BMW – iPhone Bluetooth Audio Issues

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2020

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BMW Bluetooth audio issues (such as random disconnects) are affecting many users, making it difficult or impossible to stream audio (music) or to make phone calls.

The good news is that you’re not alone. The bad news is there’s no fix — other than buying a car that has Apple CarPlay.

BMW makes great cars, but they often fail miserably in the technology and infotainment area. I would argue that BMW’s downhill trend started around the time Apple released the iPhone 5 and BMW decided not to make a snap-in adapter. BMW promised it would come, but they still didn’t have one for the iPhone 5(s) when Apple released the iPhone 6 two years later.

Since then, BMW’s support for the iPhone (and potentially other phone models) has gone down the drain. The iPhone X/iPhone XS I own right now was pretty much unusable in my 2016 BMW X4.

A few months ago, we finally switched from the X4 to an Acura MDX with Apple CarPlay. Since then, we haven’t had a single issue with iOS 12!

The only hope is CarPlay, which BMW also dragged its feet to offer. Fortunately, the German carmaker started offering it with its 2017 lineup — for a fee! Yes, you have to pay extra to use your iPhone in a BMW!

BMW Bluetooth Not Working

Why your iPhone doesn't work in your BMW
YouTube video: Why your iPhone doesn’t work in your BMW

I have had connectivity issues with both my 2013 X5 and 2016 X4 and various iPhone models, including an iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X, running a variety of iOS versions. While none of my iPhones ever worked flawlessly in any BMW car, I never had any issues with other Bluetooth-connected devices.

As a result, it’s pretty obvious that BMW’s Bluetooth implementation is the culprit, and it’s more than embarrassing (and infuriating) that they haven’t been able to fix it.

Bluetooth Audio Issues With 2013 BMW X5

BMW Bluetooth Audio Streaming Issues

With my 2013 BMW X5, I ran into a Bluetooth audio issue related to streaming audio via Bluetooth from an iPhone 5s on iOS 7 while the phone was connected via USB. At the time, I had both my wife’s iPhone 5 and my iPhone 5s paired with the vehicle.

It turned out that as soon as I connected my iPhone via the USB port under the armrest, BMW’s iDrive software would disable Bluetooth audio for my iPhone. Of course, unplugging the phone from USB would not turn Bluetooth audio back on. I had to do that manually every single time I plugged in my iPhone via USB.

You can quickly reproduce the problem by plugging in your phone via USB and navigating to the corresponding setting under Telephone > Bluetooth (phone) > [my iPhone] > Options [Button] > Configure Phone.

BMW Bluetooth audio issues with music streaming from iPhone
Phone setting menu.
Major Bluetooth audio issues between iPhone and BMW and no CarPlay
Phone connected properly via Bluetooth.
Major Bluetooth audio issues between iPhone and BMW and no CarPlay
Bluetooth configuration.
Major Bluetooth audio issues between iPhone and BMW and no CarPlay
Audio unchecked.

If I tried to check “Audio” while my phone was plugged into USB, I got the following error message:

Audio via USB is not supported by Michael’s iPhone 5 with Bluetooth audio activated. Bluetooth audio was deactivated for Michael’s iPhone 5. Please activate USB audio if necessary.”

Major Bluetooth audio issues between iPhone and BMW and no CarPlay
Bluetooth audio via USB not supported.

Of course, activating it was what triggered this error in the first place. So I called BMW customer service, but the friendly customer care agent on the phone didn’t have a solution. She mentioned that iOS 7 was just recently released and BMW hadn’t had a chance to test it yet. I didn’t want to waste time explaining to her that Beta versions of iOS 7 had been available for months. Her suggestion was to delete all paired devices and try again.

I didn’t think re-pairing everything would make a difference, and instead decided to Google for a solution. It turned out I was not the only one with this issue; someone on one of the BMW forums I found pointed out that Bluetooth audio is unavailable while the iPhone is connected to the car via USB.

The “Solution” Is Not to Connect Your Phone Via USB

As a result, I refrained from connecting my iPhone via USB, checked Audio in the Bluetooth settings and voilà — no error message, and audio streamed flawlessly via Bluetooth.

Major Bluetooth audio issues between iPhone and BMW and no CarPlay
Phone connected properly via Bluetooth.

BMW finally, albeit partially, fixed the problem in their 2016 lineup. With our 2016 X4, I still cannot stream audio via Bluetooth while my phone is connected via USB, but at least the car automatically re-enables Bluetooth audio when I disconnect the phone from USB.

Bluetooth Audio Issues With 2016 BMW X4

When the lease of our 2013 X5 ended, we picked up a 2016 BMW X4. While it still didn’t support CarPlay, Bluetooth worked well in the beginning and most of the Bluetooth audio issues had been resolved.

Bluetooth and Smartphone Integration

The 2016 BMW X4 still has some minor problems and lacks Apple’s CarPlay technology, but at least BMW appears to have fixed the following Bluetooth audio issues affecting devices running iOS 7 through iOS 10.

Bluetooth Streaming

You can now reliably stream audio via Bluetooth. When I connect my iPhone via USB, the audio stream almost instantaneously switches to USB. Disconnecting the iPhone from USB switches audio streaming back to Bluetooth.

In the past, Bluetooth streaming was completely disabled upon connecting a phone via USB. Re-enabling it meant digging through the settings, which was a major pain in the butt.

Audio Resumes After Ending a Call

In the past, audio streaming would not continue after completing a call on a connected phone. And since there was no “Play” button on the X5, I had to resume audio streaming directly on the phone itself. The 2016 BMW X4 automatically continues audio streaming after a call ends.

Multiple Phones

The X5 didn’t handle multiple connected phones very well. In the new model, it’s easy to switch back and forth between two connected phones. That’s helpful when both my wife and I are in the vehicle while both of our iPhones are connected.


Long-pressing the Voice Command button on the steering wheel triggers Siri. That’s awesome, and a welcome enhancement to the driving experience.

Features the 2016 BMW X4 Does Not Support

According to BMW’s Bluetooth Compatibility Check, the following features are not supported in combination with an iPhone 6S Plus:

  • Display contact images
  • All Office features
  • Playing videos

I can live with those limitations!

Major Bluetooth audio issues between iPhone and BMW and no CarPlay
BMW Bluetooth compatibility list.

Useless Snap-in Adapter

BMW still has an entirely useless phone cradle with certain options like the 6NS ENHANCED TELEPHONY WITH EXTENDED SM. BMW doesn’t sell a snap-in adapter for newer iPhone models, such as the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, rendering the cradle useless. You cannot remove the cradle, and it takes up most of the compartment under the armrest without providing any useful function.

Major Bluetooth audio issues between iPhone and BMW and no CarPlay
BMW iPhone Snap-in Adapter

Bluetooth Issues With iPhone X/Xs and iOS 11+

While we didn’t have any major issues with our iPhone 7 Plus or our iPhone 6, the Bluetooth issues resurfaced when my wife and I upgraded to the iPhone X running iOS 11.

As of this writing, our phones are almost unusable in combination with our 2016 X4. The problems seem to be aggravated when both phones are connected to the car at the same time. If that happens, one of us has to manually disconnect from the car via Settings > Bluetooth in iOS.

But even when I’m alone in the car, audio streaming via Bluetooth often stutters, and it usually takes a few minutes before the phone even appears as connected under the car’s Multimedia menu.

BMW USB Audio Interface Not Working

Making the situation even worse is the USB port under the armrest, which has become incredibly unreliable. It appears as if the car loses its connection with the phone every few seconds, making audio streaming and charging via USB almost impossible.

I have tried multiple cables and different phones, but I experience the same problem with all of them. That tells me that the USB port may be defective. As a result, I took the car to the dealer to have the USB port checked out. Of course, they couldn’t reproduce the problem with their phones. BMW can never reproduce any of the issues, and always acts like they have never heard of these problems.

Nevertheless, they agreed to order a replacement port and they promised to call me when the part arrived. That was two months ago, and I still haven’t heard back from the dealer.

Troubleshooting Steps That Haven’t Worked (for Me)

Below are a few of the troubleshooting steps that your BMW dealer or Apple Genius might recommend. None of them have worked for me, but it doesn’t hurt to run through the ones you feel might help:

  • Delete all paired Bluetooth devices (BMW) and the Bluetooth accessory (car) in iOS, then enable pairing mode to re-pair the devices
  • Update iOS software (this often makes the situation worse)
  • Factory reset the iPhone (a huge waste of time)
  • Reset your phone’s network settings (iOS)
  • Turn airplane mode on and off
  • Replace the head unit (BMW)
  • Disable Bluetooth, then turn Bluetooth back on

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Apple’s or BMW’s fault?

