How to Use Voice Control on iPhone and iPod Touch

Get comprehensive navigation with just your voice

Siri isn't the only way to control your iPhone or iPod touch using your voice. Before Siri, there was Voice Control, which is similar to Siri but with fewer features. Voice Control is an excellent accessibility feature as well as a good option for users who aren't Siri fans. Here's how to enable Voice Control, how to use it, and a few tips to make it more effective.

Voice Control is compatible with devices running iOS 3 and higher. Additional Voice Control options were added in iOS 14.5.

How to Enable Voice Control

To set up and enable Voice Control:

Siri can help with Voice Control. Say, "Hey Siri, turn on Voice Control." Say, "Show me what to say" anytime you need help finding a voice command.

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility.

  2. Tap Voice Control.

  3. Tap Set Up Voice Control.

    iPhone Settings with Accessibility, Voice Control, and Set Up Voice Control highlighted
  4. The next screen shows an overview of things you can do with Voice Control. Select Continue.

  5. View a list of commands you can use with Voice Control. Select Done to enable Voice Control.

  6. When Voice Control is on, a microphone icon appears at the top of the screen.

    Voice Control setup screens on iPhone with Continue, Done, and a microphone icon highlighted

How to Use Voice Control

With voice control enabled, Siri is still active as long as the device is connected to the internet. But Voice Control works as a hands-free way to control your phone. You don't need a passphrase like "Hey, Siri" to activate it. You can say, "Open Messages," "Go home," and "Tap" to navigate around your phone.

How to Customize Voice Control

Here's how to familiarize yourself with Voice Control categories and commands.

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility.

  2. Tap Voice Control.

  3. Tap Customize Commands.

    iPhone Settings with Accessibility, Voice Control, and Customize Commands highlighted
  4. You'll see the available command categories that Voice Control supports, such as Basic Navigation and Basic Gestures. Select a category to see its commands.

  5. Tap a command to see its options screen, then toggle on the command. This screen also shows the phrases that activate this option.

    Voice Control Settings with Basic Navigation, Open App Switcher, and the Enabled toggle highlighted

    Turn on Confirmation Required if you want to confirm a command before Voice Control makes it.

  6. Repeat these steps for every command you want to modify in Voice Control.

You can also create a new, custom command. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control > Customize Commands and tap Create New Command. Designate a phrase and an action.

What You Can Do With Voice Control

Voice Control lets you navigate and use your iPhone almost completely hands-free. Here are some of the things you can do with this feature:

  • Open apps.
  • Return to the home screen.
  • Tap buttons.
  • Select, delete, and modify text.
  • Scroll up and down on web pages and app screens.
  • Drag items.
  • Use 3D Touch.
  • Take screenshots.
  • Reboot your device.

Check the commands section in the Settings app on your iPhone for a full list of what Voice Control can do.

How to Change Your Voice Control Language

Voice Control supports an array of languages, but you'll only see options related to the primary language you've set up on your iOS device. In this example, the iPhone is set to English U.S.

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility.

  2. Tap Voice Control > Language.

  3. You'll see a list of languages. Tap a language under Ready to Use, or select a language under Available for Download.

    Voice Control settings with Language, Ready to Use, and Available for Download highlighted

Languages Supported by Voice Control

The options you'll see for Voice Control languages will depend on your iPhone's Language & Region settings.

Chinese (Cantonese) Finnish Polish
Chinese (China) French (Canada) Portuguese (Brazil)
Chinese (Taiwan) French (France) Portuguese (Portugal)
Danish German Russian
Dutch Greek Spanish (Mexico)
English (Australian) Italian Spanish (Spain)
English (U.K.) Japanese Spanish (U.S.)
English (U.S.) Korean Swedish
English (Canada) Norwegian
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