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The most common HomePod problems and how to fix them

The Apple HomePod is capable of controlling compatible at-home tech like smart cameras and lights through Apple HomeKit. It takes your music streaming to the next level too. With Apple Music and AirPlay, your favorite playlists and Apple device tunes will sound better than ever before, thanks to the HomePod’s A8 audio chip and 360-degree adaptive sound staging. Then, there’s everything you can do with Siri. Ask the voice assistant questions, and she’ll scour the web to find your answers.

The HomePod can perform most functions without a hitch, but tech is tech. Whether a poor Wi-Fi connection or a holdup with AirPlay pairing, there are some HomePod glitches that pop up again and again. We’ve taken a deeper look at some of these bugs (for both the standard HomePod and newly released HomePod Mini) to better understand what can cause these troubles and different things you can try to fix them.

Your HomePod fails during setup

HomePod

A white screen, Wi-Fi incompatibility, or a -6722 error code. These are all signs that your HomePod can’t get through the device’s initial setup. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to work past this. For starters, you’ll want to confirm your iOS device and HomePod are on the same Wi-Fi network and are both running the latest firmware. If all checks out, and you’re still having trouble, check to make sure two-factor authentication is enabled for both your Apple ID and iCloud Keychain.

For two-factor authentication, on your iOS device, go to Settings > Your Name > Password and Security, then make sure the option is turned on. For the iCloud Keychain, go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud. If Keychain is disabled, toggle it on. Once you’ve confirmed everything is enabled and paired correctly, begin the setup process once more. If you’re still having trouble, it could be network-related. We’ll cover that in our next section.

Your HomePod isn’t connecting to Wi-Fi

Apple Homepod
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends

This issue can rear its head for a multitude of reasons and is not all that uncommon for smart speakers in general. For starters, as part of iOS 12, your HomePod will jump on the same Wi-Fi network as your preferred iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch). If you’ve recently changed your home’s Wi-Fi password or relocated your HomePod to a new location, the speaker will need to be re-paired to the network.

To do so, grab the iOS device you plan on using for setup and hold it near the HomePod, then tap Set Up when it appears on your device screen. When prompted, select the HomeKit Room you want the HomePod to be placed in, then tap Transfer Settings to send your iOS device settings (iCloud credentials, Wi-Fi info) to your HomePod. After entering your Apple ID password, your HomePod should be good to go.

Sometimes, Wi-Fi drops may be the result of poor firmware or glitches in the HomePod’s operating system. Right now, there are numerous reports of HomePod Mini owners experiencing intermittent Wi-Fi drops. Apple’s current solution is to unplug the HomePod and plug it back in. If the hard reset doesn’t fix the issue, you can perform a factory reset. To do so, log into the Home app, select the HomePod in question, and tap Remove. Your HomePod will then un-link from your HomeKit account and reset itself.

If you’re operating your HomePod in a home with poor bandwidth or a ton of walls and floors between the speaker and your router, the speaker may kick itself off Wi-Fi now and again. To correct the issue, try moving the HomePod closer to the router. If you’re still having trouble, a hard reset of your network gear may do the trick. Unplug your router and modem, wait 10 seconds then reconnect the modem and then the router. Once everything is back online, say “Hey, Siri” to test your HomePod’s connection. If the speaker still drops Wi-Fi, it may be worth it to invest in upgraded internet gear. With Wi-Fi, you truly get what you pay for, and a powerful router can make all the difference.

Siri isn’t responding

apple homepod
Jeremy Kaplan/Digital Trends

Your HomePod uses Siri to run the show. The voice assistant carries out your smart home commands, connects you to your preferred music services, and searches the web for answers to your questions. But sometimes when you say “Hey, Siri,” your HomePod may not respond. There could be a few reasons why.

The HomePod uses a six-microphone array (three-mic array for the HomePod Mini) to pick up on your voice commands. In most cases, the speaker should be able to hear you, but too much environmental noise can definitely get in the way. Try moving your HomePod to a quieter location, or away from obstructions that block the speaker, then test by saying “Hey, Siri.”

If there’s still no response, and you know your HomePod is paired to your preferred iOS device, go into the device settings and toggle Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on/off. Doing so may be enough to get Siri back online. If all else fails, you can opt for a hard reset of the HomePod. Unplug, re-plug, then test Siri.

AirPlay isn’t working

Using Airplay, you can instantly stream music to your HomePod from your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV. If you’re trying to play content and not getting any audio from the speaker, there could be a couple of culprits.

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your HomePod and Airplay-designated iOS device are both on the same Wi-Fi network and that Bluetooth is enabled. If you’re going to be streaming from your Apple TV, you’ll also need to make sure Airplay is enabled for the device. To do so, using your Apple TV remote, go to Settings, select Airplay, then make sure the function is turned on.

Still no Airplay? As we’ve mentioned previously, do a hard reset of both your HomePod and your iOS device, then try using Airplay again.

HomePod isn’t controlling HomeKit devices

Your HomePod can be the brains of your entire smart home. From lights to locks and home security, all can be managed and customized in the Home app. But once in a while, you may run into a situation where you can’t get your smart gear to respond.

The first thing you’ll want to do is open your Home app and make sure the devices you’re trying to control are available and online. If a device is missing, manually re-add it and then test to see if your HomePod will control it. If there’s still trouble, take a look at what firmware both the HomePod and your smart devices are running. If you’re one or two updates behind on either device, that may be enough to cause handshake issues between your gear.

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