How to set up, configure, secure, and start using Siri

How to set up, secure, and start using Siri

Siri is Apple's virtual, personal, digital assistant with a personality straight out of a Pixar film. With Siri, your iPhone or iPad can help you do all sorts of amazing things, from keeping in contact, to keeping on time, to keeping informed. But first, you may need to get Siri set up and up to speed. Follow along for a quick walkthrough on how to get started with Siri!

How to use Siri

Using Siri is simple.

  1. Press and hold the Home button on your iPhone or iPad to activate Siri.
  2. Once you hear the two dings, you can release the Home button and start speaking a command or dictation to Siri.

How to edit a Siri question or command

If Siri miss-heard you, you made a mistake, or you simply changed your mind, it's easiest to just tap the microphone icon and ask Siri the question or issue the command again. However, if you'd rather edit your original question or command, you can do that too. This trick comes in handy when Siri consistently doesn't understand a proper name or unique word correctly.

  1. Launch Siri by pressing and holding the Home button on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Dictate a request.
  3. Scroll up to view the text you've spoken if it isn't on the screen already.
  4. Tap on the text you spoke in order to edit it.
  5. Change anything you'd like and then hit Done on the bottom right of the keyboard.

How to enable and disable Siri in the Settings app

iOS will typically ask you if you want to enable Siri when you first set up your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or iPad mini. However, if for some reason Siri isn't already enabled, you can turn it on at any time in Settings. The same goes for disabling it.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Siri.
  4. Either enable or disable Siri by toggling the switch on or off. You'll be asked to confirm you want to enable or disable Siri.

How to configure Siri

You can configure Siri to work in several languages, with or without voice feedback, to know your contact information, and to activate whenever you raise your phone.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Siri.
  4. Tap on Language to change languages and dialects.
  5. Tap on Voice Feedback to choose whether Siri always talks back to you, or only when in Handsfree mode.
  6. Tap **My Info* to select your Contact card so Siri knows who you are, what your numbers are, and what your locations are. This lets you say things like "Call home." or "Give me directions to work."
  7. Toggle Raise to Speak to have Siri pop up whenever you bring your iPhone to your ear, and you're not on a call. This may drain your battery faster than if it were disabled.

How to secure Siri with a Passcode Lock

Since Siri is usually activated by just holding down the Home button, it can pose a security risk to the data on your iPhone or iPad. If you are security conscious and have activated a Passcode Lock for your iPhone or iPad, you may want to make sure Siri isn't allowed to bypass that lock — it's less convenient, but that's always the cost of security.

  1. Launch the **Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Touch ID & Passcode. If you have a device that doesn't use Touch ID, you'll simply tap on Passcode.
  3. Type in your passcode.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and under the Allow Access When Locked section, turn Off the option for Siri.

How to get more help with Siri

If you still need help with setting up or using Siri with your iPhone Contacts, or any other Siri feature, head on over to our Siri Forum and ask away!

Note: Originally published November 2012. Updated May 2014 by Ally Kazmucha.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How to set up, secure, and start using Siri

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In the section about how to enable Siri, if it isn't already enabled, you suggest asking Siri to launch settings for you... Only Siri isn't enabled, so this is doomed to failure.

Was the article already edited? I don't show the recommendation of having Siri open the settings app when it's not enabled.

Is it creepy that Rene's very fine tutorial on Siri shows his phone to have Ally's name in My Info?

jk, thanks to both of you.