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How to fix CarPlay on BMW

Author: Vladimir Brown

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

How to connect Apple Carplay BMW: the guide

An active subscription to Apple Carplay Preparation is required to use Carplay in BMW.

With this service, you can connect your iPhone to the head unit wirelessly.

The method of connecting BMW is the same as connecting iPhone to BMW via Bluetooth.

Step 1: Go to Mobile devices section. By default, the text No devices connected will appear on the screen.

Step 2. Tap New device - Apple Carplay via Bluetooth and WiFi.

Step 3. Tap Confirm note to finish.

Step 4: On iPhone, go to Settings - Bluetooth. Slide to the right to activate Bluetooth connection.

Step 5. From the list that appears, select your car model.

Step 6. The Pairing... message will appear on your car's Control display. Wait for your iPhone to connect to the head unit.

Step 7. Check if the Bluetooth Pairing Request information box matches the same number on your iPhone.

Step 8. Allow Carplay data synchronization via iPhone.

Step 9. On the next screen (Use CarPlay with BMW...), tap on the Use Carplay button. In this way, the mobile device will automatically activate Carplay the next time you connect the iPhone to the head unit via bluetooth.

How do I know if my BMW has Apple Carplay?

For official compatibility information, please visit the Apple website. We have also compiled a table listing all BMW models that work fully with Carplay without errors.

👉 Check if your car is supported by Carplay

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 the 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.

To 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.

Step-by-step instructions

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. Restart / reset iDrive OS

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.


Method 1 (for iDrive 7 operating system):

  1. Make sure your car engine is off

  2. Push and hold volume button for 30 seconds

  1. Wait until the head unit screen turns off
  1. Push volume button again to reboot the system
  1. Click the volume button again
  1. Make sure the iDrive is powered on

This method is useful if iDrive is the source of software errors in your BMW - in particular if there are errors related to Android Auto or Apple Carplay.

Method 2 (resetting iDrive):

  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.
  1. Select the device you want to pair from the list. Enter the passkey when prompted.
  1. 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.


Can I add Apple Carplay to my BMW?

You can add Carplay to your BMW vehicle using Apple CarPlay® Preparation. Make sure you are using iPhone version 5 or higher and iOS 7.1 or higher.

To use Apple CarPlay Preparation, you must subscribe to the ConnectedDrive Service. This service allows the use of BMW apps (6AK) together with integration with Navi Professional.

Does Carplay work in all countries?

No, there is a clear list of countries and regions where Carplay navigation works. These include the USA, England, and European countries. Still, you need to check for yourself if your current country is on this list. You can do this using the link below.

Check if the country you are in is supported by the Carplay app.

👉 Check

Does BMW come with Apple Carplay?

Current BMW models are equipped with iDrive 7 and above. Using the car's computer and iPhone capabilities, you can get Apple CarPlay. To do this, use our step-by-step instructions on how to connect Carplay to your BMW.

How do I know if my car has Carplay?

Check if your BMW is using the iDrive 7 system. To do this, go into Head unit settings and navigate through the menu to the system information section, where iDrive version details are available.

What year BMW has Apple Carplay?

The CarPlay navigation system is available in BMW vehicles starting in 2017. You can find out if navigation is supported in your car model by following this link or using our checklist.

Why is Apple Carplay not available on my BMW?

Your vehicle may not support Carplay because it was released earlier than 2017. At that time, this navigation system was not integrated into iDrive.

Carplay may also not work in BMW vehicles due to various software bugs or a damaged USB cable. Check the most common problems by reading the article above.

I'm Vladimir, your guide in the expansive world of technology journalism, with a special focus on GPS technologies and mapping. My journey in this field extends over twenty fruitful years, fueled by a profound passion for technology and an insatiable curiosity to explore its frontiers.