How to set up Siri on iPhone or iPad

Can I use Siri to send an email? Here's how to do it
Can I use Siri to send an email? Here's how to do it (Image credit: Bryan M Wolfe / iMore)

There are many tools you can add to your iPhone or iPad. You can use a case, a pair of headphones, or even a flash drive. But by far, the best help you can get on your iPhone or iPad is Siri. With a simple "Hey Siri," you get many tools and features available to you without using your hands. Start using Siri isn't hard; here's how you can set up Siri on any of the best iPhones or iPads.

How to set up Siri on iPhone and iPad

"Hey Siri," now tries to lock on to your voice to prevent accidental — or mischievous — activation. You can either set it up when you set up your new iPhone or iPad or at any time in Settings.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on Siri & Search
  3. Tap the Listen for "Hey Siri switch to turn it on.

How to turn on Hey Siri by showing steps: Open the Settings app, scroll down and tap on Siri and Search, toogle Listen for Hey Siri on (Image credit: iMore)
  1. You'll go to the Setup page so you can train Siri to listen to your voice. Go to the train section to finish setting Siri up.

How to train "Hey Siri" to your voice

Whether part of the setup process or later, as soon as you turn on "Hey Siri," you'll need to train it to recognize your voice.

  1. Tap Continue on the Set Up "Hey Siri" page.
  2. Using your voice say, "Hey Siri."
  3. Using your voice say, "Hey Siri, Send a Message."

How to train Hey Siri to your voice: Tap on Continue, say Hey Siri. Then say Hey Siri, Send a Message. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Using your voice say, "Hey Siri, How's the Weather Today?"
  2. Say, "Hey Siri, set a timer for three minutes."
  3. Using your voice say, "Hey Siri, play some music."
  4. Tap Done on the "Hey Siri" Is Ready page.

How to train Hey Siri to your voice: Say Hey Siri, How's the Weather Today, then say Hey Siri, set a timer for three minutes. Finally, say Hey Siri, play some music. Tan on Done (Image credit: iMore)

Siri now knows your voice and is ready to go!

How to use "Hey Siri!"

Learning how to set up Siri is easy, but using "Hey Siri!" is, by design, ridiculously easier. You say, "Hey Siri," to initiate the start of your interaction.

  1. Position yourself within audio range of your iPhone or iPad
  2. Say "Hey Siri!" loud enough for your iPhone or iPad to hear you.
  3. Tell Siri what you want it to do — "call mom on speaker," "make a dinner reservation," "what's the weather like in Bermuda?" etc.

Here's a list of awesome Siri commands you can test out right now.

How secure is "Hey Siri!" voice ID?

We've tested "Hey Siri!" with over a half-dozen voices, and nothing has worked except the registered voice or a recording of the registered voice, but that can vary. But Voice ID on Hey Siri isn't meant for security. Don't mistake it for "My voice is my passport, authorize me!" Instead, it's intended to solve the problem of unintentional activation, whether it be accidental, a prank, or even malicious.

Turn "Hey Siri" off and stick with manual activation if you're worried about security. If you're interested in the convenience of voice activation while caring for children, cooking, working, or otherwise have your hands full, then know the limitations but enjoy the functionality.

Updated December 2021: Updated for iOS 15.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.