If you’re using the Pixel Launcher, then you’ll know that the far left page is reserved for Google Discover. This is a replacement for the Google Now Feed and it’s not something that everyone wants on their device. So this tutorial will walk you through how to disable the Google Discover page on compatible launchers.
I have tagged this for those who are using the Pixel Launcher but as I mentioned, this tip should also work on compatible launchers as well. The step by step guide below is specific for the Pixel Launcher though, so if you’re using a different one then the steps should be similar, but they’re probably not exactly the same.
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So, if you’re using one of these launchers and swipe to get to the far left page then you have likely come across the new Google Discover page. This feature ended up replacing the Google Now Feed and I recently did a tutorial to show you how to turn off the Google Discover feed.
Some people enjoy having those pieces of content suggested to them but I (and many others) just didn’t find it very useful. I had either already read the information from another source, it spoiled a movie or TV show, or just wasn’t very good and predicting what I wanted to read or watch at that particular moment.
With the Google Discover feed disabled, the page was still there at the far left of the Home Screen of compatible launchers like the Pixel Launcher. And with it disabled, it was just a blank page. Granted, there is a button at the top that lets you access the updates tab of the Google app. But there are generally better ways of accessing this.
So let me show you how to get rid of this page from the Home Screen entirely
Time needed: 2 minutes.
How to Disable the Google Discover Page from the Home Screen
- Long press on an empty spot of the Home Screen
- Tap the Home Settings option
- Then tap the Display Google App toggle to turn it off
- And tap the Home button to go back to the Home Screen
From here you can swipe right on the Home Screen to make sure the page has been removed
Note – This tutorial was done with the Pixel Launcher on the Google Pixel 2 XL. If you’re using a different launcher then the steps to remove the Google Discover page may be different.
I’ve been on the fence about this Google Discover feature since it was introduced. If you haven’t ever heard of it before, then I suggest you check out a previous article I wrote up. In it, I detailed what Google Discover is and how it fit into the company’s overall strategy in multiple ways.
Not only does it help to improve their machine learning technology by seeing what you like (which happens when you tap on one of the suggestions). Even the simple act of scrolling past a piece of content helps them to learn what you’re interested in at any given time.
Google Discover is an improvement over the Google Now Feed as it gives you more control of the content the service suggests to you. They’re able to do this with a feature that lets you tell it to show you more or less of a particular topic. The more data Google collects on everyone the better they are at figuring out what like.
Still, many have noticed it to be a battery/performance hog even though the majority of the computations are ran in the cloud. If you’re like me and you want to optimize your smartphone as well as you can then disabling these features you don’t use can help a lot.
Removing the Google Discover Page from the Home Screen
However, once you have disabled the Google Discover Feed that page is virtually blank. Sure, you still have the Google Logo at the top and the 3-dot menu is still there in case you want to turn it back on in the future. There’s also a button to the left of the 3-dot menu icon that takes you to a special tab of the Google application.
This is where a lot of your Google Assistant information is held. You can get to this page after removing the Google Discover page from the Home Screen by opening the Google App and tapping on the second tab at the bottom. So the information on that page is still accessible from another location.
It really just depends on if you use that page in the first place. If you don’t, then you really don’t have any need for the Google Discover page to be on the Home Screen at all. However, if you do use that page then you can still disable that page from the Home Screen while retaining access to it.
This page is actually the Updates tab when you open up the Google application. It gives you information like the current temperature and weather condition, quick access to various Google actions (such as sending a message, finding nearby restuarants, etc.), your upcoming calendar events and more.
To be honest, this Updates tab in the Google application reminds me a lot of what the Google Now page used to be. It would keep track of various things such as upcoming deliveries, tell you what bills you have coming up, keep you updated on stocks that you’re watching and more.
All of this has been balled up into the Google Assistant and it now sits in the Updates tab of the Google application.
There’s more things in the Google application that we can dive into in the future. So I’ll stop for today now that you know how to disable the Google Discover page from the Home Screen of the Pixel Launcher (and other compatible launchers).