MacBook Pro Tips

Set up

The first time your MacBook Pro starts up, Setup Assistant walks you through the simple steps needed to begin using your new Mac. If you want to transfer your data from another computer, see Migrate your data for details.

A screen with Setup Assistant open to the Welcome screen.

Be sure to connect to Wi-Fi, turn on Bluetooth® wireless technology, get an Apple ID, then sign in to iCloud. Activate Siri during setup, if you want. If your MacBook Pro has the Touch Bar, you can also set up Touch ID and Apple Pay.

You can do these steps quickly and easily with Setup Assistant—but if you want to do them later, here’s how:

Connect to Wi-Fi. Click the Wi-Fi status icon in the menu bar, then choose a Wi-Fi network and enter the password, if necessary.

Turn Wi-Fi on or off. Click the Wi-Fi status icon in the menu bar, then choose Turn Wi-Fi On or Turn Wi-Fi Off.

Turn Bluetooth on or off. Click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, then choose Turn Bluetooth On or Turn Bluetooth Off.

Tip: If you don’t see the Wi-Fi status icon or Bluetooth icon in the menu bar, you can add them. For Wi-Fi, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network. Click Wi-Fi in the list on the left, then select “Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar.” For Bluetooth, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Bluetooth, then select “Show Bluetooth in menu bar.”

Get an Apple ID. Your Apple ID is the account you use for everything you do with Apple—including using the App Store, the iTunes Store, iCloud, iMessage, and more. Your Apple ID consists of an email address and a password. You need only one Apple ID to use any Apple service, on any device—whether it’s your computer, iOS device, or Apple Watch. It’s best to have your own Apple ID and not share it—create separate Apple IDs for each family member.

If you don’t already have an Apple ID, you can create one (it’s free). Go to the Apple ID account website.

Important: If you forget your Apple ID password, you don’t need to create a new Apple ID. Just click the Forgot link in the login window to retrieve your password.

Set up iCloud on your MacBook Pro. With iCloud, you can store all of your content—documents, movies, music, photos, and more—in the cloud, and access it anywhere you go.

To set up iCloud, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click iCloud. In the window that appears, enter your Apple ID and password. Then select the features you want to use. For more about iCloud, see Access your content anywhere with iCloud.

Important: Be sure to use the same Apple ID for iCloud on all your devices.

Set up Siri. You can enable Siri on your MacBook Pro when prompted during setup. To learn how to turn on Siri later and for information about using Siri on your Mac, see Siri.

Set up Touch ID. If your MacBook Pro has the Touch Bar and Touch ID, you can add a fingerprint to Touch ID during setup. To set up Touch ID later or to add additional fingerprints, click the System Preferences icon  in the Dock, or choose Apple menu > System Preferences. Then click Touch ID. To add a fingerprint, click the add icon and follow the onscreen instructions. You can add up to three fingerprints per user account (you can add up to five fingerprints total to your MacBook Pro).

The Touch ID preferences window with options for adding a fingerprint and using Touch ID to unlock your Mac, use Apple Pay, and buy from the iTunes, App Store, and iBooks Store.

You can also set options for how you want to use Touch ID on your MacBook Pro: to unlock your Mac instead of entering your password, to use Apple Pay (see Apple Pay), or to purchase items on the iTunes Store, App Store, and iBooks Store.

Tip: If two or more users use the same MacBook Pro, each one can add a fingerprint to Touch ID to quickly unlock, authenticate, and log in to the MacBook Pro. Your MacBook Pro can store a total of five fingerprints.

For more information about Touch ID, see the Apple Support article Use Touch ID on your MacBook Pro.

Set up Apple Pay. If you have a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar, you can set up Apple Pay for one user account on your MacBook Pro during setup. Other users can still pay with Apple Pay, but they must complete the purchase using their iPhone or Apple Watch that’s been set up for Apple Pay (see Apple Pay for more details). Follow the onscreen prompts to add and verify your card. If you already use a card for iTunes purchases, you might be prompted to verify this card first.

