How to Make Android Auto More Reliable on Weak Wi-Fi (Like In Your Driveway)

Weak Wi-Fi connections are incredibly frustrating when using Android Auto. Because of its voice-driven interface, it can’t process commands when the connection is weak—especially if the connection is just strong enough to connect, but too weak to actually use. Fortunately, with one toggle your life with Android Auto will get significantly better.

Here’s my scenario: I hop in the car, fire up Android Auto, drop the hotword, and tell Auto to play a song or send a text. I wait while Assistant spins around, trying to figure out what I want it to do—then get the “This internet connection isn’t strong enough…” error. Awesome.

It’s because I’m still in the driveway and connected to my home Wi-Fi. Now, Android is supposed to be smart enough at this point to auto-detect weak connections and automatically switch over to cellular data, but that’s pretty hit and miss most of the time. And in my scenario, the Wi-Fi is strong enough to connect to and kind of use, but not strong enough to actually execute a voice command.

The good news is that Google sort of anticipated this issue, so there’s a toggle built in to Auto that will automatically disable Wi-Fi when Auto is running. It’s a godsend.

To access this option, first fire up Android Auto, then open the side menu. If you have an Android Auto head unit, you’ll need to do this while the phone is disconnected

Tap “Settings.”

The very first option here is “Limit Wi-Fi.” Tick that box.

Bam, that’s it. From now on, as soon as you launch Android Auto or connect your phone to your vehicle’s head unit (whichever applies to you), Wi-Fi will be disabled so your commands will work over cellular data no matter where you are. And best of all, as soon as you disconnect or close Auto, Wi-Fi will automatically be re-enabled.

Cameron Summerson is a die-hard Android fan, Chicago Bulls fanatic, metalhead, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at HTG, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, spinning legs on the bike, chugging away on the 6-string, or being disappointed in the Bulls.