Why Is Apple CarPlay Not Available On My BMW? (9 Reasons Why)

Apple CarPlay is a great feature that allows Apple users to safely use their phones as they drive. While Apple CarPlay can be used in most cars today, not everyone may see Apple CarPlay available in their cars.

You may be curious why Apple CarPlay is not available on your BMW. I did the research, and here is what I found!

Why Is Apple CarPlay Not Available On My BMW?

Apple CarPlay is not available on your BMW because of glitches, which can be fixed by restarting your phone or updating your iOS. Additionally, you may have certain settings disabled, such as Siri, Bluetooth, and CarPlay. Moreover, you may have a damaged lightning cable that keeps your car from connecting properly.

Are you interested in learning about more reasons why you cannot use Apple CarPlay in your BMW? I compiled a list of reasons below, so read on!

1. Have Not Restarted Your Phone

Occasionally, you may not be able to use Apple CarPlay in your BMW because you have not restarted your phone in a while.

Technology can be very finicky, and certain features like Apple CarPlay would not appear in your car since your phone has so many apps running in the background.

As such, quickly restarting your phone can help Apple CarPlay reappear in your BMW since restarting your phone can “refresh” the system.

Since restarting your phone is the simplest method to try, it is best to do this step first before trying any other fixes.

2. You Disabled CarPlay On Your Phone

If your Apple CarPlay still does not appear after you restarted your phone, you probably did not enable CarPlay on your phone.

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Usually, you can enable CarPlay on your phone by going to your phone’s settings (General) and looking for the CarPlay section.

Once you are in the CarPlay section, you can configure the settings to connect to your car, remove a car, etc.

3. Your Car Is Not In Pairing Mode

Another common reason why Apple CarPlay does not appear in your BMW is that your car is not in pairing mode.

Typically, your car has to be in Bluetooth pairing mode or wireless mode to use Apple CarPlay.

For most cars, you need to configure your car’s settings, usually from the stereo, until you turn on your car’s Bluetooth.

Once you turn on the BMW’s Bluetooth, be sure to click “accept pairing” when you try to connect Apple CarPlay from your phone to your car.

4. Your Phone Is Not In Pairing Mode

Similarly to your car, Apple CarPlay may not be available on your BMW because your phone is not in pairing mode.

Generally, your iPhone’s Bluetooth needs to be on to be able to connect with other devices, such as your BMW.

When you switch the Bluetooth on your iPhone, you can “search for devices” to connect to your car.

5. Enable CarPlay In Screen Time

Enable CarPlay In Screen Time

If you find that you cannot use Apple CarPlay on your BMW or only use it for a short time, you probably have an issue with the screen time feature of Apple.

Screen time tells you how much time you spend on your phone, but it can also control how much time you are allowed to spend on specific apps or websites.

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Generally, screen time offers app limits that can control how often you use an app or website.

If your screen time is enabled and you did not configure the settings, it may have put limits on your Apple CarPlay.

When your Apple CarPlay faces a limit, you may only be able to use Apple CarPlay for a short time or not at all.

Therefore, you need to change your settings to allow Apple CarPlay to be used freely or turn off your screen time altogether.

6. USB Cable

While Apple CarPlay can be connected to your BMW via Bluetooth pairing, some people can use cables to directly connect Apple CarPlay from their phones to their cars.

Usually, this is done by connecting one part of the lightning cable to your phone and the other to your BMW stereo’s USB slots.

Occasionally, the USB cable can stop working, which can occur due to physical damage or regular wear and tear.

As such, a broken USB cable will not let Apple CarPlay appear in your BMW when you try to connect them via USB cable.

Normally, buying a new compatible lightning cable will help Apple CarPlay work on your car.

7. Outdated iOS

Another reason why your Apple CarPlay does not function as it should is that your iOS is outdated.

Generally, iOS refers to Apple’s operating system, which is the software used to run phones.

All iPhones will have occasional software updates that you can do through your phone to upgrade the user’s experience and fix bugs.

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If you have not updated your phone’s iOS, you may be experiencing a glitch with Apple CarPlay that will not go away until you update the iOS.

8. Disabled Siri

If you have trouble using Apple CarPlay on your BMW and it is not responding to your voice commands, chances are that you did not enable Siri.

Siri is a personal assistant on your iPhone that is controlled through voice commands, but Siri only works when Siri is enabled in your settings.

You ought to make sure that your Siri is enabled while locked in the settings too, so you can use Apple CarPlay while your phone is locked.

9. Car Compatibility

Finally, your BMW may not have Apple CarPlay because your car is not compatible with Apple CarPlay.

Particularly older car models that do not have Bluetooth may not be able to use Apple CarPlay.


Apple CarPlay is a great app that helps people safely use their iPhone’s features while driving, but it may not always work on your BMW.

This can occur because your phone is not up to date, your car is not compatible, you have disabled settings, and more.

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