There are many things that the Google Nest Mini can do with its impeccable integration of Google Assistant. But that requires an internet connection. What if you want to use it without the internet?
The Nest Mini (also called Home Mini in a previous life) is one of the most useful and easily identifiable pieces of hardware that Google has made in a long while.
I have had a few of them over the years since they are very affordable, and I have been relying on them for most of my Home automation and quirky AI assistant interactions throughout the day.
But when swarmed with features over features, one might forget the most fundamental characteristics of these devices: it is simply a speaker that lets you play music and radio wirelessly.
You can use the Google Nest Mini without WiFi, but your options are very few, limited only to Bluetooth streaming and listening. Without a stable internet connection, you can't use Google Assistant to do various tasks and execute commands.
So how can you do it, turn your Google Nest Mini into an average Joe Bluetooth speaker? Well, let's find out, shall we?
Before we get into the setting up part, let's look at what you can and cannot do without a WiFi connection on the Google Nest Mini.
What You Can and Cannot Do Without WiFi on the Google Nest Mini
The most fundamental aspect of owning a smart speaker like the Google Nest mini is knowing that it requires an active internet connection to work.
The device depends on the internet connection, whether wired or wireless, to operate the Google Assistant and to communicate with other smart devices around you.
Without an internet connection, you won't be able to make use of even the simplest of features, say an alarm. The reason, again, is that it requires internet access to accurately calibrate the internal clock.
Other features that you are bound to miss without an internet connection are:
- Broadcast Messages
- Home automation
- Schedules and routines
- Find my phone
- Online queries
- Continuous interactions with the Assistant
- Music streaming
This list is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, and there are even more features that you are going to miss.
You can also try out the different Google Nest Mini hacks, tips, and tricks to make the most out of it!
But don't let your hopes down because you can convert the Nest mini into a wireless speaker, thanks to the Bluetooth functionality it houses.
You can do so by turning on the Bluetooth functionality on the device and remotely connecting the device to your smart device, a phone perhaps.
And in doing so, you can stream music, play the radio or even listen to an audiobook or a podcast on the Nest Mini.
Let's look into how to connect your Nest Mini to your smart device through Bluetooth, shall we?
Setting Up Bluetooth on the Google Nest Mini
So you don't have an internet connection, and you find your Nest Mini redundant? Fret not, because you can always play music and stream audiobooks or podcasts on your Nest Mini through Bluetooth.
The device does require an active power connection, viz., it isn't completely wireless. Nonetheless, you can stream audio wirelessly.
The Nest Mini does fare well in regard to the audio quality and connectivity compared to other smart speakers in this price range.
The Nest Mini, however, does come short when talking about protection against water and dust. Thus, making it inadvisable for outdoor use. But that was quite obvious from the Nest Mini's necessity for active power, wasn't it?
With that said, you can enable Bluetooth on the Nest Mini in a couple of ways. The easiest is to command the Nest mini to do so.
All you have to do is pronounce the phrase "Hey Google, turn ON Bluetooth" and that's it.
Another method that you can try to enable Bluetooth in the Nest Mini is through the Google Home app. This step may need a connection between the devices even if there is no internet.
Follow these steps on the app to turn ON Bluetooth.
1. In the Home tab, select the Google Nest Mini device.
2. Click on Paired Devices and then tap on Enable Pairing mode.
And there you have it, Bluetooth enabled on your Nest Mini. Now you can connect your desired device to the Nest Mini and stream audio on it.
Let's now look at how to pair your device to the Nest Mini.
On Android Devices
To pair an Android device with the Nest Mini, follow these steps on your smart device.
1. Open the Settings tab on your smart device and then click/search for Bluetooth.
2. Tap on the Scan/Pair new device option to search for the Nest Mini.
3. Upon finishing the search, click on your Nest Mini device from the list of scanned devices.
Once you hear the chimes on the Nest Mini, you have successfully paired your smart device with the Nest Mini. Proceed to play your intended audio media.
On Apple iOS Devices
Follow these instructions to pair your Apple iOS device with the Nest Mini.
1. Tap and open the Settings tab and then click on the Bluetooth option.
2. Make sure to turn ON Bluetooth.
3. Then select the Nest MIni after the device completes the scan for available devices.
Once paired, try playing a song or the radio to confirm the pairing.
On Windows PCs
To pair a Windows PC with the Nest Mini, follow these steps on your PC.
