How to configure iPadOS Siri and search to best meet your needs

iPadOS includes Siri and search settings that can make life easier. Here’s how to tweak an iPad’s Siri and search features to access information as efficiently as possible.

Male hands holding white digital tablet and cup of coffee

Image: Rostislav_Sedlacek, Getty Images/iStockphoto

During my first college semester, students were taught to locate information by navigating large, bulky card catalogs and microfiche collections. Other tasks, such as scheduling an appointment with a department head or obtaining directions or transportation to an off-campus location, were entirely manual, analog affairs. 

SEE: Apple iPad (7th generation): A cheat sheet (TechRepublic) 

I suspect most students seeking information today skip those outdated practices in favor of internet and Siri-assisted searches. But few users—students and professionals alike—likely bother customizing an iPad’s Siri & Search settings, which can significantly improve daily interactions with the tablet and make search efforts quicker and more productive. 

Here are several tips to help ensure you make the most of iPad’s Siri and search capabilities. Configure these settings on an iPad by tapping Settings, then selecting Siri & Search. iPadOS 13 permits adjusting a number of Siri- and search-related features (Figure A).

Figure A


Tweak iPadOS Siri and search settings to tailor the assistive features to your specific needs.

Erik Eckel

The first three options are straightforward and specify key interactive options. I recommend enabling Listen For “Hey Siri,” Press Home For Siri, and Allow Siri When Locked. With these three settings enabled, accessing and using Siri is easier and more convenient, which will encourage you to leverage the automated interactive assistant and take advantage of its shortcuts and time-saving features more often.

Be sure to…