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How to fix CarPlay on BMW


Despite the fact that BMW cars come with great firmware, some drivers have problems when interacting between Carplay and the entertainment system. In this guide, we will answer all questions related to Carplay bugs that occur in BMW cars released after 2017 - 2018.

Table of Contents

On which BMW models do errors occur

This CarPlay error fix guide will be helpful to owners of the following vehicles manufactured after 2017: BMW X3, BMW X5, BMW 7 Series, BMW 5 Series, BMW 3 Series, BMW X1, BMW X6, BMW X4, BMW 2 - 4 Series.

Method 1. Restarting the phone

The latest version of CarPlay is installed on your iPhone. If it is not working properly, restarting your mobile device may fix some or all of the temporary iOS software errors.

After restarting the iPhone, reconnect the device to BMW iDrive and check the result: whether CarPlay is working steadily, there are no lingering faults.

Method 2: Update iOS

Carplay navigation does not work on BMW even after reconnecting iPhone, rebooting devices, disconnecting and turning on Bluetooth. Carplay still does not connect to iDrive.


BMW drivers on the forums point out that iOS 15 is the most stable operating system on which CarPlay doesn't crash.

Check the iOS version:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone 13.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap About.
  4. Look for the Version field. The version number of your iOS will be listed there.

If the iOS version is out of date, update it if necessary. This will avoid potential bugs related to CarPlay performance on some BMW brands released after 2017.

Method 3. Restarting iDrive.

CarPlay error description: iPhone connects to iDrive, audio player works and phone is able to take calls. However, the Carplay app does not work and navigation is not available. When you try to connect Carplay to a BMW, an error message appears. The message states that Carplay is deactivated, although the app settings are available on the iPhone.


Restarting iDrive allows you to fix the errors, similar to restarting iOS. If you combine the two, it can help fix Carplay errors on BMW.


  1. Turn the key to the "on" position, but do not start the engine.
  2. Press and hold the "End Call" button for 10 seconds.
  3. When the display changes, press the "Menu" button.
  4. Select "Settings" from the menu.
  5. Select "iDrive Reset".
  6. Select "Reset iDrive System".
  7. Confirm the reset by pressing "Yes".
  8. The system will restart and return to the main menu.

Method 4. Remove all Bluetooth devices

If a wireless connection has been established between the iPhone and the iDrive, it may have been broken. Typically, this error occurs if another device is connected to the BMW vehicle wirelessly in addition to the iPhone.


First, check if the iPhone is connected to the iDrive? To do this:

  1. Go to Settings - General - CarPlay.
  2. Make sure all settings are correct.
  3. Remove all bluetooth devices
  4. Force restart the iDrive unit

After these steps, iDrive will reconnect to your phone and CarPlay will work smoothly. In the meantime, you need to make sure that your iPhone is the only device that connects to your BMW head unit.

Method 5. Unpair and repair devices

Another Carplay-related error is similar to the above case. The thing is that BMW iDrive can have an incorrect connection with the iPhone, or simply cannot see the current wireless connection. This happens as a result of a BMW software firmware failure or Carplay being unstable on the phone.


  1. Turn on your BMW iDrive and press the “Menu” button on the iDrive controller.
  2. Select the “Settings” “Bluetooth & USB”.
  3. Select “Bluetooth Devices” from the Bluetooth & USB menu.
  4. Select the device you want to unpair from the list of paired devices. Select “Delete” to unpair the device. Confirm the action.
  5. To repair the device, select “Add Bluetooth Device” from the Bluetooth Devices menu.
  6. Select “Search” to search for new devices.
  7. The iDrive will search for nearby Bluetooth devices and display them on the list.
  8. Select the device you want to pair from the list. Enter the passkey when prompted.
  9. The device will be paired and added to the list of paired devices.

Method 6: Disconnect VPN

Even if you have the latest version of iOS (iOS 15 or higher) or a recent phone model (like iphone 13), this does not guarantee that you will fix the CarPlay error in your BMW. Pressing RESET ALL SETTINGS also doesn't get you anywhere. So what to do? There is another little trick that will work if you are using the AT&T Mobile Security app.

How to fix.

Check your connection settings. It is important that the VPN connection is deactivated. To do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone 13.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap VPN.
  4. Tap the toggle switch next to the VPN connection to turn it off.
  5. You will be prompted to confirm if you want to disable the VPN connection. Tap "Disconnect.

After this, CarPlay will connect directly to the internet and the error will most likely be resolved if it was due to an incorrect CarPlay or BMW iDrive connection to the internet.

Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.