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How to set up an Apple HomePod or HomePod mini

Just don't ask it for "Earl Grey tea, hot."
March 8, 2023

Apple recently revitalized its HomePod smart speaker lineup with a 2nd gen full-sized HomePod. If you’ve got that or a HomePod mini, here’s how to get it up and running in your smart home.


To set up a HomePod or HomePod mini, find a flat surface for it to sit on and plug it into the power socket. Hold your iPhone or iPad near when you see a pulsing white light on top, and it should detect the HomePod automatically. Follow onscreen instructions to complete the pairing process, including setting it up in Apple Home. If your HomePod isn't detected, you may need to scan a QR code or reset it.


How to set up an Apple HomePod or HomePod mini

A HomePod mini in orange set up

To set up any HomePod, you’ll need an iPhone or iPad linked to your Apple ID. You can’t use a Mac, Windows PC, or Android phone. You’ll also be adding speakers to HomeKit, whether or not you have an existing home in the Apple Home app.

How to pair a HomePod or HomePod mini with an iPhone or iPad

set up apple homepod
  • First, unpack the HomePod and place it on a flat surface. Apple recommends leaving at least 6 inches of space around it. If you’ve got a white 2nd gen model, you may want to place it on a coaster or stand to prevent stains on wood surfaces.
  • Plug the HomePod into a power outlet. Wait for a chime and a pulsing white light.
  • Unlock your iPhone or iPad, then hold it next to the HomePod. Tap Set Up when a pop-up appears on your device’s screen.
  • When asked, center the HomePod’s lights in the viewfinder on your iPhone or iPad. Alternately, tap Enter Passcode Manually, and Siri will provide a four-digit passcode to enter on your device.
  • Follow onscreen instructions to customize settings.
  • Tap Done. You’ll switch over to the Apple Home app to finish configuration, and your HomePod may need to download a firmware update.

If the setup screen doesn’t appear

You may be able to get the setup screen to show by simply re-locking and unlocking your iPhone or iPad. On the rare occasion when that doesn’t work, here’s what to do.

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Tap Add > Add Accessory.
  • Tap More options, then HomePod.
  • Follow prompts. Be sure you have your HomePod’s packaging handy, because you may be asked to scan a QR code.

If the process still doesn’t work, you may have to reset your HomePod and try again, or else follow troubleshooting steps below.

Troubleshooting tips if your Apple HomePod setup isn’t working

Update your iPhone or iPad to the latest version of iOS/iPadOS

Though it’s unlikely, it could be that there are bugs in iOS or iPadOS preventing things from from working properly. To check that you’re on the latest software release, head to Settings > General > Software Update.

Check your Wi-Fi connection

iphone settings wi fi no internet

A HomePod requires Wi-Fi to work, so if your Wi-Fi connection is down, then so is the HomePod. Check on your iPhone or iPad to see if you have a connection by going to Settings > Wi-Fi. If it’s down, toggle the Wi-Fi setting off and on again. If that doesn’t work, restart your router and wait a few minutes.

Make sure the HomePod is on the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone or iPad

Wi-Fi Router

Next up, a HomePod needs to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the device handling setup. So if you have more than one Wi-Fi network in your home, make sure both devices are on the same network ID (SSID).

Turn on two-factor authentication for your Apple ID

apple 2FA set up homepod

According to Apple, you need two-factor authentication enabled on your Apple ID for the HomePod to work. If you haven’t yet done this, go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad, then Apple ID > Password and Security > Two-Factor Authentication. Follow prompts to set it up.

Enable iCloud Keychain

Likewise, iCloud Keychain needs to be enabled. Go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud. Under Apps Using iCloud, tap Passwords and Keychain. Toggle the setting.

Move the HomePod closer to the Wi-Fi router

wi-fi logo

As we said before, HomePods rely on a strong Wi-Fi connection. So the weaker your connection, the less effective a HomePod is going to be. You can’t position a HomePod in a Wi-Fi blindspot, such as behind a thick wall.

Bring your HomePod closer to your Wi-Fi router and/or remove unnecessary obstacles. If that still doesn’t solve connection problems, it may be time to upgrade your Wi-Fi system, say by switching to a mesh router and/or from Wi-Fi 5 to Wi-Fi 6/6E.

Check to see if your HomePod is showing a flashing orange light

homepod mini orange pulsing light low power animation set up
Mark O'Neill / Android Authority

If you’ve got a HomePod mini flashing an orange light, that means it’s connected to a computer, or it’s plugged into a power adapter that didn’t come in the box and isn’t rated at 20W or higher. You might be able to use third-party adapters, but that 20W rating is non-negotiable.

Disconnect the HomePod and start the pairing process again

Handoff between an iPhone and a blue HomePod Mini set up

If all else fails, disconnect your HomePod from power, wait a while, then try again. You may have done something wrong the first time or skipped something you thought was unimportant. It could even be that network conditions will be better aligned.

Contact Apple Support

apple support

If absolutely nothing works, then it likely is a defect with the HomePod. Maybe you were just unlucky and got a defective unit. Contact Apple Support and arrange a replacement.


You should place your HomePod on a flat, even surface within good range of your Wi-Fi router. For the best acoustics, make sure it isn’t immediately enclosed by other objects, especially if you want the 2nd gen’s Dolby Atmos effects to work.

Yes, for setup and control.

No. In this case, Bluetooth is used exclusively for establishing AirPlay and Handoff connections, not actual streaming.

No, since there isn’t a model with an internal battery.

Yes, but the only alternative is AirPlay.

Yes, but if you want music playback, native Siri control is limited to less popular platforms like Pandora and Deezer. If you’re using Spotify or other services without Siri support, you’ll have to use AirPlay control instead.

No. There’s no power button, and HomePods automatically dip into a low-power mode.

No. HomePods can withstand some general humidity, but it’s best to keep them out of any bathroom with a shower or tub. Condensing humidity, like the kind from a hot shower, could potentially wreck their electronics.