I have blamed BMW for my iPhone not working in the car. However, you could argue it might also be Apple’s fault. iOS has had bugs, and I’m sure those bugs have impacted the Bluetooth connectivity in cars.

However, considering how reliable the iPhone works in most other car models, and the fact that BMW has never released an update for their cars to fix potential bugs in their Bluetooth framework, I’d argue it’s BMW’s fault.

What’s important to understand is that BMW, much like any other registered Apple developer, gets new versions of iOS way ahead of the public. Every year, at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), developers get Beta releases of the new iOS version before we get them in October.

Apple does that so that developers can test their apps and services to ensure they’re compatible with iOS. BMW either never does that integration testing, or they do and decide not to make any corrections. Either way, it’s BMW that’s to blame here.

Do Android phones work better than iPhone?

That’s a great question that I don’t have an answer for. I have never used an Android device and most users who stumble upon this blog use an iPhone. If you have experience with Android phones or know someone who has or hasn’t had issues, please let me know by leaving a comment below!

What’s the solution?

For cars without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, the ultimate fix is for BMW to release a firmware update for the iDrive software package. I have not seen BMW doing that, so I wouldn’t hold my breath. My guess is they just wanted to wait for CarPlay to get released, and they don’t care about older models that don’t have it.

If you’re OK with losing some fidelity, you could also try a third-party Bluetooth receiver for your car, such as the ones they sell on Amazon.

BMW and Apple CarPlay

BMW recently announced that they would start charging a subscription fee for CarPlay. Seriously, BMW? You fucked us owners over with crappy technology and phone support for years, and now you want to charge us a subscription fee for a feature you should have added years ago?

That move is ridiculous — especially considering that Apple doesn’t charge carmakers to integrate CarPlay technology.

BMW and iPhone Bluetooth Audio Issue

The good experience I had with iOS 9 and the iPhone 6 didn’t last very long. It looks like BMW is incapable of keeping up to date when newer iPhones and iOS versions are released. Personally, I have waited long enough for BMW to get their act together and fix all these Bluetooth issues.

What’s your experience with BMW Bluetooth audio issues in newer models? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

234 thoughts on “BMW – iPhone Bluetooth Audio Issues”

  1. The Solution for BMW F30 2014 328i:

    1. Go to Face ID settings and turn off everything, except USB Devices
    2. Delete all Profiles on iDrive
    3. Try different cables (don’t need to buy Apple O&M cables)
    4. Make sure your iPhone USB-C is clean
    5. Make sure your USB cable is not rusty
    6. Make sure the car USB plug is all right (go to BMW to check it all)

    On my car I found a single problem: The USB car plug has kind off bad working, so I have push a little bit harder and it works. I’m going to BMW to see whether they have any workaround ou maybe changing de USB connector.

    But it’s Working

  2. Hello, similar problems here. I own a 2015 i3 Rex Full and Bluetooth works fine for calls and music but doesn’t play voice notes, audio from videos or any other sounds, except for music from music players such as Spotify and phone calls.

    I did tried removing all the paired devices on iDrive, also removed from my iPhone but still no audio.

    BMW i3 2015
    iPhone 12 Pro with latest iOS version

  3. I found a solution for the bluetooth issues on my 2014 BMW 328d. The new AVRCP versions create a register conflict with BMWs coding. My solution was to revert back to AVRCP 1.3 and it works 100% now with my new(ish) phone. Steps with the Pixel 4a 5G:
    -Go to settings and tap on the ‘about phone’ 7 times to unlock developer mode
    -Go to ‘developer options’
    -Change ‘Bluetooh AVRCP version’ from default (mine was 1.5) to 1.3
    -Done, you’re welcome.
    Works 100% of the time for me know, hope that helps others as it was driving me crazy and was even looking into the $700 Android Auto upgrade

  4. I’ve been having a similar frustrating experience with my 340i 2017. What seems to have fixed it (for now) is to remove all other bluetooth devices in the iphone and only have the BMW listed. Such a pain, and you seemingly can’t prioritize the bluetooth connection order on the iphone. Anyway, worth a try!

  5. The PK – passkey number should be used to pair your phone to your BMW. It is located in your Onboard Control booklet tag and marked PK #.

  6. I’ve just bought a 3 Series BMW (2020 model) with a technical pack – ha – straight away I am having issues with the music randomly going off completely – and when it goes it goes off everywhere except radio – Have tried switching from bluetooth to carplay etc etc and nothing seems to work – then it just comes back on! weird and ridiculous – didn’t have any problems in my old 2016 BMW Series 1 – I was thinking it was the carplay that was interfering with the bluetooth somehow but reading other reviews I’m not so sure.

  7. Just found your site and post and just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for putting this together. I thought I was crazy or doing something wrong – now I know it’s not me it’s just BMW – which doesn’t solve the issues but at least I know it’s not me!!!!

  8. I have a 2016 328i. When I first got the car in 2019, with my iPjoneXS Max, never had an issue with Bluetooth connection.

    Then 3 months ago, started car, everything working fine. 3 miles down the road, the Bluetooth just stops and won’t reconnect.

    After several attempts I call BMW and this is their cure—–shut off the car all the way. Get out of the car. Lock the car. Walk around for 2-3 minutes and then get in the car and restart everything.

    That worked that one-time.

    This week, the Bluetooth randomly drops and randomly restarts and now randomly auto plays my music library. I never had the music auto play before. And, if I wanted to listen to sports thru another app, it would work. Now, no matter which sports app I use, the darn auto play kicks in for the music and shuts out the sports app.

    I’ve tried shutting down Bluetooth on my device and car and reconnecting everything and that works for a bit, then this whole mad cycle starts all over again.

  9. I have a 2014 x3 with the m sport package. My phone is an android (Samsung s21 ultra) & it connects to my car every time as well streaming audio flawlessly. It doesn’t matter if you use the USB connection either. I haven’t tried the cradle yet, but only because I haven’t bought an interface for it. In any case, I haven’t experienced any of the problems described in this post. Seems a lot like they got lazy when it came to integrating apple products, though. That being said, I still love BMW and the driving experience I get when I’m behind the wheel, but it is annoying when your theme music skips.?

  10. I own a 4 Series Convertible 2017, I started having this problem in 2019, i told them about this and they told me it needs a update witch i did. but the problem didnt stop and they want me to pay to get a diagnostic witch they could of done while the car was under warranty. then i was told its my iphone XS Max update is not compatible, witch is B.S because it’s been happening since 2019 and it was not the same IOS Update

  11. Funny how we all are having the same problems and here i thought it was just me and my iphone causing all the problems related to Carplay. I own a 2020 X5 and like everyone else i have the same issue. I can listen to music just fine via carplay until someone sends me a text or an email. Then it all goes to hell. Screen shows music still playing but who knows where the output is. annoying! My solution, spotify streaming is now included with BMW so i turn off “wifi” on my Apple 12 pro max and just choose the music straight from the BMW spotify app and problem solved. The only drawback, i cant use my phone while driving!! Sucks big elephant balls!

  12. 2021 5 series. Music plays through Bluetooth (not CarPlay) fine through my speakers. I used to be able to go back and forth through the screen on the car and change songs or playlists. Now that completely went away and If I want to change songs I have to do so on my phone. The car screen says no files detected..? But its still playing the song through the speakers. iOS 14.3

    • I have a similar issue with my 2021 5 series LCI. The Bluetooth can be connected but just for phone only. It does not work when I try to listen to music (Apple Music) via Bluetooth…

      I can’t restore to iOS 14.3 as it works before…..

  13. ONE POSSIBLE SOLUTION – weird as it may be …
    2008 BMW 550i
    When I updated to iOS 14.01 I lost bluetooth connectivity in this car. ( tried everything – like even removing battery, etc. )
    – Then My front driver-side xenon light went out;
    – I removed ENTIRE light assembly;
    – turned car on so it could recognize that all sorts of sh!t was missing and throw ODB codes.
    – left it out for several days awaiting new bulb delivery ( she was a garage-queen for a week lol )
    – I updated to iOS 14.2
    – I installed new light bulb
    – started car AND IT HAD LOST IT’S TIME – had to reset clock – hint hint

    The car then asked me to set a pairing key code ( you know like 1234 or whatever we humans like to type in ) and it then successfully paired.

