siri not reading text messages

You’re wondering why Siri not reading text messages? Well, there are quite a few things that could suppress Siri’s operation.

The narrating functionality of Siri depends on whether the primary feature is enabled, based on what device you’re using.

For instance, naked iPhones/iPads need to have one feature enabled, while for AirPods the primary option is different.

Siri does not read text messages because the primary option for your setup is not enabled or simply because your device is muted. Your Apple device might be connected to a Bluetooth speaker or your DND settings are preventing the Siri message narration.

Regardless of where the problem is coming from, next, we’re about to find out and help you solve it permanently.

How To Fix When Siri Not Reading Text Messages?

fix siri not reading text messages

If Siri isn’t reading your text messages, it could be because you haven’t enabled the “speak screen” in the Siri settings of your device.

If that’s the case, there is an easy pathway through the settings you can go through and enable the feature that enables Siri to narrate newly received messages.

Let’s start with making sure that the speak screen setting is enabled:

Solution #1 Enable “Speak Screen” On Your Phone

In order for Siri to read newly received messages out loud, you should first enable the setting through the settings of your Apple device.

Here’s how to enable the speak screen option for Siri on your Apple device:

  1. Go to Settings on your Apple device.
  2. Open the Accessibility tab.
  3. Next, choose the Spoken Content option.
  4. Choose from Speak Selection or Speak Screen.
Note: The “Speak selection” will announce only one selected message and the “Speak Screen” will announce your entire notifications.

Solution #2 Turn Up The Volume

turn volume up

Siri will not announce messages out loud if your Apple device’s volume has been lowered.

In that case, ensure that the speakers of your Apple device’s volume have been increased sufficiently, to hear Siri narrating messages upon saying “Speak Screen”.

It’s enough for you to press the Volume Up button on the Apple device a couple of times to make the messages audible.

Alert: Be sure that your Apple device is not muted from the hardware button on the side.

Solution #3 Disconnect The Apple Device From Bluetooth

If Siri not reading text messages after enabling the speak screen option, perhaps your Apple device is already connected to another speaker.

If that’s the case, all you have to do is disconnect from the given Bluetooth device and Siri will start announcing again.

Here’s how to disconnect your Apple device from audio Bluetooth devices:

  1. On your Apple device, go to Settings.
  2. Tap on “Bluetooth”.
  3. Next, view the list of all available Bluetooth devices.
  4. Search for devices with a status of “Connected”.
  5. Start identifying the devices that your device is paired to.
  6. If you locate any speaker device, tap on “Info” and then choose “Disconnect”.
Tip: If you don’t have a permanent connection with another Apple device, you can simply disable the Bluetooth.

How To Fix When Siri Not Reading Text Messages AirPods?

airpods siri issues

In case you’ve got an AirPods hooked up to your Apple device but Siri won’t read your new messages, then there are quite a few things to inspect.

Solution #1 Enable “Announce Messages with Siri”

To get Siri to announce messages on your AirPods second generation and above or AirPod max, you have to enable the “Announce messages with Siri” in the settings.

This option is specific for AirPods and other headphones and enables Siri to narrate messages.

Here’s how to make Siri announce messages on your AirPods:

  1. First, go to Settings on your Apple device.
  2. Head to the Notifications settings tab.
  3. From there, go to Announce Notifications.
  4. Tap on “Announce Notifications”.
  5. Go to “Messages”.
  6. Choose a message group that you would like to be announced.
Note: Message groups could be favorite contacts, recent contacts, or all contacts.

Solution #2 Lock Your Phone

Apple themselves has said that Siri will not announce messages while you’re on your phone.

This means that any notifications you receive while the phone is with a lit-up display, will not get announced.

In that set of thoughts, to receive voice announcements of messages, ensure that you press the power button on your phone to lock it up.

While the device is in a lock-up state, Siri will announce the messages you receive.

Note: The display should be turned OFF, for Siri to narrate messages.

Solution #3 Re-Connect AirPods

reconnect airpods

Sometimes the problem might simply be software related and everything necessary for the solution would be to re-pair the AirPods to your Apple Device.

Here is how to reconnect your AirPods:

  1. Put the AirPods in the case.
  2. Open the Bluetooth settings of your device.
  3. Forget your AirPods Bluetooth connection.
  4. Hold the pair button on the back of the case for 5 seconds.
  5. A prompt on your Apple device should appear.
  6. Confirm the prompt to establish the connection.
Note: Test if AirPods produce sound before attempting the Siri message narration.

How To Fix When Apple CarPlay Siri Not Reading Text Messages?

Apple CarPlay issues

Solution #1 Enable “Announce New Messages” With CarPlay

There is a separate option that enables your CarPlay Siri to narrate new messages you’ve received on your iPhone.

In fact, it can also silence new messages and remember the previous settings through this feature.

Here’s how to enable the “announce new messages” option with CarPlay in easy steps:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings.
  2. Tap “Siri & Search”.
  3. Choose “Announce Notifications” and enable the feature.
  4. Next, go to CarPlay in the same tab.
  5. Choose Announce New Messages from the tab.
Note: Messages you now receive on the iPhone will be announced through CarPlay.

Solution #2 Enable “Listen For Hey Siri”

Chances are that you haven’t enabled “Hey Siri” for CarPlay. If that’s the case, the CarPlay Siri will not activate at all, hence, you will not get your new messages narrated.

To activate the “Listen for Hey Siri” option, follow these instructions:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings.
  2. Open the “Siri & Search” tab from there.
  3. Enable the option “Listen for Hey Siri”.
Note: To test, say “Hey Siri” in your car, and with the first solution executed, Siri should now narrate.

Solution #3 Disable Driving Focus

The Driving Focus is an exclusive feature for iPhones that mutes ALL your notifications including the Siri narration for messages.

In case the feature is set to “Automatic” it will turn on by itself upon detecting motion. This is what could be preventing the CarPlay Siri from reading messages.

Here is how to disable the Driving Focus feature:

  1. Go to the settings of your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to find the Focus tab.
  3. Turn off the Driving Mode by toggling the slider.
Tip: Inspect your other “Do not disturb” settings for something that could be suppressing Siri's narration.

In Short:

Siri is not reading messages because the “Speak Screen” or “Announce Messages” options are disabled. The issue might also be related to a muted device or an active Bluetooth connection to a speaker. In case you’re in motion, you should check if the Driving Focus is enabled and inspect the DND settings.

Read Next: What Happens If You Tell Siri To Self-Destruct?

Bottom Line:

Now when you know why Siri not reading text messages you should make sure to configure all options involved as per your setup.

Depending on whether you’re using a naked device, headphones, or while driving, the settings are different.

We hope that our guide was enough for you to solve the problem and answer your question and if you’re looking for more solutions, make sure to check our online blog.

Nicole B