From being a relatively novice virtual assistant in iOS 5 to being a versatile personal assistant in iOS 15, Siri has come a long way. With a wide variety of skills as well as awesome Siri tricks including translation, the ability to control smart home devices, and the repertoire to enhance conversation with natural sound, Apple’s virtual assistant has vastly improved. However, there are still areas where Siri continues to struggle and fumble much to everyone’s annoyance. Beyond the age-old downsides, the virtual assistant has also had its fair share of issues. So, if ‘hey Siri’ is not working on your devices, here are 10 fixes you can try to fix Siri not working on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.
Tips to Fix ‘Hey Siri’ Not Working Issue on iPhone and iPad
While trying to fix Siri issues on iDevices, you need to keep several things in mind. For instance, you have to check off compatibility and ensure that your country or region supports a specific Siri feature. That’s not all, you also have to make sure your device is connected to a strong Internet connection for the virtual assistant to work.
Apart from these usual suspects, you should never rule out a random software glitch or bug that may be preventing Apple’s virtual assistant from working normally. With that said, let’s try out the possible solutions to resolve Siri not working problem on iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, or macOS!
1. Make Sure Your Device is Fully Onboard
Bear in mind that only the latest iDevices support Hey Siri hands-free without being plugged into power. So, ensure that your devices are compatible with Hey Siri.
The following devices support “Hey Siri”:
- iPhone iPhone 6s or later
- iPad iPad Air (3rd and 4th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation or later)
- iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation or later)
- iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
- iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
- iPad (6th generation) or later
- AirPods Max
- AirPods Pro
- AirPods (2nd generation)
- All Apple Watch models
- Beats Powerbeats (2020 model), Powerbeats Pro Solo Pro
- MacBook Pro introduced in 2018 or later
- MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
- iMac Pro iMac introduced in 2020
If your devices are compatible with ‘Hey Siri’, read on to find a way to fix the problem.
2. Make Sure Siri Supports Certain Features in Your Country or Region
It’s worth pointing out that Siri availability, commands, and features vary by language and country/region. For instance, Siri restaurant reservations feature work only in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Besides, Siri translation and Neural text-to-speech voice features are yet to be rolled out everywhere. To find out whether or not your country/region supports a specific Siri feature, navigate to Apple’s comprehensive feature availability page.
3. Ensure That Allow Siri When Locked is Enabled
If you are trying to activate Siri when your device is locked and Hey Siri is not working for you, make sure the “Allow Siri When Locked” option is enabled. If it is turned off, you can’t invoke the personal assistant when your iOS/iPadOS or macOS device is locked.
On iPhone/iPad: Open Settings -> Siri & Search. Now, be sure the toggle for Allow Siri When Locked is turned on.
On Mac: Open System Preferences -> Siri. Now, ensure that the box to the left of Allow Siri When Locked is checked.
4. Make Sure Siri is Not Restricted on Your Device
Another important thing to keep in mind is to ensure that Siri is not restricted on your device. Screen Time lets you not only stop Siri from performing web searches but also block explicit language. To remove the restriction, go to Settings app -> Screen Time -> Content & Privacy Restrictions -> Content Restrictions -> Siri. Then, make sure you have allowed Siri to perform tasks without any limitations (if that’s what you are looking for).
5. Turn Off/On Wi-Fi and Cellular
It’s no secret that Siri requires strong and stable Wi-Fi/cellular connection. If your Internet connection is weak, this could be (most probably) the culprit. Thus, chances are pretty high that fixing the sluggish Wi-Fi or cellular connection will help you fix the problem of Siri not working on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.
On iPhone and iPad: Open Settings app -> Wi-Fi/Mobile Data. Now, turn off the switch. After that, wait for some time and then turn on Wi-Fi/Mobile Data.
Note: You can also try to Reset Network Settings and see if that solves any WiFi issues your iPhone may be encountering.
On Apple Watch: Go to Settings app > Wi-Fi/Mobile Data. Then turn off the toggle. Next, turn on the switch again after a few seconds. (To fix other common Apple Watch problems, navigate to our extensive Apple Watch troubleshooting guide.)
On Mac: Click on the Wi-Fi menu and then turn off Wi-Fi. Now, wait for a few seconds and then turn on Wi-Fi again.
6. Ensure That Always Listen for “Hey Siri” is Enabled
By default, Siri doesn’t respond when your iPhone is placed face down or covered. If you want the virtual assistant to always respond even when your device is covered or facing down, ensure that you have enabled Always Listen for Hey Siri.
