What to do if Siri is not working properly on iPhone XS Max (Siri works intermittently)

Are you having trouble when using Siri? Today’s troubleshooting article shows you the steps to take when dealing with a Siri problem on an iPhone XS Max. We include one case below to give you a context for our solutions.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Problem: Siri not working properly on iPhone XS Max

I have a brand new iPhone Xs Max. Three days after receiving the phone SIRI began to intermittently stop working. I contacted telephone support, then escalated the call and visited an Apple store where they ran analytics (which passed). All my apps are from the Apple App Store only. The store tech said the problem was in my software (actually apps from The Apple App Store, not mine. I figure if they have passed muster with Apple they should run without causing problems with iOS). The tech refused to give me a replacement phone. I persisted, and was contacted by advanced support who put me in touch with sales support. They responded quickly and sent me a replacement phone. I set that phone up as new, and hand-loaded all of my 77 apps from the Apple apps store, then connected to iTunes on my MacBook and backed up. Almost immediately, the same SIRI problem occurred. It will work, then not work, then start working again. Many times no apps are open and the phone is idle. It is also affecting my Apple Watch, with SIRI not responding for brief moments at a time. I have now contacted advanced support again via email explaining the predicament. I am handicapped, confined to a wheelchair, and rely on a number of IOT devices using Apple Watch as a conduit through SIRI. I am beginning to believe this is a hardware related problem since a number of other users have reported having the same experience on different phones with different iOS versions. I am a computer engineer with 35 plus years experience and have performed every single remedy suggested, resetting/reloading the OS from scratch to no avail. I am awaiting a response from Apple.

Solution: In order for Siri to work, there’s a lot of under-the-hood processes that must work properly as well. It’s  a product of a coordinated series of events in your phone and there are a lot of moving parts to consider. Apple has ironed out early bugs with Siri but it’s not a perfect system. This is the main reason not all Siri-related issues have the same solution. This also makes it extremely difficult for us, and even Apple, to know exactly what’s the real reason behind a particular Siri problem. We doubt that the Apple technician who handled your first iPhone XS Max knew exactly what’s going on. By replacing your phone, Apple hoped that the issue would go away. That assumes of course that the reason for your particular problem was due to a unique hardware or software bug. That’s apparently not the case as you’re back to the same problem after getting the second device.

As a third party support site, we face a lot of challenges in knowing what a real problem is. We can’t just right away know what’s behind a trouble by reading someone’s description of his or her problem. In your particular case, we don’t believe this is a hardware issue. It’s probably more of a configuration or app issue. There are a few things to consider when it comes to dealing with Siri problems. Hopefully, one of these factors below will help you figure out where the problem comes from.

Is Siri enabled?

This might seem obvious for some but other users in the past were quick to blame Siri as buggy or not working intermittently when it fact they simply forgot to turn it back on. Be sure that this is not the case.

To ensure that Siri works as expected, turn it on the proper way. This is how you do that:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Siri & Search.
  3. Enable the first three options on the menu namely:
    • Listen For “Hey Siri”
    • Press Home for Siri, and
    • Allow Siri When Locked

If any one of these option is not enabled, you may find Siri not working consistently as you use it or in one of your apps.

Turn on Location Services for Siri

Siri needs to gather enough location information about a user or a device in order to work efficiently. Majority of searches using Siri is based on a device’s location so Siri may not work properly or may not provide you with unexpected search results if Location Services is not enabled.

Ensure that Location Services is on by doing these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Location Services.
  4. Enable Location Services by tapping on the switch.

Individual apps can disable Location Services if you opted to do so before. Be sure that Location Services is allowed for a particular app that has a problem using Siri. For example, if you find out that Siri does not work for Google Chrome browser, it’s possible that the reason may be the fact that Chrome is not permitted to use Location Services.

To check if an app is allowed to use Location Services:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Privacy.
  3. Tap Location Services.
  4. Tap Siri & Dictation.
  5. Make sure there’s a small check next to While Using the App. This indicates that the said app is permitted to use Location Services.

Siri requires internet connection

In order to get updated information, Siri has to connect to Apple servers and other third party services. Thus, internet connection is a must when using Siri. Make sure that you have good internet connection (mobile data or wifi) when using SIri to avoid unexpected results. If you are located in a poorly covered area, your cellular data connection may be slow or intermittent. Try using a stable wifi connection if that’s the case to not cause Siri to stop working at random.

Force reboot

Sometimes, all it takes for a bug to go away is a quick system restart. In your case, try to reboot the system.

For your iPhone XS Max, here’s how to restart it:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

Reset all settings

Sometimes, manual modification of some settings may cause a problem. The same is true for some apps that require tweaking some iOS settings. To ensure that only default settings are implemented, try to clear all settings on your iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset all settings option.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

DFU Restore

Some bugs may require drastic solutions to fix them. If all the troubleshooting steps above has not solved the issue so far, you can try to wipe the phone and restore it via DFU Mode. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Install the latest iTunes version on your computer.
  2. Turn off your iPhone XS Max.
  3. Connect it to your computer using a Lightning to USB cable.
  4. Launch iTunes on your computer, and check that your iPhone appears in the list of devices.
  5. On your iPhone, press the Volume Up button immediately followed by the Volume Down button.
  6. Next, press and hold the Side button (or power button) until your iPhone’s screen turns black.
  7. Release the Side button and then hold down both the Side button and Volume Down button together for approximately five seconds.
  8. Now release the Side button, but continue to press the Volume Down button.
  9. Wait for at least five seconds for iTunes to recognize DFU recovery mode has been enabled. NOTE: If you’re successful, you should see: “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes”. If you don’t get this message on your iPhone, repeat the steps above as detailed.
  10. Afterwards, go ahead and restore your iPhone to its factory state by selecting Restore iPhone.

Speaker or Microphone issue

Are you having trouble hearing Siri speak? If that’s the case, your iPhone may have a speaker issue. If other functions that need audio such as calls don’t make sounds too, it’s probably a speaker problem.

It’s also possible that your phone’s speakers are actually working but the microphone is not. A bad microphone means that Siri won’t be able to receive your voice commands.

If you think you have any of these problems, tell Apple about it so they can do some hardware tests.

 


Engage with us

If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions  in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.

Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.