    I don’t know if this will help – but for what it’s worth, here are my details. I don’t know if it was merely the iOS 14.2 update or the onboard computer actually ‘waking up’ that did the trick. Who knows.
    ( I do not check this site, so will not see future questions )

  14. I have a 2013 X5 that I connect to an iPhone X max via Bluetooth. I’ve found that 95% of the time, I have to change my external media source for a second (or less), then re-select my phone as an external source to get sound from it. Same is true with Echo Auto through the phone. In rented BMWs with CarPlay, things worked OK, but not as well as CarPlay works in a “regular” car, like a Chevy. Seriously, BMW?

  15. Hi,

    Got a new M135i (Sept 2020) and everything has been working fine through CarPlay on IPhone 11 until yesterday if make or receive a call afterwards it goes back to my music but I get no sound at all. It continues playing and if you try and adjust the volume it still thinks it on a call. Even if you disconnect the phone and go back again it still does the same no sound but plays. The only well to rectify it is turn the car off and back on again but as soon as call finished it’s the same again.

  16. I just purchased a 2020 430I convertible.
    Phone connects, but there is no sound at all when you get a text or email or play and app.
    Phone calls work great.
    I only use Bluetooth not CarPlay
    BMW and Apple can not figure it out.

    • I have the same car and the same issue.

      Internet says to go to Settings then go to Bluetooth then click on the little i next to where it says “connected” then make sure you have Show Notifications turned on.

      My problem is, there is NO show notifications button for me to turn on!

      I’ve googled the issue and found lots of people complaining the toggle button is missing and asking how to add it but NOBODY has answered this question on any forum I’ve found.

      Good luck!

  17. Hello, I have a 530Xd (G30/G31) and once every month or so I get a very loud and bad sound from the speakers when I´m calling someone. It´s a very loud noise and it sounds like a stone hits the window and makes a crack in the window. I have the latest version of the software in the car and Iphone. Anyone heard about this problem before. I would like to know if anyone have the same problem?

    • I have the same problem only I use an android phone haven’t been able to figure it out. Did you have any luck

      • I too have an Android. I have a 2018 X4 and the CarPlay has completely reset itself 4 times since I have had the vehicle. Here recently, I have not been able to pair my phone to listen to music, use navigation, listen to the satellite radio or normal radio at all.

  18. New 320i G20. DORO phone connects via BT to car. Can make and cancel calls through iDrive (or whatever BMW are calling it now) but speech, incoming and outgoing, does not connect to speakers. Also, downloaded contacts only displays telephone numbers not names. No such problems with previous F30 model…..all worked fine. Have I missed a setting somewhere?

  19. I have a 2018 430I my I phone works fine for the most part. Only issue is when I touch the button on the wheel and say call such and such it asks me to unlock my phone. But seriously we have bigger problems in life. Calm down people 20 years ago we didn’t have any of this stuff. We survived.

    • I have a 2019 BMW 530i and the Bluetooth connection bothers me a lot!!!
      First, i have major audio delay when i play audio via Bluetooth from either apple CarPlay or BMW connect. Sometimes it could be couple seconds of delay. Second, the Bluetooth kept disconnected randomly. I’m using iPhone X and I’ve been using iPhones for the past 10 years. These issues really bother me and make me don’t want to buy/lease another BMW vehicle anymore. Does anyone have the same problems like me? Thanks

      • Steven

        I have a 2018 BMW 328 xdrive
        I have all of these issues and more electric issues. I tried to get out of my lease as I’m a therapist and rely on the iPhone for fragile clients.
        I will not buy another. Sucks that such a high performance brand was not transparent with me when I leased it. Corp offered me a horrible deal which would cost me over $7,000. I want to make sure every potential customer knows this. Social media!

      • Same for BMW 330e, the Bluetooth for Waze delayed for about 3 seconds, when waze mean “in 300 meters, turn left”, the BMW will tell “…turn left”, it made me crazy when I am in the highway….to make super skill to turn left and found it was wrong road….no more BMW Buy More Worries.

  20. My problem was always the pairing of the phone and car. There is no standard password to connect to a 2011 X3. The manual says one thing, dealers say another and the Internet has ten different “solutions”.

    I finally found a password that works, from a random blog: in my case the string 55555 pairs any iPhone.

    I’ll never buy a BMW again. They have over-engineered the crap out of their product to a point where only a dealer can fix anything electrical.

    No dipstick? On cars that have become notorious for electromechanical failure, removing analog parts that can be used as fallback is just stupid.

    • Thanks, the 55555 code worked as the code for pairing my iPhone 11 with a 2014 X6. No pass key number ever showed up so I tried this and it worked!

    • I purchase a iPhone 11 to replace my aging iPhone 8 and the new 11 would not pair with the M3.
      The 11 had been set up as a copy of the 8 so I deleted the 5 from the BMW Bluetooth and tried aging to set up the 11.
      This did not work.
      So I went back to the iPhone 8 and tried to set that back in the BMW.
      That did not work.
      Contemplating selling the M3 and buying a Merc.
      Tried 55555 and that worked. Thanks

    • Thank you for this post, could not get iphone 6 to pair to save my life until I saw this, 55555 was the key! Thanks again 2015 x1 i drive

  21. Just bought an incredibly beautiful X3, sparkling brown. The radio gives some basic noise when I get in. Cannot use Apple Carplay and does not recognize the USB stick when updating….

  22. Hi Michael:

    I need help I screwed up.
    I have an X5 2013 I went to change the system to an Android 10.25 Multimedia system after market CIC system. I had a professional working on it. It did not work. When we put the original system back in the Bluetooth now says please wait. The rest of the functions work. You think he missed connecting a wire. I really feel like crap trying to change a factory system. Thank you for your help in advance Harry.

    • I found my f11 required usb to be formatted as fat32 rather than the more modern formats like ntfs. Until I formatted it as fat32 (there is an extended version exfat32) I couldn’t get past the ‘not recognised’ error. I updated tx to tx.3.5.8 from 3.4.31 but no improvement (mx from 3.4.31 to 3.5.4).

    • Hi Michael,

      I understand this was a few years ago, but were you ever able to find a solution?

      Really interested in if you were able to, and if so, how you went about doing it. Thanks!

  23. My 2015 BMW 435 suddenly has connection problems, both with telephone contacts and music from my IPhone X. Telephone support did nothing and they suggested taking it to a dealer. I’ve been thru all the steps suggested in various blogs, but nothing has worked. In essence, my phone is useless in my car, unless I want Siri to help me make calls, which in BC, it’s illegal to touch your phone while driving….

  24. 2013 X5 – dealership charged me 500.00 to put in a “new combox”. BMW charged me for a whole new subscription to Connected Drive, neither of which work.

    BMW said “we’ll be refunding $$’s to owners who paid for something that isn’t working”….Nada.

    Shame, it’s a beautiful car but now I cannot have a conversation over Bluetooth..let alone use Connected Drive.

  25. Details: Car 2015 428i convertible with Head Up Display, and iPhone XR running version 13.1.2. Up until a few weeks ago, everything worked relatively well. Would drop off once in a while but would re-connect okay. NOW…all of a sudden, the HEAD UP DISPLAY does not function properly. It will view the songs in the playlist that I am currently playing, but I cannot change the song via the steering wheel. Very frustrating as I like to do that a lot. (Not sure if this happened when I updated my phone last month.)
    Dealer wants $185 to diagnose, ANOTHER $185 to upgrade the BMW software. IS THIS A WASTE OF MONEY? Feedback, or a fix, from anyone with this Head Up Display issue would be appreciated.

  26. I echo your frustrations. In a VW Golf, I can connect my phone by cable, enjoy a full sound when playing music and switch to a phone call – all through the sound system. But in a 69 plate 530 I have to choose between:
    A) Being able to take calls, but with compromised music quality via bluetooth;
    B) No calls, and full music quality via USB.
    What on earth?!? Quite frankly it’s ridiculous and I feel cheated by BMW. What is the point of having such a high end sound system, if I’m going to play substandard quality music through it? Who in this day and age doesn’t want to use hands free calling?
    It doesn’t make sense. I sincerely hope BMW put this right. Friends with VWs and Peugeot’s are laughing at me. Not what I expect for loyalty to, what pertains to be a prestigious, luxury brand.

  27. Having same problems with iPhone X and 2018 BMW 430 at £47k I would expect a continuous Bluetooth connection and for the track list and album picture to be displayed. Very disappointing. Will look at different brand if can’t be fixed next time I upgrade.

