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March 10, 2018

How to add multiple users to your Google Home devices

by John_A

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

For a long time, one of the biggest user gripes with Google Home devices was the fact that there was no way to add multiple accounts to the smart home speakers. That meant that very member of the household had to share one Google Assistant calendar, one news briefing, and one music collection.

Google finally made the feature available in 2017 on its Google Home, Mini, and Max smart speakers. Now the devices allows users to have separate calendars, music accounts, news briefings, and more. The device can even be programmed to recognize individual users’ voices, thanks to the neural network voice recognition function. If you live in a home with multiple family members or roommates, that means you can ask the Google Home for your specific commute time, not your roommates or your brother’s. You can request the music you like, instead of having to listen to your partner’s easy listening playlist on repeat. So how can you set up this magical function? We break it down for you.

Step 1: Open the Google Home app

On your smartphone or tablet, open up the Google Home app. If you don’t already have it, download it and select a Google account that you’d like to be associated with your Google Home. Once you’re signed in, tap on the devices button (it’s the icon that looks like a television and speaker), and then select the action overflow button. Hit Settings, and you should see a notification informing you that “Multi-user is now available.” Give that a tap when it pops up.

2. Teach Google your voice

It’s time to teach Google Assistant your own unique voice. This feature, called Voice Match, is what makes it really easy to share your Google Home device with other members of the household but still feel like the voice assistant is entirely your own. You can reach the voice recognition setup page by hitting More, and then, Shared Devices. Find the plus sign located in the bottom right-hand corner to begin the setup. It’s a pretty straightforward process that involves you saying the phrases “Hey, Google” and “OK, Google” out loud to help Google learn the sound of your voice. We walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to set up Voice Match here.

3. Invite others to create accounts

Once you’ve completed the voice training, you’ll have the option to tap Invite, which will send notifications to the people of your choice, inviting them to set up their own personalized accounts and voices on the Google Home. New users will have to download the Google Home app on their devices in order to connect their music accounts and customize their preferences. Using the app, they can tweak their preferred news sources, calendar updates, and more.

Have children in the house who want to be able to control the Google Home? You can control restricted content by setting up parental controls on the device. With parental controls, you can block explicit content from platforms like YouTube and Google Play Music, giving you more peace of mind when your children are home alone with the smart home device.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

4. Manage accounts

At this time, the Google Home devices support up to six accounts, so everyone from your spouse to your children to frequent house guests can create accounts on the device. You can view all active accounts on your Google Home device at any time by tapping Devices, Settings, and then Linked Accounts. Need to remove an account? Maybe your roommate moved out, or one of your children lost interest in the device. You can easily do that from the app. Simply tap menu (the three horizontal lines), hit Settings, and select Linked Accounts. Find the account that’s no longer needed, and hit Unlink.

5. Enjoy multi-user support

Once multiple accounts are set up, you won’t need to manually switch between accounts. Simply speak, and Google Assistant will recognize who is speaking and automatically switch over to your account. For example, when you say, “Hey Google, tell me about my day,” your Google Home device will read you your personalized traffic report and calendar updates. When you request music, it will access your unique playlists from your linked music services, such as Google Play Music or Spotify.

If two people in your household have very similar voices, there is a small chance that one person’s voice might accidentally open up the other individual’s personalized account. If this happens, just say, “Stop,” and try again, to avoid accessing someone else’s information.

For a detailed explanation on setting up things like music accounts, preferences, and the wake word on your Google Home, check out our 10-step guide.

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