Apple TV is already a great streaming device, but by making the most of Siri you can really take it to the next level. The Siri Remote, included with Apple TV (4th generation) or later, has a built-in microphone so you can easily access Siri while watching TV.
All you have to do is press the key Microphone on the Siri Remote while you ask a question or tell Siri what to do. Siri displays the results in a box at the bottom of the screen.
If you don’t know what to say to Siri on your Apple TV, we’ve rounded up all of our favorite suggestions in the list below.
Siri commands to find something to watch
1. “What should I watch?”
If you don’t know what you want to watch, let Siri decide instead. When you ask this question, Siri will display a selection of movies and shows based on your viewing history.
2. “What can I watch for free?
Ask Siri to find free movies and TV shows to watch and it will display a selection available with your active subscriptions or available free for everyone.
3. “Oceans Eleven”
Just say the name of a movie or TV show and Siri will search its databases for what you are looking for. Select one of the options that appear to view more details about it in the Apple TV app or the app where it is available. Unfortunately, Siri won’t search for Netflix when you do this.
4. “George Clooney Films”
Search the names of your favorite actors to find all the TV shows and movies they’ve been on. You can also search for directors, writers or composers.
5. “Detective films”
For genre fans, ask Siri to find a selection of popular movies from different genres. Siri knows most of the genres: action, adventure, crime comedy, etc. You can even combine genres to narrow down your selection by requesting options like action-adventure movies or horror-comedy movies.
6. “Films of the 2000s”
Besides actors and genres, you can also filter movies and TV shows by year of release. Be specific when searching for content from a particular year, or keep it open by searching by decade.
7. “Films of the 2000s with George Clooney”
Be specific and combine several of the search terms above to narrow your selection. You can combine genre and year, actor and free movies, director and genre, and more. It’s also a great way to come up with the name of something you can’t remember.
8. “Only the best”
When Siri shows you a range of options, narrow it down by asking “Only the best.” Alternatively, you can request the most popular ones, free ones, 4K ones, dramas, ones directed by Steven Soderbergh, etc.
9. “New Movies on Netflix”
Unlike other streaming services, Apple TV doesn’t work well with Netflix. It usually ignores Netflix content when searching. However, you can help it by explicitly stating that you want to find content “on Netflix”. Sadly, that still doesn’t seem to find everything that’s available on Netflix.
Siri commands to control playback
10. “Fast forward 30 minutes”
Using the touch surface on your Siri Remote can be tedious at the best of times. When you want to fast forward, the easiest option is to tell Siri to do it for you.
11. “Go back 30 minutes”
Tell Siri to “go back” or “go back” for a set amount of time to jump to an earlier point in your movie or TV show.
12. “Go back to the beginning”
No matter how deep into a movie or TV show you are, just ask Siri to jump back to the beginning and your Apple TV will start playing it from the beginning.
13. “What did they say?”
When you ask for this, Siri goes back about 20 seconds and temporarily turns on the captions. This gives you a second chance to hear – or read – the line you missed. Best of all, Siri automatically turns closed captions off when you return to where you left off.
14. “Activate Spanish subtitles”
Turn on closed captions or closed captions without sorting menus by asking Siri to do it for you.
15. “Reduce loud sounds”
This option compresses the audio to reduce the volume of particularly loud sounds in everything you watch, so that you can avoid disturbing the neighbors.
Siri commands for more information
16. “Who’s in there?”
While watching something, ask Siri who is playing it to see a list of the most popular actors. You can also ask who directed, wrote, produced, or composed what you are watching.
17. “When did it come out?”
Ask Siri this to find out the year everything you watch was released.
18. “What is that assessment?”
Unsure if what you are watching is safe for children? Just ask Siri and she will tell you the age.
19. “Is it good?”
When you ask this question, Siri will display the Rotten Tomatoes score so you can get a good idea if it’s really worth completing it or not.
Siri commands to use other apps
20. “Find cat videos on YouTube”
If you have the YouTube app installed, make a few clicks for yourself asking Siri to search YouTube for whatever you’re looking for.
21. “Show me the best new apps”
Siri will search the Apple TV App Store to show you all the latest offers which have all been highly rated. You can also just ask for “best” apps or just request “new” apps.
22. “Show me the best new games”
Did you know that you can play games on your Apple TV? Ask Siri to find the best options for you to get started.
23. “Open the Photos app”
Use Siri to navigate Apple TV menus, telling it to open a certain app or return to the Home screen.
24. “Activate dark mode”
By default, your Apple TV goes into dark mode at night, but you can speed up the process with this nifty command.
25. “Turn off the lights”
If you have HomeKit-enabled smart lights in your home, you can use Siri on your Apple TV to control them. In fact, you can use Siri to control a range of different HomeKit accessories – you can even view the feed from a security camera.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what Siri can do
In this article, we’ve tried to stick with the Siri commands that are most likely to be useful for Apple TV users. But there are many Siri commands that you can use on your iPhone that are also available on your Apple TV.
This includes things like checking sports scores, finding out the weather, checking Apple Music, and more.
To find even more commands you can use with Siri, press the key. Microphone on the Siri Remote and wait for your Apple TV to start showing a range of onscreen suggestions.
We would love to know in the comments which commands you use with Siri on your Apple TV. Or are there some commands Siri doesn’t know you want him to learn?
Dan writes tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help people get the most out of their technology. Before becoming a writer, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sound technology, supervised repairs at an Apple Store, and even taught English in China.