Google Home update bug is bricking some smart speakers [Update]

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 22, 2019, 6:37 pm CDT
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Google Home update bug is bricking some smart speakers [Update]

Some Googe Home users are reporting issues with a recent software update that has bricked some smart speakers. According to impacted device owners, the update results in perpetually illuminated LED lights on the updated Google Home or Google Home Mini speaker, something they aren’t able to fix by factory resetting the device. Google has acknowledged the issue, but it appears that users who aren’t covered by warranty may be out of luck.

Reports of the issue started appearing a couple of weeks ago on Reddit, Twitter, and some tech forums. Impacted users report that after the most recent software update, their Google Home or Google Home Mini speaker appeared to be bricked — all the lights turned on, the speaker became unusable, and factory resetting didn’t fix the problem.

A look at Google’s Support forum shows reports spanning back quite a while, but many have cropped up in recent weeks, hinting at what may be a more widespread issue caused by a recent update. The impact of this bug is varied: some users say that unplugging their speaker and then plugging it back in fixed the problem; others report that they had to factory reset the speaker to get it to work again.

Many others, unfortunately, say that unplugging and resetting the speaker doesn’t fix the problem, meaning it is effectively bricked. These same users claim that unless their device was covered by a warranty, Google refused to replace it, leaving customers with an unusable device despite the fact that they were not responsible for the issue.

Only some Google Home speakers appear to be impacted by this issue, the cause of which is unknown at this time. On September 27, a ‘community specialist’ reported on Google’s Support forum that the company is investigating the issue to find the ‘root cause.’ Users currently dealing with a potentially bricked speaker are advised to try unplugging it and, if that doesn’t work, factory resetting it.

Update: Google has reached out with the following statement:

“We are aware that a small number of Google Home and Google Home Mini devices are affected by an issue that causes the device to stop working. We have a fix that will prevent the issue from happening and will be rolling it out soon. We are replacing affected devices.”


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