How to Stop Your iPhone Microphone from Listening to You & Improve iPhone Security

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

I have a friend who calls folks who believe in conspiracy theories "the tinfoil hat people." So, at the risk of being a tinfoil hat person, have you ever wondered, "is my phone listening to me?" The truth is, yes, it's listening, but it's not some nefarious iPhone monitoring scheme; it's only so your iPhone can meet your needs more easily. Nevertheless, I'm one of those people who would like my iPhone to stop listening to me. We've gone over how to turn off Siri and how to turn off the microphone on your iPhone. In this article, I'll show you how I got my iPhone to stop listening to me. First, we'll turn off a setting that lets Siri listen for "Hey, Siri" at all times. Next, we'll turn off the microphone, app by app. Let's get started.  

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

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How to Get Your iPhone to Stop Listening to You: Change Siri Settings & iPhone Microphone Settings 

Does your phone listen to you? Your iPhone may be listening to you; here's how to see whether Siri or your apps are using your iPhone microphone to listen to you, and how to turn these settings off to improve security and preserve your privacy. After you've worked through the steps in this article, you may want to check out a few more ways to keep your iPhone safe, private, and secure:

How to Turn Off Listen for "Hey Siri"

*Note* Once you turn off this setting, you'll no longer be able to summon Siri by saying, "Hey, Siri." Instead, you'll need to press the Side button or Home button for Siri.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Siri & Search

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

    toggle off listen for hey siri

How to Get Apps to Stop Listening with Your iPhone Microphone

Now that your iPhone is no longer constantly listening and waiting for you to say "Hey Siri", 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 begin:

  1. Open the Settings app again. 
  2. Tap Privacy.

    iphone settings appiphone privacy settings
     
  3. Tap Microphone.
  4. You'll see a list of all apps that you've granted Microphone access; toggle off any apps you'd like to stop from using the mic.

    iphone microphone privacy settingsapps with iphone microphone access

Keep in mind that these apps may tie 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 an SEO Content Strategist and 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.