How to use “Hey Siri” without being connected to power

By , Oct 8, 2014


“Hey Siri” is a new feature in iOS 8 that makes it possible to invoke Siri using only your voice. It’s nice for those moments when your hands are full or when your iPhone is across the room.

The only downside to “Hey Siri” is that your iPhone must be connected to a power source in order to use it. This restriction was placed there to save your iPhone’s battery life.

But, there is a way to use Hey Siri without being connected to a power source. It’s not as handy as using it while connected to power, but it’s a nice workaround for those situations where you need hands-free control.

Step 1: Go to Settings → General → Siri, and make sure that the Allow “Hey Siri” switch is enabled.

Step 2: Invoke Siri by holding the Home button for a second and release.

Step 3: Don’t say anything and let the Siri request timeout. You’ll still remain on the Siri screen.

Step 4: Say “Hey Siri” while the Siri screen is being displayed. This will allows you to use Siri hands-free as if you were connected to a power source.

Once your iPhone is auto-locked, the hands-free functionality will cease. This is only valid while the Siri screen is visible, which will depend on what the auto-lock value (SettingsGeneralAuto-Lock) is set to barring you don’t touch the iPhone’s screen.

What do you think about “Hey Siri” in general, and would you consider using this work around to use Siri hands-free when not connected to a power source? Sound off down below in the comments section with your thoughts and opinions.

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  • max

    i still dont get why they discarded raise to speak, i used to use all the time!

    • Mr.Coolfreak

      Cuz that functionality is used in messages app to reply

      • sadaN

        It has always been present in the messages app.
        However it invoked the dictation instead

      • John Wickham

        This I did not know!

  • James

    Wow this works

  • Ryan

    yeah, you got my iphone searching for the best restaurant in chicago now

  • Carl Fleming

    Jeff, you can skip waiting for Siri to timeout by pressing the sound wave above the home button at any point.

  • Tomer Sh

    I hope that after the ios 8 jailbreak will be released, someone will make a tweak that make siri thinks that the iphone is connected into a power source, so then we’ll can use “Hey Siri” anytime

    • Sterling

      Except there was already an iOS 5 JB tweak that did this.

      • im2slick4u

        The tweak was dropped in iOS 6, never even saw 6.1. Two new tweaks came near the end of iOS 7’s first year that are similar, but the built in one with iOS 8 is so much more accurate, and a lot faster.

        If you didn’t know the iOS 7 tweaks are “HeySiri” and “Acute” and the iOS 5 one is called “HandsFree”

  • James G

    I’m not sure about this…has anyone else found that the “Hey Siri” gets invoked accidentally more than it should? I keep my iPhone 6 plugged in at my desk during work every day and at least 2-3x/day some phrase is picked up by the device as “hey siri” and it invokes Siri.

    This workaround, while good to know, doesn’t seem as practical but thank you for sharing, Jeff!

    • soccerkrzy

      I’ve never had it unintentionally invoke it and keep mine on my desk all day as well. I’m curious what phrase you’re saying at work that’s close enough to “hey Siri”, lol.

      • Carolyn Ross

        I was listening to a podcast on my iPad which was close to my iPhone. The podcast said the phrase “I’m sorry” to which Siri said “No need to apologize”. I guess that was close enough to be “hey Siri”

      • James G

        Every time it happens I can’t remember the last few words I said because I talk so fast. I’ll try and pay more attention and make note of what might be triggering it.

    • RayRayBeav

      I’ve actually had this happen, it actually happened to me when I was beta testing iOS 8. My TV said something similar to ‘hey sure’ and it activated. I was like what the hell until I googled it.

    • mickey

      Yes this happens to me occasionally. I also wish this function was tailored to your own voice. My GF and I are often triggering each other’s phones. A jailbreak tweak to keep this active would be nice but I wonder about the battery life. Apple obviously omitted that option for a reason. The Moto X got this right on all accounts.

      • James G

        Given there are so many other battery life toggles, I should be able to decide myself if I want it enabled. Maybe it needs to get better at accidental triggering first.

        It just doesn’t make sense that Apple in this case is dictating when it can/cannot work. Can you imagine if they did things like disable PUSH notifications unless you are plugged into a power source?

