How to fix Siri not working on Mac

Just like that you can have Siri back at your service. Sure, it might make sense to go through this checklist step by step. But a real trick is using CleanMyMac X, on Siri or any other app, which lets you solve the problem in seconds and get back to being productive again. And thanks for that!

Since we all have so many things to keep in mind in our work and personal lives these days, it’s sometimes hard to cope without relying on new automated technologies — voice assistants, for example.

If you use iOS or macOS, your default voice assistant is Apple’s Siri, which fares quite well against competition and is able to help you with a variety of tasks, ranging from calls and texts to setting reminders and looking up recipes. Hitting Siri for repetitive tasks during your day can quickly add up to hours of time saved. So when you find your usual Hey Siri not working on Mac, you might feel helpless. Don’t worry, the guide below will get your ailing Siri fixed up in no time.

Why is Siri on Mac not working

In general, Siri on Mac is much more stable than its iOS counterpart, as fewer things can go wrong. But that’s not to say that it works perfectly every time.

When you call on Siri and it responds with a phrase along the lines of “Siri not available,” it’s likely that it has something to do with your internet connection. Since Siri is currently not working in offline mode, you need to either be connected via WiFi or Ethernet to ask it a question. So try to restart your WiFi (on Mac or router) or physically unplug your Ethernet and plug it back in again.

In rare circumstances, it might be that the Siri server itself is down temporarily, which means there’s virtually nothing you can do but wait. Check the Apple System Status page to verify whether Siri is active on the server side.

Once you know that it’s not the internet to blame for the Siri audio problem Macs sometimes experience, queue the following checklist to quickly resolve the issue.

1. Verify Siri is turned on

Even if you’ve been using Siri for a while, it’s possible that some change in the system or an update has accidentally disabled it. Luckily, this is an easy fix:

  1. Go to System Preferences ➙ Siri.
  2. Check the Enable Ask Siri box.

While you have this menu open, you can try to reset a few other settings as well, which could’ve contributed to the Siri glitch on your Mac:

  1. Turn Voice Feedback off and then back on again.
  2. Change Siri Voice to something other than your default option and see if it makes a difference. You can always change it back later.

2. Resync Siri in iCloud

Because Siri is available on most Apple devices — Macs, iPads, iPhones, and even Watches — it uses iCloud to synchronize among all of them. Sometimes that synchronization might get buggy, leading to the Hey Siri not working on Mac issue.

To re-synchronize Siri with iCloud:

  1. Open System Preferences ➙ Apple ID.
  2. Find Siri in the list, uncheck it, and then check it back right away.

Now your Siri connection to other devices will restart, hopefully fixing the problem.

3. Check your mic quality

If your Siri audio problem Mac is experiencing seems more on the functional side, it might have something to do with your microphone.

To check that your mic is working correctly:

  1. Navigate to System Preferences ➙ Sound.
  2. Switch to the Input tab.
  3. See what the Input volume is set to and whether the Input level is changing when you speak.

In case your mic seems to malfunction, you can try to connect an external mic (e.g. AirPods) to your Mac and repeat the sequence or restart the audio process in your Mac altogether. To do so:

  1. Launch Activity Monitor from your Utilities folder inside Applications.
  2. Select the process called coreaudiod.
  3. Click the Stop process icon in the top-left.

Now your sound settings are reset and should work properly.

4. Make sure Siri is restriction-free

With the latest macOS update, lots of people have been testing out the possibilities of the new Screen Time feature, which lets you monitor the usage of and restrict certain apps to limit the amount of time generally wasted every day.

It could be that you too have turned on some restrictions for Siri, and that’s what’s behind all your problems now. To check Screen Time for restricted apps:

  1. Launch System Preferences ➙ Screen Time.
  2. Navigate to Content & Privacy.
  3. Either Turn Off restrictions completely or uncheck any mentions of Siri within the Content and Apps tabs.

5. Turn off your VPN

As Siri needs to connect to its Apple server to process any information, this connection might be sidetracked if you have a VPN turned on, since it initiates internet connections from different spots worldwide.

In case you have to use a VPN, try to switch to a server in your own country. Otherwise, just temporarily turn off or quit your VPN client to see if it has any effect on Siri’s performance.

Revamp your Mac in one click

You can see how many things can go wrong and inadvertently impact the way Siri works on Mac. In fact, going through all the options might take hours of your time. What if there was an easy way to fix all that is wrong in one click? Luckily, there is!

CleanMyMac X is an all-in-one utility when it comes to optimizing your Mac, from improving performance to freeing up space, to fending off any potential malware attacks. With CleanMyMac X, you just need to use one scan to fix your Siri not working on Mac issue:

  1. Download CleanMyMac X for free.
  2. Open the app and switch to the System Junk tab.
  3. Click Scan and then Review Details.
  4. When satisfied, hit Clean.
CleanMyMac X - System junk scan complete

Since CleanMyMac X just erased all unneeded user cache files, system logs, language options, and broken login preferences, in addition to gigabytes of other data (over 15 GB for me), not only should your Siri work flawlessly but your Mac itself should fly like new.

Remove extra startup items

In rare cases, some background app you have installed (and maybe even not used at all) could block Siri from launching properly. Fixing this, however, is very easy with CleanMyMac X:

  1. Get the CleanMyMac X app if you haven’t already.
  2. Navigate to the Optimization tab under the Speed category.
  3. Click on Launch Agents and select all the processes you don’t need.
  4. Hit Remove.
CleanMyMac X - Launch Agents

Reset Siri to factory settings

If you find Siri on Mac not working even after going through all the options above, you still have one last master trick up your sleeve — resetting the voice assistant back to its original factory settings. Don’t worry, it won’t affect Siri’s performance in any negative way, and it could also be easily done with CleanMyMac X:

  1. Make sure you have CleanMyMac X installed.
  2. Go to CleanMyMac X’s preferences ➙ Ignore List ➙ Uninstaller.
  3. Uncheck “Ignore system applications.”
  4. In the app, navigate to the Uninstaller tab under Applications.
  5. Find Siri and select all the associated files.
  6. Choose Reset in the dropdown.
  7. Click Reset.
Safari reset selected in the Uninstaller module in CMMX

Just like that you can have Siri back at your service. Sure, it might make sense to go through this checklist step by step. But a real trick is using CleanMyMac X, on Siri or any other app, which lets you solve the problem in seconds and get back to being productive again. And thanks for that!

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.