To set up Apple Pay or add additional cards later, click the System Preferences icon  in the Dock, or choose Apple menu > System Preferences. Then click Wallet & Apple Pay and follow the onscreen prompts to set up Apple Pay.

Note: The card issuer determines whether your card is eligible to use with Apple Pay, and may ask you to provide additional information to complete the verification process. Many credit and debit cards can be used with Apple Pay. For information about Apple Pay availability and current credit card issuers, see the Apple Support article Apple Pay Participating Banks.

The desktop

The first thing you see on your MacBook Pro is the desktop, where you can quickly open apps, search for anything on your MacBook Pro and the web, organize your files, and more.

A MacBook Pro screen calling out the Apple menu, desktop, Help menu, Finder window, menu bar, Wi-Fi status icon, Ask Siri icon, Finder icon, System Preferences icon, and the Dock.

Tip: Can’t find the pointer? To magnify it temporarily, move your finger rapidly back and forth on the trackpad. Or if you’re using a mouse, slide it back and forth quickly.

Touch Bar Tips

The Touch Bar on MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016) and MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports) replaces the function keys at the top of your keyboard and gives you quick access to commands on your Mac. It changes automatically based on what you’re doing and apps that you’re using.

If you need access to function keys (F1–F12), hold down the Function (fn) key at the bottom-left of your keyboard. Touch Bar changes to show the function keys for you to select, and then it returns to its previous state when you release the Function key.

For some apps, you can make the function keys display permanently in Touch Bar:

  1. In System Preferences, choose Keyboard.
  2. Click Shortcuts.
  3. From the left sidebar, select Function Keys.
  4. Click the “+” symbol, then navigate to the app and select it.

Now when you open or switch to this app, Touch Bar always displays the function keys.

     

You can also use an on-screen keyboard to access function keys:

  1. From System Preferences, select Keyboard.
  2. Check “Show Keyboard, Emoji and symbol viewers in menu bar”.
  3. Choose the viewer icon  in the menu bar, then choose Show Keyboard Viewer.

An on-screen keyboard appears with function keys that you can click.

Find system controls and settings in the Control Strip

When you start up your MacBook Pro, the Control Strip on the right side of the Touch Bar shows a few familiar buttons like volume, mute, and display brightness, as well as Siri. The Escape (Esc) button appears on the left side of the Touch Bar.

System controls: Tap  in the Control Strip and it expands, showing system controls like brightness, Exposé, Launchpad, and media playback:

Make your adjustments, then tap . The Control Strip returns to its smaller version on the right side of the Touch Bar, with Esc showing on the left side. You can always tap  to expand the Control Strip and see all the system controls.

Function buttons: To use the F1–F12 function buttons in the Touch Bar, hold the Function (fn) key at the bottom left of your keyboard. The function keys appear:

Learn more about using function keys on MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

As you use your Mac, the Touch Bar changes automatically based on what you’re doing to show relevant tools that you already know how to use. Read on for examples of what the Touch Bar can do in your favorite apps, and learn how to customize the Touch Bar to make it your own.

Use Touch Bar controls in apps

Many of the built-in apps on your Mac have Touch Bar controls that make common actions even easier. And your favorite third-party apps can take advantage of Touch Bar as well.

Here’s a look at what Touch Bar can do in some popular Mac apps. Explore your other favorite apps to see what Touch Bar offers.

Finder

Navigate and view: In Finder, tap the arrows in the Touch Bar to move back and forth among items, and tap  to view items in Quick Look.

View and sort: Tap  to see options for viewing and sorting your files and folders.

Share: Tap  to see options for sharing your files.

Tag: Tap  to see tags you can apply to items.

Safari

Visit your favorites: In Safari, tap a favorite website in Touch Bar to open it.

Navigate and search: Click the right or left arrow button to go backward or forward. Tap the search field to begin a search, or tap  to open a new tab.

