Apple’s HomeKit standard provides a network for linking up all of your home automation products, allowing them to communicate with each other – and with your Apple devices. Using the Home app, users can remotely switch on lamps, interact with accessories, and schedule automations from their iPhone, iPad or Mac.
But if HomeKit isn’t behaving as it should and you’re getting the dreaded ‘No Response’ message, what can you do? In this article we’ve broken down all the steps you can take to get your HomeKit accessories fired up and back online again.
Start with the basics: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Most HomeKit accessories communicate using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. If these aren’t enabled on your device, you won’t be able to interact with your HomeKit lamps and smart plugs.
Open Settings, tap Wi-Fi, and ensure that Wi-Fi is enabled and that you’re connected to your home network. Return to the main Settings menu, then tap Bluetooth and check that it’s also activated.
If everything looks as if it should be working, it’s also worth checking if your wireless network is down. Launch the Safari app and try loading a site like Google or Macworld.
If your home internet connection is poor, this could be affecting HomeKit and you may need to troubleshoot using your internet service provider’s recommended method. Usually, rebooting your hub or router is a good place to start.
Check that you’re logged into iCloud
After you’ve confirmed that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are working as they should be, check that you’re logged into iCloud and that Home is enabled for your account. Launch the Settings app, tap your iCloud profile (at the top of the screen), choose iCloud, and check that Home is toggled on.
Update to the latest software
Apple recommends that users experiencing any difficulties with their software or devices update to the latest available versions of iOS and macOS.
To do this on your iPhone or iPad, launch the Settings app, choose General, and select Software Update to check if a new version of iOS is available. On Mac, you’ll need to launch System Preferences and choose Software Update.
If you’ve encountered problems with HomeKit after updating your iOS or macOS software, it may be that a bug has found its way into the software release. While a further update should fix this in due course, it’s worth continuing with the troubleshooting process to check some other issue isn’t interfering with HomeKit.
Have you tried using a different device?
If you’re struggling to interact with your accessories using an iPhone, have you tried using your iPad or Apple TV? If you find that you can control your HomeKit products using a different device, you may need to erase and restore your iPhone – or whichever device is having trouble interacting with your accessories.
Make sure your device is backed up using iCloud or iTunes, then launch the Settings app, choose Reset, and then Erase All Content and Settings. When your device is fully erased, you’ll be able to restore it from your backup and this may fix your HomeKit problem.
Check if your accessories work inside the manufacturer’s app
While the Home app is great for connecting all of your HomeKit accessories together, you can also control your products using the manufacturer’s app. This can be useful when troubleshooting HomeKit.
If you’re struggling to control some of your Hue bulbs, for instance, launch the Philips Hue app and see if you can interact with your lights there. If you can, then it’s likely that the issue is with HomeKit and your iCloud account, rather than a problem with the accessory itself.
If this is the case, two tricks might prove helpful. First, reboot your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to see if this brings HomeKit back online. When dealing with iCloud issues, it can also be a good idea to sign out and back into your iCloud account You can do this in the Settings app: tap your iCloud profile at the top of the screen, scroll down, and select Sign Out.
However, if you aren’t able to interact with your accessories in the manufacturer’s app, the next step would be to reset your hardware.
Reset your hardware
The way you go about doing this will depend on the type of accessory you’re dealing with, so check the manufacturer’s guidance.
Hue owners, for instance, would need to reboot their Philips Hue bridge to see if that brings the bulbs back online. You can do this by disconnecting the bridge from its power supply and re-connecting it a few moments later, or by pressing the Reset button on the back of the bridge.
The last resort: removing and re-adding your home
So you’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked? The final step is completely removing and re-adding your home. It really is the last resort, since you’ll need to individually re-pair your accessories and reconfigure all of your scenes inside the Home app.
To delete and re-add your HomeKit home, launch the Home app and tap on the house icon in the top-left of the screen. Then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the settings screen and tap Remove Home.
When you return to the Home app, you’ll be able embark upon the lengthy process of re-adding your HomeKit accessories one at a time.
If you’re still not able to interact with your HomeKit devices, there may be an issue with your hardware which can’t be fixed through software-based troubleshooting. Our advice would be for you to contact the manufacturer for further support, which may involve returning your accessories if they’re protected by warranty.
Alternatively, if you’re able to interact with your accessories inside the manufacturer’s app and feel that HomeKit is the issue, book an appointment at your local Genius Bar and see if Apple can provide further assistance.
Now that you’ve got your accessories working again, you’re ready to add some more devices. Read our roundups of the best HomeKit security cameras and the best HomeKit smart lights for detailed buying advice.