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Common HomePod mini problems and how to fix them

Apple’s HomePod mini drastically scaled down the smart speaker, making it an orb-like personal companion designed to interact with other Apple devices, help manage your schedule, and play tunes while you work. The results were impressive (and much more affordable), but some users have still run into problems making the speaker work properly or getting key features to work.

The good news is there are solutions and workarounds for most of these issues. Here are the chief problems people are reporting and what fixes we’ve found to be effective.

Siri keeps reporting no internet connection

This is one of the most common problems with the mini, and there are several things you should try if Siri keeps telling you the unit isn’t connecting.

First, reboot your Wi-Fi router. If your router automatically switches devices between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, see if there’s a way you can turn this option off for your mini, as it may get confused if it keeps being switched between bands. Then, reboot your mini — when you open the Home app and go to HomePod Mini Settings, you should see an option to restart it here. The Home app may also give alerts about why the mini isn’t connected to Wi-Fi and what may be the solution.

If the problem keeps happening, try restoring your HomePod to factory settings and starting over. You can manually reset this way by unplugging the mini, waiting 10 seconds, and plugging it back in. Wait five seconds, then press your finger on the top of the HomePod mini and hold it there. The mini’s lights will turn red — keep pressing your finger down until Siri notifies you that the mini is about to reset and you hear three beeps.

However, some HomePods appear to have a permanent issue staying connected to the internet, no matter what you do (some features may work, but Siri will continue to report problems). If your other smart devices work well but the mini keeps dropping the connection, you could have a defective unit. Call Apple support, ask what they think, and check to see if you can get a replacement under your warranty.

homepod mini in hand
John Velasco/Digital Trends

The mini isn’t responding to voice commands

Start with the basics, and check that the mini is plugged in and turned on. Tap the top and make sure it’s responding at all and hasn’t crashed. If the manual controls don’t work, go into the Home app and HomePod Mini Settings to find the option to Restart the mini. You may also need to do a full manual reset as described above.

If your manual controls are responding, then the problem is likely with Siri itself. First, try pressing the responsive top of the mini, hold down, and say, “Turn on Hey Siri.” If that’s not working, head into the Home app, select your HomePod Mini Settings, and then look for the option that says Listen for Hey Siri. Make sure it is turned on.

The iPhone handoff ability isn’t responding

Handoff is the feature that allows you to instantly pass audio from your iPhone to your mini speaker, and it’s ideal for when you’re ready to settle down in one spot — when it works, at least.

First, remember the requirements — handoff is primarily designed for the iPhone 11 and up. If you have an older model, handoff can still work, but it won’t be as reliable and may not function.

Also, go into the Home app and check HomePod Mini Settings to see if there are any updates. If the mini has an update, apply it and see if this fixes the problem (the 14.2 update in particular solved this issue for many people). Finally, restart the HomePod mini completely, and try using handoff once again.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

HomePod mini tries connecting to the wrong Wi-Fi network or won’t work with Wi-Fi

Ever since iOS 12, HomePod devices can automatically pick up Wi-Fi login information from your iPhone or iPad and use it to connect to your network. However, if the Wi-Fi information on your other Apple devices is outdated or confusing, your HomePod may try to connect to the wrong Wi-Fi network, which usually leads to an error. Make sure all Wi-Fi information is correct on your Apple devices, and restart to try again.

The mini may take a little time to find and connect to Wi-Fi if you move it to another room. Give it at least a few seconds to re-establish a connection before you use it.

Also, note that the mini will not work on “captive” networks like hotspots in cafes or hotels. If you tried connecting to one of these networks, you’ll have to do a full factory reset and reconnect to a traditional Wi-Fi network.

HomePod mini is on but won’t play music

Head to the Home app and check on Settings to see if there are any updates waiting to be installed. If there are, install and restart. This is another issue that the 14.2 update fixed for many people, especially when it comes to playing Spotify.

Apple HomePod mini on surface
John Velasco / Digital Trends

HomeKit scenes aren’t working with HomePod mini

This problem happens when you create scenes in the Home app but Siri cannot use them when given the proper voice command (although they will typically work fine from other devices). Position your HomePod closer to your router to give it the best possible connection, and try voice commands again to see if this works.

Unfortunately, HomePods appear to be sensitive to certain smart home device mixes, and will struggle to control them even if the scenes work on your iPhone or iPad. You can try a factory reset and new setup to see if this helps.

AirPlay crashes when moving audio to the mini

First, make sure all devices involved are updated. Users have run into bugs that prevent AirPlay from working with the HomePod mini, and there’s not much to do except wait for patches to fix this problem. However, one potential solution is to do a minor reset by shutting down your mini, signing out of iCloud, then signing back into iCloud and turning everything back on.

homepod mini siri side
John Velasco/Digital Trends

The mini won’t respond when it’s first plugged in

If you try plugging in the HomePod mini and only see a permanent spinning orange circle, something is wrong. Check that you are using the power adapter that came with the HomePod mini in the same box. While other Apple adapters may look the same, they aren’t made to work with the mini, and this spinning orange circle will be the result. Otherwise, it’s time to call Apple Support.

Can’t connect HomePod mini to TV

Unfortunately, only the original big HomePod can support compatible home theater systems, speaker bars, Apple TV 4K, etc. The HomePod mini does not have this home theater capability because it does not have the spatial and directional audio software that made this connection possible. You can still try to connect with an Apple TV over AirPlay, but the results won’t be very impressive.

The mini isn’t pairing for stereo sound

Two HomePod minis can pair with each other automatically when they are set up and close to each other. This does not work with a HomePod mini and the original HomePod, just with two minis. If the two aren’t automatically connecting, try moving the minis closer together and restarting them to see if this helps. If it doesn’t work, unplug both minis and move them to a different room, then plug them in again and try pairing in the new space. If they pair successfully, they should stay paired and you can carry them back to the original spot.

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