Google Home speakers remove Guest Mode

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When you have guests over at your place and they want to stream music or videos onto your smart speakers, smart displays, or smart TVs, one of the more useful things Google has is the Guest Mode. Instead of asking them to connect to the same WiFi network, you can just give them a PIN so they can start streaming. However, that feature seems to have now disappeared from Google Home and Nest devices. The good news is that it still seems to be working on Chromecast-powered devices.

If you’re not so familiar with Guest Mode, it’s a feature that lets you give a 4-digit code to guests in your house so they are able to cast their own media to your speakers or TV. It’s been around since 2014 and has been pretty useful for Google Home and Nest devices. It’s found under the different options in the settings cog, specifically the Device info subsection. You’ll see the Guest Mode section where you can enable it and then set a specific PIN code which you can give to your guests.

However, according to Android Police, that section has disappeared for Google Home and Nest devices. They’ve double-checked with users across different regions and devices and it looks like it’s not a test or a mistake. The support page for Guest Mode on Nest/Home speakers seems to not be available anymore and its last cached version was from October 31, 2019. The update that was sent around that time probably disabled Guest Mode but there was no official announcement.

The good news is that it seems to still be present for Chromecast devices. Even the support page for Guest Mode on Chromecast is still active so if you have that a Chromecast-powered device, then you will still be able to enable and use it. Third-party Assistant speakers or displays or Android TVs don’t have it, but it seems that they didn’t have Guest Mode in the first place ever since.

There is still no official word from Google as to why they removed Guest Mode. In the meantime, you can always have your guests connect to the same WiFi network as your Google Home or Nest speaker, if they want to stream their own content.

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