How To Use Siri to Access iOS Settings

How To Use Siri to Access iOS Settings

Apple’s Siri technology is already pretty useful for calling contacts, scheduling meetings, or looking up info, but many are frustrated that it can’t be used for other purposes, such as accessing your device’s settings. Fortunately, there’s a hack for that.

The trick works by creating contacts based on the preference codes for the preferences you’d like to access using Siri. For instance, the following would create a shortcut to your WiFi settings:

  1. Create a contact labelled “WiFi”
  2. In the “web site” field of the contact, enter the following address (without quotations): “prefs:root=WiFi”

After the “prefs” prefix, you see a designator called “root”. Any preference pane located in the initial page within can be placed after that designator. So if you wanted to access brightness settings, you’d use “prefs:root=brightness,” or for date and time settings, you’d use “prefs:root=date_and_time”. Note that any time there is a space within the pane you want to access, you must substitute it with an underscore.

But what if you want to access a setting within another pane? For instance, the “About” screen located within “General” inside of Preferences.App? That’s when you’d use the “path” designator. So, to access the “About” screen, you’d use root designator “General” and the path designator “About, like so:


Using a combination of the root designator and the path designator, you can access any setting you like. Then, just create a contact with the name of the setting, and save the path in the web address field. You can even access panes within panes by using a forward slash, for instance, to access VPN settings: “VPN – prefs:root=General&path=Network/VPN,” using a slash after “Network” to designate a further pane.

That’s all there is to it! I hope you find this useful! Hopefully Siri will evolve in the future so we can access these things directly rather than having to resort to round-about methods like this!

Some of the most common preference codes can be found below for your reference:

  • About – prefs:root=General&path=About
  • Accessibility – prefs:root=General&path=ACCESSIBILITY
  • Airplane Mode On – prefs:root=AIRPLANE_MODE
  • Auto-Lock – prefs:root=General&path=AUTOLOCK
  • Brightness – prefs:root=Brightness
  • Bluetooth – prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth
  • Date & Time – prefs:root=General&path=DATE_AND_TIME
  • FaceTime – prefs:root=FACETIME
  • General – prefs:root=General
  • Keyboard – prefs:root=General&path=Keyboard
  • iCloud – prefs:root=CASTLE
  • iCloud Storage & Backup – prefs:root=CASTLE&path=STORAGE_AND_BACKUP
  • International – prefs:root=General&path=INTERNATIONAL
  • Location Services – prefs:root=LOCATION_SERVICES
  • Music – prefs:root=MUSIC
  • Music Equalizer – prefs:root=MUSIC&path=EQ
  • Music Volume Limit – prefs:root=MUSIC&path=VolumeLimit
  • Network – prefs:root=General&path=Network
  • Nike + iPod – prefs:root=NIKE_PLUS_IPOD
  • Notes – prefs:root=NOTES
  • Notification – prefs:root=NOTIFICATIONS_ID
  • Phone – prefs:root=Phone
  • Photos – prefs:root=Photos
  • Profile – prefs:root=General&path=ManagedConfigurationList
  • Reset – prefs:root=General&path=Reset
  • Safari – prefs:root=Safari
  • Siri – prefs:root=General&path=Assistant
  • Sounds – prefs:root=Sounds
  • Software Update – prefs:root=General&path=SOFTWARE_UPDATE_LINK
  • Store – prefs:root=STORE
  • Twitter – prefs:root=TWITTER
  • Usage – prefs:root=General&path=USAGE
  • VPN – prefs:root=General&path=Network/VPN
  • Wallpaper – prefs:root=Wallpaper
  • Wi-Fi – prefs:root=WIFI