While it has its detractors, Siri is still a popular virtual assistant for folks with an iPhone or iPad — and that’s not simply because it’s built into those devices. Siri may not be able to answer all of your queries, but it still has many useful features. Nevertheless, not everyone needs a virtual assistant at their beck and call, so if you’d prefer to keep Siri out of the way, Apple has provided a way to switch it off.
It’s also possible to disable only some aspects of Siri. For example, you can choose to have Siri come up only when you trigger it manually with a button on your iPhone 14 rather than listening in for a “Hey Siri” command. You can also tweak the suggestions that Siri makes throughout iOS 16, such as on your lock screen or when searching for information using Spotlight. Here’s how you can bend Siri more to your will.
How to turn off Siri entirely
If you’re running iOS 11 or later, it’s easy to turn Siri off. Here’s how:
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
Step 2: Scroll down to the fourth section and select Siri & Search.
Step 3: At the top, toggle off Listen for “Hey Siri” and Press Side Button for Siri.
Step 4: If you have HomePod speakers in your home with personal requests enabled, you’ll be shown a warning advising you that your HomePods will no longer be able to recognize your voice or respond to personal requests. Select Stop Using Siri to confirm this.
Step 5: Select Turn Off Siri in the final pop-up that appears.
This will disable Siri entirely, so it will no longer respond to voice requests. However, as this final pop-up explains, it does not disable the Dictation feature. You must disable that separately in the Settings app under General > Keyboard > Enable Dictation if you want Siri-related information removed from Apple’s servers entirely.
How to disable “Hey Siri”
Siri has gotten better at recognizing the “Hey Siri” key phrase that’s used to activate it with your voice. However, it’s still not perfect, and your iPhone can sometimes think you’re calling for Siri during normal conversations. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to disable this aspect of Siri without turning the virtual assistant off entirely. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
Step 2: Select Siri & Search.
Step 3: At the top, toggle off Listen for “Hey Siri”.
Step 4: Once you’ve done this, your iPhone or iPad will no longer listen for the key phrase, but you’ll still be able to activate Siri on-demand by pressing and holding the side button. If you wish to turn “Hey Siri” on again in the future, you can simply repeat the above steps; just be aware that you’ll have to retrain Siri for your voice by repeating a few sample phrases.
How to turn off Siri Suggestions globally or for specific apps
Among Apple’s improvements to Spotlight in iOS 16 are Siri Suggestions. Siri now makes suggestions for things like calling into a meeting, confirming an appointment, creating an email, searching Safari, and other actions based on your daily routine and how you use your apps. You are in control of how those suggestions appear — or not.
If you usually find Siri Suggestions helpful but want to switch some or all of them off, here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and select Siri & Search.
Step 2: Scroll down and toggle off Allow Notifications, Show in App Library & Spotlight, Show When Sharing, or Show When Listening. You can choose any combination of those switches or all of them to adjust the corresponding features.
Step 3: You can further fine-tune your Siri preferences by scrolling down and turning Siri suggestions off just for specific apps. For example, if you don’t want Siri to provide you with suggestions related to Safari, select Safari.
Step 4: Swipe the sliders off for any function you want to deactivate. For example, turning off Show in App will stop Siri from making suggestions while you’re using Safari. On the flip side, disabling Show Content in Search will prevent content from Safari, such as your history or bookmarks, from appearing when doing a Spotlight search in iOS 16.
How to turn off Siri iCloud sync
Siri makes extensive use of machine learning to personalize its responses to your life and habits. As Siri gets more familiar with you, it should get more efficient and useful each time you call it up.
You can use iCloud to sync Siri’s machine-learning intelligence across all of your Apple devices. This is normally enabled by default if you opt into iCloud sharing features when setting up your iPhone or iPad, but you can switch it off at any time from your iCloud settings if you’d prefer to keep what Siri’s learned about you stored only on your local device.
Step 1: Open the iPhone or iPad Settings app and select your name at the top.
Step 2: Select iCloud.
Step 3: Select Show All.
Step 4: Scroll down, find Siri, and toggle it off.
If you later change your mind, you can easily turn any Siri functions back on by reversing the steps described above.
Lastly, if you’re really fed up with Siri and want to replace it with something else, see our guide on how to replace Siri with ChatGPT on your iPhone.
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