      • mickey

        It makes perfect sense. iOS 8 has given us a lot more freedom but Apple still dictates how things

      • James G

        I agree that the vast majority of users would complain about battery life, not knowing what toggles they could switch to improve it…so they could just bury it in Settings like it already is, and have it defaulted to “Off” with some prompt below it that notes it may impact battery life. Or within the Battery Usage it could show what impact it has under “Siri” instead of just “Homescreen”

        There are ways around it…but maybe iOS 9 will see more of the customization you’re talking about. Honestly I’m not sure what else they could really do at this point! Extensions went a long way to improve the foundation of the system, a redesign has already happened with iOS 7 and refinement in 8, so bring on the customization!

      • mickey

        Yes, more customization! I would be happy with default apps and simple customizations to icons, NC/lock screen and CC. I guess an iOS8 jailbreak would take care of most of that!

  • Jonathan

    I found out I could do this the first beta of iOS 8. 😛 Stil though, thanks for sharing!

  • onesimpleclik

    Why did Apple make ‘Hey Siri’, only work on charge in the first place?
    It makes absolutely no sense at all.

    • John

      Assume it was designed to use with CarPlay, so drivers aren’t distracted.

      • onesimpleclik

        Yet Google & Microsoft’s voice activation & assistants, works any time. It just doesn’t make sense to lock down an important feature such as ‘Hey Siri’ to only be used on charge. I use Google Now multiple times throughout the day & usually when I’m away from a charger. It makes complete sense to do the same with ‘Hey Siri’.

    • n0ahcruz3

      Because apple knows the iPhones battery is not that good, if they give this option it will become worst. True story

      • Kr00

        Android phone battery life sucks worse than Apple. True story.

      • n0ahcruz3

        My Moto G a entry level phone has better battery life than my iphone. Some android phones have always listening Google now, 2k displays or 1080p displays. Iphone dont have 2k displays, 6+ has 1080p but only 380ppi, iphones dont have always listening siri and still iphones battery sux true story

    • White Michael Jackson

      if i updated to ios 8 for this feature i would mainly use it at night, so i dont have to reach for my phone to, check the time, read text messages, answer some mundane question etc.

    • Mohammed Sahib

      Battery life! If the phone is always listening then the CPU won’t go to sleep ever, expect to charge your battery life each 4-6 hours on iP5/5s/6.

      • Kevin Osborne

        Not if they gave it a dedicated chip the way the Android and Windows Phones do.

      • Mohammed Sahib

        Agreed. But that could be reserved for iPhone 6s or 7 (iOS 9 or 10) as a “new” and “innovative” feature. /s.

      • Kevin Osborne

        Hahaha true! I do love Apple but sometimes they do hold out on ridiculous crap. The very first iPhone couldn’t even record video or send MMS messages unless you were jailbroken, otherwise they held those features off…

      • Kr00

        Umm, a dedicated chip still needs constant power to listen for the command prompt. Duhhh.

      • Kevin Osborne

        No nearly as much. It takes a fraction of the power to keep it alive. Even less than the motion co-processor takes to sense movement 24/7 and I think a hands-free control would be just as useful.

      • Kr00

        A complete waste of hardware, just to listen out for commands, once in a blue moon. Like that ejector seat I have in my car. Never used it.

      • Kevin Osborne

        1) I use my ejector seat at least once a month.
        2) I’d use “Hey Siri” more than I use the motion coprocessor to track my gyroscope when my phone is asleep.

  • Guest

    If i do this, how do i “un-do” it? so that this gets disabled.

    • A’s Network

      Close current siri session, lock device

      • Guest

        ahh. muchos gracias

  • sosarozay300

    how much hit does the battery life take?

  • Ian Leon

    Here’s another Siri tip: instead of pressing the “i” button to see what Siri can do… You can ask her”what’s new?”

  • diggitydang

    If Apple made it this way by default, everyone would complain about how much the battery sucks in iOS8… That said, the option would be nice.

