Here's Why You Shouldn't Tell Siri "17" — and What Happens if You Do

What happens when you tell Siri 17? Learn more about what this voice command does, exactly, and why you should avoid doing it at all costs.

Michelle Stein - Author

May 4 2021, Published 3:17 p.m. ET

Siri on iPhone
Source: iStock

It's easy to be skeptical about how much technology it's actually "helping" the human race. Smartphones can be distracting and even detrimental when there are important things that need to be done, but you'd rather be scrolling through TikTok. However, these highly addicting pocket computers can be life-saving during an emergency, especially when you can't physically dial 911 and instead must rely on a digital assistant.

Which is why you should ever tell Siri "17" just to see what happens.

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What happens when you tell Siri "17"?

As plenty of iPhone users have discovered, there are a number of phrases you can say to Siri that will elicit amusing results. (Seriously, ask Siri what the meaning of life is, what zero divided by zero is, or to tell you a story.) Which is probably why people have been so eager to try out a Siri "hack" that's been going around for years: Tell Siri "17," and your battery will go up. 

Who wouldn't want to boost their battery without actually having to plug it in?

what happens when you tell siri
Source: Twitter
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But before curiosity gets the best of you — and you want to find out once and for all what happens when you tell Siri "17" —  just don't. That is, unless you want the digital assistant to call for emergency services within seconds.

According to the Siri user guide: “The Apple developers programmed your iPhone to automatically call the local emergency number, even if you say the code for your home country. So saying '911' in France will get you immediate help in France. Likewise, speaking '17' will do the same in the U.S. Because it is an emergency number in many other countries.”

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Obviously, Siri calling for help during an actual emergency can be a live-saving feature. But if there isn't an emergency, then you're going to be stuck explaining to a 911 operator that no one is in need of medical care, and that you just wondered what would happen. And you can bet they're going to be judging you. Hard.

Source: Twitter
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While we're on the subject of what happens when you say "17" to Siri, we'd like to point out there are some other numbers you probably want to avoid telling the Apple digital assistant if there's not an emergency.

Example: Siri will automatically dial 911 if you tell her "14," because it happens to be the emergency services number in Algeria, a number of African countries, and more.

And you shouldn't tell her "999," either, because that's the emergency number in the U.K., as well as African countries like Burkina, Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.

Furthermore, the most popular emergency number in the world is 112, which is used by the majority of countries in Europe and India. So avoid uttering that number at all costs, too.

If you do find yourself in need of emergency services, you can use these commands to have Siri call for help:

  • “Hey Siri, call 911”
  • “Hey Siri, call an ambulance”
  • “Hey Siri, call emergency services”
  • “Hey Siri, dial 911.”
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