Mail

Perform common tasks: You can use the Touch Bar in Mail for composing, replying, archiving, marking as junk, and flagging messages.

Use predictive input: In Mail and other apps where you compose text, the Touch Bar predicts as you type. Tap a word or emoji to insert it.

Format your text: As you type a message, select some text and the Touch Bar shows you formatting options like bold, italic, and lists.

Say it with emoji: In apps like Mail and Messages, you can choose emoji instead of words for a fun way to make your point. Tap  to see the emoji you use most, and then tap an emoji to insert it.

Photos

Speed through your library: In Photos, the Touch Bar speeds your search for just the right photo as you slide your finger across the thumbnails. You can tap  to mark a selected photo as a favorite or tap  rotate it.

Edit your photos: After you select a photo, tap  to see editing options (crop, filters, adjust, retouch, and red-eye). You can edit your photo using controls that appear on the Touch Bar.

Maps

Find yourself: In Maps, tap  in the Touch Bar to find your location. Tap the search field to type where you want to go.

See what’s nearby: The Touch Bar shows buttons with categories of nearby locations, like restaurants, hotels, and gas stations.

Get there: When you select a location to visit, you see options for getting directions, calling the business, or viewing its website.

Notes

Take a note: In Notes, tap  in the Touch Bar to create a new note. Tap  to add a checklist item.

Format your text: Tap  to show buttons for aligning text and applying bold, italic, or underscore styles.

Apply styles: Tap  to apply paragraph styles like numbered lists, bulleted lists, or headings.

Calendar

See your day: In Calendar, tap the Today button to see today’s events, or slide across the Touch Bar to select the month—past or future.

Edit your events: Select an event in your calendar, then tap to get the event details, edit the time or place, and add or delete invitees.

FaceTime

Control your calls: In FaceTime, you can make and answer calls, get caller info, and send a message or email when you can’t talk—all from the Touch Bar.

Customize your Touch Bar

In many apps, like Finder, Mail, and Safari, you can customize the Touch Bar.

Choose View > Customize Touch Bar. The customization window appears on your display, allowing you to choose your favorite items:

When you’re customizing the Touch Bar, its buttons jiggle, and you see the Done button on the left side.

Use your cursor to drag items that you want down into the Touch Bar. You can also drag items left and right within the Touch Bar to rearrange them, or drag them up and out of the Touch Bar to remove them.

Tap Done in the Touch Bar or click Done on the screen when you finish.

To customize the Control Strip, select View > Customize Touch Bar in any app that supports customization, then touch the Control Strip region of the Touch Bar to switch to Control Strip customization. You can also customize the Control Strip in the Keyboard section of System Preferences.

Explore and experiment

Most apps include shortcuts, tools, and controls in the Touch Bar for the tasks that you want to do. Tap around to see what you can accomplish quickly and easily.

It’s often easier to tap the Touch Bar than to click or select items onscreen. For example, open Calculator and do quick calculations with the number keys and the functions on the Touch Bar—without moving your cursor, clicking, and typing.

Keep using the Touch Bar to find the best ways to do what you want, and explore your favorite third-party apps as they add a new dimension with Touch Bar features.

Use accessibility options with Touch Bar

The accessibility features that help you use your Mac can also help you use the Touch Bar. Hold the Command key while you press Touch ID (power button) three times to toggle VoiceOver, which reads aloud Touch Bar commands.

Use VoiceOver with Touch Bar

VoiceOver tells you what’s on your screen, and walks you through actions like selecting a menu option or activating a button using your keyboard or trackpad. It can also tell you what’s on your Touch Bar.

