Apple HomePod with two HomeKit camerasSource: Christopher Close / iMore

Apple's HomeKit lets you create automations and control HomeKit accessories, but in order to take advantage of its powerful features and outside of the home controls, you need a HomeKit hub. A HomeKit hub, like an iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV, acts as the command center for your home, relaying commands to your accessories quietly in the background. In most cases, the only thing required for setting up a hub is signing in with your Apple ID. Here's how to set up and check in on your HomeKit hub.

Note: We can't stress this enough: You must enable two-factor authentication on your Apple ID. Here's how you turn on two-factor authentication.

How to make your Apple TV or HomePod a HomeKit hub

  1. Set up your Apple TV or HomePod for the first time.

Believe it or not, that's it! As soon as you complete the initial setup process with your Apple ID for the Apple TV or HomePod, it will automatically become a Home Hub.

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How to make your iPad a HomeKit hub

If you have an iPad that is always at home and connected to Wi-Fi, it can be used as your home's HomeKit hub. This setting requires the iPad to be associated with the same Apple ID as your HomeKit home, but other than that, it is really easy to set up.

  1. Launch Settings on your iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap Home.
  3. Toggle on Use this iPad as a Home Hub with a tap.

    How to make your iPad a HomeKit Hub on iPadOS by showing the following steps: Launch the Settings appHow to make your iPad a HomeKit Hub on iPadOS by showing the following steps: Scroll down and tap HomeHow to make your iPad a HomeKit Hub on iPadOS by showing the following steps: Toggle on Use this iPad as a Home Hub with a tapSource: iMore

How to view the status of your current HomeKit Hub

Want to check on the status of your HomeKit hub or want to find out which of your devices is your current hub? It is easy, and it involves just a few taps in the Home app. Unfortunately, HomeKit automatically selects which device is the acting hub, so you can only use these steps to view your home's status.

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap on the House icon located on the top left.
  3. Tap Home Settings.

    How to view the status of your current HomeKit Hub on the iPhone by showing the following steps: Launch the Home app, Tap the House icon, Tap Home SettingsSource: iMore

  4. Scroll down and tap on Hubs & Bridges.
  5. Review the list of HomeKit hubs assigned to your home.

    • Connected status means that this device is currently acting as your HomeKit hub.
    • Standby status means that the device will assume the hub role if your primary hub is disconnected.
    • Disabled means that this hub will not be used as a HomeKit hub.

    How to view the status of your current HomeKit Hub on the iPhone by showing the following steps: Scroll down and tap Hubs & Bridges, Review current statusSource: iMore

How to disable your Apple TV from being a HomeKit hub

If your Apple TV isn't in a central location in your home, it may cause performance issues with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories. HomeKit automatically selects which device will act as a hub, which may not be ideal for the Apple TV that is located in a far off room, so you can prevent it from being used if desired.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Apple TV.
  2. Click AirPlay & HomeKit.
  3. Scroll down to Home Hubs and click on the name of your Home to disable it.

    How to disable your Apple TV from being a HomeKit hub on the Apple TV by showing steps: Launch the Settings app, Click AirPlay & HomeKit, Click on your Home name to disable.Source: iMore

Troubleshooting

If you run into any issues getting access to your Home while you're out and about, Apple has a few recommendations:

  • Make sure all your devices are updated to the latest software.
  • Make sure all your devices are connected to the internet.
  • Make sure you're logged into the same Apple ID on all of your devices.
  • Enable two-factor authentication.
  • If all else fails, restart your devices.

Questions?

Have any questions or can't seem to get everything working? Let us know in the comments, and we'll try to get you squared away!

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Updated September 2020: Updated for iOS 14.

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