BMW Apple Carplay Not Connecting? (Don’t Panic, Easy Fix!)

bmw apple carplay not connecting

If your BMW Apple CarPlay not connecting, we have found a few easy and working solutions!

If you have unsuccessfully attempted to assign the BMW’s Apple CarPlay stereo to your iPhone multiple times, the issue could be Bluetooth or network settings related.

This article will help you identify the exact reason why your BMW is unable to pair with the iPhone, so keep reading.

If your BMW’s Apple CarPlay is not connecting, verify “Wi-Fi,” “Bluetooth” and “CarPlay” are set to “ON” in the wireless menu and unpair other devices.

If your pairing problems persist, update the iPhone’s iOS, check the radio’s wiring, and reset the network options.

Stay sharp as we’ll walk you through all these steps!

Why is Apple CarPlay Not Connecting to BMW?

why apple carplay not connecting to bmw

Here’s why your iPhone is refusing to connect with the BMW’s CarPlay:

  • The CarPlay feature has been restricted to your iPhone.
  • The wireless functions of the CarPlay face are disabled.
  • Your iPhone’s iOS must be updated to the newest build.
  • There is a faulty or wrongly seated CarPlay radio wiring.
  • An underlying problem with your CarPlay radio or iPhone.

To explore solutions for the issues we have uncovered above, proceed with the expert guide!

BMW Apple CarPlay Not Connecting – Solved in 8 Quick Steps!

1. Configure the CarPlay Wireless Menu

configure the carplay wireless menu

An essential requirement before attempting to connect an iPhone to your BMW’s CarPlay is ensuring that both the “Wi-Fi,” “Bluetooth” and “CarPlay” features are enabled on the stereo.

Deactivating the CarPlay-enabled stereo’s wireless function will prevent your iPhone from discovering the head unit, and therefore it will not show under the “CarPlay” menu.

Here’s how to ensure all of the CarPlay’s wireless functions are enabled:

  1. In your BMW CarPlay screen, navigate to the “COM” tab.
  2. Next, select “Mobile Devices” from the menu on the left.
  3. Ensure there are no profiles under “Connected Devices.”
  4. Tap “Settings” under the “New Device” button on the right.
  5. Tick the “Bluetooth,” “Wi-Fi” and “Apple CarPlay” boxes.
  6. Exit the menu and try to connect with your CarPlay stereo.
Note: Enabling “Internet Connection” in the same menu allows the stereo to pair over Wi-Fi!

2. Unrestrict CarPlay in “Allowed Apps”

If your BMW does not appear in the iPhone’s CarPlay menu at all, you might have accidentally restricted “CarPlay” in the allowed services.

You can individually pick which iOS applications will be allowed for use on your iPhone and restrict others that you don’t actively use or need.

unrestrict carplay in allowed apps

Here’s how to ensure that CarPlay is allowed on your iPhone:

  1. Open “Settings” and go to “Screen Time” on your iPhone.
  2. Tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions” within the section.
  3. Next, enter your Screen Time passcode if one is required.
  4. Tap “Allowed Apps” and locate the “CarPlay” tile in the menu.
  5. Ensure the slider next to “CarPlay” is set to “ON” and is green.

Neither of CarPlay’s firmware and wireless services will function if the app is not allowed on your iPhone’s system!

3. Unpair from Other Bluetooth Devices

The iPhone may be refusing to assign the BMW CarPlay stereo’s profile if it’s already connected to another Bluetooth device.

So, the same thing applies to your head unit, as only one iPhone at a time can be connected to the wireless stereo.

In addition, existing Bluetooth connections can degrade the signal quality or cause issues with CarPlay’s functionality or other in-built features.

Let’s learn how to check for existing Bluetooth connections on the iPhone and CarPlay!

How to Check for Connected Devices On iPhone?

check for connected devices on iphone
  1. Open your “Settings” iPhone app and navigate to “Bluetooth.”
  2. Ensure the feature is set to “ON” and scroll down in the listings.
  3. After that, check if the status of the device displays “Connected.”
  4. Optional: Press on the “Info” button and choose “Disconnect.”

How to Check for Connected Devices On the Stereo?

  1. Access the “COM” tab from the main menu on the CarPlay.
  2. Select the “Mobile Devices” section from the left side menu.
  3. Next, check if any profiles appear under “Connected Devices.”
  4. Optional: Tap on the “Manage” button and remove the device.
Note: You must forget a device’s “Bluetooth” profile if it is set to automatically pair with the CarPlay or your iPhone!

