Controlling smart home accessories via the Home app or voice with Siri is absolutely magical, but that magic can quickly turn to frustration if your accessory suddenly comes down with a case of the dreaded No Response error. No Response status not only means that you lose the ability to control your accessories, but it also impacts automations and scenes, which can really disrupt a home.
Since HomeKit relies on a variety of factors and involves multiple devices, tracking down an exact fix for the No Response issue can be a little tricky. Sometimes it's a spotty wireless connection; the next day, it could merely be an issue with the Home app requiring a reboot. With a little patience, you can bring that accessory back to life, just follow the steps below to get started.
First things first
Before we dive into the deep stuff, there are a few simple settings that you should check on your iOS device. These include ensuring that your device is connected to your Wi-Fi network at home, and checking to see if Bluetooth is on.
Next, make sure that your iPhone is signed into your iCloud account. You can do this by simply going into the Settings app and checking to see if your name is listed at the top. If it isn't, then check out our guide below on signing in.
Finally, make sure that you are running the latest version of iOS or macOS, as well as on your HomeKit hub, like the Apple TV or HomePod. For more details on updating, check out the guides below.
- How to update your iPhone and iPad: The ultimate guide
- How to download and install macOS on your Mac
- How to download and install tvOS on your Apple TV
- How to install software updates for your HomePod
Narrow it down
Sometimes, a HomeKit accessory may show the No Response message even though it is actually connected to your home network. To narrow it down to either an accessory issue or a Home app issue, you can check the device-specific app for your accessory to see if you can control it from there. If you can, then you can turn your attention to troubleshooting HomeKit.
If your accessory is available in another app, you can check for firmware updates that may address the problem, or you can refer to HomeKit specific steps provided by the manufacturer.
Home or away
If your HomeKit accessory only shows No Response when you are not at home, then you may need a HomeKit hub. HomeKit hubs bridge the gap between the accessory and the internet, allowing you to access your gear while out and about while also letting you create automations.
There are currently three types of HomeKit hubs that are available: the Apple TV (4th generation or later), HomePod, and iPad (running the latest version of iOS). HomeKit hubs, even in standby, will handle all of the connections in the background and are generally enabled automatically when you sign into your iCloud account during the setup process for the device.
If you have one of these devices in your home already, you can check their HomeKit status in the Home app on iOS. An active HomeKit hub will be displayed as Connected in the Home app, and if you have other hubs in the home, they will show as Standby. If your hub isn't showing Connected or isn't displayed at all, then you will have to enable it on that specific device. Here are the steps to check out your hub's status.
Reboot all the things
As with most problems, sometimes a simple reboot is all that it takes to get things back up and running. For HomeKit troubleshooting, rebooting your HomeKit hub, iOS device, and even the accessory itself is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make an unresponsive accessory available again.
Rebooting a HomeKit accessory usually requires just unplugging it from the wall, or removing its batteries. In some cases, you can also use the associated app if it is connected to your home network and if it can be seen by the app.
Rebooting an Apple TV requires either unplugging it, using the on-device menus, or using a combination of buttons on the Siri remote.
For the HomePod, you can simply unplug it, or you can use the Home app. Restarting it via the Home app can be a little dangerous, though, as you will be presented for options to restart or reset the HomePod, so make sure that you pay attention before tapping. Here's how:
- Launch the Home app.
- Tap Rooms.
- Swipe to the left or right to locate the Room that your HomePod is in and then tap and hold on the HomePod.
- Tap the Settings icon.
- Swipe down and tap Reset HomePod
- Tap Restart HomePod.
- Make sure that you tap the restart option. If you tap the Remove Accessory option, your HomePod will be restored to factory settings.
- Restarting your HomePod will take a few moments, and it will not be available for voice commands during this time
- If your HomePod is the acting HomeKit hub in the home, you will temporarily lose access to your accessories
Going the distance
The vast majority of HomeKit accessories on the market use wireless radios to communicate to your home network. Common wireless types are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and RF, all of which are limited in their maximum range. If you have just a single accessory that comes and goes, then it may be a victim of a spotty signal.