  • Richard Häggblom

    Works if you hold home button and ask whatever and then when she has responded you say “Hey Siri” and you don’t need to press the microphone 🙂 at least for me 🙂

  • White Michael Jackson

    well…. you still have to invoke siri but pressing the button…. why just do that from the beginning? Anyway anyone know of a tweak that brings hey siri to ios 7?

  • Ottawa Gamerz

    does the people at apple have a Samsung and playing with the features and saying this is cool let let put it in our new phone whats next talking to the camera or in the long run no one uses the assistant anyways because they all blow just saying

    • Kr00

      does you speak english or just spoke crap each day long?

  • was watching this video; when Jeff said “Hey Siri” it invoked _MY Siri… LOL

  • rockdude094

    Not sure why do all that when you can just hold the button for a bit and get Siri to do it’s thing

    • Sohail Wahab

      Cause my hands are wet

  • Alex Blaha

    So.. if you have to unlock your phone and follow these steps in the first place, why wouldn’t you just use it normally.

  • Dave

    Hey Siri should also work with a battery case like a Mophie case when the charge mode is turned on

  • Philip Lafaurie

    How many of you were watching this with the charger plugged in and caused your phone to react to jeff’s “hey Siri”

  • jaysoncopes

    Every time he said “Hey Siri” in the video, my phone stopped my text and opened Siri -_-

  • Ottawa Gamerz

    wow u guys are amazed because of apple copy of Samsung i say hello does same stuff man any little thing will make u guys jump come on

    • Kr00

      Why do you come here again? I think you’re lost. Cult of Android is next door.

      • Ottawa Gamerz

        because if samsung never released a note phone apple wouldnt ever made the big one and android is getting 5.0 and hell they tested it no trouble like apple 8.0 to 8.1 to 8.2 to fixing 8.2 and now u can reinstall 8.2 so ive said it before if steve jobs where alive none of this shit would be happening u know it he would of put boots to asses and im right u know that

      • Kr00

        5.0 won’t run on many devices older than 2 years, and most will have to wait months for compatible device software. The fragmentation along with malware has people thinking twice and moving back to iPhone. If samescum didn’t copy the iPhone from day one, they wouldn’t have a business. But copying is all they know.

      • Kr00

        Yes, Apple is such a failure.

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    I like the idea of being able to access Siri without having the Siri interface invoked and not connected to power, but I think it’s for the best to have it the way it is now. I don’t think many people would want Siri always listening all the time, it just wouldn’t work well for battery life, at least on older devices. PLUS, I’d scream “Hey Siri” whenever I had the chance, I’d be that guy… just kidding ha.

    • Jason Masters

      Just to let everyone know I’m on iOS 8.2 no jailbreak or any modifications whatsoever and I’m not connected to any power source and my hey Siri feature works without doing this so called tweak/shortcut and I can verify if any doubt.

      • Joseph A. Ahmad

        Well that’s interesting. Maybe there’s a glitch within your particular firmware, because I am on iO2 8.2 and not connected a power source, and that does not work for me. Again, maybe it’s an isolated incident based on your firmware. But at any rate, that’s awesome.

  • Matt Dowdy

    Would connecting a mophie juice pack make the phone think it’s charging? I’ve never used one. The introduction of hey siri and the hope of a jailbreak at some point in the future to possibly enhance the feature in the future along with the bigger screen are what have made me ditch android and come back to iPhone. Can’t wait until my 6+ arrives some time later today

    • Ottawa Gamerz

      u haven’t seen the note 2 3 4 same size and the samsung comes with a remote control app apple dont

      • Matt Dowdy

        I’ve owned a note 2. Note 3. Galaxy s3, galaxy s4, Moto x, HTC one, nexus 4 and a nexus 5 and given them all a fair go (almost 2 years with android) I crossed over because of screen size initially but now that has been addressed by apple I’ve decided to go back to it. For me there is just that something missing with all of the android phones that I have had and that’s even with rooting and romming them all but different strokes for different folks as the once great opinionative reviewer used to say ;o)