4. Set Up Over USB Connection (Wired)

set up over usb connection (wired)

If your iPhone fails to discover the head unit or the other way around, an unfailing solution is to use a wired USB connection for the setup.

You will only require a lightning or USB-C cable to USB type-A or USB type-C based on the CarPlay stereo’s input port and your iPhone model.

Here’s how to set up the CarPlay using a wired USB connection:

  1. Connect the type-A or type-A USB end to the unit’s “Data” port.
  2. Connect the lightning or USB-C end of the cable to your iPhone.
  3. Next, unlock the iPhone and wait for 15–20 seconds for the setup.
  4. Once the Apple CarPlay icon has turned green, test the connection.

If your connection is successful, you will be able to discover and assign the iPhone through CarPlay’s “Bluetooth” menu and eventually disconnect the USB.

So, ensure the stereo has detected the iPhone and the setup was successful prior to uninstalling the wired connection.

5. Update the iPhone’s iOS Version

An up-to-date iOS version is a necessity when using CarPlay, especially if the CarPlay stereo runs on a newer iOS version.

So, the next step is to update the software version of your iPhone and ensure the latest iOS version is uploaded, as there are known CarPlay issues in older iOS.

update the iphone’s ios version

Here’s how to check for iOS updates on your iPhone:

  1. Open “Settings” and access the “General” tab.
  2. Navigate to “Software Update” from the menus.
  3. Wait until the iPhone scans for new iOS versions.
  4. Tap the “Install Now” button to apply the update.
  5. Optional: Schedule the update for later installation.
Tip: Enabling “Automatic Updates” allows the iPhone to schedule updates automatically!

6. Re-Add the BMW CarPlay’s Profile 

Well, if you’ve previously connected with your BMW’s CarPlay, the profile will be automatically registered in your iPhone’s “CarPlay” wireless menu. 

The panel allows for managing and configuring all existing CarPlay connections and assigning new device profiles, so refreshing could fix the issue.

re-add the bmw carplay’s profile

Here’s how to re-add the BMW’s profile from your iPhone menu:

  1. Launch “Settings” and navigate to “General” on the iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and press on the “CarPlay” tile from the section.
  3. Find the BMW’s CarPlay profile in the menu and press on it.
  4. Choose the “Forget this Car” option and confirm with “Forget.”
Note: You will be able to re-add the BMW’s CarPlay under the “AVAILABLE CARS” section within the “CarPlay” menu!

7. Inspect the BMW CarPlay’s Wiring

A potential issue with the wiring installation of the CarPlay stereo could prevent your iPhone from discovering and assigning the head unit.

While CarPlay stereos are fairly easy to install, a damaged or improperly connected wire may deactivate all wireless capabilities of your stereo.

inspect the bmw carplay’s wiring

Here’s how to inspect the BMW’s CarPlay stereo wiring:

  1. Ensure the car and the ignition are turned to the zero state.
  2. Undo the screws holding the CarPlay face panel attached.
  3. Gently pull out the panel along with all of the battery wires.
  4. Check if there’s any damage inflicted on the wiring harness.
  5. Inspect the 12V current, Ground, and “Bluetooth” cables.
  6. Optional: Seek professional assistance if you see damage.
Note: Consult with the user manual to identify the specific color of each important stereo wire!

8. Restore the iPhone’s Network Settings

If you’re still encountering faults with the CarPlay’s connection, you need to restore the network settings of your iPhone to default values.

Overloading of the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi cache may lead to issues with new devices or congest the connection of existing ones. 

restore the iphone’s network settings

Follow these steps to reset the network settings of your iPhone:

  1. Open “Settings” on your iPhone and navigate to “General.”
  2. Next, tap on “Transfer or Reset [Device]” from the section.
  3. Tap on “Reset” and enter the “Reset Network Settings” tab.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the network reset.

Once the network settings are reset successfully, all Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Cellular data will be erased from your iPhone.

So, when you’re ready retry to pair your iPhone to the BMW CarPlay!

Quick Recap

If the BMW Apple CarPlay not connecting, configure the CarPlay’s wireless menu, update the iOS of your iPhone, and unpair other Bluetooth devices.

If the fault persists, reset your iPhone’s network settings and inspect the CarPlay stereos wiring.

Follow us for more CarPlay troubleshooting and guides!