How to temporarily stop “Hey Siri” from listening on iPhone or iPad without changing any settings

As you’re probably aware by now, iOS’s “Hey Siri” function allows your compatible iPhone or iPad model to always listen for voice commands, even when it’s disconnected from power.

However, not everyone enjoys untethered “Hey Siri” because any prankster can say aloud the magic word and wake your phone from sleep in, by Murphy’s law, an inopportune situation.

Also, if someone on television says “Hey Siri” and your device picks up the utterance, Siri will be summoned whether you like it or not. Although iOS 10 or later intelligently activates “Hey Siri” on just one nearby device at a time, you can quickly stop “Hey Siri” from listening without changing any settings, here’s how.

How to disable “Hey Siri” temporarily

Thankfully, you can turn off “Hey Siri” temporarily without having to venture into Settings or disable Siri completely. In order to do so, just place your iPhone or iPad face down and it will stop listening and responding to the “Hey Siri” hot phrase unless it’s connected to power.

Yes, that’s all there’s to it!

Now anyone can say “Hey Siri” as many times as they want and Siri won’t turn on for as long as the device is laid with its face down. As soon as you pick up the phone, tetherless “Hey Siri” gets activated immediately.

TIP: If the above technique does not work for you properly, be sure that Fitness Tracking has been enabled on your device in Settings → Privacy → Motion & Fitness.

This trick is much better than disabling “Hey Siri” completely through Settings because re-enabling the feature requires that you go through the whole “Hey Siri” training process again. Disabling “Hey Siri” in Settings or by placing your device face down has no impact whatsoever on your ability to use the assistant by accessing it from the Home or Side button.

You can also enable iOS’s Low Power mode to turn off hey Siri temporarily, but this also turns off other system functions you may need, like background updates and automatic downloads. Also, Low Power mode is unavailable on iPad or iPod touch.

So now you know that putting your phone face down temporarily disables “Hey Siri”.

This is also why “Hey Siri” doesn’t work when the phone is in your pocket or when a folio case like Apple’s leather case for iPhone X covers your display.

How does this work?

This underrated capability, called Facedown Detection, is supported in iOS 9 and later.

Thanks to its built-in ambient light and proximity sensors, your device knows if it’s face down on the table. The feature also saves your battery life by preventing the screen from turning on when a notification arrives and your device is placed face up on a table or other flat surface.

Displays are usually the most power-hungry part of an iPhone.

Therefore, ensuring the screen is off when you cannot see it extends your battery life.

Facedown Detection requires both a proximity sensor (which is absent from certain iPad models and iPod touches) located near the earpiece above the display, as well as Apple’s M-series motion coprocessor. As a result, Facedown Detection requires compatible hardware: any iPhone model from iPhone 5s and newer, iPad mini 2 and newer and iPad Air and up.

It’s also cool how iOS automatically switches off “Hey Siri” when the phone is in your pocket. Facedown Detection is an inherent feature of iOS that doesn’t need turning on or off.

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