How To Block A Song On Google Home

The trouble with having access to anything from anywhere is that we can access anything from anywhere. We don’t always know what the content is, where it comes from or what it includes. When that content could include swearing or worse, you need to be able to filter it. That is why we have put together this quick tutorial on how to block a song on Google Home.

Smart Home

While content comes in many forms, music is a key aspect of Google Home so we will use that in this example. More and more music is being produced with explicit content and while nothing new, it is much more readily available.

When music was physical, publishers would add ‘Explicit Content’ onto the album or CD cover and the assistant would check when you paid for it. Now content is digital, aside from a check on who is paying, there is no verification when buying music. That’s where Digital Wellbeing come in. It’s a modern version of parental controls that enables the owner of the Google Home to restrict access to explicit content.

Block a song on Google Home

To block a song on Google Home we blacklist such songs using the Digital Wellbeing feature. Digital Wellbeing offers a bunch of tools including music filtering for both Google Play Music and YouTube Music. This means you can block explicit content on these two services but will have to look elsewhere if you use Spotify or other music app.

Set up filters on Google Home

The filters we want are currently under Digital Wellbeing. This is accessed from the Google Home app and provides your main filtering tools.

  1. Open the Google Home app on your device and log in.
  2. Select Home and Settings.
  3. Select Digital Wellbeing from the list on the next page.
  4. Select Set Up and select Next.
  5. Select the account type you want to filter. Select Everyone if you don’t want access to explicit content at all or select Only Supervised Accounts and Guests for everyone else.
  6. Select the device(s) you want the filter to apply to on the next screen and select Next.
  7. Select whether to block videos or not on the next screen. Select Allow Any Video to stop filtering video or select Only Allow Filtered Videos to apply filtering. Select Next.
  8. Select to Allow Any Music or Only Allow non-Explicit Music on the next screen and select Next. Allow Any Music stops filtering altogether.
  9. Select to Allow Calls and Allow Answers or not on the next screen. Select Next.
  10. Select Next after the confirmation screen.
  11. Select to set up Downtime or skip and you’re done with filters.

From now on, whenever a child or someone with a supervised account uses Google Home it will automatically filter any tracks with explicit content. This depends on the track being labeled as containing profanities but the system does seem very reliable.

Downtime and Google Home

Downtime is an attempt to help manage digital dependency and offers the ability to turn off your Google Home at set times. The setting is like a calendar that triggers at certain times of day for a specific period of time. During that time Google Home will not respond to any input except from the owner account.

The idea is to ‘encourage’ people to do something other than use tech. In reality, it’s just a simple feature to show Google is trying to do something about digital dependence. We all know that if someone is addicted to tech, they will just stop using Google Home and switch to their phone or console during that time.

Either way, Downtime is a useful tool for enforcing quiet time or to use during family time. You can set it up separately to filters even though it uses the same mechanisms.

  1. Open the Google Home app on your device and log in.
  2. Select Home and Settings.
  3. Select Digital Wellbeing.
  4. Select Skip if you have already set up your filters.
  5. Select Set Up when you see Downtime.
  6. Select New Schedule and Set Up.
  7. Select the devices you want to include in Downtime.
  8. Set your schedule on the next screen by selecting the days you want to use it for or selecting a preselected schedule.
  9. Set the hours on the next screen or use one of the pre-made plans.
  10. Select Next then Done.

Your Downtime schedule is now set up and should activate automatically on the days and times you set. During Downtime, Google Home will not respond to anyone’s voice but yours. Even then, your interaction will be limited to just a few basic commands.

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