sure you’re running the latest version of Chrome OS, update your system (if necessary), and then return to the flags page.
Click the drop-down box next to the “Enable Google Assistant” flag, and then click “Enabled.”
Now, for the changes to take effect, you must restart Chrome OS—click the blue “Restart Now” button at the bottom of the Flags page.
Once your device restarts, you can use Assistant right away. Press “Search+A” to open the Assistant overlay on your device, and then type a message into the text field provided.
If you prefer to access Assistant any time you say, “Ok Google,” head to Settings > Google Assistant or type chrome://settings/googleAssistant into the Omnibox to view the settings for Assistant. Here, you can configure Assistant even further, but for now, select “Always On” from the drop-down menu beside “Ok Google.”
To save power, if you select “On (Recommended),” Ok Google is on only when your device is connected to a power source. A window opens requesting you turn on voice and audio activity for the full Assistant experience. Click “Turn On.”
Continue through the rest of the pages to set up the full Assistant experience, and then click “Done” to close the window.
That’s all there is to it! After you exit the widow, Google Assistant is ready to answer the voice-activated hot word, “Ok Google.”
Google includes its voice-activated digital assistant, Google Assistant, on products like Android phones and tablets and its line of Google Home smart speakers. But Assistant isn’t yet available on the Chromebook. But Google is set to include it with a future release of Chrome OS. However, the cool thing is you can enable the experimental feature right now on your Chromebook. Here’s how to get it running.
Enable Google Assistant on Chromebook
To get start things off, you will need to enable a Flag that’s “under-the-hood” so to speak. Launch the Chrome browser and enter the following path into the search box and hit Enter.
That highlight the “Enable Google Assistant” flag. Click the dropdown menu and choose Enabled. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Restart Now button to restart your system for the changes to take effect.
After your Chromebook restarts, you can start using Assistant. Hit the keyboard shortcut Search + A to bring up the Google Assistant screen and type in your queries. Or, if you want it to be voice activated and enable more features and click the “Get Started” link.
Now you just need to follow the onscreen instructions. You’ll need to finish setting up Google Assistant with your account, enable permissions, train your voice, etc.
If you want to tweak more Assistant feature, hit Search + A or just say “OK Google” or “Hey Google” and then click Settings > Assistant > Chromebook. There you can do things like retrain your voice, allow notifications, voice or keyboard input and more.
That’s all there is to it! Now you can start using Google Assistant like you would if you do on your Android phone or tablet, Google Home smart speaker, or select TVs. If your new to Google’s digital assistant and aren’t sure what it can do, check out our article on 21 useful things you can say to Google Assistant to get started.
Again, Google isn’t set to officially enable Assistant on all Chromebooks until the release of Chrome OS 77. By then it should be better integrated, more stable, and include more features. Still, it’s cool to turn on Assistant today and give it a try.