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iGBHow-toHow to use Siri on Mac: An ultimate guide for beginners

How to use Siri on Mac: An ultimate guide for beginners

  • Siri is a virtual assistant on your Mac that can understand your commands and perform tasks accordingly.
  • To enable Siri on macOS Sonoma or Ventura, go to System Settings > Siri & Spotlight > Toggle on Ask Siri.
  • Users can customize Siri’s voice and interactions with the apps to increase productivity.

Do you know you can complete many tasks on Mac without exerting physical effort? Yes, you can quickly enable the intelligent voice assistant Siri on your Mac and use it to carry out your commands.

Siri can accomplish several tasks, including setting reminders and managing smart home devices. This article has all the information you need to use Siri on a Mac effectively if you’ve never used it before.

How to enable Siri on Mac

Before you turn on Siri, ensure your Mac has an active internet connection. Siri can’t perform tasks without the internet.

  1. Click the Apple logo () in the menu bar → Select System Settings.

    Click Apple Logo and System Settings in macOS
  2. Choose Siri & Spotlight → Toggle on Ask Siri.

    Select Siri & Spotlight, and toggle on Ask Siri.
  3. Click Enable on the prompt.

    Click Enable on the prompt displayed

How to activate Siri on Mac

There are many different ways to activate Siri on Mac, and each process is very straightforward. Any of the methods listed below can help you with that.

1. Invoke Siri by saying “Siri”

One of the easiest methods to activate Siri on your Mac is to use a voice command. However, ensuring the feature is enabled on your device before doing so is vital.

  1. Navigate to the System SettingsSiri & Spotlight.
  2. Click the dropdown next to Listen for → Choose “Siri or “Hey Siri.”

    Choose Siri or Hey Siri from the dropdown beside Listen for on your Mac

Once enabled, you will be prompted to repeat a few phrases so Siri can learn your speech patterns and catch your pace.

After setting up Siri, if you are using macOS Sonoma, you can activate it by saying “Siri.” Then you can provide the command of your choice.

To ensure that Siri is functioning correctly, you should hear a sound like “ahan” when you invoke the assistant without giving it a command. This sound indicates that Siri is ready to receive your input.

Additionally, check the Siri icon under the menu bar. It changes when you interact with the assistant. If voice commands are not your thing, move to the methods to activate Siri on Mac.

2. From the menu bar

There is another simple way to activate Siri on Mac if Hey Siri is not working properly. Simply select the Siri icon from the menu bar.

If you’re having trouble finding the Siri icon on the menu bar, go to System Settings → Control Centre → Click the dropdown beside Siri → Select Show in Menu Bar.

Activate Siri from the menu bar

3. Using keyboard shortcut

There is a way to use Siri with your keyboard if you cannot activate Siri using voice commands or from the menu bar. You can invoke Siri by holding down the F5 key, which has a microphone icon, until the Siri icon appears below the menu bar.

Moreover, you can also read our article to find out how to use Type to Siri on your Mac, which will eliminate the need for you to use voice commands to access the assistant’s features.

4. Activate Siri with the touch bar

Apple has further simplified activating Siri for you if you own a Mac with a Touch Bar. All you need to do is tap the Siri icon on the Touch Bar, which is next to the Mac’s power button.

How to customize Siri on Mac

Now that you have a firm grasp on activating Siri on Mac, it’s worthwhile to check how you can tailor the intelligent assistant to meet your needs.

Change Siri’s voice

Siri offers a variety of voices, including male and female options with different accents. To change Siri’s voice,

  1. Head to System Settings Siri & Spotlight.
  2. Click the Select button next to Siri Voice.

    Head to System Settings, Siri & Spotlight, and click the Select button next to Siri Voice
  3. Choose the voice you’d like to use for Siri → Click Done.

     Choose the voice you'd like to use for Siri and click Done

Correct Siri’s pronunciation

Once you’ve taught Siri how to pronounce a name on your iPhone correctly, the pronunciation will automatically be synchronized to your Mac. However, if Siri still mispronounces names, quick methods are described below to correct them on your Mac.

  1. Open the Contacts app → Search for the contact name you wish to correct the pronunciation.
  2. Click the plus icon (+).

    Launch the Contacts app, select the contact, and click the + icon
  3. Go to More Fields → Select Phonetic First/Last Name.

    Go to More Fields and select Phonetic First:Last Name
  4. Enter the correct phonetic spelling of the contact → Click Done.

    Enter the correct phonetic spelling of the contact and click Done

Note: Siri may take a while to grasp the phonetic name as the assistant is inconsistent in pronouncing them.

Additionally, to correct Siri’s pronunciation of your name, simply say Siri → Ask Who Am I → Tap your Profile Picture → follow steps 2-4 from above.

Customize Siri’s language

Siri can recognize and carry out voice commands in several different languages. If your preferred language is supported for Siri by default, you can configure Siri to recognize and respond in that language.

