How to use Siri on iPhone and iPad: The ultimate guide

how to activate and use siri on iphone and ipad

Siri is the default, in-built personal assistant on all Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, etc. You can ask questions and directions, give commands to perform actions on the device like turning off Bluetooth, and much more. In this complete guide, let us see how to enable, activate, use, and customize Siri in iOS and iPadOS.

How to Enable Siri on iPhone and iPad

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Siri & Search.
  3. Turn on the toggle for Press Side Button for Siri on iPhone and iPad with Face ID. Tap on Enable Siri.enable siri on iphone with face id
  4. Turn on the toggle for Press Home for Siri on iPhone and iPad with the Home button. Tap on Enable Siri.turn on siri on iphone with home button

There is more to enabling Siri, like turning on ‘Hey Siri’ and allowing Siri even when your device is locked. These points are covered in the sections below.

Note: To disable Siri, turn off the toggle for Listen for “Hey Siri” and Press Side Button for Siri or Press Home for Siri, according to your iPhone model.

How to Use Siri on iPhone and iPad

After you enable the voice assistant, here is how to launch it and give commands.

  1. On iPhone and iPad with Face ID, press the Right-Side button.
  2. On iPhone and iPad with the Home button, press the button on the front of the device.
  3. Speak to Siri. Give it commands likehow is the weather,‘ ‘set the alarm for 7 AM,‘ and so on. You can speak naturally to it as if you are talking to a person. In most cases, Siri understands.use siri on iphone

If you want to make a longer request, continue to press the button. Siri will keep listening for as long as you keep the button pressed. When you release it, the assistant stops listening and starts working on your request.

Other Ways to Summon Siri

Besides using the physical on-device button, there are additional ways to summon Siri.

  • Use EarPods: Long-press the middle button on the built-in remote. You can use the similar button on most third-party wired earphones to call Siri
  • Use AirPods: By default, when you double-tap on 1st and 2nd generation AirPods, Siri is activated. You may further customize them. For AirPods Pro, you have to touch and hold the force sensor
  • Other Headphones: Similarly, if third-party wireless headphones support summoning voice control, you can use them to call Siri, when paired with the iPhone or iPad
  • Use Apple Watch: You can also use Siri on Apple Watch primarily by pressing and holding the Digital Crown, and using Hey Siri

Besides the above methods, you can invoke Siri entirely with your voice using a hot keyword. Let us see how.

How to Enable and Use “Hey Siri”

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Siri & Search.
  3. Turn on the toggle for Listen for “Hey Siri”tap on siri and search tap on toggle for listen for hey siri
  4. Tap Continue. Follow the simple on-screen instructions
  5. You have successfully enabled “Hey Siri.”tap on continue to set up and use hey siri on iphone
  6. It works when your device is unlocked or locked (if Allow Siri When Locked is enabled)
  7. If you have iPhone 6s or later, say ‘Hey Siri’ to call and use it
  8. If you have iPhone 6 and earlier with iOS 8 and later, you need to plug the phone into power. Next, you can use ‘Hey Siri.’

Additionally: ‘Hey Siri’ is also supported on:

  • All Apple Watch models
  • AirPods 2nd generation
  • AirPods Pro
  • Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro (11-inch)
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
  • iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
  • iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
  • iPad (6th generation) or later

Confused? See how to identify which iPad model you have.

Use Type to Siri

Until now we have seen how to use physical buttons on the device or connected peripherals to call Siri. We also saw how to use only voice to summon it. But what if you can not speak or are in an office or quiet place? Well, for such situations, you can see how to enable type to Siri.

How to Edit the Voice Command You Gave Siri

Siri supports multiple languages and accents. But still, it may struggle, especially with proper nouns like name of places, personalities, street names, local food names, etc. This is where using the keyboard to correct the voice command comes handy. Here is how.

  1. Call Siri and give it a command
  2. If it recognized the spoken words inaccurately, tap on Tap to Edit.
  3. Type the correct spelling and press done.edit voice command you gave siri on iphone

How to Change Siri Voice Feedback Settings

Since Siri is a voice assistant, its primary input method is voice. Accordingly, by default, it speaks the answers. But, if you are like me, you may not want it to always give voice feedback. So, let’s see how to change Siri voice output settings.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Siri & Search.
  3. Tap on Voice Feedback.
  4. Always On: Siri will give voice feedback in all conditions – even when your phone is in silent mode
  5. Control with Ring Switch: It will speak when the phone is on ring mode. But, Siri will not talk back when the phone is in silent mode. However, it will beep when you use ‘Hey Siri,’ or when the iPhone is connected to Bluetooth speakers/headphones, or CarPlay
  6. Hands-Free Only: This is what I use. You will hear the voice feedback only while using ‘Hey Siri,’ Bluetooth devices, or CarPlay.change siri voice feedback settings on iphone

How to Change Siri Language

Are you multilingual? Want to use Siri in another language? Here is how to do that.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Siri & Search.
  3. Tap on Language.tap on siri and search then tap on language
  4. Scroll the list, tap on the desired language.change siri language on iphone

If you use Hey Siri, it will turn off. You will have to reconfigure ‘Hey Siri’ so that it can understand your voice in a new language. Tap on Change Language after step 4.

