teach siri your family

Apple’s virtual personal assistant Siri can do a lot for anyone who wants to ask for her help. She can schedule appointments, tell you who’s winning the game, and get you tickets to the late show, among other things.

One of the useful things that Siri can do is remember your relationships. Once you’ve told Siri who your wife is, you can ask her to send her a message. Same with your mom, dad, other family members and friends. We have a basic tutorial to help you teach Siri who your family is.

How to teach Siri who your friends and family members are

The easiest way to teach Siri about your family relationships is to tell her. Touch and hold the Home button until Siri’s iconic purple microphone appears and makes a chime. Then say, “Call my mom.” Siri will then say, “ What is your mother’s name?” Say the full name of the contact you are assigning the relationship to and Siri will find the name and then say, “OK, do you want me to remember that [so-and-so] is your mother?” Confirm to save your Mom as a family member.

set my mom in siri

Then, when you want to call or send a message to your mom, just activate Siri and say, “Call my mom,” or “Send a message to my mom,” and Siri will know who you are talking about.

How to set friends and family in Siri’s memory

Another way to go at it is to simply tell Siri “[so-and-so] is my [relationship]. For example:

Step 1: Press and hold on the Home button until Siri appears.

Step 2: Tell Siri something like “Jeff Benjamin is my colleague.”

Step 3: Siri will ask you to confirm the relationship.

get siri to know friends

You can do this with all of your friends and family members. You can add aunts, uncles, grandparents, children, neighbors, friends, colleagues, boss, and whomever you would like to assign a relationship to.

How to manually add family members and friends to Siri

Another way you can assign relationships is by adding them manually.

Step 1: Go to Contacts > Select your own name.

Step 2: Tap the Edit tab in the upper right corner.

Step 3: Scroll down to the section that shows relationship names, like “Mother,” “Father,” “Brother,” etc.

Siri relationships

Step 4: Tap the blue “i” icon next to a relationship assignment.

Step 5: Select a name from your contacts.

You can also customize the relationship label

Step 1: Tap the label portion of a relationship assignment.

Step 2: Select one of the listed labels. If you don’t see the relationship that you want to use, go to step 3.

set custom relationship with siri

Step 3: Tap Add Custom Label to create your own relationship.

Step 4: Enter a new label, like “neighbor,” or “cousin,” or even “best friend.”

Now, Siri will know who all of your relationships are. It’s too bad she can’t warn you when your mother-in-law is coming to visit. Maybe a future version of iOS will?

  • Tony Farrar

    Have you tested this in IOS 7 beta 4 ? I don’t get the same list of names as you do in the picture above

    • pegger1

      Did you miss the part about “Tap “Add Custom Label” to create your own relationship.”

      • Tony Farrar

        I tried that and it does not appear on mine I only get 3 choices “manager”, “Spouse” and “assistant”

      • Kevin Osborne

        Are you using iCloud Contacts, Google Contacts, or something else?

      • i am using iCloud and same list is available as shown in screenshot above.. on iOS 6.1.2

      • Steve Woolf

        Me too… Only spouse, manager and assistant.

      • Kevin Osborne

        I had this problem with using Google Contacts, but I created my own contact on iCloud for myself and then just linked the contact to my Google Contacts one, added the relationships to the iCloud one, and that worked.

    • Samy060

      Got the full list as the screenshot above on iPhone 5 running iOS7 beta 4.

    • I have not tested it on iOS 7. I customized some of the names. For example, I made the sister-in-law and boyfriend label.

  • Linton Findlay

    i said to siri once, call me an ambulance. he now refers to me as ambulance

  • Gorgonphone

    I never ever use siri and have infact disabled it and its daemons to save ram on my iPhone 5 and ipad4..lol

  • Ted Forbes

    Not good enough, the usefulness of Siri must be more than this it must operate the phone not just check Google and calender.And now this another social network thing. I don’t want to teach Siri anything Siri should be made to learn on its own, habits, routs, conversations, names, locations, interest, etc, etc and it should ask me, tell me or alert me, The only thing I should do is switch it off or on. No good Apple and not good enough. Where is the wow Apple?

  • abdullah575

    i know this before 5 months !!!

    • You owe me five bucks.

      • abdullah575


      • Chris Gilmore

        Read the last sentence in the third paragraph, jackass.

      • Erny Carrillo

        Abdullah575 is one of those ppl that dont read the whole thing before commenting

  • Fabio Rodrigues

    and how to change relationships?

    ex, I have a brother and for some reason when I ask Siri to call him she gives me 2 options: “What brother do you wish to call: Joao DeCastro or João DeCastro?

    and I ask for Joao DeCastro she says that she doesnt have a number for him -_-* and I have just one entry for him on my contacts list, then I ask her to forget that Joao DeCastro is my brother and she says that she can’t

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  • Julia Jules Warner

    Thank you!!! My dad died and it kept saying it couldn’t call my mum because I deleted my dad from the contact.
    This has really helped xx