Have you ever been walking down the street, sitting in a staff meeting or standing in line for a ticket at the movies and suddenly a robotic voice bellows from your back pocket? In those moments, the impulsive decision may be to panic and chuck the iPhone at the wall or break a sweat as you yank it from your pocket and hurriedly turn it off, but there is a much easier solution.
Voice Control and Siri are popular features and can be used for just about anything, from making phone and FaceTime calls to controlling music, sending texts and initiating a Google search. While they both essentially do the same thing, Voice Control is simpler; it does not need internet connection and can understand basic commands. Siri is cloud based and can understand more complex commands. Both features can be accessed on most iPhones, and they bring accessibility and convenience to a whole new level.
But when you are not using voice control and are worried that it will suddenly start “talking” at the absolute worst moments, here are a few options for disabling this feature.
To begin, set a passcode (if you have not already). This is important to remember because you will need to it to turn on, update, erase and access your device.
For iPhone 5s or later, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. For iPhones without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode. Select “Turn Passcode On” and enter a passcode.
Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Enter your passcode, select Voice Dial, then select Disable. This will turn off Voice Dialing (this does not turn off Music Voice Control).
Because Voice Control and Siri cannot be on at the same time, the second option is to enable Siri which will turn off Voice Control.
Go to Settings > General > Siri to turn Siri on. Siri can still make accidental phone calls, so be sure to enable your passcode to avoid this (see option 1).
Next, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. Toggle off Siri in the “Allow Access When Locked” section. To use Siri, you will need to enter your passcode. This prevents accidental calls or pocket-dials from happening.
To avoid having to disable Voice Control or Siri, simply adjust your iPhone’s settings on how to access these features. Voice Control and Siri are accessed by holding the Home button, so to change this go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Home button.
This will bring up the following options to choose from:
- Access Siri by pressing the Home button
- Access Voice Control by pressing/holding the Home button (this option will also turn off Siri)
- Off (pressing/holding the Home button will not access Siri or Voice Control; this option also turns off Voice Control and Siri)
This option allows you to simply change how you want to access either Siri or Voice Control and select which one you prefer to use.
Other Problems (And How to Fix Them)
Simply disabling Voice Control or Siri may not be the only problems you face though. If that is the case, here are a couple commonly asked questions about problems iPhone users have had when dealing with the voice features.
- Do I really need a passcode?
The simple answer here is yes, you do. There is no way to get around having a passcode. However, it doesn’t have to be something complicated. Pick whatever will be easiest for you to remember.
- My phone is stuck on the Voice Control. What do I do?
The best way to fix this is just to restart the phone.
Of course, the most accurate solution is to avoid accidently pressing the Home button and turning Voice Control or Siri on, but accidents happen, so at least one of these options should allow you to enjoy your movie or bus ride or business meeting without worrying about your phone calling someone or spouting useless facts without your permission.