Siri Tips

Ensure that your device is connected to the Internet

Siri works by sending your requests to Apple servers. Because of this, Siri sends information such as your voice input, contacts, and location (if you have Location Services turned on) to Apple to process your requests.

For Siri to work, your device must be connected to the Internet using cellular data or Wi-Fi.

Siri not available

Note: In certain instances, Siri may say, “Sorry, I’m having trouble connecting to the network” or ask that you “try again in a little while”. If this occurs, check your connection and try again later.

If you wish to use Voice Control while you are not connected to the Internet, turn Siri off from Settings > General > Siri. Make sure to turn Siri back on when you have Internet connectivity and you wish to use it again.

Ensure that Siri is on

If Siri is off, you can turn it on in Settings > General > Siri. When you turn Siri on, make sure it is using the correct language for your region.

If Siri is not behaving as expected, try toggling Siri off and then back on. You can turn it off and on in Settings > General > Siri.

Siri is available only in the following languages, which you can set in Settings > General > Siri > Language:

  • English (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States)
  • French (Canada, France, Switzerland)
  • German (Germany, Switzerland)
  • Japanese (Japan)
  • Spanish (Mexico, Spain, United States)
  • Italian (Italy, Switzerland)
  • Mandarin (China, Taiwan)
  • Cantonese (Hong Kong)
  • Korean (South Korea)

If Siri is not recognizing your requests, make sure Siri is set for the language you are speaking.

If you wish to use a different language for Voice Control, turn Siri off and use Voice Control. You can turn Siri off in Settings > General > Siri.

Enable Location Services for Siri

Siri will work without Location Services. However, a number of features Siri offers require Location Services. If you try to use one of these features, Siri will advise you that it does not know where you are.
Location Services Settings

You can turn Location Services on for Siri by selecting Location Services Settings on the prompt, or by going toSettings > Privacy > Location Services and turning on both Location Services and Siri.

When you first use Siri with another application that uses Location Services, you will need to turn on Location Services for that application. For example, if you create a reminder to call your mom when you get home and Reminders or Siri has not been used before with Location Services, a prompt will appear saying that you will need to turn them on in Location Services Settings.

Reminders would like to use your current location

Some features, such as Maps and local search using Yelp!, work only in the United States. Additionally, requests for information from Wolfram|Alpha work only when the language for Siri is set to English.

Providing Siri with user information

Siri uses relational data from your contact to learn about the people close to you.

To set your contact tap Settings > General > Siri > My Info and select your contact.
My Info panel in Siri

If Siri is pronouncing a name incorrectly you can add phonetic first and last names to your contact entries:

  1. Open the Contacts application.
  2. Select the contact that Siri is mispronouncing.
  3. Tap “edit” in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap “add field”.
  5. Add phonetic first and last names as needed.
  6. The new fields will appear at the top of the contact. You can then spell out your name phonetically to assist with pronunciation.
  7. When finished making changes to the contact, tap Done in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Be as specific as possible

  • When you ask Siri to do something, be as specific as possible. For example, if you ask Siri to set an alarm, be sure the specify AM or PM.
  • If more than one of your contacts has the same first name, it can help to identify your contact by their full name when speaking with Siri.
  • Specify punctuation, for example: “question mark”.

Ensure that Siri can clearly hear you

If Siri is unable to clearly understand what you are saying, make sure your microphones are not blocked.

iPhone 4s

Verify that the bottom microphone, located to the left of the dock connector, is not blocked.

iPhone 5

Verify that both the mic in the receiver opening and the mic near the rear camera are not blocked.

iPod touch (5th generation)

Verify that the mic near the rear camera is not blocked.

iPad (3rd generation)

Verify that the mic at the top center, above the FaceTime camera, is not blocked.

All models

  • If you are using a protective case, try removing it.
  • Try turning your device off and then on again.

Raise to Speak

  • To activate Raise to Speak, move your iPhone from a viewing position in front of you up to your ear.
  • Raise to Speak can be activated from any application, the Home screen, or the Lock screen.
  • If you use Raise to Speak while using the onscreen keyboard, dictation will be triggered rather than Siri.
  • Raise to Speak is available only when the iPhone is not in use with a headset or other hands-free solution.

Using Siri with audio accessories

  • Siri will work with many audio accessories, including wired and wireless headsets and car stereos.
  • Find more information about: Troubleshooting Bluetooth headsets and headphones.
  • Find more information about: Troubleshooting car stereo connections.
  • If you are using an audio device that connects using the Dock Connector, Siri will not route through that device. You will need to continue to use your device, wired headset, or Bluetooth headset to interact with Siri.
  • If you are using your iOS device with a device that uses a Remote User Interface, ensure that you control your iOS device using the car stereo or other device. Attempting to control your iOS device directly through either touchscreen, Siri, or Voice Control won’t work.

Dictation tips

You can dictate with your iOS device in different languages by using the international keyboard for that language. Add a keyboard by tapping Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard.

