Apple CarPlay Not Working on BMW X5: Troubleshooting Guide

apple carplay not working bmw x5
apple carplay not working bmw x5


In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of enabling Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5 and troubleshoot any common issues that may arise. Apple CarPlay allows you to seamlessly access your favorite iPhone apps and use voice commands through Siri while driving, enhancing your in-car experience.

Requirements for Apple CarPlay

Before we dive into the setup and troubleshooting steps, let’s make sure you have everything you need to use Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5:

  • iPhone Compatibility: Ensure that you have an iPhone 5 or newer device with iOS 9 or a newer version installed.
  • Enable CarPlay and Siri: Make sure both CarPlay and Siri are enabled on your iPhone to ensure smooth functionality.
  • “Press Home for Siri” Option: Head to your iPhone settings and ensure that the “Press Home for Siri” option is enabled under “Siri & Search.”
  • Content & Privacy Restrictions: Verify that both CarPlay and Siri & Search are allowed under “Content & Privacy Restrictions” in Screen Time settings.

With these requirements met, you’re ready to enable Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5 and enjoy the benefits it offers.

Enabling CarPlay on BMW X5

To begin using Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5, follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Access Infotainment Settings: First, access your X5’s infotainment system settings. You can do this by selecting “Communication,” then “Mobile Devices,” and finally “Settings.”
  2. Enable Apple CarPlay: Once in the settings menu, look for the option labeled “Apple CarPlay.” Make sure this option is enabled to activate CarPlay functionality.

Great! Now that you’ve enabled CarPlay in your X5’s infotainment system settings, you’re one step closer to a seamless driving experience with your iPhone.

Activating Wireless CarPlay

To take advantage of the wireless Apple CarPlay feature on your BMW X5, follow these simple steps:

  1. Activate Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Your iPhone: Start by ensuring that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to Communication Menu: Access the “Communication” menu in your X5’s infotainment system.
  3. Select Mobile Devices: From the Communication menu, select “Mobile Devices.”
  4. Add a New Device: Now, select “New Device” to initiate the pairing process.
  5. Choose Connection Type: When prompted, select “Phone calls and audio via Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay.”
  6. Select Your Phone Name: After a few seconds, your iPhone’s name will appear on your X5’s screen. Simply select it.
  7. Complete Bluetooth Pairing: A Bluetooth Pairing Request will appear on your iPhone, asking for a pin-code. Complete the pairing process by touching “Pair.”
  8. Allow Contacts and Favorites Sync: If you wish to download your phone contacts to the X5’s infotainment system, tap “Allow” on the “Allow Contacts and Favorites Sync” prompt.
  9. Activate Apple CarPlay: Shortly after completing the pairing process, you will see a prompt on your iPhone asking if you want to “Use CarPlay with BMW?” Touch “Use CarPlay” to continue.
  10. Select Connection Mode: Now, navigate to “Mobile Devices” > “Connected Devices” and select your phone’s name. Next, choose “Connection Mode” and then “Apple CarPlay.”
  11. Launch Apple CarPlay: Congratulations! The Apple CarPlay icon will now appear on the home screen of your X5’s infotainment system. Press it to launch CarPlay and begin using your favorite apps.

Troubleshooting Apple CarPlay Issues

While Apple CarPlay is designed to work seamlessly, you may encounter issues from time to time. If you experience any problems, consider the following troubleshooting tips:

1. Check Infotainment Settings

If you can’t see CarPlay on your X5’s infotainment system when connecting your iPhone, the first thing to check is the infotainment system settings:

  • Make sure CarPlay is enabled in the infotainment system settings of your X5.

2. Check iPhone Settings

Ensure that CarPlay and Siri are enabled on your iPhone, and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on.

3. Use Wireless Connection

BMW X5 only supports CarPlay via a wireless Bluetooth connection. If you’re trying to connect using a Lightning-to-USB cable, CarPlay won’t work.

4. Software Glitches

If CarPlay is still not working, a software glitch might be the culprit. Try re-pairing your iPhone with the vehicle or resetting both the X5’s infotainment system and your iPhone to factory settings.

5. Compatibility

Double-check that your BMW X5 is a 2017 model or later, as older models may not support CarPlay.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you can resolve most Apple CarPlay issues and enjoy a seamless connection between your iPhone and your BMW X5.

Using Siri with Apple CarPlay

One of the major benefits of Apple CarPlay is the ability to use Siri, Apple’s voice recognition feature, for hands-free control of your iPhone. Siri allows you to perform various functions while keeping your focus on the road. Here’s how to use Siri with CarPlay:

  1. Steering Wheel Button: To access Siri, simply press and hold the talk button on your X5’s steering wheel until you hear the Siri tone.
  2. CarPlay App: Alternatively, you can access Siri by holding down the home button located at the bottom left corner of the CarPlay app.
  3. “Hey Siri” Feature: If enabled on your iPhone under Siri & Search settings, you can also use the “Hey Siri” feature. Just say “Hey Siri” to activate it, and then ask Siri for assistance.