Fixing the issue can be as simple as moving the accessory to a different location, or relocating your HomeKit hub. There are a few different tools that you can use to help diagnose an accessory's connection, most of which you may already have.
For Wi-Fi connections, check the app or web portal that you use for managing your router. Most modern routers will display signal strength as an easy to read icon or as a description like Excellent. Some routers will display the strength in numerical form, such as -50 dBm, and the lower the number, the better your signal is. If your signal is at or above -70 dBm, then you may experience connectivity issues.
If your signal isn't strong and if you cannot move your accessories, hub, or router, then you may want to look into a mesh Wi-Fi router, like the popular Eero line. These routers have multiple access points spread throughout the home to extend range, and it also supports HomeKit Secure Router features.
For Bluetooth accessories, signal strength can be also be checked, but to do so, you will more than likely need a third-party HomeKit app. We recommend the HomeScan for HomeKit app, as it is tailored for HomeKit, and comes with a handy companion Apple Watch app that makes diagnosing a connection even easier.
The HomeScan app will display strength in numerical form, and just like with Wi-Fi connections, a signal around -70 dBm or above can cause inconsistent performance. If you have a HomeKit hub in your home, you will need to ensure that you measure strength in relation to where your HomeKit hub is. You can do this by setting your iPhone on or near your Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod, then using the Apple Watch while standing near your HomeKit accessory.
ZigBee and RF accessories communicate to a dedicated hub, and as such, signal strength, if available, will be reported through the accompanying app. The most popular brand that uses ZigBee is Philips Hue, which uses it for its line of light bulbs and lamps, and for RF, Lutron's Caseta line is one of the most well-known.
In most cases, these types of accessories utilize a form of mesh networking that extends coverage in the home by allowing accessories to connect to each other. However, these radios are generally low power, which means that they have a shorter range, and are affected by walls and materials within the home. If you cannot move your accessories or the dedicated hub, then adding a brand-specific range extender, or even just another accessory in-between may help. You can also try changing the hub's channel that it operates on if the manufacturer's app supports it.
The nuclear option
If all else fails, resetting your HomeKit accessory, or HomeKit home may be the only solution. When resetting an accessory, it will revert back to the original settings, removing it from HomeKit and your home network. This process varies, but typical methods include holding a button on-device for a few seconds or removing it from the manufacturer's app. Once it is reset, you will need to add it back to your network following the same process as before to get it connected.
Resetting your HomeKit home should be the absolute last step that you attempt as it will not only remove the problematic accessory, but it will remove all of your accessories, scenes, and automations. Since there is no backup and restore process provided by the Home app, this option means that you will need to set up everything again, starting from scratch, so it is the most time-consuming. There are a few third-party apps, like Controller for HomeKit, that can back up scenes and automations, but it will not restore the actual accessories.
Still seeing No Response?
Still having issues with your accessory showing No Response? Have some troubleshooting tips that you use? Let us know in the comments below!
To add to this: I replaced a Time Capsule with a Nest WiFi system, and I immediately lost access to half of my smart home devices in the Home app. My Hue lights (all together) would go "No Response", or sometimes they'd be connected, but my Nanoleaf Panels and HomePods would go "No Response". My Apple TV would randomly stop showing up in the Home app, and as an AirPlay device for any apps. I also realized that my Chromecast devices were doing the same thing, which started to point me in the right direction. After tons of troubleshooting, including the above mentioned "nuclear option", I realized that half of my smart home devices were on the 2.4Ghz channel, while the other half were on the 5Ghz channel, and whatever channel my phone connected to (Nest WiFi only allows for a single, matched SSID) dictated which devices I could connect to. Because both channels had internet access, it was throwing me off, as I could see them just fine if I turned off WiFi on my phone. I eventually replaced the Nest WiFi with an Eero system, and despite it also forcing a single SSID for both networks, it seems to be smart enough to properly bridge the two. That it has its own Homekit compatibility is icing on the cake.
Get the best of iMore in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to iMore. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.