Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

How to Use 'Hey Siri' Hands-Free on a Mac

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,067
11,338


The latest version of Apple's "Hey Siri" feature works hands-free without being plugged into power, and it can be found in several recently announced Apple mobile products, including the fifth-generation iPad mini, third-generation iPad Air, and second-generation AirPods.


What's perhaps less well-known is that many of Apple's new Macs also support "Hey Siri" hands-free, meaning that users no longer have to click the menu bar icon or press a keyboard shortcut before they can start talking to the digital assistant.

What follows is a list of Macs that support "Hey Siri" hands-free, and below that you can find instructions on how to enable it on your machine. Note that future Mac models that include Apple's T2 security chip are likely to support the feature, too.
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
  • iMac Pro
How to Enable "Hey Siri" hands-free on a Mac

  1. Click the Apple (?) symbol in the top left corner of your Mac's screen and select System Preferences....
  2. Click the Siri icon in the preference pane.
    Tick the checkbox next to Listen for "Hey Siri".
  3. Click Continue to follow the Siri setup process, repeating verbally the commands shown on the screen.
  4. Click Done and then close the preference pane.
Now that you've enabled the feature, simply say "Hey Siri" to invoke the digital assistant and ask a question or give a command. If you're familiar with the Siri function on iPhone or iPad, you should find most of the same general commands work on Mac, too. For more information on how the feature can be useful on the desktop, check out our dedicated guide to using Siri commands in macOS.

Article Link: How to Use 'Hey Siri' Hands-Free on a Mac
 
Last edited:

Aquamite

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2014
377
172
Doesn't show on my Mac mini with a microphone attached which is annoying as it has the T2 chip.
Then, I guess as the microphone is connected through the I/O which is not handled by the T2 Chip the always listen feature can’t be enabled safely as it is the case in the other Mac models with T2 Chip.
 

neoelectronaut

macrumors 68040
Dec 3, 2003
3,129
1,508
New Orleans, LA
Pretty cool stuff. Might replace my 2016 MacBook Pro whenever new MacBooks get announced. Kinda regret not going for one in 2016 instead, but it is what it is.
 

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,691
7,830
New Hampshire, USA
Does Hey Siri only work with the internal microphone input?

It is not mentioned but people can set up their older Macs or Macs with an external microphone (Sierra or newer) to take Siri voice activation.

It is a little bit more complicated and the directions are here (no T2 chip needed :) ).

Still can’t believe the new iMac doesn’t have the T2 chip :mad:

The new iMac lucked out not getting the T2 chip.

Do new iMac owners want T2 bridgeOS errors ?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Marekul

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,141
2,750
You don't need the T2 to have "hey Siri" on your Mac and I'm not sure that it's worth having Face ID if your Mac is going to suffer T2 crashes.

I can also see why Face ID would be on demand in an iPhone / iPad but I'm not sure why on a computer ?

To each their own. I don't see the difference between using an iPhone versus a Mac. It'll save me just as much time by just looking at the screen rather than type my lengthy alpha-numerical password each time and I can't wait for the convenience to come to Mac.
 

liberte1776

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2014
267
268
Now, where is the hack to enable this on my '15 MBP since Apple likes to push features to newer Macs to sell new hardware?!
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.