To achieve the best results when using Siri, speak clearly and minimize background noise by closing windows and adjusting air vents that might affect the vehicle’s microphone.

Using Google Maps and Waze on BMW X5 with CarPlay

If your iPhone is running iOS 14 or higher, you can freely use both Google Maps and Waze in Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5. Prior to iOS 14, users were limited to Apple’s own map service, but now CarPlay automatically selects the last-used navigation service. To use Google Maps and Waze on CarPlay:

  1. Install Apps: Start by downloading and installing the Google Maps and Waze apps from the App Store on your iPhone.
  2. Launch CarPlay: Once your X5’s infotainment system is displaying CarPlay, touch the respective app icon (Google Maps or Waze) to launch the app.

With Google Maps and Waze available on CarPlay, you can enjoy the benefits of these popular navigation apps while driving.

Using Spotify with Siri

Spotify is a favorite music streaming app for many, and using it with Apple CarPlay is a breeze. You can use Siri to control Spotify hands-free with simple voice commands. To play music on Spotify using Siri:

  1. Voice Command: Start by activating Siri by holding the talk button on the steering wheel or saying “Hey Siri” if enabled.
  2. Play Music: Now, you can simply say a commandlike “Hey Siri, play my ‘Your Mix of the Week’ playlist on Spotify.”

Siri can perform various functions with Spotify, such as playing songs, artists, albums, playlists, podcasts, and more. You can also “like” music, ask what’s playing, and control playback (e.g., volume, skip song, play/pause) all hands-free.

“Do Not Disturb While Driving”

Safety is paramount while driving, and the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature helps minimize distractions from your iPhone. This feature can be activated on your iPhone to ensure it doesn’t distract you with unnecessary notifications while driving your BMW X5. To activate “Do Not Disturb While Driving”:

  1. Access iPhone Settings: Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb.
  2. Enable the Feature: Scroll down and touch “Activate” under “Do not disturb while driving.”

Enabling this feature in your iPhone settings will extend the “Do Not Disturb” option to CarPlay as well, ensuring a safer driving experience.

App Compatibility

While Apple CarPlay offers seamless integration with many popular apps, not all applications are compatible. Some messaging apps, for example, may have limited functionality and only work with Siri commands for reading new messages and dictating replies. The following is a list of some compatible apps that you can use with CarPlay on your BMW X5:

  • Music
  • Phone
  • News
  • Podcasts
  • Google Maps
  • WhatsApp
  • Waze
  • Spotify
  • TuneIn
  • Tidal
  • Pandora
  • YouTube Music
  • Amazon Music

Organizing CarPlay Apps

You can easily arrange and organize the CarPlay apps displayed on your X5’s infotainment system using your iPhone. To do this:

  1. Access iPhone Settings: Go to Settings > General > CarPlay.
  2. Select Your Vehicle: From the CarPlay settings, select your BMW X5 under “MY CARS.”
  3. Rearrange and Hide Apps: On the next screen, you can touch and drag app icons to rearrange them. Additionally, you can hide icons by touching the minus button on the apps you wish to hide.

This allows you to customize the layout of your CarPlay apps, ensuring that your most frequently used apps are easily accessible.

Troubleshooting CarPlay Errors in BMW

As with any technology, you may encounter issues with CarPlay in your BMW X5. However, most problems can be resolved with simple solutions. If you experience CarPlay errors, try the following:

1. Restart Your iPhone

If you encounter issues with CarPlay, restarting your iPhone may resolve temporary software errors. After restarting, reconnect your iPhone to BMW iDrive and check if CarPlay functions properly.

2. Check iOS Version

Always make sure you have the latest iOS version installed on your iPhone, as newer updates may include fixes for CarPlay issues. To check your iOS version:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap “General.”
  3. Tap “About.”
  4. Look for the “Version” field to see your iOS version number.

If your iOS version is outdated, update it to avoid potential CarPlay bugs on newer BMW X5 models.

3. Restart iDrive

If you experience issues like CarPlay not working or the app not launching, try restarting your BMW X5’s iDrive system. This can often resolve software-related glitches that affect CarPlay performance. To restart iDrive:

  1. Turn the key to the “on” position, but do not start the engine.
  2. Press and hold the “End Call” button on the steering wheel for 10 seconds.
  3. When the display changes, press the “Menu” button.
  4. Select “Settings” from the menu.
  5. Choose “iDrive Reset.”
  6. Select “Reset iDrive System.”
  7. Confirm the reset by pressing “Yes.”

