Google Home devices are a great way to get voice assistants, music, and possibly video throughout your home. But you might want to consider allowing Google filters to exercise some control over the content that kids or guests can play.

Filter out bad content for everyone or just kids

Once you have a voice assistant in multiple rooms, you can easily access music and videos. Unfortunately, voice assistants don’t quite understand you; they simply respond to the expected speech. They may «hear» your command and play something unexpected, and this is doubly true for younger children who may have trouble explaining. This, in turn, can lead to unintentional songs filled with words you didn’t want a 6 year old to hear. Or, in a video meeting, call an unintended contact.

You can prevent this by turning on filters for Google Home devices. You can apply filters to specific home devices or to all devices at the same time. And you can set up filters for all device users or only unapproved users. You can also block calls and limit the responses your Google Home device can provide for basic information such as the weather or time. Luckily, if you have any routines that play music or videos, they will respect your filters.

There is one big caveat here. These filters only work with Google services like YouTube Red or Google Play Music. If you’re using another service (such as Pandora), you’ll need to enable filters (if possible) from those services. For example, in Pandora, you can do this by opening the web client, going to Settings > Content Settings, and then turning off the Explicit Content option. Then click the «Save Changes» button.

Unfortunately, if the service is only blocked on a per-device basis, like Spotify, you can’t block explicit content on Google Home.

How to set up filters

First, open the Google Home app and tap «Settings» under the «Home» section.

Then click Digital Wellbeing.

If this is your first time setting up digital wellness, you need to click the Set Up button. Otherwise, skip this step.

Click «Next» to start setting up filters.

Choose whether to create a filter for everyone or only supervised accounts and guests. To use the latter option, you also need to set up Voice Match and Family Link. With this option, when Google Home recognizes your voice or someone with a family account marked as an adult, no filters will be applied. For everyone else, the filters will be in the game.

On the same screen, scroll down a bit and then select the devices you want to apply these filters to. You can apply it to all devices at the same time, or select and select individual devices.

After selecting the devices, click the «Next» button.

Then choose whether to allow all videos, only filtered videos, or block all videos. When you’re done, click Next.

Choose whether to allow all music or only implicit music, then click Next.

Choose whether to block calls or limit responses, then click Next.

On the next screen, click «Next» again.

Click Skip to skip creating downtime rules.

This is it! You can come back later and update, remove or add new filters as needed. Limiting options will add peace of mind to your smart home life, especially if you have small or frequent guests.

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