To turn VoiceOver on or off, hold the Command key and triple-press the Touch ID button, which is on the right side of Touch Bar at the top of your keyboard:

 

After you turn on VoiceOver, you can use these gestures with Touch Bar:

  • Move one finger over the Touch Bar to change the Touch Bar focus and have VoiceOver announce the element under your finger.
  • Swipe left or right with one finger to move the Touch Bar focus to the previous or next Touch Bar element.
  • Double-tap anywhere on the Touch Bar to activate the element under the Touch Bar focus.
  • Split-tap (touch an item with one finger, then tap the Touch Bar with another) to activate the element under the first finger you use.
  • Double-tap and hold to enter direct touch mode for the element under the Touch Bar focus. This allows you to adjust sliders.

Use Touch Bar Zoom

If you use the Zoom feature on your Mac, you can also turn on Touch Bar Zoom.

Select Apple menu () > System Preferences. Then click on Accessibility, select Zoom, and turn on Enable Touch Bar Zoom.

Here’s what you can do after you turn on Touch Bar Zoom:

  • Touch and drag with one finger on the Touch Bar to see a zoomed view of the Touch Bar on your display.
  • Change the magnification level by holding down the Command key and use a two-finger pinch gesture.
  • While panning with one finger, quickly tap with a second finger to synthesize a tap where your first finger is. Hold the second finger down and move both fingers together to synthesize a tap down and drag where your first finger is.
  • Hold your finger still in one location to enter direct-touch mode, which allows you to interact directly with the control under your finger.

Use Switch Control with Touch Bar

You can use Switch Control to display Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro screen. This lets you access Touch Bar elements with standard pointer controls.

First, turn on Switch Control:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Accessibility, then click Switch Control.
  2. Click General, then select Enable Switch Control. The Switch Control Home Panel appears on your desktop.

Next, toggle Touch Bar:

  1. In the Switch Control Home Panel, click System.
  2. Click Toggle Touch Bar to show or hide Touch Bar.

Learn more about using pointer controls.

Use Accessibility Options to turn on other features

macOS features an Accessibility Options window that lets you quickly turn on or off common accessibility features like Zoom, VoiceOver, Sticky Keys, and more. To bring up this window on your MacBook Pro, triple-press the Touch ID button.

Siri Tips

Like Siri on your iOS devices, Siri on your Mac is your intelligent personal assistant that helps you multitask and get things done just by asking. For example, while you work on a document, you can ask Siri to send a message to your coworker saying that the document is on the way—without having to stop what you’re doing.

Here are just a few examples of the many things that you can ask Siri to do:

  • “Show the PDFs in my Downloads folder”
  • “How much free space do I have on my Mac?”
  • “Play the top 40 jazz songs”
  • “What’s the weather in Lake Tahoe?”
  • “Show me all of the files I shared with Cecilia last week”
  • “Search the web for images of the Eiffel Tower”
  • “Find tweets from José Bautista”
  • “FaceTime Victoria”
  • “Add Laura to my 10 AM meeting”
  • “How do you spell broccoli?”
  • “Show my photos from yesterday”
  • “What time is it in Monterrey, Mexico?”

Ask Siri a question

Click the Siri icon  in the menu bar or Dock. Siri asks “What can I help you with?” Then say what you need. 
To learn about Siri’s capabilities on the Mac, just ask Siri “What can you do?”

Click the Siri icon  again or clickmicrophone iconin the search result to ask another question. Siri remains open on your desktop in front of any other apps, or you can close the window with a swipe.

To ask Siri a question, you can instead hold down both the Command (⌘) key and Space bar until Siri asks, “What can I help you with?”

 If you’re using a Mac mini or a Mac Pro, connect a microphone for Siri to hear your requests. Choose Apple menu () > System Preferences and click Sound.
Then select your microphone in the Input tab.

 

Ask Siri to find files on your Mac

Siri makes it easy to find files on your Mac, using various criteria. For example, you can ask Siri to search for all the documents that you opened this week. Then you can ask Siri to refine your results to just the ones with the word “annual” in the title.

 

Keep Siri results where you can find them

You can keep important information from Siri—like sports schedules, Twitter feeds, files that are related to your big project, and much more—right in Notification Center so you can access it easily. Just click plus sign at the top of your Siri results. They’ll even stay up to date, so you always know where to find game times, trending topics, or important documents.