Extra Info: Some languages like English let you select accent and gender of voice feedback. Some do not.

How to change Siri’s voice in iOS 14.5

Up until now, when you set your new iPhone (or after a full erase), Siri’s voice used to be the default female one. To break the stereotype (that females are good as ‘assistants’ and not ‘assisted’), Apple now gives you the option to choose the voice gender when you set up your iPhone.

You can also implement these changes on your current iPhone once you have updated it to iOS 14.5. To update your iPhone or iPad, open the Settings app → General → Software Update → Download and Install or Install Now.

Once you are on iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5 or later, follow the steps below.

  1. Open Settings and tap Siri & Search.
  2. Tap Siri Voice.
  3. Choose your desired Variety (American, Australian, British, Indian, Irish, South African).
  4. Next, tap Voice 1, Voice 2, Voice 3, or Voice 4 to hear them and keep the one you like.
    How to change Siri's voice in iOS 14.5


  • Currently, only the American variety has four voice options. Others like Australian, British, Indian, Irish, and South African have two voices each.
  • If you wish to set any other voice, it will require an additional download. You can use Wi-Fi or Cellular data for this. While it is being downloaded, you can go out of the Settings app and use the iPhone. Once the voice is downloaded, it will automatically set. And the next time you use Siri, this voice will talk back to you.
    Download new Siri Voice using Wi-Fi or Cellular Data
  • Do not like the new voice, follow the same steps and choose another option.
  • These new voices are also available on Mac running macOS 11.3. Click on the Apple logo → System Preferences → Siri → choose from Voice Variety and Siri Voice.

How to Change Siri Voice Accent and Gender

Update: These steps only apply to iPhone running iOS 14.4 and earlier.

If you are from say India, you may prefer Siri Voice feedback in Indian accent than US or UK accent. Additionally, you may also choose the gender of the voice as desired. Take a look.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Siri & Search.
  3. Tap on Siri Voice.tap on siri and search then tap on siri voice
  4. Choose an accent.
  5. Choose a gender – Male or Female.change siri voice accent and gender on iphone

Important Note:

  • You must be connected to Wi-Fi to download a new Siri accent. After the full quality Siri voice downloads, it will automatically come into effect
  • Steps 3, 4, and 5 depend on Siri Language (above heading) you have set. For example, you can choose an accent for Dutch, English, French, and Spanish
  • You can choose gender in all languages except Arabic, Dutch (Belgium) with Flemish accent, Finnish, Hebrew, Malay, Thai, Turkish

Important Observation: In my brief testing, the default gender for languages where you can not choose Male or Female is Female. The Arabic language is an exception. Here the default and only feedback voice are Male.

How to Disable Siri on Lock Screen

If you often leave your phone on the office desk or similar places, Siri can be used by anybody even when your device is locked. The person can use it to make calls, send messages, know who you are, set alarms, etc. To avoid this, you can learn how to turn off Siri on iPhone and iPad Lock screen.

How to Set Your Contact Info for Siri

Siri can use your contact card to perform actions like Call my Wife, Call my brother, When is my sister’s birthday, Directions for Home, etc. In case you have made a different contact card for yourself or want Siri to know more, here is how to tell it your info.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Tap on Siri & Search.
  3. Then Tap on My Information.
  4. Tap on your contact card.set contact info for siri on iphone

To check: Summon the assistant and ask, ‘Who am I?

How to Customize Siri Settings

Under the above headings, we have covered all the most essential Siri settings. Next, you may tap on Siri & Dictation History to delete this information associated with this particular device from the Apple servers.

Finally, we have separate in-depth yet easy articles that show you how to turn off Siri suggestions on the lock screen and disable Siri suggestions in Spotlight search.

That’s all!

Wrapping up…

I hope this complete guide helped you know almost everything about Siri from a regular user’s point of view. If you have any further queries, please feel free to make use of the comments section below.

Next, you will love to know how to make your iPhone speak caller name when you get an incoming call. You can also set it to do so only on AirPods.

Finally, if you rock a 2nd Generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, or compatible Beats headphones that have H1 wireless chip (Powerbeats Pro and Beats Solo Pro), you can turn on Siri message announcements. With this feature enabled, the voice assistant will automatically read your incoming messages when you are wearing the buds, and your iPhone or iPad is locked.

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