      • Ottawa Gamerz

        i get ya but tell me straight up ur not going to siri at all are ya

      • Matt Dowdy

        I drive for a living and used to use siri all the time hands free with the jailbreak tweak handsfreeassistant (I think that’s what it was called) but it was never updated for iOS 7 which was a shame. I’ve always found siri to be accurate and reliable. People rave about Google now but to me it seemed like they missed the simplest feature of reading out your recent messages or speaking back what you dictated in the first place so not useful to me. I know that there are alternatives on android but they too are either unreliable or battery/ram whores and I’ve tried them all. It’s like I said there’s just something missing for me at least

      • Ottawa Gamerz

        ok i asked 🙂

  • Macdemon

    Interesting, but the whole feature is a bit pointless if you have to press & hold the home button in the first place……………..I thought the whole idea of ‘Her Siri’ was to use it without physical interaction with your phone.

    What do others think???

  • hossam

    U know what i hate abou Siri ? The siri screen.. I hate the fact that whenever i want to use it it takes out the whole screen i wish it is less visible.. Imagine it PERFECT

  • Jaco

    I have this crazy bug when i go to search on my iphone 5s anyone else?

  • Dennis Cimmino

    is this possible in a car? I used the tweak and when connected to my car via bluetooth, Siri was always on and thus always cutting into my music.

  • Chris Gilmore

    The funniest thing happened when I was watching this video. My iPad is plugged up behind me on my night stand, and when Jeff talked to his phone, mine was listening as well and basically Jeff just had a full conversation with my iPad Air. hahaha

  • Joel Torres ツ

    I found that you don’t need to wait for it to time out. It works regardless.

  • Mike Colacone Saal

    But what’s the point if I have to invoke Siri to do this

  • Ken Grafmiller

    I guess I do not understand how this function being on would drain the battery. Google, Windows phone there is not a problem

  • Sinistry

    Maybe someone could make a JB tweak that will allow a battery hey Siri mode that will shut down nonessential functions so battery drain isn’t as much of an issue. I just discovered this and LOVE it, but having to be plugged in is a bit of a hassle. Also, I locked my phone (iP5) and invoked hey Siri and it opened to the lock screen but nothing happened after that and even saying hey Siri again did nothing. I’d like to see that remedied as well. This is a very handy feature.

  • alex korbeck

    Just jailbreak and get tweak that allows you to use hey Siri whether it’s plugged in or not. Works like a charm and NO work around.

  • Dave Rowley

    If this is iOS’s answer to “ok Google” then they should work on implementing a payload-efficient listening process that can run while off power, otherwise I don’t see it having enough of an impact on the primary context of use to provide viable competition. Generally, the only time my devices are plugged in is when they are charging and I am asleep or away from them. I don’t imagine there are a tremendous amount of power-connected active users, so there doesn’t seem to be much usefulness in the inclusion of this feature until it can work at all times without being a major battery hog.

  • Jason Masters

    On iOS 8.2 you don’t need to be connected to a power source unless mines is the only one but that’s highly unlikely.

  • Ellen Drake

    When I put my android on hands-free setting, it read my text messages to
    me as they came in and told me who was calling if I received a call.
    Now, that’s true hands-free. Having to have the damn phone plugged in to
    use “Hey, Siri,” or go through this rigamarole you describe is NOT
    hands free. When I’m driving or working at my computer, I don’t want to
    have to press any buttons, look to see if the Siri screen is on, etc.
    etc. Is there really no way to be truly hands-free? I’m thinking of
    returning my iPhone and going back to Android.

  • mickey

    Battery life. The iPad has a much bigger battery and often less connectivity (drain) than an iPhone. You could always use untetheredheysiri if your plus is jail broken.

  • Nathan

    I just discovered Voice Over and use it at work a lot. I work at a warehouse and wear gloves regularly. This would be MUCH more convenient if Hey Siri could be used along with it. I am able to use my Apple headphones to send text messages easily while receiving them using voice over. Technology is amazing.

  • Tommy Lee Brewer

    I have a i5 and a i6s. the hey Siri is awesome on the 6s but on the 5 it blows, and that work around don’t help at all. If you planned on needing to use it like that; you could plug it in. They need the option to use it like on the 6s even when the screen is off and its unplugged. If you choose to lower how long a charge will last. That’s just my opinion that it should be capable if the owner wants to use it that way!