Search and drag Siri results

You can ask Siri to search for information, and then drag the results into a window or application on your desktop. For example, you can ask Siri to find an image on the web, and then you can drag it into your Pages document. Or you can ask Siri to find a restaurant, then drag the location from Maps into an invitation.

Edit your Siri request

To edit your request instead of making a new request, double-click your words in the Siri window, then enter your changes from the keyboard.


Double-click your words to edit them.


Then press Return to search again.

Change Siri settings

Go to System Preferences and click Siri. Or you can just ask Siri to open Siri Preferences.

In Siri Preferences, you can:

  • Turn Siri on or off
  • Change the language or dialect that Siri expects you to use
  • Change the gender and dialect of the voice that Siri uses when speaking to you
  • Turn off voice feedback so that Siri shows results silently

Get help

 

Siri Tips

Ensure that your device is connected to the Internet

Siri works by sending your requests to Apple servers. Because of this, Siri sends information such as your voice input, contacts, and location (if you have Location Services turned on) to Apple to process your requests.

For Siri to work, your device must be connected to the Internet using cellular data or Wi-Fi.

Siri not available

Note: In certain instances, Siri may say, “Sorry, I’m having trouble connecting to the network” or ask that you “try again in a little while”. If this occurs, check your connection and try again later.

If you wish to use Voice Control while you are not connected to the Internet, turn Siri off from Settings > General > Siri. Make sure to turn Siri back on when you have Internet connectivity and you wish to use it again.

Ensure that Siri is on

If Siri is off, you can turn it on in Settings > General > Siri. When you turn Siri on, make sure it is using the correct language for your region.

If Siri is not behaving as expected, try toggling Siri off and then back on. You can turn it off and on in Settings > General > Siri.

Siri is available only in the following languages, which you can set in Settings > General > Siri > Language:

  • English (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States)
  • French (Canada, France, Switzerland)
  • German (Germany, Switzerland)
  • Japanese (Japan)
  • Spanish (Mexico, Spain, United States)
  • Italian (Italy, Switzerland)
  • Mandarin (China, Taiwan)
  • Cantonese (Hong Kong)
  • Korean (South Korea)

If Siri is not recognizing your requests, make sure Siri is set for the language you are speaking.

If you wish to use a different language for Voice Control, turn Siri off and use Voice Control. You can turn Siri off in Settings > General > Siri.

Enable Location Services for Siri

Siri will work without Location Services. However, a number of features Siri offers require Location Services. If you try to use one of these features, Siri will advise you that it does not know where you are.
Location Services Settings

You can turn Location Services on for Siri by selecting Location Services Settings on the prompt, or by going toSettings > Privacy > Location Services and turning on both Location Services and Siri.

When you first use Siri with another application that uses Location Services, you will need to turn on Location Services for that application. For example, if you create a reminder to call your mom when you get home and Reminders or Siri has not been used before with Location Services, a prompt will appear saying that you will need to turn them on in Location Services Settings.

Reminders would like to use your current location

Some features, such as Maps and local search using Yelp!, work only in the United States. Additionally, requests for information from Wolfram|Alpha work only when the language for Siri is set to English.

Providing Siri with user information

Siri uses relational data from your contact to learn about the people close to you.

To set your contact tap Settings > General > Siri > My Info and select your contact.
My Info panel in Siri

If Siri is pronouncing a name incorrectly you can add phonetic first and last names to your contact entries:

  1. Open the Contacts application.
  2. Select the contact that Siri is mispronouncing.
  3. Tap “edit” in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap “add field”.
  5. Add phonetic first and last names as needed.
  6. The new fields will appear at the top of the contact. You can then spell out your name phonetically to assist with pronunciation.
  7. When finished making changes to the contact, tap Done in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Be as specific as possible

  • When you ask Siri to do something, be as specific as possible. For example, if you ask Siri to set an alarm, be sure the specify AM or PM.
  • If more than one of your contacts has the same first name, it can help to identify your contact by their full name when speaking with Siri.
  • Specify punctuation, for example: “question mark”.

