New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on March 3, 2021) follows:

There has recently been a slew of complaints regarding Google Assistant on various smart home devices. The virtual assistant keeps saying “Sorry, I don’t understand” in response to voice commands.

The same response may even play just a few seconds after executing a successful command.

Users have already tried the regular stuff in an attempt to solve this error like restarting, re-pairing, or resetting the device in question to no avail.


Hi, I rely heavily on wired headset to access my phone while it’s in my pocket (motorcyclist), mostly for navigation and checking messages and making calls. Asking for ‘navigation’ elicits the response “sorry I don’t understand”. If I unlock the screen the phone does understand the command and will navigate!

My LG W7 tonight decided to do what I told it but then respond with “sorry I don’t understand”. It’s not an issue with your device or settings people as it’s on multiple brands and versions. It’s a Google issue that “diamond” product advisors on here will tell you to do random things to fix. Don’t bother as it’s not a brand or network issue. It’s a Google issue and they dont know yet.

A range of smart devices, especially speakers, seem to be affected by this bothersome bug with some of them being Google Home, Harman Kardon Citation One, Android Auto, LG WK7, and possibly many more.

Moreover, judging by the complaints raised up in the forums, the issue has been present for quite a while now, with the earliest reports dating back to last year.

Thankfully, the “Sorry I don’t understand” issue on Google Assistant was finally escalated a month or so back to the Google product team for further investigation.


But as already said, it has almost been two months since the issue was taken up, and no updates have been given out ever since. Complaints have only continued flowing in indicating that a solution is still not in sight.

Fortunately, we have found a couple of workarounds for you that may help as you wait for an official fix to arrive.

Workarounds for “Sorry, I don’t understand” error on Google Assistant

1. Change Assistant language: A user observed that the issue is limited to English (USA) and thus switching over to some other language like English (Canada) solves it.


2. Use alternate phrases: You can also try playing around with the way you phrase your voice commands as the following user did to success:

I was wondering if it was software or keywords that it was having issues with so instead of “take me to” or “navigate to” use “GO TO.” Has been working for me with that keyword instead. Hope this resolves the issues for people

Update 1 (January 26, 2023)

01:15 pm (IST): Some Google Home/Nest users (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) are getting the ‘Sorry, I don’t understand’ error when using Assistant for basic tasks like setting alarms, timers or turning off lights.

The issue seems to have popped up a few hours ago.

06:30 pm (IST): The issue appears to have been resolved as there are no fresh reports on social media platforms, community forums, or Downdetector indicating any issues with Google Assistant on Nest devices.

Update 2 (February 20, 2023)

03:30 pm (IST): Several Google Nest Audio and Nest Mini users (1,2,3) are reporting an issue where they keep getting the ‘Sorry, I don’t understand’ error every time they try to give basic commands.

Update 3 (March 24, 2023)

03:30 pm (IST): It seems that the issue where Google Assistant shows a ‘Sorry, I don’t understand’ error message, has popped up again for some users (1,2,3).

Update 4 (March 28, 2023)

09:33 am (IST): The issue where Google Assistant is throwing the ‘Sorry, I don’t understand’ error message for some users continues to persist even after a few days (1,2).

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Zohaib Ahmed
824 Posts

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.

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