When you want to change the language used for Dictation:

  1. Tap the globe icon to change to the keyboard for that language.
  2. Tap the microphone icon to start Dictation.

Note: To use Dictation, the keyboard language needs to be a supported language. Dictation is designed to recognize the accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.

Dictation works in most places where you can enter text using the keyboard. Certain text-entry fields in third-party apps or web forms might not support Dictation.

Dictation can be enabled and disabled by disabling Siri in Settings > General > Restrictions.

Use Siri on iPad

The power of Siri is yours for the asking.

  • Summon Siri. Press and hold the Home button, until Siri beeps.

Note: To use Siri, iPad must be connected to the Internet. Cellular charges may apply.

Ask Siri anything, from “set the timer for 3 minutes” to “what movies are showing tonight?” Open apps, and turn features on or off, like Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Accessibility. Siri understands natural speech, so you don’t have to learn special commands or keywords.

Siri screen showing Siri’s response to a request, and related info. At the bottom-center is the button you tap to speak to Siri.

For hints, ask Siri “what can you do,” or tap the help button.

Siri often displays helpful info on your screen. Tap the info to open a related app or get more details.

  • Change Siri’s voice gender. Go to Settings > General > Siri (may not be available in all areas).
  • Talk to Siri using a headset. Connect the headset, then press and hold the center or call button.

Tell Siri about yourself

If you let Siri know who you are, you can get personalized service—like, “tell me how to get home.”

  • Tell Siri who you are. Fill out your contact card in Contacts, then go to Settings > General > Siri > My Info and tap your contact card.

Be sure to include your home and work addresses, and your relationships.

Note: Location information isn’t tracked or stored outside iPad. If you don’t want to use Location Services, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to turn it off. You can still use Siri, but Siri won’t be able to do anything that requires knowing your location.

Make corrections

  • Want to cancel that last command? Say “cancel,” tap the Siri icon, or press the Home button.

If Siri doesn’t get something right, you can tap to edit your request.

Or tap the listen button again and clarify your request. For example, “I meant Boston.” Don’t bother saying what youdidn’t mean.

Siri settings

To set options for Siri, go to Settings > General > Siri. Options include:

  • Turning Siri on or off
  • Language
  • Voice gender (may not be available in all areas)
  • Voice feedback
  • My Info card
  • Prevent access to Siri when iPad is locked. Go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock. You can also disable Siri by turning on restrictions.

Use Siri on iPhone

The power of Siri is yours for the asking.

  • Summon Siri. Press and hold the Home button, until Siri beeps.

Note: To use Siri, iPhone must be connected to the Internet.

Ask Siri anything, from “set the timer for 3 minutes” to “what movies are showing tonight?” Open apps, and turn features on or off, like Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Accessibility. Siri understands natural speech, so you don’t have to learn special commands or keywords.

Siri screen showing the text of what Siri heard, Siri's response, and related info. At the bottom-left is the help button, and bottom-center the button you tap to speak to Siri.

For hints, ask Siri “what can you do,” or tap the help button.

Siri often displays helpful info on your screen. Tap the info to open a related app or get more details.

  • Use Raise to Speak. Raise iPhone to your ear and speak after the beep. (If the screen isn’t on, first press the Lock or Home button.) Raise to Speak must be turned on in Settings > General > Siri.
Person bringing iPhone to his ear, starting with the screen facing up towards the ceiling, and the hand rotating on the way up.
  • Change Siri’s voice gender. Go to Settings > General > Siri (may not be available in all areas).
  • Use Siri with your iPhone headset or another wired or Bluetooth headset. Connect the headset, then press and hold the center or call button.

FAQ Siri

Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls*, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back.

What is Siri?

Siri is the intelligent personal assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. It allows you to use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. But Siri isn’t like traditional voice-recognition software that requires you to remember keywords and speak specific commands. Siri understands your natural speech, and it asks you questions if it needs more information to complete a task.Siri is available on these devices:

  • iPhone 4S or later
  • iPad 3rd generation or later
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

Using Siri

How do I ask Siri something?

To talk to Siri, hold down the Home button and you’ll hear two quick beeps and see “What can I help you with? on the screen. Just begin speaking. The audio wave moves across your screen, letting you know Siri is listening and processing your request. Once you’ve started a dialogue with Siri, tap the microphone icon to talk to it again.There’s more than one way to talk to Siri. Siri works with headphones and Bluetooth headsets. When you’re using headphones with a remote and microphone, you can press and hold the center button to talk to Siri. With a Bluetooth headset, press and hold the call button to bring up Siri.

On iPhone, simply bring iPhone up to your ear when the screen is on. You’ll hear two quick beeps to indicate that Siri is listening to you.

In a car that supports Eyes Free, you can also start a conversation with Siri by pressing a button on your steering wheel.