Ensure that Siri can clearly hear you

If Siri is unable to clearly understand what you are saying, make sure your microphones are not blocked.

iPhone 4s

Verify that the bottom microphone, located to the left of the dock connector, is not blocked.

iPhone 5

Verify that both the mic in the receiver opening and the mic near the rear camera are not blocked.

iPod touch (5th generation)

Verify that the mic near the rear camera is not blocked.

iPad (3rd generation)

Verify that the mic at the top center, above the FaceTime camera, is not blocked.

All models

  • If you are using a protective case, try removing it.
  • Try turning your device off and then on again.

Raise to Speak

  • To activate Raise to Speak, move your iPhone from a viewing position in front of you up to your ear.
  • Raise to Speak can be activated from any application, the Home screen, or the Lock screen.
  • If you use Raise to Speak while using the onscreen keyboard, dictation will be triggered rather than Siri.
  • Raise to Speak is available only when the iPhone is not in use with a headset or other hands-free solution.

Using Siri with audio accessories

  • Siri will work with many audio accessories, including wired and wireless headsets and car stereos.
  • Find more information about: Troubleshooting Bluetooth headsets and headphones.
  • Find more information about: Troubleshooting car stereo connections.
  • If you are using an audio device that connects using the Dock Connector, Siri will not route through that device. You will need to continue to use your device, wired headset, or Bluetooth headset to interact with Siri.
  • If you are using your iOS device with a device that uses a Remote User Interface, ensure that you control your iOS device using the car stereo or other device. Attempting to control your iOS device directly through either touchscreen, Siri, or Voice Control won’t work.

Dictation tips

You can dictate with your iOS device in different languages by using the international keyboard for that language. Add a keyboard by tapping Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard.

When you want to change the language used for Dictation:

  1. Tap the globe icon to change to the keyboard for that language.
  2. Tap the microphone icon to start Dictation.

Note: To use Dictation, the keyboard language needs to be a supported language. Dictation is designed to recognize the accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.

Dictation works in most places where you can enter text using the keyboard. Certain text-entry fields in third-party apps or web forms might not support Dictation.

Dictation can be enabled and disabled by disabling Siri in Settings > General > Restrictions.

Use Siri on iPad

The power of Siri is yours for the asking.

  • Summon Siri. Press and hold the Home button, until Siri beeps.

Note: To use Siri, iPad must be connected to the Internet. Cellular charges may apply.

Ask Siri anything, from “set the timer for 3 minutes” to “what movies are showing tonight?” Open apps, and turn features on or off, like Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Accessibility. Siri understands natural speech, so you don’t have to learn special commands or keywords.

Siri screen showing Siri’s response to a request, and related info. At the bottom-center is the button you tap to speak to Siri.

For hints, ask Siri “what can you do,” or tap the help button.

Siri often displays helpful info on your screen. Tap the info to open a related app or get more details.

  • Change Siri’s voice gender. Go to Settings > General > Siri (may not be available in all areas).
  • Talk to Siri using a headset. Connect the headset, then press and hold the center or call button.

Tell Siri about yourself

If you let Siri know who you are, you can get personalized service—like, “tell me how to get home.”

  • Tell Siri who you are. Fill out your contact card in Contacts, then go to Settings > General > Siri > My Info and tap your contact card.

Be sure to include your home and work addresses, and your relationships.

Note: Location information isn’t tracked or stored outside iPad. If you don’t want to use Location Services, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services to turn it off. You can still use Siri, but Siri won’t be able to do anything that requires knowing your location.

Make corrections

  • Want to cancel that last command? Say “cancel,” tap the Siri icon, or press the Home button.

If Siri doesn’t get something right, you can tap to edit your request.

