Google Assistant logo crossed out next to a Pixel smartphone's Power button
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

There are multiple ways to launch Assistant on Pixel smartphones and Android devices. The list of options increased with the release of Android 12. Instead of long-pressing the Side button to open a power menu, Pixels default to launching Google Assistant. Thankfully, you can disable this feature.

Like Apple and Samsung, the change introduced in Android 12 allows you to launch Google Assistant—at least on Pixel phones—by long-pressing the physical power button. Up until its release, long-pressing the power button is how you restarted the phone. Thankfully, it’s easy to reverse this functionality and get the old action back.

Note: This behavior doesn’t appear to be enabled on devices that upgrade to Android 12, but it is likely to be the default on phones and tablets—especially Pixels—that launch with Android 12 or higher. It will be up to a device’s manufacturer to set the default behavior.

RELATED: The First Android 12 Beta Arrives with Big Changes in Tow

First, swipe down (once or twice depending on your device’s OEM) from the top of the screen to reveal Quick Settings. Tap the gear icon to open the Settings app.

In the Settings menu, navigate to the “System” section.

Go to the "System" section

Next, go to “Gestures.”

Navigate to the "Gestures" section

Select the “Power Menu” option at the bottom of the list.

Select "Power Menu" at the bottom of the list

Finally, all you need to do here is toggle off the switch for “Hold for Assistant.”

Toggle off the switch for "Hold for Assistant"

That’s it! The power button will now bring up the traditional “Power Off” and “Restart” options that you’re used to. Small changes like this can be frustrating, so it’s nice that it can at least be disabled.

With the feature now turned off, here are other ways to launch Google Assistant easily.

RELATED: How to Use Google Assistant Without Unlocking Your Android Phone

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Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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