How to Setup Wireless Carplay (Easy Setup, Compatibility, Bluetooth)

carplay on the dashboard

8 min read

Angela Otero

If your car and phone can work with wireless Apple CarPlay, it’s a great way to free yourself of all the wires while driving. This article shows how to set one up easily. Apple CarPlay was launched in 2014, and the wireless version a year later. It is compatible with iPhone 5 and up, running iOS 9 or above.

Three methods to set up wireless Apple CarPlay are wireless via Bluetooth, USB cable, and voice command (if the car supports it). In either case, first, ensure the ignition is on, the car’s display is powered on, and Bluetooth is enabled on both devices. Then, follow one of the set of steps in the table.

Press and hold the voice command button
Open CarPlay settings on the phone
Select the car
WirelesslyVia Wired USBUsing Voice Command
Open Bluetooth connections
Add the device
Enter the PIN
Plug the phone in
Open Apple CarPlay
Make a connection
Enable wireless CarPlay
Unplug the phone
Press and hold the voice command button
Open CarPlay settings on the phone
Select the car
Setting up wireless Apple CarPlay

After doing the above, the wireless Apple CarPlay should initialize and turn on automatically whenever you start the engine.

Setting Up Wireless Apple CarPlay (Wirelessly)

Step 1: Open Bluetooth Connections

Connect the phone to the Bluetooth in the car.

connect the phone to the Bluetooth in the car
Video | Cars Unlocked

Step 2: Add the Device

Go to Connections > Devices > Add New.

Connections > Devices > Add New
Video | Cars Unlocked

You may see some options under Add New:

  1. Access the Bluetooth Setting Menu
  2. Scan for other Bluetooth devices
  3. From the list, select “NAME OF DEVICE.”
  4. Cancel

adding new device window message
Video | Cars Unlocked

Select the option using your phone (or tablet) as the connecting device. Since the device is detected, choose Option 3.

Step 3: Enter the PIN

When you see a PIN displayed on CarPlay’s screen, confirm it on the connecting device.

PIN displayed on CarPlay’s screen, confirm it on the connecting device
Video | Cars Unlocked

Ignore the PIN in the above picture. Confirm the one displayed on your screen.

Step 4: Confirmation

When paired successfully, you should see “Connected” appear in red under your device’s name.

“Connected” appear in red under your device’s name when successfully connected
Video | Cars Unlocked

However, to use Apple CarPlay with the device completely, confirm it. You may be asked something like:

“Certain vehicle information (e.g. location and speed) may be shared with your device while CarPlay is in use.”

CarPlay prompt message to use displayed
Video | Cars Unlocked

Click on “Yes” if you’re comfortable with that. When you’ve decided, the Apple CarPlay will connect the device.

Click on “Yes” for Apple CarPlay to be connected into the device
Video | Cars Unlocked

You will also be asked to confirm on the phone. Click “Use CarPlay” to proceed or “Not Now” to cancel. If proceeding, an extra icon appears, like a play button.

an extra icon appears like a play button when connected
Video | Cars Unlocked

Step 5: Enjoy Apple CarPlay

Once connected (with or without the full features), you can start using Apple CarPlay.

device was connected and can start using Apple CarPlay
Video | Cars Unlocked

Setting Up Wireless Apple CarPlay via USB

I will show you how to set up wireless Apple CarPlay via a wired USB connection in this alternative method. The wired connection is only required for the initial setup. After that, you can enjoy the Apple CarPlay wirelessly.

Step 1: Plug the Phone In

Plug in the phone using the car’s USB-A port using a lightning cable.

Step 2: Open Apple CarPlay

Open the Apple CarPlay app.

The phone and car may start communicating automatically after opening Apple CarPlay. If not, proceed to make the connection.

Step 3: Make a Connection

Look for the Apple CarPlay or smartphone connection in the car’s app menu. You may see the following displayed on the phone’s screen with the options to “Allow” or “Not Now”:

“Allow CarPlay with “NAME OF CAR” while phone is locked? Your contacts and other information will appear on this car’s display without unlocking your iPhone.”

Tap on “Allow” to proceed.

Not Now and Allow prompt shown
Video | Cars Unlocked

Step 4: Enable Wireless CarPlay

Another confirmation message will appear on the smartphone’s screen. It will state something like:

“Use Wireless CarPlay with “NAME OF CAR”? CarPlay automatically connects your iPhone to your car’s built-in display, and can access your phone while it is locked.”

Choose “Enable Wireless CarPlay” or “Use USB Only.” Tap on the first option to proceed with a wireless connection.

Use Wireless CarPlay prompt appear
Video | Cars Unlocked

Step 5: Unplug the Phone

You can now unplug your smartphone. The wireless Apple CarPlay should load automatically whenever you turn the engine on.

Setting Up Wireless Apple CarPlay Using Voice Command

If your car has a voice command button on the steering wheel, press and hold it to start the Apple CarPlay setup process.

Then, go to the following location on the smartphone:

Settings > General > CarPlay

Find and select your car. The wireless Apple CarPlay should initialize automatically and again every time you turn the ignition on.


In this section, we’ve compiled some common problems you might experience when setting up wireless Apple CarPlay and how to fix them.

Issue 1: CarPlay Doesn’t Start Automatically If your CarPlay isn’t starting as soon as you turn on your car, check if your ‘Auto-play’ setting is turned on. If it’s not, you will need to manually launch CarPlay by pressing the CarPlay icon on your car’s infotainment system.

Issue 2: Unable to Connect the iPhone to the Car Ensure that both your iPhone and car’s infotainment system are running on the latest software. Remember, your iPhone needs to run at least iOS 9 to be compatible with CarPlay.

Issue 3: Unstable Wireless Connection If you’re experiencing a poor or unstable wireless connection, try to disconnect and reconnect your iPhone to your car’s Bluetooth system. If the problem persists, consider resetting your car’s infotainment system or your iPhone’s network settings.

Issue 4: Siri Doesn’t Work If Siri doesn’t work with Apple CarPlay, make sure Siri is turned on in your iPhone settings. Go to Settings > Siri & Search and make sure all the Siri options are turned on.

Issue 5: Sound Issues If you’re not getting any sound when using CarPlay, make sure that your car’s volume is up and your iPhone isn’t in silent mode. Also, check if your car’s audio system isn’t set to another input source, like the radio.

Please remember, these are general troubleshooting tips. If your issue persists, consider reaching out to Apple support or your car manufacturer’s customer service for personalized assistance.


Video Reference:

Cars Unlocked

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