Family Bell Not Working: How to Fix [2022]

Family Bell is a fantastic feature from Google that I frequently used to communicate with my family. But just recently, it stopped working for me.

It did chime, but it was very infrequent and used to consistently miss announcements. This was seriously annoying, so I went online to figure out how to fix this. Surprisingly, I noticed that many users faced similar issues.

So I decided to make this troubleshooting guide with all the information I got by researching the topic.

If your Family Bell is not working, delete the previously set bell announcement and set it up from scratch. You could also perform a power cycle on the Google Home devices. If none of these work, factory reset the devices.

Keep reading to find out how you can fix your family bell if it is not working.

Set Up Family Bell From Scratch

Set Up Family Bell From Scratch

Google Home, with its abundance of features and hacks, can get a bit overwhelming for many.

This also can act as a double-edged dagger, causing more issues for Google due to its complexity and therefore needing more time to fix bugs.

That seems to be the case for Family Bell too, as according to users they have started noticing this issue since early 2021!

Thankfully, some Google technicians have replied to user complaints on their forums and have noted diagnostic information to fix the issue.

Till then, the recommended step to get it back working is to check and properly set up the intended Google Home settings.

Some users have claimed that setting up the family bell settings again from scratch has solved their issue, at least temporarily.

This can also help if the setup process you initially performed was faulty in any shape or form. In cases like this, a minor issue is enough to completely disrupt the process.

Prerequisites Before Starting the Process

There are a few basic things Google recommends you need to have enabled or in hand before you move on to setting up Family Bell.

This can make sure that the process goes seamlessly and works as intended for all users.

Make sure you have the following criteria checked and ready for operation:

  • The Google Home device.

This can be a speaker-enabled device such as a Google Home Mini, a Google Nest Hub, or even an Android smartphone.

Make sure that the device is paired and set up with the Google Home app.

Do note that this might not work on an iPhone without prior preparation due to the lack of deep integration of the Google Assistant on iOS.

  • An Android or iOS phone with the Google Home app installed.

This can be either an iOS or Android phone, as this acts as the master device that is used to set up Family Bell.

  • Make sure device notifications are turned on for Android devices.

This is an important criterion to consider if you are setting Family Bell notifications for Android phones.

In order to set up device notifications for your Android phone, follow the steps below:

  • Open Settings on your Android phone.
  • Search for Notifications from the search bar on top.
  • Tap on the first relevant result leading to the notifications settings.
  • Navigate to the Google Search Box app from the list of apps on the resultant page.
  • Toggle the High Priority system notifications option and turn it on.

This sets up device notifications for your android phones for uninterrupted relaying of notifications.

Add Family Bell Announcements

Once the prerequisites are set up, then the next step is to move on to set up the Family Bell announcements.

Family Bell announcements can be set up in two primary ways: from an Android phone or directly from a smart speaker or Smart Display with the Google Assistant.

In order to configure and add a bell announcement by using an Android phone, follow the steps below:

  • Open Settings on your Android phone.
  • Search for Family Bell from the search bar on top.
  • Tap on the first relevant result leading to the Family Bell settings.
  • Tap on Add a bell.
  • Enter your announcement details on the resultant page.
  • Select and toggle the devices you want to push the bell announcements to.
  • Tap on Create new bell to finish setting up the announcements.

This sets up a new family bell announcement that will be relayed to all selected Google Home devices.

In order to configure and add a bell announcement by using a smart speaker or display, follow the steps below:

  • Invoke the Google Assitant with the following command: "Hey Google, create a Family Bell".
  • Follow up the command with the announcement details.

This will relay the announcements across all Google Home devices connected.

Power Cycle the Devices

Power Cycle the Devices

A power cycle can resolve any temporary hardware issues that might have been causing issues, such as blocking the family bell rings.

A power cycle is typically a restart, but for the hardware of devices. This can be beneficial for the Google Home connected devices in getting rid of temporary issues.

But first, it is best to start with a software reboot, as that can also help in cleaning out temporary issues on the software side.

In order to perform a software reboot on your Google Home connected devices, follow the steps below:

  • Open the Google Home app from the primary device that is logged in with the same Google account as your Google Home devices.
  • Select the Google Home device to be factory reset from the app.
  • Tap on Settings.
  • Tap on the Menu button on the top right corner of the screen.
  • Tap on Reboot.

This initiates the software reboot process.

Now that the software reboot has been performed successfully, let's move on to the hardware reboot or power cycling the devices properly.

In order to perform a hardware reboot or power cycle on your Google Home connected devices, follow the steps below:

  • Unplug the Google Home device from its wall power socket.
  • Let it sit idle for a full minute powered off.
  • During the one-minute wait, long press the buttons on the Google Home device for about 10 seconds to get rid of any misbehaving charge within the system.
  • Plug the Google Home device back into its wall power socket.
  • Let it sit idle for a full minute powered on.

This initiates the hardware reboot process.

Factory Reset the Devices

Factory Reset the Devices

If the above steps don't work for you, then your only option at the moment is to perform a factory reset on your devices.

A factory reset is bound to solve any software-related issues that might have been causing issues, such as blocking the family bell rings.

Fortunately, this is a rather easy process and can be completed in less than an hour. But it will result in wiping all user data from the Google Home devices.

Do note that this will unlink your Google account, and therefore you might need to link it back again with the device, just like you did when you first bought the device.

To factory reset your Google Home devices, simply follow the following steps:

  • Open the Google Home app from the primary device that is logged in with the same Google account as your Google Home devices.
  • Select the Google Home device to be factory reset from the app.
  • Tap on Settings.
  • Tap on the Menu button on the top right corner of the screen.
  • Tap on Factory Reset.

Do this for all the Google Home devices directly from the app. This completely resets the Google Home devices back to their factory defaults.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

If you are still facing issues after all this, it is best to contact Google support and get help from Google Support. They can also help in relaying the issue directly to Google.

I hope my troubleshooting article on Google's family bell feature not working has been a fruitful read and has helped you with the same.

Have a good day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Family Bells and Family Broadcasts the same?

Despite having similar intentions, they are two different features of Google Assistant.

Family bells relay multiple bell announcements to selected devices at regular intervals whereas Family Broadcast focuses on relaying a single message at a time to people added to the Google Family Group.

Can Family Bell announcements have custom bell sound effects?

Once configured, family bell announcements can be preset to have custom sound effects such as a dinner bell.

Do Google Home devices always keep listening?

Google Home devices have their microphones turned on at all times, but only record voice inputs when invoked with the 'Hey Google' or 'Ok Google' command.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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