Got a new HomePod? Need to sreset your old one? Wondering if it's possible to set up a HomePod using an iPad? Here's everything you need to know to set up a HomePod.
What you need to set up a HomePod:
You will need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 11.2.5 or later.
You also need the Home app and the Music app on your iOS device. These would be there by default, but if you had deleted them in the past you may need to download them from the App Store.
You don't need to have a subscription to Apple Music or to iTunes Match, although if you do you will get access to a lot more music and you will be able to take full advantage of the Siri voice controls. Here's how to set up your HomePod to play music from Spotify and Amazon via AirPlay.
How to set up HomePod
- Turn on Bluetooth on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch you are using to set up the HomePod.
- Make sure your iOS device is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Note: You may have difficulty setting up your HomePod if your local network has a firewall.
- Ensure you are signed into iCloud with your Apple ID.
- You also need to turn on iCloud Keychain if you haven’t already.
- And you need to have two-factor authentication to set up HomePod (here’s how to set up two-factor authentication).
- Place the HomePod on a solid surface. Apple says that you can position it anyway you like, as the clever technology inside the unit will adjust the sound to suit its location. However, we’ve been told that it’s best if there is at least 6in gap between the unit and a wall.
- If you have done all the above, when you plug in your HomePod it should recognise your iOS device straight away. (See what to do if your HomePod and iOS device aren’t communicating below.)
- Once your HomePod is plugged in you will hear a chime and a white light will come on. You should also see an alert appear on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. If you don’t see the alert on your iOS device, unlock it and place it beside the HomePod. (If you still don't see it we have some more troubleshooting ideas below).
- Tap on Set Up.
- You can now choose a room name to indicate where the HomePod is located. This isn’t because there is any difference in how the HomePod will be set up for the room, rather it lets you know which HomePod is which on the network should you have more than one (because we’re all obviously going to be buying five of them). The rooms also come into play in the Home app on your iOS device.
- The next step is to enable Personal Requests. You might want to do this if you like the idea of asking Siri on your HomePod to send and read text messages, add reminders and create notes. Beware that, as long as your iPhone is on the same network as the HomePod, anyone will be able to ask Siri on the HomePod to read and reply to your text messages. So you might not want to turn the feature on if you are living in a shared house or if you think the kids might think it is funny to text your boss. Choose to Enable Personal Requests, or, if you’d rather not, tap on Not Now. (For a list of things you can ask Siri read this).
- Next you will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions.
- Then you can transfer across all your account and settings information, such as WiFi passwords and iTunes Match or Apple Music account information, by tapping on Transfer Settings. Tap on Transfer Settings and the HomePod play a tone and start to pair and sync all your settings. This may take minute or so.
- You’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID password.
- Finally, Siri will say hello you’ll see a screen giving you an idea of some things you can ask Siri such as “Hey Siri, play some music”, or “Hey Siri, tell me the news”. You can also ask what the weather is like. How long it will take you to get to work. And, assuming you have HomeKit compatible devices, you can ask “Hey Siri, turn down the lights” or “Hey Siri, close the blinds”.
Also read: How to use HomePod.
How to set up HomePod again
If you have to reset your HomePod (follow our how to reset HomePod tutorial here to do so) you will then need to set up HomePod again.
You'll be able to follow the steps above to set up the Apple speaker. However, if after you reset HomePod it doesn't recognise it and pair straight away, we recomment that you follow these steps.
- Open the Home app on your iOS device.
- Tap on the +
- Choose Add Accessory.
We usually find this speeds up the process of the devices recognising each other.
How to adjust your HomePod settings
- To check your HomePod settings go to the Home app on your iOS device.
- Press and hold on the HomePod icon.
- Tap on Settings.
- Here you can change various settings on your HomePod. You can switch rooms, choose whether to include the device in Favourites in Control Centre, sign out of your Apple ID, and choose whether to include Explicit Content (handy if the kids will be using the device). You can also Use Listening History, which will allow the music you choose to play on the HomePod to influence your Apple Music recommendations (you might want to turn this feature off if the kids are obsessed with Disney songs).
- You can also turn off Hey Siri and Location Services. There are Accessibility options (voiceover for example).
- You also have the option to Remove Accessory, which is handy if you are troubleshooting issues with HomePod (more on that below).
How to set HomePod to work without WiFi
We have a tutorial on how to use your HomePod without WiFi here. But, to summarise:
- Tap on the small house icon in the top left.
- Scroll to Allow Speaker Access.
- Change the setting to Everyone.
This should make it possible for anyone to play music via AirPlay on your HomePod, as long as they are close enough to the unit. You'll be able to use the device as a standalone AirPlay speaker, without any of the smart functionality. You will need to keep the iPhone's WiFi turned on or it won't be able to 'see' the HomePod.
We also have a separate article that covers what HomePod does.