How to Fix Siri Not Working on MacBook Air

Quick Fix

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Siri is Apple’s virtual assistant that can perform tasks and answer questions on Apple devices.

Some of the tasks Siri can help you with include:

  • Making calls
  • Changing device settings
  • Searching the internet for information
  • Sending messages
  • Making restaurant or movie reservations
  • Making simple mathematical computations
  • Creating reminders
  • Downloading apps
  • Playing music and looking up songs
  • Setting up calendar events
  • Calculating travel time
  • Getting traffic data

There is so much that Siri can do, and this has given huge convenience to Apple users. To use Siri, users just need to say “Hey Siri” to activate the virtual assistant. You can also create a shortcut on your Mac to quickly bring up Siri.

There have been recent reports, though, saying that “Hey Siri” stopped working on MacBook Air. For some users, only the “Hey Siri” command is not working, but other aspects of Siri are working and the AI can still recognize commands. For other users, though, Siri doesn’t work completely on MacBook Air.

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This problem has been reported to occur mostly on macOS devices, and some affected users noted that Siri had stopped working on MacBook Air after upgrading to macOS Mojave.

Why Is Siri Not Working on MacBook Air?

This error has been reported just recently, and although there have been several reports of the issue, Apple has yet to comment on it or release an update to fix it.

If the error happened after upgrading to Mojave, it is possible that Siri has some compatibility issues with the new macOS. If this is the case, all you have to do is wait for the update from Apple that includes the fix for this problem. As to when this will be released, only Apple knows.

It is also possible for other factors, such as corrupted preferences, malware infection, or incorrect Siri settings, to be in play. If Siri went wonky due to these reasons, you can follow our recommended solutions below.

But before you do, make sure you eliminate other elements that could be contributing to the problem. Scan your Mac for malware infection and get rid of the infected files and apps. You should also delete all junk files that clutter your system using an app such as Mac repair app. Once these preparations have been completed, you can then start troubleshooting Siri.

How to Get Siri to Work on MacBook Air

Before we proceed with the solutions, you have to make sure first that you have Siri enabled on your Mac. It won’t work if it hasn’t been turned on in the first place.

To enable Siri on macOS, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Apple menu at the upper-left corner of the screen, then choose System Preferences from the dropdown options.
  2. Click on Siri, then tick off Enable Talk to Siri. If the box has already been ticked off, you can check the other settings to make sure they’re working fine.
  3. Choose the language you want to use, then select your preferred Siri Voice.
  4. Turn off Voice Feedback if you don’t want Siri to talk.
  5. Choose your Mic input. You can try different mics to ensure your voice is registered.
  6. Close the window and try saying “Hey Siri!” to check if Siri is responding. You can also type in your commands if you prefer not to speak.

Take note that Siri does not respond to “Hey Siri” commands when the lid is closed. It also doesn’t work when the screen is locked and the option Allow Siri when locked is turned off.

After confirming that Siri is enabled on your Mac and the “Hey Siri” command is still not working, you can try any of the troubleshooting methods below.

Fix #1: Delete Your Siri Preferences.

One of the reasons why Siri doesn’t work on MacBook Air is a corrupted .plist file. The .plist file contains all the settings and preferences associated with the Siri app. To reset Siri’s preferences, follow the steps below:

  1. Quit the Siri app.
  2. Disable Siri from System Preferences by unchecking Enable Talk to Siri.
  3. Open Finder, then navigate to the Preferences folder by holding Option, then clicking Go > Library.
  4. In the Preferences folder, delete all .plist files with Siri in their filename.
  5. Re-enable Siri under System Preferences to generate a new .plist file.

Once the preferences have been reset, try saying a voice command to see if Siri is now back to normal.

Fix #2: Check Siri’s Parental Controls.

Another reason why Siri is not working on MacBook Air is because dictation has been turned off for the virtual assistant app. To check Siri’s Parental Controls, follow these instructions:

  1. Click the Apple menu, then head over to System Preferences > Parental Controls.
  2. Click on Other.
  3. Check whether Turn off Siri & Dictation is ticked off.

If it is, then that explains why Siri is not working on your Mac. If the option is not selected, then Siri going wonky can be attributed to something else.

Fix #3: Try a Different Microphone.

When setting up Siri for the first time, you’ll be asked to choose which microphone to use. You have the option to use your Mac’s internal microphone, which is the default. But if your Mac’s internal mic doesn’t seem to work with Siri, you can use an external microphone instead. Just go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Siri and choose a different Mic Input option.

You should also check your Mac’s sound levels by clicking Sound under System Preferences and ensuring all input levels are maxed.


Siri makes our lives so much easier. Aside from providing users with much-needed information, Siri can also complete a multitude of tasks, such as calling contacts and sending out emails. The Hey Siri voice command also allows hands-free access, which is a huge help when you’re away from your Mac, when you’re having your nails done, and during other scenarios when you can’t type in a command. Just say “Hey Siri” and you can get your personal virtual assistant to do your bidding.

If for some reason, Siri is not registering your Hey Siri command or is not working on your MacBook, simply follow the troubleshooting steps above to fix the problem.

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