Having a smart speaker or display powered by Google Assistant that can’t play music kind of, and correct me if I’m wrong, neglects essential usability. In comparison to the Sonos fiasco that limited the functionality of multi-speaker setups and volume controls, this is a much deeper problem. But, before we report yet another problem to Google Support, let’s try everything on our side. If Google Home is not playing music after you issued a voice command, check the steps we provided below.
Table of contents:
- Restart the Google Home/Nest and router, and check the volume
- Check the default Music service
- Use recommended commands
- Stop playing music on other devices under the same account
- Factory reset Google Home/Nest
Google Home won’t play music
In case Google Home is not playing music after you issued a command or tried casting from your phone or PC, you should:
- Restart the Google Home speaker or display.
- Restart the Wi-Fi router.
- Check the settings for the default music service.
- Remove and link the music service in question again.
- Use a more general command and not an overtly specific one.
1. Restart the Google Home/Nest and router, and check the volume
A restart usually does wonders for Google Home speaker glitches. Just unplug and plug again the power cord, wait for it to boot, and try asking to play music again. Try other commands to see how it responds. If there are no problems, you can continue to the next step.
On the other hand, if Google Home speaker won’t respond at all and informs you that there’s a momentary glitch, you should restart your router. If the connectivity issues persist, consider switching to the 2.4GHz band, keeping your speaker closer to the router, or, eventually, resetting the router and speaker to factory settings. Of course, only in case none of the previous steps worked for you.
2. Check the default Music service
Google Home, through Google Assistant, supports numerous streaming services, including Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple Music among others. However, to utilize these services, you’ll need to add them to the Google Home app and choose either your default service or leave things open with the No default provider option.
Usually, available services will populate the list in the Music section under Assistant settings. Whatever you have on your phone will appear on the list. The only thing you need to do is to link the service with Google Home. Unless you’re using YouTube Music, in which case the service will be available automatically.
Here’s how to link the default Music service in Google Home:
- Open Google Home.
- Tap on the + sign in the top left corner and select Music.
- If you see your service, tap Link. Connect Google Home and the service and check for improvements.
- On the other hand, if you don’t see it, you need to summon Google Assistant on your phone. Make sure that Spotify is installed on your device.
- Open Snapshot.
- Tap on the Bulb icon at the top right corner.
- Select Explore more from Assistant at the bottom.
- In the search bar, search for the music service. As an example, we’ll use Spotify.
- Once you open Spotify from the list of results, tap Link.
Have in mind that some services are available only in certain regions. This means that services like Pandora or iHeart Radio won’t appear at all for users outside of the USA or a handful of countries.
Also, services like Spotify won’t appear in the list in certain countries, even though your Google Home will play music from Spotify and Spotify is supported in your region. Setting the No default provider will still play music from Spotify if you simply ask Google Home to play music.
Finally, there are differences between Premium and Free options. Free options are fairly limited in comparison to, say, Premium Spotify or Premium YouTube Music. Although, that’s beside the point in this case because Google Home won’t play music at all regardless of the service you use.
3. Use recommended commands
In theory, Google Home speakers, thanks to machine learning and all that personal data, should be super smart and responsive. However, truth to be told, more times than not you should stick to the predefined commands in order for it to work.
You can check the complete list of available music-related commands. Thanks to Spotify’s Spotify Direct, I rarely use voice commands for anything else other than starting playback with “Play some music”. Everything else is done on my phone or PC.
Sometimes it seems that the thing has a mind of its own and, while more advanced commands work on occasions (e.g. “OK, Google, play Discover Weekly”), it’s usually sketchy and unreliable.
4. Stop playing music on other devices under the same account
Most music streaming services don’t have strict limitations on the number of devices you use (e.g. you can register YouTube Music on up to 10 devices under the same account).
However, online streaming can usually be done on one device at a time. So, if you stream online music on another device, make sure to pause it so Google Home can play music. You can play offline music on multiple devices at the same time.
Usually, this switch is automatic, but I’ve noticed that the playback stops even if I just open the app on my Android. Only after I close the app, playback on Google Home works without pauses.
5. Factory reset Google Home/Nest
In the end, if you’re still stuck with the problem and Google Home/Google Nest speaker or display is not playing music no matter what you do, consider the factory reset. The procedure differs a bit on various devices Google offers, so make sure to find your device on the Google Nest Support page and follow the instructions.
After the device resets, just reconnect it, check Music services, and issue a command to play music. If the problem persists, report the issue to Google Support in the Google Home app. Tap on your Profile at the top right corner and select Feedback.
And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading what was, hopefully, an informative article that helped you address the problem. What other issues do you have with Google Home/Nest devices? Tell us in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in March 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.