Having trouble connecting HomeKit accessories? Here’s the fix!
Using Siri with HomeKit accessories is magical — while it’s working. If your HomeKit accessories blink out, here’s the fix.
I spent most of a glorious Tuesday testing Lutron’s Caseta Wireless lighting system, one of Apple’s first HomeKit-enabled accessories to make it to market. I had altogether too much fun telling Siri to “turn off the Space Shuttle” (basement) or “turn on the lights in the Pittie Palace” (living room full of dogs). But then, disaster struck: After disabling my house’s power that evening to install a thermostat, I found myself prompted with the worst alert — the one that told me Siri wasn’t connecting to HomeKit. After a bunch of panicked troubleshooting steps that mostly boiled down to “turn the HomeKit router on and off again”, I finally considered that it might be a bug on the iOS side. Ding ding ding!
So to save you all the trouble of repeating my evening of hair-mangling, here are a few good troubleshooting tips for getting a cranky HomeKit system to work.
First things first: Let’s figure out what exactly is going wrong.
Are your HomeKit accessories still working inside the app? It may be iOS
If you’ve lost connection to Siri but your connected hardware still seems to be responding when you press buttons inside its app, it sounds like you might have a bug on the iOS side of things. Here’s how to reset your HomeKit instances with Siri to get everything working smoothly again.
This reset will wipe any stored rooms and zones, along with the house name that you’ve asked Siri to remember, but will keep any accessories and pairings intact. The next time you open the app for your HomeKit-enabled accessory and navigate to Siri Integration, you’ll be prompted to give your connected home a new name and re-link your HomeKit bridge or other connected accessories.
Is nothing working? Check your network and reset your accessories
When you launch the app, do you get nothing at all? Double-check that your network is online and that your HomeKit-enabled accessories are connected to it either by ethernet (if you’re using a HomeKit bridge) or Wi-Fi. If you’re still not getting any indication that you’re connected, you may want to reset your hardware. Each HomeKit manufacturer has a slightly different process for this, so I advise checking with them to see what you need to do.
Are you on LTE? You might need an Apple TV
HomeKit’s Siri interface works primarily within the confines of your Wi-Fi network, which means that if you’re on LTE or out of town, you’re out of luck… or are you? According to an error message I received from Lutron’s Caseta app (and the company’s HomeKit FAQ), you may be able to extend that reach to LTE and other networks even if you’re away from your house using Apple TV and iCloud.
If you are away from home and you tell Siri to do something, the message is sent via the Internet to an Apple TV® device in your home, which then sends the message over your Wi‐Fi network to your HomeKit accessory.
I haven’t been able to get this to work successfully yet on my devices, but it’s been properly in the Apple TV’s source code since its 7.0 update; perhaps this is a feature we might see expanded upon on stage next week at WWDC.
Still having problems?
Still can’t connect to your HomeKit devices after following these steps? Sound off in the comments and we’ll try to give you a hand.
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