  28. I visited bmw today who tried to remedy my problem by deleting my phone and me reconnecting. After two minutes same problem music disconnects after two minutes. Really frustrating. I had a 2014 series 1 with no problem. New series 3 seems to have gone backwards grrr

  29. Hi, similar issues here. iDrive only lists the first 100 songs and then displays song numbers only. Very frustrating.

  30. Hi there, I also live in the Atlanta area, also speak four languages, though two no longer fluent since I moved to the USA a long time ago. But to the real issue, I have a 2012 BMW 328i convertible. Nice car, but my entire blue tooth no longer works. Took it twice to south side dealership and was finally told that iPhone apple is faster w technology than bmw and my Bluetooth can not be repaired. Recently found out that’s bullshit because looking up on bmw.com, I found that my iPhone 7 is compatible with my car according to to my vin number. How do I get my Bluetooth repaired?? Help

  31. I know I may be expecting allot with my 2011 BMW 535i xDrive and my iPhone Xs Max (iOS 12.3.1) streaming music via Bluetooth but I too have the same trending problem. You would think if BMW dealers resell used BMW’s as “Certified” BMW’s then they should be required to ensure even firmware for every device on the legacy cars work with latest technologies (iPhone, etc). else should not be “Certified”. :-(

  32. I have a brand new 2019 330i with iDrive 6 & no car play. Music playback with bluetooth works for a whole of 30 sec & then drops abruptly. USB works ok. Basically the wireless connectivity for this car is junk. Unbelievable.

    • Same here with a 2018 X1 18d with iDrive, BMW Connected+, BMW Online, RTTI, TeleServices, ConnectedDrive Services, Remote Services. Music over Bluetooth just stops after 30 secs. And I gave away my 2010 Ford S-Max for this BMW rubbish, it never had any issues with Bluetooth streaming from all my family’s iPhones! Not once!

  33. So I have a 2018 bmw that will connect to make calls but that is it no streaming at all. Although it will connect streaming for 30 seconds to tease you it stops and you can’t even disconnect the device to try to reconnect. BMW dealer is useless and tells me it’s am Apple problem with all cars. So that’s a lie. I have about 500 songs I have downloaded from iTunes so switching to android is not an option. I have a great relationship with my Apple store, manager has even tried other iPhones in my car with no success and he said this is a problem with bmw and other Apple customers have come into store to talk about it. Only solution is to sell the car, which I plan on doing, unless you have any other suggestions.

  34. I have a 2018 X1 and an iPhoneX and am having these exact issues. I can make calls and the bluetooth works, but I’ll start streaming audio/music and after a few minutes it will cut out and stop working. I can disconnect/reconnect the phone and it will play again only to cut out again. Unbelievable that they are still having these issues but refuse to give us Apple Car Play.

  35. I’ve been having a LOT of Bluetooth issues on my 2019 X3 the past couple months. I took my car in for routine service today and mentioned the problem with Bluetooth and the service manager checking my car in responded with, “Yeah, we know. iPhones don’t work well with BMW these days because Apple doesn’t want to support BMW. It’s a known problem for Apple but they have to fix it.” What a bunch of crap and poor knowledge by the service managers!

    As mentioned in the blog post above, BMW has access to beta-versions of the iOS and should be developing and testing their apps with new versions and checking backwards compatibility as well. These are standard software development practices and something BMW should account for. I’m an app developer and have access to the same tools BMW Connected developers have.

    In my case, I can fortunately use my cable to connect with the car for music streaming but that doesn’t work for phone usage through the car. After starting the car, the phone call streaming will usually work on the first call for a brief time, but then it will disconnect and I have to change to the phone speaker mid-call. Subsequent phone calls do not connect through the car audio and I have to use the phone with its own speaker. So much for trying to avoid fines for touching your mobile device while driving!

    BMW and other car companies need to acknowledge that our phones and personal devices are critical extensions of ourselves. I don’t like it that way, but it’s a fact. Several other posters have mentioned how they will not buy a BMW in the future since because of these problems. At first I thought that seemed rather harsh just for a phone problem. But then I thought about it and how inconvenient driving will be not being able to easily make calls. Couple that with a higher probability of getting a ticket for using a handheld device while driving and the reasons to look for a car with working Bluetooth makes more sense. BMW engineers should consider this before dismissing it as simply an Apple problem.

    Despite Samsung gains, Apple is still a significant player in the mobile device market and I believe even a larger player in the luxury demographic that BMW targets. For the price I paid to drive a BMW, I expect a consistent and quality experience while driving and living my life. I drive a couple hours each day. I use my mobile device even more frequently during my day. My iPhone plays a major role in my work and personal day and is basically an extension of me and my work. If I can’t work effectively or enjoy life easily in my car, my next car purchase will very likely be influenced by connectivity features.

  36. There is a fix for certain cars. There is apparently on some models a hidden portion with CarPlay already there. There is a company called Bimmer-unlock. I’m not advertising for them because I used it on my 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman. There is a hidden Wifi antenna in the vehicle which is how CarPlay connects. Follow the directions and you will have a fully functional CarPlay which doesn’t drop your audio. It does have the quirks inherent in CarPlay but it works great. Worth the $159 price.

      • Yup. It’s bimmer-unlock.com Don’t let the fact that the video is in an Asian language scare you. It’s sub titled and it works.

      • Easy answer to this thread. There are 2 different app for iHeart for instance. Make sure you use the one that has what looks like a motorway on it curving to the right. That one is the only one that will work on your iPhone to use with your BMW. And, yes it works while connected to your car’s USB port.

  37. Two 2019 X series in our house–the 5 and the 7. Bluetooth is essentially unusable and BMW is 100% unhelpful. It’s shameful for them.

  38. same problem here, i have the bmw 1 series M140i 2019 and it seems to cut off after about 20 seconds and stops playing through the car although its still connected and playing on the phone.

  39. I don’t now but my BMW 535i 2013 works fine by 7 years and began giving the bluetooth problems after updating on my iPhone

  40. My iPhone 8plus pairs with my 2018 bmw x2 and incoming calls are connected by Bluetooth when they come in and then 1 min later the call gets bounced back to my iPhone and I need to switch it back to playing through the vehicle Bluetooth system and being hands free

  41. I have a 2016 X3 and iphone. On bluetooth, the only way to hear iphone apple maps voice instructions is when iphone music is playing. Even if I pause music, the map can’t be heard. Is there an answer to this?

  42. I’m assuming by reading the recent comments that most of these issues are happening in the US ? I’m from Scotland, Glasgow specifically, I’ve got an M140i (Shadow Edition model) and never had any connectivity issues until a few days ago and have had an IPhone7 since collection of the car in March 2018.

    My phone will connect to the car but seems to take a good 3 minutes to connect when its always been instant, when I search the menu for my phones music library it shows 1 album (I have roughly 2k songs on my phone) and doesn’t allow me to select or play anything, it also cuts off after about 20 seconds and stops playing through the car although its still connected and playing on the phone.

    I thought it could have been the Apple Music app itself as my GF uses Spotify and also has an IPhone7 and there were no issues in the M140i when connecting her phone. My GF has an Audi A1 S-line and I have no issues connecting in her car with Apple Music. When I downloaded the Spotify app and used it in the M140i I had no issues with connectivity or the audio cutting out…

    All seems a bit curious to me….possibly Apple doing updates behind the scenes as opposed to the IDrive system itself (although I agree strongly that it needs a hardware update) I think my issue has come from an Apple Music software integration issue ?

    Also previously owned a 116i model and never had an issue with connectivity in that.

    • Issues are not limited to US. I have the Bluetooth stops streaming issue with my German BMW, right in front of their factory outlet in Munich.

  43. I have a 2013 335 xdrive with and since late 2014 the iPhone USB issues have been just awful. The last update BMW did to the firmware was in 2014 and it’s now 2019. Issue has been that the system keeps kicking me out of the USB connection and going back to radio. Eventually it stops and starts working. Other times it shows 0/0 songs rather than the thousands I have and just doesn’t play. Eventually it might start working but then choosing a play list or trying to set it on random doesn’t work. I’ve had three different iPhones during all these problems from an iPhone 5, iPhone 7 and now an iPhone XS. Now after iOS 12.2 not only are those previous problems still there but now if I try and choose a song or select the details of a song that is playing the ENTIRE iDrive system crashes. All buttons on the radio, the iDrive center control including navigation crashes and takes several minutes to reboot if it does at all. This happens while driving the car. I’ve taken this issue back to the dealer on so many occasions even this most recent one and at first they can’t repeat the problem, doubt they even tried. I had to show them and demonstrate to them what’s happening. They apparently opened cases a few times with BMW North America or whatever and get nowhere. BMW completely washes their hands of this issue and says it’s my phone. Even though it’s happened on several different phones even my wife’s phones which have included an iPhone 6 and now an iPhone XS.