Siri waits for you to stop talking, but you can also tap the audio wave to tell Siri you’re done talking. This is useful when there’s a lot of background noise.

What happens after I ask Siri a question or ask it to do something?

When you finish speaking, Siri displays the text of what you said and provides a response. If Siri needs more information to complete a request, it will ask you a question. For example, if you say “Remind me,” Siri will say “OK, just tell me what you want to be reminded about.”When you use earphones or a headset, Siri reads back text messages and email messages that you’ve dictated before you send them, and it reads back the subjects of reminders before you create them. This is especially helpful when you’re driving and can’t see the screen.

Do I have to say things a certain way to get Siri to respond?

No. You can speak to Siri as you would to a person — in a natural voice with a conversational tone. If you want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow, simply say “What will the weather be like tomorrow? Or “Does it look like rain tomorrow? Or even “Will I need an umbrella tomorrow? No matter how you ask, Siri will tell you the forecast.

When using Siri for dictation, say the punctuation marks you wish to have inserted as they are needed. For example, to dictate “Pick up the new iPad and suddenly, it’s clear”, say “Pick up the new iPad and suddenly comma it’s clear period”.

Does Siri work out of the box or do I have to teach it?

Siri works right out of the box, without any work on your part. And the more you use Siri, the better it will understand you. It does this by learning about your accent and other characteristics of your voice. Siri uses voice recognition algorithms to categorize your voice into one of the dialects or accents it understands. As more people use Siri and it’s exposed to more variations of a language, its overall recognition of dialects and accents will continue to improve, and Siri will work even better.

Siri also uses information from your contacts, music library, calendars, and reminders to better understand what you say. So it responds more accurately when you ask to make a phone call, play music, or create an appointment or reminder.

If you like, you can reset what Siri has learned about your voice by turning Siri off and then back on inSettings > General > Siri.

Can I change how Siri sounds?

New female and male voices will be available initially in U.S. English, French, and German. You can change the gender by going to Settings > General > Siri > Voice Gender. Your iOS device initially uses a compact voice for Siri. iOS will automatically download and install a more natural-sounding voice when you first connect to power and a Wi-Fi network.

What Siri can do for you

What types of things can I ask Siri about or ask it to do?

You can ask Siri to make a call, find a business and get directions, schedule reminders and meetings, search the web, and more. You can even ask Siri “What can you do for me? or tap the “?” in the left corner of the screen when you bring Siri up. You’ll see examples of things Siri can do, along with ways you can ask for things.

With which apps does Siri work?

Siri works with almost all the built-in apps. And it’s smart enough to figure out which apps to use to provide you with answers. It also uses Search and Location Services to help you with your requests. Here’s a list of apps and services that Siri works with worldwide:

  • Phone
  • FaceTime
  • Dictation
  • Music
  • Mail
  • Messages
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Notes
  • Contacts
  • Alarms
  • World Clock
  • Timer
  • Weather
  • Stocks
  • Web search
  • Wikipedia search
  • Wolfram|Alpha (English only)
  • Find My Friends
  • Post on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Movies
  • Sports
  • App launch
  • Maps
  • Local search

How does Siri learn who I am?

If Siri knows who you are, it can use your information to better help you. To make sure Siri knows who you are, select your contact information in Settings > General > Siri > My Info.

Your information is used for questions like “How do I get home?” or “What good restaurants are near work?”

How does Siri learn about my key relationships?

Siri also helps you by learning about the key people in your life. The first time you ask Siri to call your sister, it will ask you who your sister is. That information is stored in Contacts along with other relationship information like “mom,’ “husband,’ and “grandma.’

How do location-based reminders work?

Because Siri knows your current location and other locations like “home and “work, it can remind you to do a certain task when you leave a location or arrive at a location. So if you tell Siri,”Remind me to call my wife when I leave the office, Siri does just that.

To turn off the ability for Siri to use your location, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and set the switch for Siri to Off. Regardless of how Locations Services is set for Siri, information about your location is not tracked or stored outside the phone.

Is Siri accessible to the blind and visually impaired?

Yes. VoiceOver, the screen reader built into iOS, can speak any text that’s displayed in responses from Siri. You can navigate through the responses and have each one read to you. This includes the days of a weather forecast, the body of an email, the details of an answer from Wolfram|Alpha, and more.

Language support and availability

Siri understands and can speak the following languages:

  • United States (English, Spanish)
  • United Kingdom (English)
  • Australia (English)
  • France (French)
  • Germany (German)
  • Japan (Japanese)
  • Canada (Canadian French, English)
  • China (Mandarin)
  • Hong Kong (Cantonese)
  • Italy (Italian)
  • Korea (Korean)
  • Mexico (Spanish)
  • Spain (Spanish)
  • Switzerland (French, German, Italian)
  • Taiwan (Mandarin)

Can I use Siri in any of these languages in other countries?

Yes. You can enable Siri in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in any of the languages that Siri supports. However, Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.