How to Use “Hey Siri” on Older Macs

Hey Siri Old Macs Featured

While Apple has made the Siri functionality available for older Macs, the company has not made the “Hey Siri” activation function available for all the Macs that support Siri. If you own an old Mac, you would know you have Siri but you do not have access to the “Hey Siri” hands-free command on your machine. Fortunately, though, you have a workaround to get access to the Siri’s hands-free command even on your old Mac.

The workaround uses the dictation feature on your Mac to let you call Siri with your voice. Essentially, by setting “Hey” as a wake phrase and “Siri” as the word to invoke the launch of Siri, you are able to speak to the virtual assistant naturally.

The following is a multi-step procedure to follow to get things running on your machine.

How to Enable Hey Siri on Old Macs

As mentioned earlier, you are going to be using the dictation feature on your Mac to activate Siri. The dictation feature will listen to your voice and send an appropriate command to launch the Siri app on your machine.

1. Confirm Siri is enabled on your machine by clicking the Apple logo at the top-left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences.”

2. Click on “Siri” and ensure that “Enable Ask Siri” option is tick-marked.

Hey Siri Old Macs Enable Siri

3. Head back to the main panel of System Preferences and select the “Keyboard” option. When it opens, go on the last tab that says “Dictation,” and click the “On” option. Tick-mark the “Use Enhanced Dictation” option as well.

Hey Siri Old Macs Enable Dictation.

4. Get back to the main System Preferences panel, and select the “Accessibility” option. You will find a number of options in the left panel. Select the one that says “Dictation,” tick-mark the box that says “Enable the dictation keyword phrase,” type in “Hey” in the given box, and click on the “Dictation Commands” button.

Hey Siri Old Macs Enable Keyword

5. You will now add a new command to the Dictation feature. Tick-mark the option that says “Enable advanced commands,” and click on the “+” sign to add a new command. You need to enter the following information in the input fields.

Hey Siri Old Macs Create Command

  • When I say – Siri
  • While using – Any Application
  • Perform – (choose “Run workflow > Other” and head to your “Applications” folder and choose “Siri”)

When you have entered the required information, click on “Done” at the bottom to save your newly created command. What this newly-created command will do is trigger the Siri app to launch when you say “Hey Siri” on your Mac.

Go ahead and say “Hey Siri,” and Siri will launch and be ready to assist you on your Mac. You can ask her the usual Siri commands, and she will answer you.

Using Other Invocation Words

You can, of course, set this up for any other application, too. Instead of “Siri,” set the invocation word as the name of the application you wish to launch.

For example, type “Adobe Premiere Pro” in the “When I Say” box. As before: in the “perform” box click “Choose -> run workflow -> other.” Select Adobe Premiere Pro from your list of applications.

Now, stating “Hey Adobe Premiere Pro” will launch Premiere Pro. On the other hand, stating “Hey Siri, launch Adobe Premiere Pro” would also do the same thing – just with the Siri interface we had set up previously.


Getting the Hey Siri functionality on older Macs is pretty easy, all thanks to the built-in dictation feature on the Mac. We hope the above guide helps you enable the functionality so you can launch Siri with your voice on your Mac.

Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who's written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He's been into the field for last eight years and hasn't spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.

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