    After this last issue with the iDrive crashing I pressed even harder with the dealership (Bill Jacobs in Naperville, IL) and they finally got BMW to admit they know their firmware is no longer compatible with Apple but they will not bother doing anything about it.

    So there you go everyone. That is BMW, a luxury brand, admitting they don’t give a fuck. Guess what, I’ll never consider a BMW again as long as I live and neither should any of you. They act like they were unaware of any problems and I had gone back and forth with the dealership over the last 5 years countless times and wasted countless hours. All the while BMW knew damn well this problem existed and they weren’t going to do anything about it. To say I’m i upset is an understatement. Everyone having these issues needs to push hard with BMW maybe by some miracle they’ll come to their senses and fix the problem. I won’t hold my breath. But at least I can post here and tell all of you they finally admitted they don’t give a shit.

  44. I bought a new 330 a couple of weeks ago. I traded in my Camry which worked flawlessly with two generations on iPhones. I am having the same Bluetooth connectivity issues (and using Apple Car Play). I am in IT and pretty tech savvy, so I have gone through the usual troubleshooting steps of deleting all my connections, then re-setting them all from scratch. It’s still a game of roulette – every time I get in the car, will Bluetooth enable or not? Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I will be listening to music, and suddenly it will stop and the screen will say “No phone detected” – like are you kidding me? I called BMW Assist tonight and they told me a lot of folks were having this issue right now due to a server migration. So, I Googled that, and supposedly that was resolved over a week ago. Then I found this article….and boy do I have this sick feeling right now. This is important to me – so much so, that if there isn’t a fix, I want out of my lease. It’s a nice car but BMW doesn’t have a monopoly on nice cars. My next step is to start with the dealer and their repair department. Based on these comments, I’m not expecting a resolution…so it’s gonna get ugly.

    This is heart breaking. Waiting all these years to drive a BMW and then this. Talk about a major, major letdown.

    • I’m having the same issue, but only when using CarPlay. It’s a major letdown, and really inexcusable, but when connecting using Bluetooth using iDrive only, I don’t have the issues with disconnection. Of course, not having the functionality of CarPlay is disappointing. Hoping iOS 13 perhaps resolves the issue, but I’m pessimistic.

      The wireless Apple CarPlay uses both a Bluetooth and WiFi connection to support the data stream. I suspect it’s somehow related to the WiFi connection, but I don’t know for sure.

    • I have an update. I took my car in for a full re-programming and the connectivity issues are 100% resolved. Everything works great. When I took the car in they said there was a recall on it.
      If you having these issues, take it in for re-programming and it should be fixed.

  45. I just bought a brand new 330 and have exactly the same issues. I was told by the dealer (by email thankfully) that no issues existed with this model. I was subsequently told by the service department that ‘every single one of them is the same…..and there is no fix!’ I am looking to return the car…..and will go to Mercedes

  46. I am the same brand new X3 Thant can’t give me the connectivity my 10 year old Renault gave me !! My husband with a Mercedes is mocking me as he has no issues was fine for the first 4 months have an IPhone X

  47. I have a brand BMWX2 I switched over from a Mercedes Gla as they were messing me around with delivery dates for a New A Class however I am now gutted as the connectivity on the Mercedes was brilliant I could do everything I needed even when I wasn’t using Appleplay I mainly want to listen to catch up radio in my car via Bluetooth. The BMW Connect worked initially however I plugged my phone in to charge it on a long journey and lost the Bluetooth connectivity now I can’t get it back – it connects for 30 seconds or so then drops out I have been to the dealer who scratched there head but couldn’t fix it – I am so depressed at the thought of no Bluetooth for the next three years

  48. Guys, I had this issue today. Got into the car in the morning and could not connect my iphone at all. Not with cable neither with BT.
    It was super frustrating. Did everything – restarted my phone, removed bt connection, added again….

    In the end one thing helped to get all the connections back – I came to work, left a car turned off for 2 hours, get back to the car, without connecting all my devices I removed all BT devices and removed all the profiles in the car (did data reset).

    And everything started to work again. BT, USB – everything connected. I am not sure for how long it will be working but… At least some hope to play some music in a long trip..

    Success guys!

  49. I wish I had read these posts before I bought my 230i. Keep keeps disconnecting from the bluetooth at random. Iphone X. So infuriating.

  50. My new 2019 3 series refuses to initiate a Bluetooth connection. The menu options are clear but selecting them results in no response from the car. My iPhone X connects to all my other vehicles including a Ford, Honda and Camry with no issues. My car has spent two of the 3.5 weeks of my lease at the dealership for repair which has been unsuccessful thus far. The dealership says they have never seen this problem before. Very frustrating.

  51. I’m also having Bluetooth audio problems with my 2014 328i. I have an iPhone XS and I believe the problem started for me with the most recent update to 12.2. Phone is working fine via Bluetooth.

    Something similar happened when iOS 12 was released. I think it’s easy to blame BMW but the real variable is the iOS update. Blame Apple for this one.

    • Mark,

      every registered developer (that includes BMW) gets access to Beta versions of every new release months or weeks ahead of time. That gives those developers time to make changes to their own apps or software, if necessary. BMW has NEVER released a meaningful update for their Bluetooth stack in all the years that I have owned their cars. While Apple is to blame for many things, I doubt the issues with BMW are one of them.

  52. My BMW X5 (2019) is showing connection issues with my iPhone 7. Coming from a base model Hyundai with zero issues for 4 years, I had high expectations. Reading your article has me worried. I can only seem to get my phone to work with apple car play which I don’t intend to pay for after the first year. Hoping I can get it to work without CarPlay. When I plug in my phone via USB, nothing works. It does even recognize the phone. It’s the first day so I’ll keep working on it but being in IT I think I’m tech savvy enough to see that there are some issues here. This will completely turn me off BMW if it is not resolved.

  53. I use an iPad Mini for Bluetooth streaming, and also have Mifi in the car so great for emails. etc. Just got the new Mini 5… and guess what… Bluetooth is up the wall…. Intermittent connection, no connection and even crashes the system… Not great… especially as IOS12 was working fine before

  54. I’ve just recently started having problems with my late 2018 4 Series. Using an iPhone X for about 4 months without an issue, now all media information fails to load and there’s no control through the iDrive. You can still select the media through the phone and it will play through the car, however the Bluetooth connection keeps dropping out every few minutes.

  55. Thank for this informative post. Having the same problems with a BMW 220 convertible from 2016 and an iPhone 6s. Deezer and Spotify only are audible with Bluetooth, not USB. Unbelievable that BMW is not able to fix this while Apple CarPlay in my wife’s (cheap) Opel Corsa is simply working great!

  56. Hello Michael. We are now on 2019, and my 520d 2011 BMW suddenly started to lose the Bluetooth connectivity… On my Samsung S9+, on my daughter’s iPhones, 7 and 6, same issue. Like so, not a telephone problem. After visit to BMW dealer for a software upgrade, the result? The same problems… Poor BMW. For me, along with other issues, will not be my next car choice. Regards Paulo

  57. Solution is simple but you’re not going to like it. Don’t own a BMW. Seriously. There’s some great features of their cars but they don’t have a monopoly on excellent cars.

  58. Yep same issue with my 2013 335i….Everytime I plug in the USB, Bluetooth audio is disabled. Have been dealing with it for 5 years and everytime it happens it still infuriates me. I am looking for a fix but I guess there isn’t one. But it does make me feel better everyone else is dealing with this too.

  59. From reading the above I count myself lucky even though I am less than happy with BMW support in this area.
    I use an Android and my wife an Apple. Car is a 2014 5GT, Wifes 2014 X5.
    Music sync’s no issues.