1. On the Start bar, type and search for "Bluetooth".
2. Click and open the Bluetooth Setting options from the search results.
3. Make sure to turn ON Bluetooth and select the Nest Mini from the available devices list.
Once you have paired the device, you can play your intended audio file on the Nest Mini.
On Apple Mac OS X PCs
Follow these steps on your Mac OS X PC to pair with the Nest Mini.
1. On the Home screen, click and open the Apple Menu.
2. Then select System Preferences.
3. Click on the Bluetooth Icon and turn ON the feature.
4. Select the Nest Mini from the list of available devices and pair it with it.
Once you have paired both devices, you can stream your favorite music and podcast among other media on your Nest Mini.
Have you ever wondered what hacks you can do on the Nest Mini and the Google Home app? Well, let me tell you that the possibilities are many, and in some cases, mind-numbing.
Did you know that you could even set up routines on the Nest Mini, routines that actually work? Similarly, you can also make calls and even schedule a message in advance, using mere voice commands.
Problems and Solutions With Bluetooth
While it's all pretty easy to set up and connect your Nest Mini to your smart device using Bluetooth, sometimes the Nest Mini just gives up the ghost, and that too abruptly.
And what will you do when you can no longer use Bluetooth on the Nest Mini?
The reason for such an abrupt halt in operation can be many, ranging from a simple software glitch to a more complicated hardware malfunction.
Regardless of the reasons, try out these fixes on the Nest Mini for a possible solution to the issue.
Reboot the Device
As simple as it sounds, one of the most effective fixes that you can perform in times of adversity is a quick restart of the device.
In abrupt cases like the one at hand, the best way to restart your Nest Mini is to perform a power cycle test on your device.
The procedure is simple. Here'show to do so:
- Start by unplugging the Nest Mini. Leave it unplugged for a few minutes.
- Then, press and hold the center button on the Nest Mini and release it after a few seconds. Perform this step a couple of times.
- Plug back in the cord and check for the issue now.
Check for Interference
A cautionary reminder while using Bluetooth on your Nest Mini: make sure there are no interference-inducing elements around you while in operation.
Interferences from devices like smart home appliances (smart bulbs, fridges, TVs), gaming consoles, smartphones, tablets, etc., can compromise your Bluetooth connectivity.
Make sure to turn OFF any such devices if you experience issues with your connection.
Hard Reset the Nest Mini
If you cannot assess the issue for all its magnitude, as a last resort, try resetting the device.
A Reset will clear the system of any inconsistencies and reset all the preferences, including your personal preferences, to the factory defaults.
You can reset the Nest Mini in a couple of ways. The easiest is to press and hold the Reset button on your Nest Mini.
The first-generation Nest Mini devices do have a dedicated Reset button on their bottom side, a feature absent on the current-gen models.
In newer models, first, turn OFF the mic using the slider and then press and hold the Center button until the device turns OFF and then back ON again.
Even if you won't be able to use most of the features of the Nest Mini without an active internet connection, it is always heartening to know that your smart speaker actually can perform its fundamental feature - stream audio.
Make sure to check out each and every step that I've mentioned in this article to enable and pair devices via Bluetooth on your Nest Mini.
If you are having problems with pairing, or any other problems in general, check out the problems and solutions section of the article.
Some issues may need expert analysis. In such cases, try contacting the customer services of Google for further assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you set up a Google Nest Mini without WiFi?
No, you cannot set up a Nest Mini without WiFi since the initial setup involves personalization settings and security checks that you need to undergo on the Google Home app. Once you complete the setup, you can use the Nest Mini without WiFi as a Bluetooth speaker.
How to Reset the Nest Mini?
You can hard reset the Nest Mini by following these steps on the Nest Mini itself. Alternatively, you can reset the Nest Mini through the Home app. Follow these steps to do so.
1. On the Home app, click on your Nest Mini.
2. Tap on the Settings icon.
3. Select the three-dot Menu icon on the top right corner of the app.
4. Click on the Factory Reset option.
Can you use commands to control the music playback while playing via Bluetooth?
Yes, you can control the music playback using commands while using Bluetooth. Some of the most common commands that you can use on the Nest Mini are:
- Pause Music - "Hey Google, pause" or "Ok Google, stop the music".
- Skip track - "Hey Google, skip" or "Ok Google, play next song".
- Change volume - "Hey Google, set volume to 35%" or "Ok Google, decrease volume to 10%".
- Shuffle Music - "Hey Google, shuffle playlist" or "Ok Google, shuffle *album*".