An iPhone 7 with Home for iOS launched and in use.

Just getting started with HomeKit or recently purchased your first HomeKit-enabled accessory? Awesome! You've just bought into one of the most secure, most easy-to-use connected home platforms — especially if you're using an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad. Now, while Apple's take on the connected home is designed to be simple and secure, it can still be a little daunting. That's why we've put together this guide: to give you all the information you'll need (and then some!) to set up and use HomeKit-enabled accessories and apps.

Don't worry, you'll be controlling your home with Siri and the iOS Home app in no time!

How HomeKit works

An iPhone 7 with Home for iOS launched and in use.

What the heck is HomeKit and how does it work? Fair question. When you buy a connected home accessory that works with Apple HomeKit, you're buying a product that meets Apple's requirements for both security and functionality. HomeKit is a framework that connects your home automation products and lets you control them with Siri, and the Home app for iOS.

Here's an example: Say you buy Elgato's Eve Room, a HomeKit-enabled product that monitors a room's air quality, temperature, and humidity. After you perform an initial setup process, Apple's HomeKit framework securely connects the accessory to your iOS devices and lets you access its sensors (air quality, temperature, and humidity) in the Home app, HomeKit-enabled apps and via Siri.

You can learn more about how HomeKit operates here:

HomeKit accessories: What's available and our reviews

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus

Looking for HomeKit-enabled accessories to add to your home? Wondering if that newly announced device is a good choice? Find out which accessories work with HomeKit and our reviews of some of the best devices on the market.

How to install your HomeKit accessories

Want to pick up some HomeKit accessories such as a light switch but do not know to install them? Check out our guides on how to get the job done.

How to set up your HomeKit accessories

A prompt in the Home app for iOS asks you to select an accessory to add to your Home.

Once you've picked up a HomeKit accessory or two, you'll want to set them up with your house. Here's our complete guide to hooking your accessories up to HomeKit; adding rooms, zones, and scenes; and sharing your HomeKit access with guests and family members.

How to control your HomeKit accessories

Apple Watch HomeKit Home App

The best part of HomeKit is being able to control all your apps in one place. Here's how you can use Siri and the Home app to truly become the master of your HomeKit house.

How to access your HomeKit accessories outside of your home

Want to control your lights while you're on vacation? Here's what you need to know about HomeKit and remote access.

Everything you need to know about Apple TV and HomeKit

Troubleshooting HomeKit

An iPad Pro lays atop a pile of papers and a white surface. The screen shows the Home app for iOS. There's an error with an accessory.

Having trouble setting up HomeKit? Here's our full list of troubleshooting tips and recommendations.

More helpful HomeKit links

If you still have questions about HomeKit or want to chat with some fellow HomeKit owners, check out our HomeKit forums and our other HomeKit articles!

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Updated July 2019: Updated for iOS 13 (still in beta).

Serenity Caldwell contributed to an earlier version of this guide.

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