Or tap the listen button again and clarify your request. For example, “I meant Boston.” Don’t bother saying what youdidn’t mean.

Siri settings

To set options for Siri, go to Settings > General > Siri. Options include:

  • Turning Siri on or off
  • Language
  • Voice gender (may not be available in all areas)
  • Voice feedback
  • My Info card
  • Prevent access to Siri when iPad is locked. Go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock. You can also disable Siri by turning on restrictions.

Use Siri on iPhone

The power of Siri is yours for the asking.

  • Summon Siri. Press and hold the Home button, until Siri beeps.

Note: To use Siri, iPhone must be connected to the Internet.

Ask Siri anything, from “set the timer for 3 minutes” to “what movies are showing tonight?” Open apps, and turn features on or off, like Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and Accessibility. Siri understands natural speech, so you don’t have to learn special commands or keywords.

Siri screen showing the text of what Siri heard, Siri's response, and related info. At the bottom-left is the help button, and bottom-center the button you tap to speak to Siri.

For hints, ask Siri “what can you do,” or tap the help button.

Siri often displays helpful info on your screen. Tap the info to open a related app or get more details.

  • Use Raise to Speak. Raise iPhone to your ear and speak after the beep. (If the screen isn’t on, first press the Lock or Home button.) Raise to Speak must be turned on in Settings > General > Siri.
Person bringing iPhone to his ear, starting with the screen facing up towards the ceiling, and the hand rotating on the way up.
  • Change Siri’s voice gender. Go to Settings > General > Siri (may not be available in all areas).
  • Use Siri with your iPhone headset or another wired or Bluetooth headset. Connect the headset, then press and hold the center or call button.

FAQ Siri

Siri lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls*, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back.

What is Siri?

Siri is the intelligent personal assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. It allows you to use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. But Siri isn’t like traditional voice-recognition software that requires you to remember keywords and speak specific commands. Siri understands your natural speech, and it asks you questions if it needs more information to complete a task.Siri is available on these devices:

  • iPhone 4S or later
  • iPad 3rd generation or later
  • iPad mini
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

Using Siri

How do I ask Siri something?

To talk to Siri, hold down the Home button and you’ll hear two quick beeps and see “What can I help you with? on the screen. Just begin speaking. The audio wave moves across your screen, letting you know Siri is listening and processing your request. Once you’ve started a dialogue with Siri, tap the microphone icon to talk to it again.There’s more than one way to talk to Siri. Siri works with headphones and Bluetooth headsets. When you’re using headphones with a remote and microphone, you can press and hold the center button to talk to Siri. With a Bluetooth headset, press and hold the call button to bring up Siri.

On iPhone, simply bring iPhone up to your ear when the screen is on. You’ll hear two quick beeps to indicate that Siri is listening to you.

In a car that supports Eyes Free, you can also start a conversation with Siri by pressing a button on your steering wheel.

Siri waits for you to stop talking, but you can also tap the audio wave to tell Siri you’re done talking. This is useful when there’s a lot of background noise.

What happens after I ask Siri a question or ask it to do something?

When you finish speaking, Siri displays the text of what you said and provides a response. If Siri needs more information to complete a request, it will ask you a question. For example, if you say “Remind me,” Siri will say “OK, just tell me what you want to be reminded about.”When you use earphones or a headset, Siri reads back text messages and email messages that you’ve dictated before you send them, and it reads back the subjects of reminders before you create them. This is especially helpful when you’re driving and can’t see the screen.

Do I have to say things a certain way to get Siri to respond?

No. You can speak to Siri as you would to a person — in a natural voice with a conversational tone. If you want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow, simply say “What will the weather be like tomorrow? Or “Does it look like rain tomorrow? Or even “Will I need an umbrella tomorrow? No matter how you ask, Siri will tell you the forecast.

