20 Tricks to control the Mac with Siri

Siri on the Mac allows you to perform operations with a simple voice request. You can search for files, dictate a note, check the weather but also many other things that many ignore.

Starting with macOS 10.12 Sierra, Siri is also available on Mac, with new features designed specifically for the computer. Like Siri for iOS devices, even Siri for Mac is the intelligent personal assistant that helps, through a long series of commands, to carry out various activities, such as sending a message to a colleague to warn him that the document we are working on is almost ready without having to interrupt what you are doing.

How to activate Siri on the Mac and ask questions

If Siri is not active on your Mac, you can activate it by going to System Preferences, selecting “Siri” and checking the “Ask Siri” option. From here you can specify the possible abbreviation of the keyboard to use, the language to be used, the assistant’s voice type (male or female), the voice feedback (disabling the voice feedback, Siri’s answer is shown in the window Siri but not read aloud), choose whether or not to show the Siri icon in the menu bar. If Siri can not connect to the network or asks to try again later, check the internet connection. If we have a Mac without an integrated microphone (eg Mac mini) we can use an external microphone (eg a USB microphone) or Bluetooth headsets.

Check the free space on iCloud and on the disk

Using the phrase: “Check space on iCloud” Siri shows how much storage space we still have available on iCloud. With a similar phrase like: “How much space do I have on the hard disk?” Or “How much free space I have on the SSD” we can know the storage space still available on the local disk.

Raise and lower the volume, change brightness, do not disturb

Using the “Turn up the volume” command, Siri automatically increases the system volume; the “lower volume” command reduces the volume. You can also use commands such as: “Raise brightness”, “Turn off brightness”, “Enable do not disturb” or “disable do not disturb” (to hide or show banners and notifications of various notifications). Also useful to ask for information such as: “Please indicate the percentage of battery recharge”.

Change System Preferences

Useful to recall commands such as: “Change Night Mode” to change the settings that automatically set the screen colors to warmer tones; “Change Dock Settings” invokes preferences related to the Dock; “Change Network” changes the network settings. “Change monitor settings” shows the preferences of the display connected to the Mac; “Open the Bluetooth settings” shows the window with the Bluetooth settings.

Open applications

You can open applications with the “Open” command followed by the name of the program to be opened. Example: “Open Word”, “Open iTunes”, “Open Excel”, etc. The option is particularly useful when we want to open apps not present in the “Applications” folder, not present in the Dock or installed in subfolders that we do not remember.

Search for documents

Siri allows you to easily find files on your Mac using different criteria. You can ask Siri to look for all the documents opened in the last week, limit the results to those that contain a specific word (eg “report”) in the title. Siri also includes commands like “Show me the PDFs in the Download folder”, “Show me all the files I shared with Ankit last week”.

Search for images and drag the results

You can use commands such as: “Search for images of the Eiffel Tower on the internet”. You can drag some types of information found by Siri into a window or an application on the desktop. After asking Siri to find an image on the web, you can also drag one of the results into a Pages document or other application.

Change the request to Siri

You can edit a request instead of creating a new one: just double-click on the words in the Siri window and then enter the changes from the keyboard.

Various information

There are many features to play songs (eg “Play the first 40 jazz songs”), ask details about time and method (eg “What time is it in Tokyo?” Or “What’s the weather like in Rome?”), Find a local (“Find a nearby bar”).

What day was the …

What day was it when you were born? Just ask: “What day was October 11th, 1969?”. You can of course also know what day of the week will be in the future with questions like: “What day will be September 14, 2050?”. Also interesting to ask things like. “What’s missing on October 5, 2040?”


Siri is a great tool for converting currencies. You can ask things like: “How many are 1432 dollars”, or “How many are 10,000 yen?”. Staying on the topic of money you can ask for information on actions with questions such as: “How did you close FIAT?”, “How did you close Apple?”. Other types of conversions are those from miles to km. Example: “How many Km are 40 miles?”. Conversions for weight are also useful (eg “Convert 600 ounces in kilos”).


You can use Siri to do calculations, with questions like: “How much is four by two multiplied three divided by twenty?” But also by directly indicating the operation, such as: “80 x 40” or “1400 + 22%”.

When is the birthday of …

If you have the foresight of memorizing details of the people you know, you can ask for information such as “When is Mario Rossi’s birthday?” Or “How old is Mario Rossi?”, “What day Mario Rossi was born? ”

How much is missing on New Year’s Eve?

You can ask Siri what’s missing on New Year’s Eve or other holidays with questions like: “How much is missing on New Year’s Eve?” But also “How much is missing on Chinese New Year?”, “How long is the lunar new year?” , “When is Easter?”, “When is the Diwali?”, “When is Ramadan?

Siri is passionate about football … and not only

“What did Juve do?”, “What did Roma do?”, “Did Torino win?” Are questions you may have already known. Did you know that you can also ask things like: “Show me the ranking of series A”, “When does the championship start?”, “Tell me the top scorer in Series A”, “Difference between Juventus and Inter goals”. Siri does not only “take care” of football, but allows to show the results of US Baseball, Basketball and Hockey championships. For example, you can ask: “Show me the NBA ranking”

Remember things

You can set alarms and timers with the voice, with commands like “Set an alarm for tomorrow morning at eleven”, “Remember me tomorrow morning at nine o’clock to pay the bill”.

Random numbers, dice and head or cross

Do you want to try your luck asking Siri for lot numbers? You can do it: just a phrase like “Tell me a random number”. You can also ask to launch a coin (“Throw a coin”) or a die in our place, basically activating the function of generating random numbers that, in the first case, will respond from time to time with “Head” or “Tail” simulating the operation of pulling a coin, while in the second one will extract a number between 1 and 6 simulating the launch of a die. You can also roll special dice with multiple sides, asking for example to “Roll a dice 10” to ensure the random function for numbers, precisely, between 1 and 10.

What is said on Twitter

You want to know the latest topics of an account you follow on Twitter. Nothing could be easier, just ask a question such as: “What Lady Gaga says”, “What the Mosquito says”, “Show tweets of xxxx”, etc. To post a tweet just say: “Post on twitter xxx” and confirm including possibly location mentioning a person from contacts, add hashtags, etc. The same can also be done with Facebook: “Post on Facebook …”.

Appointments in the mails

Do we have pending appointments in the mails? We ask Siri: “Tell me if I have appointments in the mail”. Interesting also the possibility to use commands like: “Find email with subject” analysis: will show the mail messages with the object in question.

Change the pronunciation of the names.

Siri is wrong to say the name of your friend, colleague or company? Just tell him: “This is not how it is pronounced xxxx”. The assistant will ask for the correct pronunciation and will then say the name correctly.

Funny things

Ask questions like “How do I look like you?”, “Who is your favorite actor?”, “Suggest me a movie”, “Suggest me a recipe”, “Believe in God?”, “Suggest me a watch”, “If do not be quiet buy a Samsung”, “Siri recites a poem”, “Tell a story”, “Which is the best phone on the market”.

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