The system will restart, and you will be returned to the main menu. This simple step may fix many CarPlay-related issues.

4. Remove All Bluetooth Devices

If your iPhone is connected wirelessly to multiple Bluetooth devices, this may cause interference with CarPlay. To ensure a smooth connection, try removing all Bluetooth devices except your iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth on your iPhone.
  2. Under “My Devices,” remove all devices except the one connected to your BMW X5.

After removing other Bluetooth devices, reestablish the connection between your iPhone and iDrive to see if CarPlay works as expected.

5. Unpair and Repair Devices

If your BMW iDrive has an incorrect connection with your iPhone or fails to recognize the wireless connection, try unpairing and repairing the devices. This can help establish a fresh connection between your iPhone and iDrive. Here’s how to unpair and repair:

  1. Turn on your BMW iDrive and press the “Menu” button on the iDrive controller.
  2. Select “Settings” > “Bluetooth & USB” > “Bluetooth Devices.”
  3. From the list of paired devices, select the one you want to unpair.
  4. Choose “Delete” to unpair the device.
  5. Confirm the action.

After unpairing the device, proceed to repair it with iDrive:

  1. From the Bluetooth Devices menu, select “Add Bluetooth Device.”
  2. Choose “Search” to find new devices nearby.
  3. The iDrive system will search for nearby Bluetooth devices and display them on the list.
  4. Select your iPhone from the list to initiate the repair process.

By unpairing and repairing your devices, you can establish a fresh connection and resolve any issues that may be affecting CarPlay.


Apple CarPlay is a fantastic feature that enables seamless integration between your iPhone and your BMW X5. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily enable CarPlay on your vehicle and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Whether you’re using Siri for hands-free control, navigating with Google Maps or Waze, or enjoying your favorite music on Spotify, CarPlay enhances your driving experience with convenience and safety in mind.

Keep in mind that while CarPlay is designed to work smoothly, you may encounter occasional issues that require troubleshooting. By following our comprehensive troubleshooting guide, you can quickly resolve common CarPlay problems and get back to enjoying your driving experience with your BMW X5 and your iPhone working in harmony.

Remember, technology is constantly evolving, and software updates may bring improvements and fixes. Stay informed about iOS updates and BMW firmware updates to ensure that your CarPlay experience remains optimized and enjoyable.

Drive safely and enjoy the seamless integration of Apple CarPlay in your BMW X5!

How do I enable Apple CarPlay on my BMW X5?

To enable Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5, go to the infotainment system settings and select ‘Communication’, then ‘Mobile Devices’, and finally ‘Settings’. Make sure the ‘Apple CarPlay’ option is enabled. Ensure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are also turned on your iPhone. Your X5 is now ready for wireless Apple CarPlay.

Why is Apple CarPlay not working on my BMW X5?

Apple CarPlay may not work on your BMW X5 due to several reasons. Check if CarPlay is enabled in the infotainment system settings. Ensure CarPlay and Siri are enabled on your iPhone, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are turned on. If you’re using a USB connection, switch to a wireless Bluetooth connection, as BMW X5 only supports wireless CarPlay. Make sure both your X5 and iPhone have the latest software updates, and try restarting both devices.

Can I use Google Maps and Waze with Apple CarPlay on BMW X5?

Yes, you can use Google Maps and Waze with Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5 if your iPhone is running iOS 14 or higher. Simply download and install the Google Maps and Waze apps from the App Store on your iPhone. Once connected to CarPlay, you can launch these navigation apps from the infotainment system display and enjoy their features seamlessly.

How do I use Siri with Apple CarPlay on my BMW X5?

To use Siri with Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5, press and hold the talk button on the steering wheel until you hear the Siri tone. Alternatively, you can access Siri by holding down the home button in the CarPlay app. You can use Siri to make phone calls, send messages, play music, get directions, and more, all without taking your hands off the wheel.

What apps are compatible with Apple CarPlay on BMW X5?

Several apps are compatible with Apple CarPlay on your BMW X5, including Music, Phone, News, Podcasts, Google Maps, WhatsApp, Waze, Spotify, TuneIn, Tidal, Pandora, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music, among others. Please note that some messaging apps may have limited functionality and rely on Siri commands for reading and dictating messages.

How can I troubleshoot common CarPlay issues on my BMW X5?

If you encounter CarPlay issues on your BMW X5, you can try the following troubleshooting steps: 1) Restart your iPhone, 2) Check for iOS updates, 3) Restart your iDrive system, 4) Remove all Bluetooth devices except your iPhone, 5) Unpair and repair your iPhone with iDrive. These steps can resolve common CarPlay-related problems and ensure a seamless connection between your iPhone and your BMW X5.