How to troubleshoot HomePod

HomePod top view
HomePod top view (Image credit: iMore)

Like all tech gadgets, HomePod is sure to have its own share of issues, like connection drops, issues with setup, and the like. While we can't fix every problem, we can help you troubleshoot some of the most common and likely scenarios you'll come across with your HomePod.

Your iPhone or iPad isn't connecting to your HomePod

If you're having trouble setting up your HomePod, you should know that there are a few minimum requirements you'll need to check.

  • Make sure your software is up to date on your iPhone or iPad. HomePod requires an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.5 or later. If you're not up to date on iOS, go ahead and make that happen right now.

How to update your iPhone and iPad

  • Make sure iCloud Keychain is enabled on your iPhone or iPad. You'll need iCloud Keychain in order for your HomePod to gain access to some of your information. It's a requirement when setting up the device with your iPhone or iPad.

How to enable iCloud Keychain on your iPhone or iPad

  • Make sure you have two-factor authentication set up on your iPhone or iPad (not two-step verification). Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, is Apple's most secure way to allow your devices to talk to each other. It's required for use with Apple Watch, too. If you don't already use 2FA, you'll need to in order to set up your HomePod.

How to set up Apple's two-factor authentication

  • Make sure Wi-Fi is enabled on your iPhone or iPad. HomePod needs your local Wi-Fi to be on and working in order to connect to your iPhone or iPad. Check your iPhone or iPad to make sure Wi-Fi is on, then check your router or modem to make sure your Wi-Fi connection is working.

How to enable Wi-Fi on your iPhone and iPad

  • Make sure Bluetooth is turned on on your iPhone or iPad. HomePod also needs a Bluetooth connection to talk to your iPhone or iPad. This won't eat up your battery. It's a super low-powered way to allow the two devices to talk to each other, similar to the way you need Bluetooth to use Handoff on your iPhone and Mac. Check your iPhone's Bluetooth connection. If it's already on, toggle the switch off and then back on again.

Troubleshooting Bluetooth issues

Siri isn't working or isn't understanding me

Siri on HomePod works just about the same as it does on Apple TV (maybe not quite so robust). Basically, it's not connected to a web browser, so it can only answer certain questions for you. If you ask Siri a question it can't answer, it's not broken, it's just not working the same as you're used to on the iPhone.

If you're saying, "Hey Siri," and don't get any response, you should first check to make sure there aren't any major obstructions in front of your speaker. HomePod has a six-microphone array, so it would be difficult to block the microphones, but it's a good starting place to check. You should also check to make sure your iPhone or iPad is connected to your HomePod so that the connection is solid.

If your HomePod is properly connected to your iPhone or iPad, try toggling off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and back on again.

How to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on in iOS 11

AirPlay isn't connecting

If you want to stream audio from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, you can do so using AirPlay. If you're trying to stream audio to your HomePod, but can't find it in your list of available devices in AirPlay, there are a few things you can check.

  • Check to make sure your HomePod is plugged in. It's obvious, but can be easily overlooked.
  • Make sure that your iPhone or iPad is connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and that the HomePod is connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  • If you're streaming audio from Apple TV, make sure AirPlay is turned on on your Apple TV.
  • If you're connected to AirPlay but can't hear any audio, make sure your audio source and HomePod aren't muted.

Your HomePod is not working with your HomeKit devices

You can connect your HomeKit supported devices to the Home app on your iPhone or iPad and then use your HomePod to control them. All this connecting of things is bound to cause some problems.

  • Make sure you're logged in to your iCloud Account in the Home App and make sure your Wi-Fi is working properly.
  • Double-check the Home app to make sure your HomeKit gadgets are all still there.
  • If that doesn't fix it, check out our HomeKit troubleshooting guide.

Troubleshooting HomeKit accessories

HomePod still not working? It's time to contact Apple support

If the basic troubleshooting tricks don't work, it might be time to call up the big dogs. Apple's chat and phone tech support is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and comes free for 90 days after your HomePod purchase. If you upgrade to AppleCare+ for $39, that support lasts two years.

Contact Apple Support

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).