How to Fix it When Siri's Not Working

Get Apple's virtual assistant back online

Man using iPhone to talk to Siri

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Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, helps us with a wide range of tasks, from finding directions to looking up restaurant menus. We often rely on the assistant so much that we're lost when Siri doesn't.

If you're having trouble getting Siri to answer, dealing with Hey Siri difficulties, or you simply can't get Siri to work at all, you're in the right place.

How to Fix it When Siri's Not Working

The troubleshooting steps in this guide apply to iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 7 running iOS 11 and iOS 12.

  1. Speak clearly. If Siri is having trouble understanding you, it could be the request. With any virtual assistant, it's imperative you do your best to speak clearly and plainly. Siri is best used for straightforward requests like "What's the weather?" or "Call Mom."

  2. Restart your iOS device. Restarting your device may solve issues dealing with poor cellular connection and Wi-Fi connectivity, two problems that can cause Siri to stop working properly.

    Simply restarting your iPhone won't erase any of your settings or data. It will only reboot your device.

  3. Check your network connections. If Siri is responding with "Sorry, I'm having trouble connecting to the network" or "Try again in a little while," it may be a faulty network connection. Make sure your device is connected to the Internet and try to activate Siri again.

    If you find network connection issues, you might consider resetting the network settings on your device.

    After cleaning your network settings, you'll need to manually reconfigure both Wi-Fi and VPN settings, if applicable.

  4. Make sure Siri is turned on. You may need to manually enable Siri to get the assistant back up and running. You can also try turning Siri off and back on to reset the assistant.

  5. Check for Siri restrictions. Make sure you don't have any restrictions set up that are blocking Siri.

    Is Siri not returning search results from the web? It could be a restriction called Web Search Content, located inside the Restrictions.

  6. Turn on Location Services. Siri needs to know your location to answer questions about the weather, for directions and more. You'll need to turn Location Services on for Siri to work properly.

    If you want to share your location with only specific apps such as Siri, you can change which apps have access in your iPhone settings.

  7. Install all available iOS updates. A phone that requires an update is known to do many weird things, including mess with Siri. Install all available iOS updates on your device and then try Siri again.

  8. Toggle Airplane Mode on and back off. Turn Airplane Mode on, wait 20 seconds, then toggle it back off. This will often help Siri reset.

  9. Toggle iPhone dictation off and back on. Some Siri problems may be caused by issues with your iPhone's dictation, the tool that sends voice input to Apple in order to process your requests. Try toggling dictation off and back on.

  10. Make sure Siri's language is correct. In order for Siri to understand you when you speak, you must select the correct language from the options in your iPhone settings.

    Choose the language you speak in this step, not the language you want Siri to speak back to you. This allows Siri to understand your requests.

  11. Test your iPhone's microphones. Siri may not hear you or respond if your microphones aren't working properly. Remove screen protectors or cases that may cover the microphone and try using Siri again.

    If that doesn't work, try connecting your EarPods or other headset with a microphone to see if Siri responds. If there's no response, the issue may lie in your iPhone's hardware. Contact Apple Support for help.

    You can try cleaning your microphones by using a can of compressed air or a static-free brush to lightly spray or wipe away dust and debris.

  12. Check Siri's servers. You can visit the Apple Support System Status website to see if maybe Siri is experiencing a problem on Apple's end. If so, it's a waiting game to see when Apple will fix the issue.

  13. Restore your iPhone to factory settings. Try resetting all of the settings you've created for the features in your iPhone and returning to factory settings. This may remove an issue deep within the system causing Siri to malfunction.

Restoring your iPhone to factory settings will erase all of your iPhone's settings and data. Be sure to complete the back up process before moving forward.

How to Fix it When Siri Doesn't Talk Back

Is Siri responding using text on your iPhone's screen, instead of talking back to you? There may be an issue with your device's sound or other settings.

  1. Check to see if your device is muted. You can mute your iPhone or unmute it using the switch on the left-hand side of your device. Siri won't speak back to you if your iPhone is in muted mode.

  2. See if Voice Feedback is turned off. In your iPhone's settings, you can switch Siri to Always On, Control with Ring Switch, and Hands-Free Only. To have Siri respond back to you with each command, ensure Always On is selected.

  3. Check Siri's volume control. Siri has a separate volume control you can change after starting the assistant. Try turning the volume up after saying a command or starting Siri.

  4. Turn device off and back on. Try restarting your device to see if Siri starts speaking to you again. Sometimes after updates or app mishaps, tools like Siri need a good reset to get moving again.

How to Fix it When Hey Siri Doesn't Work

For iPhone's 7 and newer, Siri can be activated using your voice without being connected to power by simply saying "Hey Siri." If this feature isn't working, there are a few different issues that could be to blame.

  1. Make sure Hey Siri is activated. If Hey Siri isn't activated on your iPhone, you'll need to hold down the home button or side button to activate Siri.

  2. Check for Hey Siri obstructions. If your iPhone is lying face down on any surface, Hey Siri won't work. If you have a cover on your iPhone that's closed, you'll need to open it to use Hey Siri.

  3. Turn Low Power Mode off. If Low Power Mode is turned on, Hey Siri won't activate in order to conserve battery life.

Remember, if you have an iPhone 6 or earlier, you won't be able to use Hey Siri without being connected to a power source.

How to Fix Siri If Nothing Works

Still can't get Siri to respond or work at all? Thinking your problem might be with the hardware inside of your iPhone? It's time to reach out to Apple Support for help. Visit Apple's website to see your support options, visit the Genius Bar, or find a local Authorized Apple Service Provider.