How to Get Your iPhone Microphone to Stop Listening to You

Do you feel like your iPhone is spying on you? We'll show you how to get Siri and apps to stop listening so you can improve your iPhone security.

Have you ever wondered, "Is my phone listening to me?" The truth is, yes, it's listening. However, it's not a nefarious iPhone monitoring scheme; it's only so your iPhone can meet your needs more easily. Still, if you want to change your Siri and app settings to stop this from happening, we can help! Let's get started.  

Related: iPhone Location History: How to Turn Off Significant Location Tracking

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Suggestions to Improve iPhone Security

Concerned about iPhone privacy? After you've worked through the steps in this article, you may want to check out these other ways to keep your iPhone safe, private, and secure, or at least to set your mind at ease about common security concerns. One option to improve privacy on your iPhone is to use a privacy-focused browser or use an app to block trackers, as described in our guide on How to Use a YouTube Ad Blocker on iPhone. To learn more about iPhone privacy settings, you can also check out our free Tip of the Day.

How to Turn Off Listen for "Hey Siri"

Here's how to see if your iPhone is listening to you via Siri or apps, and how to turn these settings off to preserve your privacy.

  1. Open the Settings app.

    iphone settings app
  2. Tap Siri & Search

    siri and search settings
  3. Toggle off Listen for "Hey Siri." 

    toggle off listen for hey siri

It's important to note that once you turn off this setting, you'll no longer be able to activate Siri by saying "Hey Siri." Instead, you'll need to hold the side button for Siri if your iPhone doesn't have a Home button, or hold the Home button if your iPhone model has one.

How to Get Apps to Stop Listening with Your iPhone Microphone

Now you can find out which apps are using your iPhone's microphone to listen to you. Once you have this information, you can make more informed decisions about allowing this access. To control which apps have access to your iPhone's microphone:

  1. Open the Settings app

    iphone settings app
  2. Tap Privacy.

    iphone privacy settings
  3. Tap Microphone.

    iphone microphone privacy settings
  4. You'll see a list of all apps to which you've granted Microphone access.
  5. Toggle off any apps you'd like to stop from using the mic.

    apps with iphone microphone access

Keep in mind that these apps may combine microphone and speaker use. This means that if I turn off microphone access for YouTube, for example, the app will no longer play audio for my YouTube videos. 

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.