  1. Go to System Settings Siri & Spotlight.
  2. Click the dropdown next to Language.

    Go to System Settings, Siri & Spotlight, and click Language
  3. Select your preferred language from the list.

    Select your preferred language from the list

Enable or disable Siri suggestions

Based on your behavior, Siri can offer a wide range of recommendations for apps and short actions to help you increase productivity and make it easier to complete more tasks. Here’s how you can enable or disable this feature.

  1. Navigate to System Settings Siri & Spotlight → Click Siri Suggestions & Privacy.

    Navigate to System Settings, Siri & Spotlight, and click on Siri Suggestions & Privacy
  2. Select an app from the left pane → Toggle on or off Show Siri Suggestions in [app name] → Click Done.

    Select a tool from the left pane, toggle on or off Show Siri Suggestions in application, and click Done

Note: Some apps don’t allow showing Siri Suggestions in the application.

Control what Siri can access

Siri can access various information on your device, such as contacts, calendars, and locations. However, Apple offers an easy way to control what Siri can access. You can adjust your privacy settings by following the steps below.

  1. Head to System Settings Siri & Spotlight → Select Siri Suggestions & Privacy.

    Navigate to System Settings, Siri & Spotlight, and click on Siri Suggestions & Privacy
  2. Choose the app from the left pane → Toggle off Learn from this application → Choose Done.

    Choose tools from the left pane, toggle off Learn from this application, and choose Done

How to use Siri results on Mac

Siri results are easily accessible through the Siri window and can be used in various formats, including emails and documents. There are several ways to make use of Siri results on your Mac.

  1. Launch System Settings → Go to Siri & Spotlight → Select Siri Responses.

    Launch System Settings, go to Siri & Spotlight , and select Siri Responses.
  2. Toggle on the below-mentioned features and click Done:
    • Voice feedback: If you want Siri to invoke in multiple ways mentioned above, enable this.
    • Always show Siri captions: You will see Siri’s response in text format on the screen.
    • Always show speech: With Siri’s response, you may see your commands onscreen.

      Toggle on Voice feedback, Always show Siri captions, or Always show speech and click Done

If Siri responds with a website link or a file based on your command, double-click that to open in the associated Mac application. You can use the Quick Look feature to preview a result by force-clicking it.

This will show it in a separate window for convenient viewing. Besides, you may drag and drop Siri results into an email, document, or desktop to include pertinent text or locations.

Most useful Siri commands

Now that you are aware of how to enable and activate Siri on Mac, let’s learn the capabilities of the assistant and examples of ways to use Siri on Mac.

You can activate Siri using any of the techniques above and have the assistant carry out your commands. For instance, my preferred strategy is to ask Siri to perform the task using the “Hey Siri” command.

Mark your calendarSchedule a meeting tomorrow at 10 AM
Set a reminderRemind me to drink water at 3 PM
Start a timerSet a break timer for 10 minutes
Set an alarmWake me up in 1 hour
Take a quick noteNote that “Earth revolves around the Sun”
Make a listCreate a to-do list and add it to charge Mac in the to-do list
Use a calculatorWhat is 10% of 41,320
Siri as the translatorNote that “Earth revolves around the Sun”
Location remindersNote that “Earth revolves around the Sun”
EmailSend an email to iGeeksMedia about my evaluation and a request to discuss a pay
Play MusicTranslate ‘How are you?’ into Korean
Find a place to eatRecommend a good dine-out restaurant
Check trafficCheck the traffic condition around me
Post to Facebook or TwitterGet directions to Jibin’s house and remind me to give him the file when I arrive.
Can Siri on Mac control third-party apps?

Yes, several third-party apps, including Spotify, Microsoft Office, and others, can be controlled by Siri on the Mac. Ask Siri to open the app or carry out a task inside the app to see if it is compatible with Siri.

Can Siri on Mac access my personal data?

Siri on Mac can access some of your personal information, including contacts, calendar events, and emails, to carry out specific tasks. However, Apple takes user privacy seriously and has several security measures to safeguard your information.

How can I report a problem or give feedback about Siri on Mac?

You can provide feedback regarding Siri to Apple on the feedback website.

Hey Siri, what can you do? 

If you have doubts about what tasks the smart assistant can perform, simply say, “Hey Siri, what can you do?”. Furthermore, if you are dissatisfied with Siri, turn off Ask Siri from System Settings.

What are your thoughts on Siri? Please share them in the comment section below.

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  • Ava

    Ava is a die-hard Apple aficionado and seasoned writer with a knack for breaking down complex tech concepts into easily digestible content. Having honed her writing and editing skills over 3 years at renowned media houses like TechBurner, Ava crafts informative and engaging articles including troubleshooting guides, product reviews, editorials at iGeeksBlog. When not typing, you can find her exploring the latest Apple releases or pondering the future of tech innovation.

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