How to Teach Siri Who Your Phone Contacts Are –– and Why You Should

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology

I rarely call my mom “Susan,” even if that is her real name. She is simply Mom. And my colleague Jason Gilbert, the person who edited this post, is simply my editor.

So, if I’m trying to use voice commands to contact my mom or my editor, it’s far more natural to refer to them by their titles than by their first names. Which is why it’s very helpful that you can teach Siri what your relationship is with each of your phone contacts. That way, when you ask Siri to “email my editor,” or “call my boyfriend,” it’ll know exactly who you’re talking about.

Here’s how:

1. Hold down the Home button of your iPhone until this screen pops up and Siri asks what you need help with.

iPhone Siri screen
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iPhone Siri screen

2. Tell Siri who a contact is. For instance, “Susan is my mother” or “Jason is my editor.”

A screen like this should appear:

iPhone Siri screen: OK, do you want me to remember that Jason Ogilbert is your editor?
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iPhone Siri screen: OK, do you want me to remember that Jason Ogilbert is your editor?

3. Say or tap Yes.

4. Remember, you can make up any title for a person. Siri doesn’t judge.

iPhone Siri screen: OK, do you want me to remember that Daniel Bean is your baby's daddy?
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iPhone Siri screen: OK, do you want me to remember that Daniel Bean is your baby's daddy?

Sorry you had to find out this way, Daniel.

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