Hey, Siri! What can you do on the Mac? Lots and lots!

Siri is now available on the Mac, and it goes even deeper into your software than it does on iPhone and iPad. It can search for files, check your system settings, and understands contextual language, so you can ask one question and follow it up with a related one right after.

How to enable Siri on the Mac

When you first install macOS Sierra, you will be asked if you want to use Siri on the Mac. If you didn't enable it at that time, you can do so manually at any time from System Preferences.

  1. Click on the Apple icon () in the upper left corner of your screen.
  2. Select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

    Opening system preferences

  3. Select Siri (it is in the fourth section down).
  4. Tick the box on the left side of the window to Enable Siri.

    Enable Siri

  5. Select a language.
  6. Select a Siri Voice

    Adjust Siri settings

  7. If you don't want Siri to speak, turn off Voice Feedback.
  8. Select the Mic input from the internal one or an external accessory.

    Adjust Siri settings

How to use a keyboard shortcut to activate Siri

You can click on Siri in your app Dock or the Menu bar at the top of the screen. But if you prefer keyboard shortcuts, you're in luck — Siri likes them, too.

  1. Click on the Apple icon () in the upper left corner of your screen.
  2. Select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

    Opening system preferences

  3. Select Siri (it is in the fourth section down).
  4. Under Keyboard Shortcut, select a keyboard shortcut to use. By default, you hold down Command-Space, but you can also select from Option-Space, Function-Space, or you can customize it with the key combination you prefer.

    Enable Keyboard shortcuts with Siri

When you have a keyboard shortcut assigned, you can simply press and hold the two assigned keys until Siri pops up.

How to pin Siri results to Notification Center

All of your Siri search results can be pinned right into Notification Center. This can be very helpful if you are keeping track of documents for work — or you simply want to add pictures of Oscar Isaac to your Today view.

  1. Click on the Siri icon in the Menu bar or Dock, or use your keyboard shortcut to activate Siri.
  2. Tell Siri to find you a file, document, or perform a web search.
  3. When the search results appear in Siri's window, click the Plus (+) button next to the search results.

    Pin Siri searches to Notification Center

The Siri search results will be pinned to the Today view of your Notification Center. To remove it, hover over the search section in Notification Center and click on the X.

Here are some things that Siri can do on the Mac

Siri can search for files

Search files with Siri

Siri has access to the files and documents in your computer. You can search for files based on date, and even narrow the search in a second query.

  • "Find files I worked on last week."
  • "Just the ones from Saturday."
  • "Just Pages documents."

You can also search for emails, contact information, calendar events, directions, Notes, and more.

  • "Do I have any new emails?"
  • "What's on my schedule today?"
  • "How do I get to the Apple Store?"
  • "Find [X name] Note."
  • " What is my mom's address?" (If you ask for contact information for a relationship, Siri will ask who that person is, by name.)

Siri can tell you more about your Mac

Search your system with Siri

Siri also has access to your System Preferences, storage information, and more. If you need your serial number or want to know how much storage you have, Siri is on the case.

  • "How much space do I have left in iCloud?"
  • "How big is my hard drive?"
  • "How much memory do I have?"
  • "How fast is my processor?"

Currently, Siri doesn't seem to be able to tell you your screen size, display resolution, or how old it is.

Siri can keep you in the social networking loop

Tweet with Siri

When you sign in to Twitter and Facebook on your Mac, Siri will be able to tweet, publish status updates, and find out what's going on in the social universe.

  • "Tweet, 'I'm loving Siri on the #Mac!'" Say the word hashtag to use a #.
  • "Post to Facebook 'I want a new Mac, now."
  • "What's trending on Twitter?"
  • "What are people saying about #iPhone7 on Twitter" (say the word hashtag to use #).

Siri can search your Photos library

Search your Photos library with Siri

Siri can dig through your tens-of-thousands of pictures in Photos to find specific content, like your cat, food, or the lake. You can also search for pictures based on location and date.

  • "Show me pictures of my cat."
  • "Show me pictures of my kids."
  • "Show me pictures of my trip to Disneyland."
  • "Show me pictures of my trip to the lake last summer."

If it is indexed in the Photos app, Siri can find it.

Siri can also search for images on the web

Search the web for images with Siri

You are not relegated to pictures in your Photos library: You can search the entire online universe for whatever images you want. You just have to add "on the web," so Siri doesn't try looking in your Photos app for it.

  • "Search the web for pictures of Narwals."
  • "Show me pictures of Oscar Isaac from the web."

You can drag and drop any photo from a search query into any document, which is great for creating presentations.

Siri can adjust your Mac's settings

Adjust your Mac's settings with Siri

Siri can control many of your Mac's settings, like screen brightness, volume controls, Wi-Fi settings, and more.

  • "Turn WiFi off."
  • "My screen is too bright."
  • "Turn on Do Not Disturb."
  • "Turn on the screensaver."
  • "Put my Mac to sleep."

Siri can open your apps

Siri can open any app on your Mac, including third-party programs. Just say, "Open [name of app]", and you'll be whisked away to your app of choice.

Siri can keep you in touch

Have Siri make a call with FaceTime

If you want to send a message in Messages, Siri can do more than just open the app: It can also dictate and send the message for you. Just say, "Send a Message" and then dictate the message you want to send.

Siri also works with FaceTime. Ask Siri to "FaceTime [name] and it will connect you automatically.

Siri will jam out to your tunes with you

Siri can play your tunes

Siri has access to Apple Music and your music library. If you want to hear a specific song or album, or just want to relax to any genre of music, Siri can help.

  • "Play me some tunes."
  • "Play the top 10 songs of 1962."
  • "Play metal songs from the 80s."

Thanks to Shazam integration, Siri can also tell you what song is playing so you don't have to open iTunes to find out.

Because Siri has access to your system settings, it can adjust the volume, pause, skip, and replay songs.

Siri can help you plan your evening

Ask Siri to help you plan your evening

With support from Safari, Maps, and Find My Friends, Siri on the Mac can actually plan your evening for you. Ask about movies playing nearby, including their current rating; find out if there are any restaurants where you can book a table; and with Find My Friends enabled, you can even find out if your crew is putting one back at the local pub.

  • "What movies are playing tonight." When you click on a movie, you will be directed to Fandango on the web.
  • "Is 'Sully' any good?" You'll get a Rotten Tomatoes rating and a link to watch the trailer on movietrailers.apple.com.
  • "Find reservations for dinner tonight at seven." Siri can't book the reservation, but when you select a restaurant, you will see the Maps info card and can call or visit the website to make reservations.

Set Smart Reminders with Siri

Siri can set reminders

You don't have to get specific when asking Siri to set reminders for you: Since the Reminders app works with dates, times, and locations, you can get notified in a number of ways.

  • "Remind me to take out the garbage when I get home."
  • "Remind me to finish typing my resume tomorrow."
  • "Remind me to walk the dog every morning at 7:00 AM."

Siri also has an uncanny ability to recognize the app you're using thanks to its machine learning algorithms, and can set reminders based on what you are doing currently.

  • "Remind me to look at this tonight."
  • "Remind me to respond to this email after lunch."

Ask Siri anything

Siri has a wealth of knowledge built into its ever-increasing intelligence. It knows a lot about sports, music, geography, astronomy, and more. If Siri doesn't know the answer outright, it can find more information for you with a quick search of the web. You can ask Siri anything — and the more you ask, the more Apple will (anonymously) learn about what users need from Siri.

Have a question about Siri on the Mac? Let us know in the comments.