When using Siri for dictation, say the punctuation marks you wish to have inserted as they are needed. For example, to dictate “Pick up the new iPad and suddenly, it’s clear”, say “Pick up the new iPad and suddenly comma it’s clear period”.

Does Siri work out of the box or do I have to teach it?

Siri works right out of the box, without any work on your part. And the more you use Siri, the better it will understand you. It does this by learning about your accent and other characteristics of your voice. Siri uses voice recognition algorithms to categorize your voice into one of the dialects or accents it understands. As more people use Siri and it’s exposed to more variations of a language, its overall recognition of dialects and accents will continue to improve, and Siri will work even better.

Siri also uses information from your contacts, music library, calendars, and reminders to better understand what you say. So it responds more accurately when you ask to make a phone call, play music, or create an appointment or reminder.

If you like, you can reset what Siri has learned about your voice by turning Siri off and then back on inSettings > General > Siri.

Can I change how Siri sounds?

New female and male voices will be available initially in U.S. English, French, and German. You can change the gender by going to Settings > General > Siri > Voice Gender. Your iOS device initially uses a compact voice for Siri. iOS will automatically download and install a more natural-sounding voice when you first connect to power and a Wi-Fi network.

What Siri can do for you

What types of things can I ask Siri about or ask it to do?

You can ask Siri to make a call, find a business and get directions, schedule reminders and meetings, search the web, and more. You can even ask Siri “What can you do for me? or tap the “?” in the left corner of the screen when you bring Siri up. You’ll see examples of things Siri can do, along with ways you can ask for things.

With which apps does Siri work?

Siri works with almost all the built-in apps. And it’s smart enough to figure out which apps to use to provide you with answers. It also uses Search and Location Services to help you with your requests. Here’s a list of apps and services that Siri works with worldwide:

  • Phone
  • FaceTime
  • Dictation
  • Music
  • Mail
  • Messages
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Notes
  • Contacts
  • Alarms
  • World Clock
  • Timer
  • Weather
  • Stocks
  • Web search
  • Wikipedia search
  • Wolfram|Alpha (English only)
  • Find My Friends
  • Post on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Movies
  • Sports
  • App launch
  • Maps
  • Local search

How does Siri learn who I am?

If Siri knows who you are, it can use your information to better help you. To make sure Siri knows who you are, select your contact information in Settings > General > Siri > My Info.

Your information is used for questions like “How do I get home?” or “What good restaurants are near work?”

How does Siri learn about my key relationships?

Siri also helps you by learning about the key people in your life. The first time you ask Siri to call your sister, it will ask you who your sister is. That information is stored in Contacts along with other relationship information like “mom,’ “husband,’ and “grandma.’

How do location-based reminders work?

Because Siri knows your current location and other locations like “home and “work, it can remind you to do a certain task when you leave a location or arrive at a location. So if you tell Siri,”Remind me to call my wife when I leave the office, Siri does just that.

To turn off the ability for Siri to use your location, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and set the switch for Siri to Off. Regardless of how Locations Services is set for Siri, information about your location is not tracked or stored outside the phone.

Is Siri accessible to the blind and visually impaired?

Yes. VoiceOver, the screen reader built into iOS, can speak any text that’s displayed in responses from Siri. You can navigate through the responses and have each one read to you. This includes the days of a weather forecast, the body of an email, the details of an answer from Wolfram|Alpha, and more.

Language support and availability

Siri understands and can speak the following languages:

  • United States (English, Spanish)
  • United Kingdom (English)
  • Australia (English)
  • France (French)
  • Germany (German)
  • Japan (Japanese)
  • Canada (Canadian French, English)
  • China (Mandarin)
  • Hong Kong (Cantonese)
  • Italy (Italian)
  • Korea (Korean)
  • Mexico (Spanish)
  • Spain (Spanish)
  • Switzerland (French, German, Italian)
  • Taiwan (Mandarin)

Can I use Siri in any of these languages in other countries?

Yes. You can enable Siri in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in any of the languages that Siri supports. However, Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.