Go to the Settings app on your device and choose Accessibility. Then, scroll down to the bottom and select Siri. Finally, make sure the switch right next to Always Listen for “Hey Siri’ is turned on.
7. Hard Reset Your Device
Frankly speaking, the hard reset aka force restart is my go-to troubleshooter, especially when dealing with common iOS 15 issues. Knowing how reliable it has always been, it’s wise to give try and force restart your iPhone.
Hard Reset iPhone 8 or later and iPad with Face ID: Press the volume up button. Then, press the volume down button. After that, you need to hold down the power/side button until the Apple logo shows up on the screen.
Hard Reset iPhone 7/7 Plus: Hold down the side button and volume down button simultaneously until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
Hard Reset iPhone 6s or earlier and iPad with Touch ID: Hold down the home button and the power/side button at once until you see the Apple logo.
Hard Reset Apple Watch: Press and hold both the Digital Crown and the Side button at once until the Apple logo shows up on the screen.
8. Disable Siri and Set It Up Again
At times, you can troubleshoot Siri issues on your iDevices just by completely disabling the personal assistant and then setting it up again. So, give it a try as well.
On iPhone/iPad: Head over to the Settings app and choose Siri & Search. Then, turn off the switch right next to “Listen for Hey Siri”. Also, turn off the toggle right next to the Press Side/Home/Top button for Siri. After that, restart your device and then turn on these toggles.
On Apple Watch: Open Settings -> Siri. Now, turn off the toggles for Listen for Hey Siri, Raise to Speak, and Press Digital Crown. After that, restart your Apple Watch. Then, turn on all these toggles.
Note: Introduced in watchOS 5, the Raise To Speak feature enables you to activate the virtual assistant without saying ‘Hey Siri’ or pressing any button on your Apple Watch.
On Mac: Navigate to System Preferences -> Siri. Now, uncheck the box to the left of Enable Ask Siri. Also, uncheck the boxes to the left of Listen for Hey Siri and Allow Siri When Locked. After that, restart your Mac and then enable all these features.
Once you have set up Siri on your device, invoke the personal assistant and ask it to perform certain tasks like, “Hey Siri, turn on the flashlight.” If the virtual assistant starts working normally, you are good to go!
9. Reset All Settings on Your iPhone or iPad
I can’t remember how many times factory reset has rescued me. Whenever my iPhone or iPad seems to be struggling to fix complex issues, I make sure to try it out. Thankfully, it doesn’t let me down on many occasions. So, I would recommend you try out this reliable solution.
Head over to Settings app -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. If asked, enter your device and Screen Time passcodes. After that, set up Siri again. Then, activate Siri to check if you have finally got the better of the problem.
10. Check Apple’s System Status
If none of the tricks has worked in fixing Siri not working issue on your iPhone, I guess the problem could be with Apple’s system. Whenever Apple’s system faces an outage, a number of important services and features including Siri stop working. Therefore, navigate to Apple’s system status page and ensure that the circle to the left of Siri is green.
If the circle to the left of Siri is yellow, you can’t do anything but (you guessed it!) wait until the problem is over.
Bonus: Update Software
The software update is quite reliable in terms of fixing bugs and miscellaneous issues that are often hard to explain. So, if none of the tricks has worked in resolving Siri not working issue on your iOS/iPadOS/watchOS or macOS device, I suspect the problem might be due to a bug. Thus, there is a high chance that the software update can help you troubleshoot Siri problems.
On iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings app -> General -> Software Update. Then, download and install the latest version of iOS/iPadOS on your device.
On Apple Watch: Head over to Settings app -> General -> Software Update. Then, update the software on your Apple Watch.
On Mac: Navigate to System Preferences -> Software Update. After that, download and install the latest version of macOS.
Tips to Fix Siri Issues on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac
Well, that’s the end of this troubleshooting guide! I hope Siri has once again started to work normally on your iDevice. As outlined above, sluggish Wi-Fi/cellular connection is often the main culprit behind the problem. So, you can resolve Siri issues on your iPhone, Apple Watch, or Mac by fixing the weak Internet connection in most cases. If that doesn’t help, you can go for other reliable solutions like the software update and factory reset to get rid of the issue.
So, which tricks proved lucky for you? Don’t forget to let me know your feedback and the tip that did the trick for you.