Prevent Siri from offering unsolicited conversation

SiriIconXApple’s Siri assistant in iOS is a neat addition to the iPhone and iPad, where you can use voice commands to manage content, look things up, and configure your system. In many cases, you might have Siri enabled but simply not use it regularly, and only have it on in the background to get to when you remember; however, after upgrading your iPhone, adjusting a few settings, and then moving on with your life, you might find Siri starting to announce things unexpectedly and without solicitation.

For instance, you might have your phone on a night-stand and be talking with someone, or have the TV on, and then Siri might announce “Sorry your name, I didn’t get that” or a similar phrase asking you to repeat something, or perhaps give you an odd bit of information about the weather or the time.

If this is occurring to you, it is because of Apple’s new option to have Siri be voice-activated when plugged into external power. Similar to Google’s “Hey Google” option in its Google Glass and other devices, Apple’s Siri can be activated by stating “Hey Siri;” however, this is only doable when the device is plugged into a power source. Because of this requirement, after having upgraded to the latest iOS version you might have been mulling around in the system’s settings and then toggled it, but saw no effect if you were running on battery power. However, once you plug your iPhone into the wall, then it’s game-on for Siri to detect any instance of “Hey Siri” and then go about interpreting and responding to whatever phrase follows it.

Hey Siri setting in iOS 8

Tap this option to disable Siri’s new “Hey Siri” service, and prevent the system from interrupting you without solicitation.

Siri should only respond to explicit “Hey Siri” phrases, but the service is relatively new and seems to respond very readily to a number of random phrases that it mistakes for this target phrase. Unfortunately, Apple does not offer any options to adjust the sensitivity of this command, or the phrase that it listens for in order to auto-activate Siri, so if you are regularly interrupted by Siri and wish to put an end to the annoyance, then you can do so by disabling this feature:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Siri.
  2. Tap the Allow ‘Hey Siri’ option to disable it.

With this setting off, you should no longer be bothered by Apple’s voice assistant.

Even though disabling this feature will forego the problem, doing so will prevent you from using it. If you find any use to the Hey Siri option and prefer to keep it enabled, then another way you can avoid interruptions is to simply unplug your phone when it is charged, as opposed to keeping it plugged in. Since the Hey Siri option will only be active when plugged into wall power, this will in effect prevent it from working.

6 thoughts on “Prevent Siri from offering unsolicited conversation

  1. mikee60369

    cases with integrated batteries are sometimes equivalent to the phone being plugged in, so if you’re using one of those cases, you may not have to actually be plugged into a wall to activate Siri.

      1. Strod

        Ha! Every time I hear someone mentioning a Mophie battery/case I can’t help but think about Clarus, the dogcow. Moof!

Comments are closed.