In December 2023, Google acknowledged a software update that bricked some first-generation Google Home and Home Mini speakers, leaving them unresponsive with four lights permanently stuck. While they promised to “make things right,” details were unclear. Now, in a bid to address this issue, Google seems to have silently initiated a replacement program for affected speakers.

Acknowledging the problem at the time, Google confirmed its investigation into the matter via a post on its community forums. The tech giant urged affected users to reach out to its support team to “make things right,” though the specifics of this solution were initially undisclosed. However, recent developments shed light on Google’s response to the issue. Those who went ahead and contacted support reported that Google is now offering replacements for bricked Home and Home Mini units, at least for users in the United States.

Google-Home-Mini-4-dots-replacements

How to get a replacement for your bricked Google Home

While some of those affected can confirm that Google is replacing affected devices in the US, there are some hoops to jump through before getting your hands on one. You must reset the faulty speaker and record a video demonstrating the persistent issue with the four lights stuck. Unfortunately, some people say resetting the bricked speakers isn’t possible. But if you manage, send the video evidence alongside additional information that Google support may request in a follow-up call. You’ll be required to elaborate on when the problem began, provide relevant details such as case numbers, serial numbers, and shipping addresses, among other requested information.

However, for users outside the US, the outlook is grim. Reports indicate people in regions like Canada, Germany and France either receive rejections or a measly $25 coupon, leaving them high and dry with their unusable smart speakers. This has understandably sparked frustration and accusations of unfair treatment across international borders.

While offering replacements to US users is a positive step, questions of whether the replacement process will expand to other regions remain in the air. It’s also unclear what measures Google has in store to prevent similar issues in the future.

Hillary Keverenge
1937 Posts

Tech has been my playground for over a decade. While the Android journey began early, it truly took flight with the revolutionary Lollipop update. Since then, it's been a parade of Android devices (with a sprinkle of iOS), culminating in a happy marriage with Google's smart home ecosystem. Expect insightful articles and explorations of the ever-evolving world of Android and Google products coupled with occasional rants on the Nest smart home ecosystem – all delivered with a dash of personal experience and a playful touch of tech.

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