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How to set up and activate Siri

While it has its critics, Siri is at the core of every Apple device.
By
April 14, 2022

If you’ve got an Apple device like an iPhone or Apple Watch, you’ll probably want (or even need) Siri, the company’s voice assistant. Here’s how to set up Siri for the first time and activate Siri on any device.

Read more: The best Siri commands for productivity and more

QUICK ANSWER

To set up Siri on an iPhone or iPad, toggle on Listen for “Hey Siri" in Settings > Siri and Search. On a Mac, use Enable Ask Siri within Apple > System Preferences > Siri. The assistant can usually be triggered by saying “Hey Siri" near a mic input or holding down a button.


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How to set up Siri

If you use an Apple device on a daily basis, you probably already have Siri going. The assistant is so entwined with the company’s platforms that you’re prompted to configure Siri the first time you power on most products. If you’ve declined the option, though, here’s how to set up Siri after the fact.

On an iPhone or iPad

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Scroll down and select Siri and Search.
  • Toggle on Listen for “Hey Siri.”
  • Tap Enable Siri.
  • Follow prompts to train Siri on your voice.

On a Mac

  • Click on the Apple menu in the upper left, then System Preferences.
  • Click Siri.
  • Choose Enable Ask Siri, then Enable.

On other devices

Typically you don’t need to worry about manually enabling Siri on an Apple Watch or HomePod. A Watch mirrors your iPhone’s settings, and the assistant is so integral to HomePods that it’s on by default.

You can check that an Apple Watch has Siri by going into its Settings app, choosing Siri, then whether Hey Siri and/or Raise to Speak are active.

If you turned off Siri on a HomePod, you can re-enable it by tapping and holding the speaker’s icon in the Apple Home app, selecting Settings, and then Listen for “Hey Siri.” 

It’s even easier to get Siri on an Apple TV. Open the Settings app, then General > Siri. Flip the option on.

How to activate Siri on your iPhone or iPad

Siri on Apple iPhone 12 Mini stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Usually, the best way is to say “Hey Siri” within microphone range. That’s several feet — or meters, as the case may be. The closer you are, the more likely a device is to respond, so long as the space you’re in isn’t too noisy. You can get around this with Siri-capable headphones (see below).

With the appropriate option enabled in Settings > Siri and Search, you can also hold down a button. If your device has a home button on the front, like the iPhone SE, that’s the one to use. Instead, most newer iPhones and iPads have a side button, the same one you use for wake/sleep.

Read more: What to do if “Hey Siri” stops working

How to activate Siri on other Apple devices

An Apple Watch Series 7 rests on a floral planner with Siri activated on screen.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • On an Apple Watch: Raise your wrist near your mouth and say, “Hey Siri.” You can often skip the wake word if you have Raise to Speak enabled. As an alternative, hold down the digital crown button until Siri appears.
  • On an Apple TV: Hold down the microphone button on the Siri Remote, keeping it near your head.
  • On a HomePod: Say “Hey Siri” within the same room, or touch and hold the top of your HomePod while you talk.
  • On a Mac: Say “Hey Siri,” or click the Siri icon in your dock, menu bar, or touch bar. Click and hold the icon for longer commands. If you’ve enabled Type to Siri, you can use your keyboard to write things out.
  • On AirPods (and other Siri-equipped headphones): Say “Hey Siri,” or use the appropriate tap gesture, which varies from product to product. For example, on 3rd gen AirPods or the AirPods Pro, you can press and hold the force sensor on one of the stems.

Read more: How to change Siri’s voice on iOS and Mac