Controlling smart home accessories through the Home app or voice with Siri is absolutely magical, but this magic can quickly turn into frustration if your accessory suddenly drops with a dreaded case No answer error. No answer status not only means you lose the ability to control your accessories, but it also affects automation and scenes, which can really disrupt a home.
Because HomeKit is based on a variety of factors and involves multiple devices, aiming for an exact fix for No answer the problem can be a little complicated. Sometimes it’s a spotty wireless connection; the next day, it might just be an issue with the Home app that needs a restart. With a little patience, you can bring that accessory back to life, you just have to follow the steps below to get started.
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First things first
Before we delve into the deep stuff, there are a few simple settings that you should check on your iOS device. These include ensuring that your device is connected to your home Wi-Fi network and checking that Bluetooth is active.
How to turn off WiFi or Bluetooth on iPhone and iPad
Next, make sure your iPhone is signed in to your iCloud account. You can do this by accessing the Settings app and checking if your name is listed at the top. Otherwise, see our login guide below.
How to set up and customize iCloud on iPhone, iPad and Mac
Lastly, make sure you’re running the latest version of iOS or macOS, as well as on the HomeKit hub, such as Apple TV or HomePod. For more details on the update, see the guides below.
Sometimes a HomeKit accessory can look No answer message, even if it is actually connected to the home network. To narrow it down to an accessory issue or a launcher issue, you can check if the app is accessible to your device to see if you can control it from there. If you can, then you can turn your attention to HomeKit troubleshooting.
If your accessory is available in another application, you can check for firmware updates that may resolve the issue or refer to the specific HomeKit steps provided by the manufacturer.
At home or away
If your HomeKit accessory is only displayed No answer when you’re not at home, then you may need a HomeKit hub. HomeKit centers bridge the distance between the accessory and the internet, allowing you to access your equipment while you’re out and about at the same time, allowing you to create automations.
There are currently three types of HomeKit hubs that are available: Apple TV (4th generation or later), HomePod, and iPad (running the latest version of iOS). HomeKit hubs, even on hold, will handle all connections in the background and are generally automatically activated when you sign in to your iCloud account during the device setup process.
If you already have one of these devices in your home, you can check the status of the HomeKit in the Home app on iOS. An active HomeKit hub will be displayed as Logged in in the Home app and if you have other hubs in the house, they will appear as Standby. If your hub is not displayed Logged in or it is not displayed at all, then you will need to activate it on that device. Here are the steps to check the status of your hub.
How to view the status of the current HomeKit Hub
Restart all things
As with most problems, sometimes a simple restart is all it takes to make things work. Resolving the HomeKit issue, restarting the HomeKit hub, the iOS device, and even the accessory itself is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make the accessory unanswered again.
How to restart or reset iPhone and iPad
Recharging a HomeKit accessory usually only requires disconnecting it from the wall or removing the batteries. In some cases, you can also use the associated application if it is connected to the home network and can be seen by the application.
Restarting an Apple TV requires either disconnecting it, using the menus on the device, or using a combination of buttons on the Siri remote.
How to restart or put Apple TV to sleep with Siri Remote
For HomePod, you can simply unplug it or use the Home app. Restarting it through the Home app can be a little dangerous, although you’ll be presented with options to restart or reset your HomePod, so be sure to pay attention before you touch it. Here’s how:
- Launch The home app.
- touch rooms.
Swipe left or right to locate The room that your HomePod is inside, then tap and hold the button HomePod.Source: iMore
- Click on Settings icon.
- Swipe down and tap Reset HomePod
touch Restart the HomePod.
- Make sure you tap the restart option. If you tap Remove accessory, your HomePod will be reset to factory settings.
- Restarting the HomePod will take a while and will not be available for voice commands during this time
- If your HomePod is the homeKit hub in your home, you’ll temporarily lose access to accessories
Traveling the distance
The vast majority of HomeKit accessories on the market use wireless radios to communicate with your home network. Common wireless types are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and RF, all of which are limited in their maximum range. If you have only one accessory that comes and goes, then you may be a victim of a spotty signal.
Solving the problem can be as simple as moving the accessory to another location or moving the HomeKit hub. There are several different tools you can use to help diagnose an accessory connection, most of them.
For Wi-Fi connections, check the application or web portal you use to manage your router. Most modern routers will display signal strength as an easy-to-read icon or as a description Excellent. Some routers will display power in numeric form, such as -50 dBm, and the smaller the number, the better your signal. If your signal is at or above 70 dBm, then you may experience connection problems.
If your signal isn’t strong and you can’t move your accessories, hub, or router, then you might want to look into a Wi-Fi networked router, such as the popular eero line. These routers have multiple access points spread throughout the house to extend the range and also support HomeKit Secure Router functions
For Bluetooth accessories, the signal strength can also be checked, but to do this you will more than likely need a third-party HomeKit application. We recommend the HomeScan app for HomeKit, as it is adapted for HomeKit and comes with a handy Apple Watch app that makes diagnosing a connection even easier.
The HomeScan application will display power in numerical form, as with Wi-Fi connections, a signal around -70 dBm or above can cause inconsistent performance. If you have a HomeKit hub in your home, you will need to make sure that you measure the power relative to where your HomeKit hub is located. You can do this by setting your iPhone on or near your Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod, and then using the Apple Watch while sitting next to your HomeKit accessory.
The ZigBee and RF accessories communicate to a dedicated hub and, as such, the signal strength, if available, will be reported via the accompanying application. The most popular brand that uses ZigBee is Philips Hue, which uses it for its line of light bulbs and lamps, and for RF, the Cassette Lutron line is one of the best known.
In most cases, these types of accessories use a form of mesh that extends the coverage in the house, allowing the accessories to connect to each other. However, these radios are generally low power, which means that they have a shorter range and are affected by walls and materials inside the home. If you can’t move your accessories or dedicated hub, then adding a brand-specific range extender or even another accessory can help. You can also try to change the hub channel that works if the manufacturer’s application supports it.
The nuclear option
If all else fails, resetting the HomeKit or HomeKit accessory may be the only solution. When you reset an accessory, it will return to its original settings, removing it from the HomeKit and home network. This process varies, but common methods include holding a button on the device for a few seconds or removing it from the manufacturer’s application. Once it is reset, you will need to add it back to your network following the same process as before to connect it.
How to configure HomeKit accessories
Resetting your HomeKit at home should be the last step you try, as it will not only remove problematic accessories, but will remove all accessories, scenes and automations. Because there is no backup and restore process provided by the Home app, this option means you’ll have to reconfigure everything from scratch, so it’s time consuming. There are several third-party applications, such as the HomeKit Controller, that can back up scenes and automation, but will not restore real accessories.
How to remove a house from the Home app
Don’t see any answers yet?
You still have problems with your displayed accessories No answer? Do you have any troubleshooting tips that you use? Tell us in the comments below!
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