How to Get Siri to Read Text on iOS and macOS

Let Siri read to you

What to Know

  • Go to System Preferences/Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content > Speak Screen/Speak Selection to activate the setting. 
  • On iOS, say 'Hey Siri, speak screen' or press Option + Esc to use it on macOS.
  • Siri reads most text back, but it isn't compatible with all apps.

This article teaches you how to get Siri to read text on your iPhone as well as Mac. It explains any limitations involved in the process.

How to Make Siri Read Text on iOS

Siri happily reads mostly anything aloud to you on iOS. The feature is helpful if you have accessibility needs or want Siri to read something while using other apps. To activate it requires delving into the Accessibility settings to enable the feature. Here's where to look and how to make Siri speak to you. 

This method works with many different apps, including Safari, Mail, and Kindle, but some apps won't work with it, such as Chrome. 

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, tap Settings.

  2. Tap Accessibility

  3. Tap Spoken Content.

    Steps required on iOS to enable Spoken Content Accessibility feature
  4. Tap Speak Screen to enable Siri's ability to read out everything on screen.

    Tap Speak Selection to be able to have a highlighted section read out to you.

  5. Open the item you wish to have read back to you by Siri.

  6. Say 'Hey Siri, speak screen' and Siri will read back the content. 

    Steps required to enable Spoken Content Siri feature on iOS and control bar in web browser

    A control bar also appears, allowing you to adjust the speed at which Siri reads to you and allowing you to pause the speech or skip between sections.

How to Get Siri to Read Text on macOS

macOS and Siri can also read to you once you activate the setting. To do so requires slightly different steps than on iOS, but it only takes a few moments to set up. Here's what to do.

This method works with many different apps, including Safari, Mail, and Kindle, but it doesn't work with Chrome.

  1. Click the Apple icon.

    macOS desktop with Apple icon highlighted
  2. Click System Preferences.

    macOS with System Preferences highlighted
  3. Click Accessibility.

    macOS System Preferences with Accessibility highlighted
  4. Click Spoken Content.

    macOS System Preferences with Accessibility Options open and Spoken Content highlighted
  5. Click the Speak selection tick box.

    macOS accessibility options with Speak Selection tick box highlighted
  6. Open the item you wish to have read back to you by Siri.

  7. Tap the keyboard shortcut on your keyboard to have Siri read the content to you. The default key combination is Option + Esc.

    Siri Spoken Content control bar open within Safari web browser

Tips for Getting Siri to Read Text

Getting Siri on iOS or macOS to read back text is very simple, but you can make the process work even better for you if you tweak some settings. Here are some suggestions on what can improve your experience. 

  • Use the control bar to make adjustments. On both iOS and macOS, a control bar allows you to tweak the reading. Use the controls to speed content up, pause it, or skip ahead through sections to get to where you need. 
  • Change the voice. Within the Accessibility > Spoken Content menus, you can change the voice that speaks back to you. The default voice (Daniel) is quite audible, but you may prefer a different one. Experiment to find the one for you. 
  • Highlight text to narrow things down. If you only want a short segment to be read to you, highlight the text on the screen first, then ask Siri to read the text back (or use the keyboard command) to have the segment read to you.
Was this page helpful?