    To address some of the questions/issues discussed here.
    1. Address book pictures. This can be coded to show up, I had this added to both cars and no issues.
    2. Siri/Google etc. Used to work, but after some update from BMW the car now open Siri/Google then disconnects the BT connection, so Siri/Google will not stay open. So used to work, but no more.
    3. No issues with cables/BT as others have had.
    4. I will add there is an issue with using anything other than the USB port to charge your phone and interference with the DAB radio. Plug in anything into a cigarette lighter or hardwire a dashcam and it will interfere with the DAB radio reception.
    5. Cradles for phones. It’s a joke. I gave up. However, to answer the question you cant remove them, yes you can. http://www.instructables.com/id/Remove-BMW-phone-Cradle/
    There are many other links as well. in the X5 it’s really worth it as you lose a lot of space.

  60. BMW have just told. me that iphoneX will not work with my new BMW 2 series bmwconnectedDrive. But they are working on it

  61. I have just taken delivery of a new 2 series GT 220D luxury. I couldn’t get it to let my iPhone X connect to bmwconnectedDrive. Ended up talking to customer services who effectual told me that they can not connect using my iphoneX but they are working on it

  62. Hello,

    I have a BMW F06 with the latest software release (December 2017) on it.

    After switching to a new iphone X with IOS 11 on it i have a strange bluetooth problem:

    My iPhone call history will not be synced correctly. If i go in the idrive menu I cant see there any calls i did with my mobile phone. My contacts are all there.

    Just the calls i did in the meantime my phone is connected to the car are visisble, but not the ones i did if i am not connected.

    Does anybody else have this problem?

  63. Got a 6 series Convertible 2014 model at the weekend having traded in a newer Jag just so I could have the car at a price I could afford. Both my iPhone 5s & 7 plus don’t connect to the-in car Bluetooth, very annoying. So I read this blog & dug our an older iPhone 5, connected to Bluetooth perfectly, trouble is I don’t want to use an obsolete phone, so will try & get BMW to upgrade the system first. Next step will be to mount a hands free, pathetic it’s like going back in time!!! BMW need to get their act together

  64. 2013 BMW 330D. No enhanced BT. Use Y cable with Bovee Bluetooth adapter and very hit and miss. Sometimes it will play but not display track or song. More often than not however, as soon as it plays the track, 3 secs in, it will disconnect, say invalid track then reconnect to phone. Then disconnect. Then reconnect. Etc.

  65. I don’t seem to have the same problem, but randomly, my BMW 2016 X3 will lose all audio content – no sensor warning signals, no radio, no CDs, nothing! After shutting the car off, the sound system normally will start working again. Today, I was told that it might because of the after-market USB port that I install in the cigarette lighter jack. Has anyone else had this problem? I have an iPhone 6 while my wife has a Samsung phone. The service shop initially thought it might have something to do with the phones.

  66. My wife is experiencing major bluetooth issues with her iPhone X and our 2015 BMW X3. So much so, we will be considering other cars in the future.

    My cheap 2016 Ford handles the phone SIGNIFICANTLY better.

  67. guess I’ll need to give my local dealership the benefit of the doubt, at least until I’ve had the chance to speak with them. :/

  68. Hi Michael,

    I have a 2013 320d M-Sport.

    I previously had an iPhone 6, with which I never had any Bluetooth connection issues in my BMW (the only issue was not being able to charge phone while playing music on Bluetooth, etc, etc, as detailed from plenty of people)

    I now have an iPhone 8, since September 22nd. Since when, I have been singularly unable to connect to my BMW Bluetooth AT ALL.

    The only option for music playback is via USB which, frankly, isn’t a big deal.

    However, I have no hands-free phone capability which is beyond irritating to say the least.

    I check the BMW website periodically for a software update, as my car seems to have the latest/most recent update. Nothing.

    The compatibility list on the BMW website states that my iPhone 8 should be compatible, specifically with MY car (compatibility search is via last 7 digits of VIN number).

    And yet, no dice.

    Do you have any advice?

    I’ve had several lengthy Apple Support chats regarding this, and each time the verdict (not incorrectly, it would seem) is that it is a car issue, not a phone issue.

    I’ve tried to connect my girlfriend’s iPhone 8, which also won’t connect. Hence, the above conclusion is likely accurate.

    I’ve also contacted BMW UK who state that no further update is currently available, while conveniently ignoring the fact that my iPhone should be compatible anyway, in accordance with their own website.

    If you have any suggestions, advice or ideas, I would accept them with open arms at this point, because I’m beginning to lose patience with this issue now.



    • Hi Steven!

      I am in a similar boat with our 2016 X4 and my solution, or rather conclusion is that I will no get another BMW once the lease of our expires next year. I have just lost hope and patience with BMW.


      • Hi Michael,

        that’s disappointing to hear.

        Can I ask, did you speak with BMW about the issue at all? (I’m sure you might have already mentioned it somewhere above, so apologies if I’m asking you to repeat something you have already stated!!)

        What was their response?

        • Hi Steven,

          Multiple times – they either acknowledged the issue without having a solution, or they denied anything was wrong and offered to keep the car for inspection. Then they returned the car claiming everything worked with their test phones.

          • That’s really irritating.

            My latest foray into the issue with Apple Support this evening has once again concluded that the fault lay with the car somewhere, which is fair enough.

            So, they’ve advised that I speak with my local BMW dealership and see what they can do.

            What concerns me somewhat, especially on a nearly 5 year vehicle (and therefore, outside of it’s warranty period) is that they might very well see this a big cheque walking through the door.

            However, the BMW website states my phone should be compatible with my car – and vice versa – and nothing has changed with my car. So, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be responsible for fixing it!!

          • The reason why BMW doesn’t give a crap is because people continue buying their cars. As long as it doesn’t impact BMW’s bottom line significantly enough, they won’t fix it. Makes economic sense from their point of view…at least until it doesn’t :)

  69. So you are saying that you erased your phone and reset it to factory settings and then restored from an iCloud backup?

  70. !!!! How I FIXED!!! My BT connection!!!
    I found a suggestion earlier in this post that fixed my issue!

    GO TO iPhone SETTINGS > general > scroll all the way down> click link labeled “rest”.
    To reset iphone to factory settings.

    ii was able to pair my new phone to my X3 and blast DJ kahled with the roof open, as intended.

    I Bought a used 2014 BMW X3 M sport for a steal and my old iphone5 worked just fine for 2 weeks when i got the car.

    Picked up an iphone 8 at verizon a week later and I was extremely pissed at my new phone/used car combo…

    I had all of the dropped audio/Spotify vis pairef Bluetooth and only playing one iTunes album I had from a prior IPHONE BACKUP! no album/song images either

    How I FIxed my BT connection! ——

    If your iphone (or when u get a new iPhone) has been backed up recently (all of my recent info was in iCloud so no worry about old phone content being lost forever)

    GO TO iPhone SETTINGS > general > scroll all the way down> clickable link labeled “rest”.

  71. I have a 2016 x6 and have had nothing but problems with using my iPhone 7+. My car has been in for service multiple times and everytime they seem to fix the problem, it recurs about a month later. They blame Apple updates. Prior to a call there is a deafening popping noise that comes through the speakers and often the audio is faint or garbled. My salesperson told me that he doesn’t know anyone else having issues with their phones. ?

  72. 2018 x3 M40, constant problems with iPhone 7, iOS 10, I purposely not upgrading to iOS 11 and newer iPhones. Car Play works but disables Waze (Apple intended), deal breaker for me. If connected to USB random issues appear. I ended up using separate charger and disabling Apple Car play. Phenomenal car but Bluetooth is worse than 2011 550Gt I had before

  73. ˆI have had Samsung Galaxy S5, 7, now 8 and none have connected to my 2012 BMW X! consistantly. My older phones used to. I just spent $175 like an idiot updating my BMW bluetooth software and it still does not work. At least I will not be a distracted driver! Cannot stream music unless I use the headphone jack. Calls get cut off. Car forgets the partnership…

  74. New 2018 x3 bought two weeks ago. I’ve lost the Bluetooth connection to my iPhone X fifteen times or so during that period, including five times today. I know my way around technology, as I’m in the Apple Consultants Network, and I couldn’t be more disappointed in how this performs. Other than that, I love the car–but I drive it for business and need it to work!!!

    • I have a 2015 3 series. Bluetooth connection is poor, lots of skipping and delays in connecting to the car. USB connection is better, but still has issues also. When I call BMW, they don’t indicate there are know Bluetooth issues in their data base. They want me to bring the car in and leave it there for a few days for testing, but I have done this before, and Bluetooth seems to always work with their phones, so they say it’s not an issue with the car and blame Apple.

