Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Google Assistant has supported multi-step routines for a number of years. The multi-step routines allow you to perform several actions, such as turn off the lights and change the temperature on a thermostat, with a single voice command.

There are seven preset routine options available, including Bedtime and Good morning. Here's everything you need to know about Google Assistant routines and how to get your Google Assistant devices to perform multiple actions with one command.

What are Google Assistant routines?

Google Assistant's routines allow a single command to initiate multiple actions. For example, once setup, you could say "Hey Google, good morning" and depending on what you've chosen for that routine, your lights and plugs will be adjusted, Google will tell you about the weather for the day and your calendar for the day, and adjust your thermostat. You can add more actions too.

When the routines intitially launched back in 2017/2018, they replaced the "My Day" daily recap feature, with daily recaps integrated into the "Good morning" routine.

Routines are available on Google Home and Nest speakers, as well as Assistant for Android and iOS devices.

Which Google Assistant routines are available?

There are seven Google Assistant routines that can be tailored to suit your preferences. These seven consist of Bedtime, Commuting home, Commuting to work, Good morning, I'm home, Leaving home and Workday.

Keep in mind the two commuting routines are only accessible from Assistant on your iOS or Android device, as you'll only need them while on the go, but you can set them up initially through the Google Home app with the others.

Pocket-lintGoogle Assistant routines How to do multiple actions with one command photo 3

How do Google Assistant routines work?

Note: You can change and add multiple actions to a routine, as well as change the phrase to trigger a routine. More details on how to add custom actions or change actions are a little further down.

Bedtime

  • Say "Hey Google, bedtime", or "Hey Google, good night" or "Hey Google, time to hit the hay"
  • Your Assistant can then do the following: put your phone volume to zero (when initiated via an Android); tell you about tomorrow's weather and first calendar event; set an alarm; adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, etc; adjust media volume; set a sleep timer, play sleep sounds or tell you a poem; tell you if your battery is low; turn Do Not Disturb (Android only).

Good morning

  • Say "Hey Google, good morning", or "Hey Google, tell me about my day", or "Hey Google, I'm up"
  • Your Assistant can then do the following: Turn off Do Not Disturb (when initiated via Android); adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more; tell you about today's weather, commute, calendar, reminders; adjust media volume; play music, the news, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks; tell you if your phone battery is low; tell you what happened today in history.

Leaving home

  • Say "Hey Google, I'm leaving", or "Hey Google, I'm heading out", or "Hey Google, Goodbye"
  • Your Assistant can then do the following: adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more; adjust scenes.

I'm home

  • Say "Hey Google, I'm home", or "Hey Google, I'm back"
  • Your Assistant can then do the following: adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, etc; broadcast to Google Home and Nest speakers that are in your home; tell you home (location-based) reminders; adjust the media volume; and play music, the news, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks, or nothing. 

Commuting to work

Note: Must be initiated via an Android or iOS device. Not supported on Home or Nest speakers.

  • Say "Hey Google, let's go to work."
  • Your Assistant can then do the following: tell you about today's commute, weather, calendar, and reminders; adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more; adjust the media volume; and play music, the news, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks, or nothing; tell you what happened today in history; tell you a poem. 

Commuting home

Note: Must be initiated via an Android or iOS device. Not supported on Home or Nest devices.

  • Say "Hey Google, let's go home."
  • Your Assistant can then do the following: tell you about your commute; adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more; send texts; read unread texts; broadcast to Google Home or Nest speakers that you're on the way home; adjust media volume; and play music, the news, radio, podcasts, and audiobooks.

Workday

Slightly different to the other routines, the Workday routine is automated so once enabled, you don't have to issue a command. When on, the Workday routine will automatically do things like tell you the time and remind you to get up and stretch.

You select what days you want the Workday routine to happen on and which Google Home or Nest speaker you want the reminders to come through - such as the Google Assistant speaker in your office. 

You can also choose the times you want to hear a time reminder and a stretch reminder, as well as add additional times.

Supercharge your home security with Swann's high-performance Enforcer

Pocket-lintGoogle Assistant routines How to do multiple actions with one command photo 2

How to setup Google Assistant routines

Here's a run down on how to setup Google Assistant routines.

Enable your personal results

One person using Google Home:

  1. Make sure your mobile device or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home or Nest speaker device.
  2. Open the Google Home app.
  3. In the top left corner of the Home screen, tap the account icon.
  4. Verify that the Google Account listed is the one linked to Google Home.
  5. Tap Assistant settings.
  6. Under "Devices," tap a Google Home or Nest speaker device.
  7. Turn 'Personal results' on.

Multiple people using Google Home:

  1. Make sure your mobile device or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home or Nest speaker device.
  2. Open the Google Home app.
  3. In the top left corner of the Home screen, tap the account icon.
  4. Verify that the Google Account listed is the one linked to Google Home.
  5. Tap Assistant settings.
  6. Scroll down to Face Match and Voice Match
  7. Follow the prompts in each section to teach your Assistant to recognise your voice and your face if you have the Nest Hub Max. If you've set up Voice Match before, you won't need to teach your Assistant to recognise your voice.

Manage your routines

  1. Make sure your mobile device or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home device.
  2. Open the Google Home app.
  3. In the top left corner of the Home screen, tap the account icon.
  4. Verify that the Google Account that is listed is the one linked to Google Home. 
  5. Tap Routines.
  6. Choose a Routine.
  7. Choose a starter phrase
  8. Choose an action or actions and then save.
  9. You can adjust the settings for individual actions by tapping on each action. 

Access your routines

  1. Open the Google Home app.
  2. Tap on the Routines icon.
  3. You'll find your routines listed.
  4. Tapping on each routine will show what actions you have saved and allow you to add more.
  5. If accessing from the Google Assistant app, you'll see Routines when you tap on the account icon in the top right corner. 

Want to know more?

Check out Google's help hub for more answers.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle and Maggie Tillman.