Ask Siri

If you have macOS Sierra, you can use Siri to help you do the things you do every day on your desktop. Siri can open files and apps, do common tasks—like sending a message or making a FaceTime call—and find quick answers and information. Ask Siri anything, from “Set up a meeting at 9” to “What was the score for last night’s game?” to “Give me directions home.” Siri is your personal assistant, ready to help you at a moment’s notice.

A Mac desktop, with the Dock at the bottom and the Siri window visible in the top-right corner. To start using Siri, click the Siri icon in the menu bar, click the Siri icon to the right of Finder in the Dock, or press and hold Command-Space bar

To start using Siri on your Mac, click the Siri icon  in the menu bar or press and hold the Command key and Space bar, then start talking.

Note: To use Siri, your Mac must be connected to the Internet.

The Siri window appears in the top-right corner of the screen until you’re done with it. You can also close it by swiping it right, clicking the Close button , or pressing the Escape key.

Tip: If you’re not sure what Siri can do for you, ask Siri, “What can you do?” or click the Help button .

Ways to use Siri

Siri can find quick information or do whole tasks for you—just ask. Sometimes, Siri gives a simple answer:

The Siri window shows a request, “How many centimeters in an inch,” and the response below it, 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters

But Siri can do so much more! Ask Siri to:

  • Open an app: Siri immediately opens an app for you. For example, say “Open Notes.”
  • Change a system preference: Siri can automatically change some preferences or open a preferences pane for you. For example, say something like: “Increase my screen brightness.”

    Tip: Siri is the easiest way to start using accessibility features with your Mac—for example, use Siri to turn VoiceOver on or off.

  • Find a location: When Location Services are enabled, Siri can give you information based on your current location or include maps to give you more details. For example, say “Where’s the nearest grocery store?”
  • Find your files: You can complete robust searches for files—just ask Siri to find files created at a certain time, marked with a specific tag, or containing precise text. For example, say something like: “Find files that I created last week, tagged ‘conference’.”
  • Schedule a meeting: Have Siri set up a meeting for you, so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing. For example, say something like: “Create a meeting for today at 3 p.m. and invite Emily.”

Use your Siri results

When Siri finds information, you can use it or keep it handy in a couple of ways.

  • Pin results to Notification Center: If you see an Add button  in the top-right corner of the window, click it to add your results to Today view in Notification Center.Your result stays in Today view, even when you’re not using Siri, and is kept up to date. You can pin many types of results, such as stock prices, sports schedules, and more. For example, say something like “Did the Giants win last night?” When Siri answers, pin the result to Today view, and you can keep up with the latest information.
  • Drag and drop: When Siri finds an image or location, drag it into an email or document. (You can also copy or paste text.) For example, say, “Search the web for images of beaches in Hawaii.” Then drag a picture from the Siri window to an email, message, note, and more.
    Siri gives the results of asking for a web search of images; you can pin the results to Notification Center, open the web page for the image, or drag the image into an email or document

Customize Siri

You can change the way Siri interacts with you.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Siri.
  2. In Siri preferences, do any of the following:
    • Change the language Siri speaks and understands: Click the Language pop-menu, then choose your language and dialect.

      Note: Siri is not available in all languages or regions.

    • Change the gender for Siri: Click the Siri Voice pop-up menu, then choose the gender (and sometimes dialect) you wish to hear when Siri speaks.

      Note: Some languages may not have an alternate gender or dialect.

    • Turn voice feedback on or off: Choose On or Off next to Voice Feedback. If you turn this off, you no longer hear Siri’s response, but can still read it in the Siri window.
    • Change the microphone Siri uses: Click the Mic Input pop-up menu, then choose a different microphone.
    • Set a different keyboard shortcut for Siri: Click the Keyboard Shortcut pop-up menu, then choose a different shortcut. (“Hold Command Space” is the default.)To create a shortcut that’s not in the list, choose Customize, then press the keys you want to use. For example, you could press Option-Z.
    • Show or hide the Siri icon in the menu bar: Select or deselect the “Show Siri in menu bar” checkbox.

Let Siri know your location

When you turn on Location Services, you allow Siri to use your current location to provide information, services, and features appropriate to where you are.

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, then click Privacy.
  2. Click Location Services, then select the Siri & Dictation checkbox.

    Note: You may need to click the lock icon  to unlock Location Services, then enter an administrator name and password.

For more information, see Manage which apps can use Location Services.