      What I was trying to find out(but can’t) is whether BMW has released any software updates for their iDrive system which may including Bluetooth fixes. I can’t seem to find this information online, nor from the dealer when calling.

    • Bruce Corson – I also just purchased a 2018 BMW X3 – in fact, yesterday (unfortunately, before I read this thread). I am experiencing the same problems as you and I am addressing them immediately with my dealership and BMW USA.


      Have you found/received any solutions from anybody in this regard? Please help me if you have any information that can be of help, and I ASSURE you, I will do the same.

      Thank you,


      • A new problem developed last week that may be related. Five times in 30 minutes the nav screen totally blacked out. Everything was unresponsive. Eventually (~2 min?) it rebooted and came back on.

        There is a service bulletin about this so BMW agreed to look at it today. They found nothing wrong. Apparently BMW requires the customer to get it checked out, then “forget” the pairing with the phone, and ensure the latest iOS is on there, then re-pair it. I explained that I’ve done that several times, but for warranty work they want you to go through that again and see if the problem recurs (the black out screen problem). Also, and this is funny, they require you go through all your contacts and make sure you don’t have any emoji where the names go. Weird.

        I’m keeping a journal daily on Bluetooth issues and of course if it blacks out. However, it blacked out only that one day, though five times.

        • Well I got the same problem that the nav screen resets itself (and keeps on doing this until I disable Bluetooth audio with my phone). I’ve got a 2015 3GT and a Samsung S7 Android phone. Bluetooth audio streaming is okay until I start using very long playlists (with google music you can easily have a playlist with 1000 songs) when I reconnect the phone for a second time, using a long playlist, the nav screen starts resetting. Only after I disable bluetooth audio (on car or phone) resets stops or when I select a much shorter playlist. I have been to my car dealer three times but, only on the first time they found an error in the system. They updated everything to the latest SW versions in the car but the problem persists.. They now forwarded it the BMW Netherlands. No response until now….

          • New related problem. I’m driving along one day four weeks ago and a message comes up that says the restraint system has failed, and to proceed to the nearest service center. Then, a message “Cont. Driving Possible. Four-wheel-drive-system.” What??? I immediately called my dealer and while on the phone the power steering went out as well.

            The dealer had to order a new instrument cluster and put that in. Twelve days later I had the car back, and 14 days later the same thing happened. They came and picked up the car, did some reprogramming for a few days, now I have my car back. If it happens one more time I’m insisting on a new one.

  75. New 2018 x3 bought two weeks ago. I’ve lost the Bluetooth connection to my iPhone X fifteen times or so during that period, including five times today. I know my way around technology, as I’m in the Apple Consultants Network, and I couldn’t be more disappointed in how this performs. Other than that, I love the car–but I drive it for business and need it to work!!!

  76. I have a 2017 3 series and BT audio is killing me. I actually went from being in love with BMW to really considering dropping my lease early just to get rid of these ridiculous issues.

    What happens to me is that I play music using the Music app on my iPhone. Everything seems well for a while, but then, 95% of the times I try to skip to a specific song things go crazy: the newly selected song starts playing for about 5 seconds. Then restarts and plays the same 5 seconds again. It does this 3 or 4 times, then skips to the first song in the playlist where it gets stuck doing the 5 seconds loop. The screen in the car freezes showing me a “Please wait…” message instead of my playlist now, there’s no more song info. I have to turn off my engine and restart my phone to have it going again, just to select a new song 5 minutes later and do it all over :| It’s frustrating and if I were BMW I would be ashamed to ask €2000+ for an infotainment which behaves so poorly

  77. I have a 2015 X6. I have had issues with Bluetooth connection also. Several times my navigation screen went blank- rebooted and there were also issues with the heads up display. I took it in and they have replaced the head unit 3 times. It once again did the same thing, I took it in and they said that the IOS 11 and the iPhone 8 and newer was causing the nav screen to reboot, and there is no fix. This makes no sense to me?!

  78. Shyt.. My 2017 Sony is android. Have a 2014 7 series.. Bluetooth was fine at first.. After a week audio cuts out. I thought it was my internet streaming trying to load. Then, i plug in the aux cord and its fine! Its pretty much BS with these wires riding shotgun. Same shyt i did you in my 2006 Impala.. Shame.

  79. I had a similar issue where carplay would override whatever else was happening, thus if listening to XM radio, 20 second later itunes would just take over and start playing a song (that starts with A….). Even bought a new iphone 8, same issue.
    After BMW and Apple pointed fingers at eachother and I tried all the stuff listed above, I “reset all settings” on my phone. This erases all of your settings but none of your data. its annoying, but it worked. The reason – I always set up my phone from a backup, which meant my settings carried forward. Somewhere in the history of my backups was some setting that scrambled carplay years later. This is why some people have issues and others do not. its buried in your backups. Wipe em clean and you might be ok.

  80. Thought you might be interested is just how wide spread this issue is…

    From Apple Support Communities Forum

    Q: iOS 11 – Podcasts won’t play over bluetooth

    Jan 25, 2018 10:56 PM in response to iwillneverusethis
    iOS 11.2.5 – Although the handsfree function works, Podcasts still won’t play via bluetooth while paired via BT in the car. I did find a workaround, but it cost me $169.00. Sorry Apple, but you really suck at Bluetooth. Every time iOS is updated, something else goes wrong with the Bluetooth functions.

    Jan 31, 2018 3:31 PM in response to Borinkito
    I have experienced many infuriating permutations iOS these problems, throughout iOS 8-11, iPhones 6-X, and various brands of automobile entertainment systems.
    Music plays automatically when Bluetooth audio is selected, even though I NEVER play music from my phone to the car. The music which plays is the first alphabetic selection from the available songs. Podcasts never resume automatically, unless it has only been a short time since the previous playback session. Occasionally, a podcast starts and plays for a few seconds, and then a music selection spontaneously begins to play instead.
    In iOS 11 on iPhone X, a new problem symptom: (this usually while Waze is currently navigating to a destination) after letting the phone start playing the first available (alphabetic) song, I launch the Apple Podcasts app and select the podcast I wish to hear (no thanks to Apple, as there is no predictable way to effectively play podcasts in order of release, unplayed episodes only) – but the podcast audio is emitted from the iPhone’s internal speaker (probably related to the selection is Waze to output it’s audio to the speaker, otherwise it’s almost impossible to hear Waze unless there is also audio content playing on the car sound system).
    And why would everyone always want to hear the first alphabetic song in their collection when they turn on their car? I accidentally discovered a solution to the podcast audio mis-routing: swiping down the iOS Control Center immediately and consistently results in the audio switching to Bluetooth (assuming BT audio is already selection the car’s audio system) from internal iPhone speakers.
    Because these problems have persisted for years through so many OS, Podcasts app and iPhone hardware versions, and because I’ve experienced similarly horrible results on vastly differing brands of car hardware, it’s apparent that no one really gives a crap about any of this actually working. It’s all shameful.

    Feb 4, 2018 1:04 PM in response to srfergirl19
    I bought a pair of AirPods $169:00. Then deleted my cell phone from the car’s bluetooth setup.
    I have since bought an iPhone 8 and am having the same issue.

    Feb 4, 2018 2:12 PM in response to GC777
    Thanks for help on this. I have Verizon as provider and have read on forums that Verizon blocks the use of Bluetooth except for phone calls. Oddly enough Waze (GPS app) will play through the speakers without a problem.

    Feb 10, 2018 12:54 PM in response to iwillneverusethis
    This issue persists after six months. What the heck, Apple? The best they’ve offered is, restart your phone. That works, but I’m supposed to do it every time I get in the car. So much for “it just works.” After six month, not even an acknowledgement of this glaring bug. This is really abysmal product management.

  81. Hi have a 2015 BMW 328i x that doesn’t have a usb in glove compt, just the console. I want to upload some audiobooks to the iDrive (because the bluetooth option sometimes stops or is screwy and I can’t deal with it while driving) – so can’t upload via usb (doesn’t see the files on the usb drive). Is there an easy way to listen to my audiobooks without Bluetooth or having the $100 Y cable? Is there a way for me to upload music and audiobooks? Thanks!

  82. My 2018 440i GC doesn’t work with my iPhone 6S IOS 11.2.2 – I’m not certain how this is supposed to work. It connect via BT and then next I know the BT connection says “not connected” and there is a new hotspot created on my iPhone that says “no internet connection” which doesn’t look good. Music doesn’t play at all – acts like it onscreen but no sound, so do I interpret this correctly that it’s supposed to be streaming over a wifi hotspot?

