Why Does Siri Say I Need To Unlock My iPhone?

Published by Technastro on

Why Does Siri Say I Need To Unlock My iPhone?

When your hands are full or you do not just want to touch your iPhone is the perfect time to turn to Siri for help. Siri is your personal assistant and can help you fix a whole lot of things as well as perform several small tasks even when your iPhone is showing the lock screen.

Siri however for some strange reasons will turn down your request to fulfill a task by replying back “You need to unlock your iPhone first”. Honestly, to me that sounds arrogant and for many it’s an annoying response to a task he’s supposed to be fulfilling. So why’s Siri turning down your command? You’re at the verge of finding out, continue to read.


Why Siri Says You Need To Unlock Your iPhone?

There are a couple of reasons Siri will give you back an annoying response instead of getting busy with your command. Sometimes you may notice you’ll have to declare the command multiple times before it’ll respond with the right answer or fulfill a duty, while some other times nothing works until you would have obeyed its own command instead which is to unlock your iPhone.

Below I have listed and explained the root cause of this;


1. Siri Can’t Recognize Voice

Siri needs to make sure its answering to the right person, otherwise your phone is insecure and runs the risk of being exploited by some one else. Although several users have highlighted in the past that someone else commanded Siri with their iPhone locked and it responded like it would to the original owner. Apple needs to thoroughly look into this.

However, Siri uses a little bit of voice recognition software to identify when its you speaking. Theirs an option to set this up in the settings, chances are that you already did this, but Siri can miss it up sometimes requiring you to do it again.

Why Does Siri Say I Need To Unlock My iPhone

2. Poor Internet Connection

For every command you give while your phone is locked, Siri first sends it online to understand what it is you have actually said and then gets back to you with the answer or an equivalent. Siri is only intelligent because it has a wide sea of information concerning any query and of course your data from the internet and Apple server respectively. For Siri to effectively process your command, it’d need a good internet connection.

Although Siri does not ever say a poor internet connection is the problem, but rather that you need to unlock your iPhone, that’s because he doesn’t want you to loose confidence in him. Sounds funny but its true.


3. How Your Command Is Structured

Siri may simply not be working just because of how you’re making the command. Siri loves the command simple. Although Apple have plans of making Siri so intelligent in the future that you can have a near human to human chat with it, well, they’re just not there yet.

Siri is able to fulfill tasks when you issue a command to it with your iPhone locked when it hears certain keywords. These keywords are what he analyzes and has enough clue to fulfill the task. Some persons forget that Siri is only a program and will say thrice the number of words that Siri would have understood. And failure for Siri to understand, it just tells you to unlock your iPhone and help yourself with the task. He doesn’t like that type of stress. Kidding anyway, but you have to keep it simple.


4. You’re Asking Siri For Too Much

Over the years the level of what Siri could do has been increasing and that’s interesting. However Siri will not carry out overly sensitive tasks which may be what you’re asking while your iPhone is locked and he deems some activities only to be exclusively carried out by the owner. I’ve made a list of the majority of tasks that Siri can perform from a locked iPhone with your command, so you know what to expect. Here;

  • Siri can call anyone on your contact book even while iPhone is locked
  • He can also send messages
  • He can tell the time and weather
  • Siri can create alarms, reminders, meetings as well as tell you about your daily agenda and a couple other things

If you notice, Siri’s abilities above does not include opening an app to draw information from it, or making a web search. All of these things and other commands similar will require Siri to tell you that your iPhone needs to be opened to do that.

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5. IOS bug

Several users have also complained that Siri was working fine even with their iPhone locked until the upgraded to IOS 13 when everything changed. For these users the most probable cause is that the upgrade has a software running that reduced or tampered with Siri’s functionality.

Even as though a software update could have caused the bug, another software upgrade is the only thing that has the power to fix the situation.

Why Does Siri Say I Need To Unlock My iPhone

How Do You Disable You Need To Unlock Your iPhone First?

If you must get Siri to respond right, then you must do the below. Best part is that they’re all pretty easy to follow;

1. Reset Hey Siri

This configuration is what helps Siri identify and recognize your voice. No longer would it mistake your voice for another person if you get this right. Follow the instructions below to set Siri up;

  • Open iPhone settings
  • Open Siri and Search
  • Turn off listen for ‘Hey Siri’. This resets any previous setting you would have made.
  • Toggle it back on
  • A set up window will appear. This is where you can set up ‘Hey Siri’
  • You’ll be asked to repeat each command on the screen
  • Make sure to speak as you’d normally do
  • Tap done


2. Connect To A Better Internet Connection

Siri works with the best of internet connections, so ensure it gets it. If you’re experiencing the abnormal Siri response over a WIFI, then you may consider;

  • Disconnecting and connecting again
  • Check your router if its in good condition
  • Or connect to a cellular network


3. Keep The Command Simple

Always keep in mind that the way you say the command matters. As much as can, keep it short and simple. Complicated words will complicate Siri’s machine reasoning and mess things up. Also, it’ll also help if you give one command at a time if issue persists.

For instance instead of saying

  • “Hey Siri, I need you right now to message Carly, tell her I’m going to be late for dinner because I’ve got some pals to catch up with at the park closest to the gas station and also, set me a reminder to pick a few items like x and y from the mart by 10am”.

I bet you’re already even tired of reading. This way will do;

  • “Hey Siri, message Carly, tell her I won’t be home early for dinner and set me a reminder to go to the mart by 10am ”

The simpler the better.


4. Update IOS

If you’re running on IOS 13, chances are that you’ve experienced this issue severally. Good things upgrades are available already so theirs no need to wait. To make an upgrade, do the following;

  • Open iPhone settings
  • Click on general
  • Select and click software update
  • It’ll scan for available updates
  • Click download and install it


Can Siri Work Without Unlocking iPhone?

Yes. Although it’s not able to do everything you’d desire yet when iPhone is locked, but it can come in handy when you’re too busy to touch your phone or other situations like that. From sending a message, to making a call and telling the temperature, it can do all that. Just start with ‘Hey Siri’.

Video Guide 

Siri says You will need to Unlock your iPhone First after iOS 15.4

iOS 14 Siri says You will need to Unlock your iPhone first, why does Siri ask me to unlock your iPhone in iOS 15, How to fix Siri says you will need to Unlock your iPhone first.

Unlock iPhone with your Voice!!

In this video I’ll teach you how to unlock any iPhone with your voice! This works on any iPhone model and it’s super easy to do! Hope you like it.


Siri’s response “You need to unlock your phone first” can be a good response to people trying to infiltrate your iPhone but most definitely an annoying response to you who’s truly the owner. Eliminate this by helping Siri recognize you better the next time you give it a command. And I’ve done justice on how to do that above.


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