    • OK so with further investigation it appears that my music doesn’t play because it’s on iCloud and with no connection (I guess the cellular connection has been hijacked by iDrive?) then it can’t get to music or anything stored in the cloud so it’s just created its own little kingdom.

  83. 2018 X3 with iPhone X 11.2.1

    Bluetooth audio is erratic, sometimes it shows apps (Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music, Pandora) most of the times it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s frustrating that I can’t make the system to play any of them even after disconnecting/connecting Bluetooth, restating apps, switching apps.

    Also, the BMW Connected app is not working, it updates the car location very infrequently and it never shows the doors/windows status. Why would you want an app that updates the car status twice a week?

    If I go to bmw.com/update, it says my VIN is not correct, so I’m unable to upgrade.

    • Put in just the last 7 digits of your VIN Manu. Also, do it on a PC or Mac, not a mobile device. The BMW support mobile website is just as flakey as their Bluetooth software.

  84. I have the same problem with my Nissan Altima. My problems didn’t start until I updated to the current software. Hopefully, they can give users a better update to resolve this issue.

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  86. I cannot connect any of our BMWs to audio bluetooth, i have a new 4 series and a new 7 series and i am about to test drive a new X3 but bluetooth audio is essential for me as i have long journeys and listen to audio books a lot. in the 4 series i can plug in an audio jack cable but then i am not essentially hands free which concerns me. i am frustrated that i bought top of the range cars and cannot listen to my phone through bluetooth. do audi or mercedes have the same issues? i will consider them instead of an x3 if i will be able to use the functions

  87. Does anyone know what to do with audio option doesn’t show up at all? All I see is telephone on my 328i 2012. I used to connect through aux while charging my phone. But now that I got the iPhone X I can’t do both at the same time, but Bluetooth doesn’t connect, so frustrating! Please help!

  88. Hi Guys, I have got a 330E-drive 2016, and a iPhone X. When using the carkit in about 40 seconds the connected drive system restarts Bluetooth connection is lost and recovers after about another 10 seconds. Same happens again and again, you can not have a telephone call while in the car using the car it. Car will be in for service for battery usage software update (only 25km I can reach on full electric), hopefully the will have a newer version for connected drive as well and issues resolved.

    • This weekend I updated my phone with the newest release ios11.2.
      Tested the car kit and Spotify streaming, first results are promising, no breakdown.

  89. Put my 2016 x3 in for first service dealer updated software, result now can’t open tailgate with key fob I now have to unlock car before the fob will open tailgate told can’t roll back software I’m told, this is a enhancement I call it s###t no security as now car has to be unlocked to open tailgate. Plus you can’t open tailgate with one button Bmw just walk away result no more BMW’s for me

  90. I have just recently changed my phone for an iPhone 7+, I previously had an iPhone 6s. I listen to Spotify constantly whilst driving, this coupled with Harmon Kardon sound system is great when it works! My new iPhone 7+ will stream via Bluetooth, I get the Spotify audio through the option which is under the phones name in the media menu. All that you can do in that one is change next track or previous one that’s all, where as before with the iPhone 6s there was a Spotify option in the media menu which if you pressed it you could choose the tracks/which artist you wanted without having to use your phone. This Spotify option has disappeared since having the new phone (iPhone 7+) i have since visited my local dealer and have basically been told it must be something wrong with your phone and there is nothing that they can do! Needless to say I don’t think I’ll be buying another BMW in the future. The car I have is 66plate 335d, my work car is an Audi A4 and Spotify works perfectly on the new phone.

  91. Same issues here. 2015 3 series and iPhone 7 with iOS 11. Just bought the car about a month ago. Sometimes it works perfect but times like today, blue tooth will not connect and the usb will not show connected either even though the phone is charging. I’ve switched usb cables and have a brand new Apple cable I am using now. Blue tooth and usb show function not available. Dealership isn’t much help with the issue because of course when I take it there; it is always working. I’ve did a hard restart on my phone but seems to be a car issue. If the car sits for a few hours, it sometimes will connect back up. How can this be an issue that BMW doesn’t fix?

  92. I was asked today by my service rep (after 3 visits to repair my 2017 X3 Bluetooth issues):”You do realize that it’s Apples responsibility to make their software work with BMW’s” and then stated hat there has been a known issue with iPhone7’s. This is the phone I had when I bought my car a year ago and had my “genius” appointment. Maybe warn me when I chose the car that it wouldn’t work with my phone? At least I’m going in warned and wouldn’t be driving myself nuts re-pairing over and over again. So aggravating! Will be going Mercedes or Audi next vehicle!

    • Do not think it’s different with Audi: I hve just returned an A1 for hardware faults in the infotainment system (keeps disconnecting and reconnecting every now and then) and exchanged it for a brand new 2018 A3 only to find that the infotainment system is also full of flaws (can’t switch songs, won’t play the first seconds of every song, etc.)

  93. My wifes Iphone 7, fully updated. connects to the car via bluetooth, but will not show as a connected device. It show the contacts in office, she can receive calls, but cannot call out.

  94. I am having a major problem since upgrading to iphone X. Everything went fine with the X4 ’16 (with the latest idrive version) and iphone7, until the upgrade. It keeps restarting every time after the car has been started and the first phonecall comes in. All the BMW apps have gone at the result, spotify has gone (bmw app). The internet has gone. It keeps restarting, and after some 10 times it resets itself to a state where no radios have been programmed, no sound settings have been programmed. No bluetooth has been activated. You start the process from scratch but anyway the problem still exists. What to do?

  95. Iphone 8 Plus and BMW 2013 535i

    My iPhone 6 worked flawlessly when plugged into the USB . Received calls, dialed from my phone book, oct. Now this new iPhone 8 Plus will let me make and receive calls, but at random times, it will disconnect my phone and start playing music, if I put the iphopne back to my ear, it will start working again thru speaker. Constant in and out, so bad I cannot have a normal conversation. I also notice that it will not allow me to hang up after a call now.

    Not 100% sure if it is software on the older iPhone 6 that seems to be fine but newer software is not 100%. Is this also problems you folks have seen.

    The iPhone worked better on my BMW 535 2008, very frustrating.

  96. 2015 535i. iPhone 7. iOS 11.0.3.

    Always having to switch Bluetooth off/on depending on what decides to work moment to moment. Also, I know when trying to play YouTube music you guys are guilty of doing the famous “flip to radio (volume too loud, OUCH)…back to media…refresh the webpage…try the app…restart browser…restart app…power phone off/on…pull over…perform hard reset….GREAT it’s working…hey there’s my wife in her car…crap, my phone just connected to HER Bluetooth….screw it im almost home now” move!

  97. I’ve had my 320 since June and the Bluetooth disconnects and reconnects about every 3-5 minutes. I called customer service and they gave me the bs forget device and pair again. I’ve now done that 17 Times. I called the dealer and he said call the Bmw Genius number. I called them and they bs’ed about the iOS update. I’ve updated my iOS at least 5 times since June. They told me to bring it in for service. I seriously can’t take it anymore! I’m dreading 2.5 more years with this car!

  98. MK, have you experienced the BMW connecting to the wrong phone? Whenever my wife drives away, the car connects to my iPhone in the house. When I drive away, the BMW hijacks her iPhone. Doesn’t seem to save in driver Profile. Absurd and terrible. BMW really failing with their entertainment systems….

    • Hi Jon!

      I have had issues with the car connecting to my iPhone while I was in the house and on a call, using another BT headset. That drove me nuts. Since then, I have unlinked my iPhone from the car and stopped using BT. I don’t recall having an issue like the one you described.

  99. I’ve been having problems with the iPhone 8 plus and 2013 BMW 535i Bluetooth. I even went and got another phone from Apple. Same problem. I made sure I have the most updated software. I finally called BMW and my rep said they stopped updating apple software about 6 months ago because Apple wouldn’t work with them. They say on their website what phones they support and it stops at iOS 10.3.

    • Hi Ken!

      BMW doesn’t need Apple to work with them. Much like other integrators/developers, Apple offers standard SDKs (iOS) and interface specifications. BMW either doesn’t have the skills, the desire or both to make it work.

  100. Just purchased 2014 X1, connected my iPhone 7 with iOS 11, got BT connected for telephone, but absolute zero for audio, not even recognized for USB . . . . called BMW customer care told me to update to the latest idrive software, which I did and still nothing . . . . how can a major prestigious car manufacturer like BMW not get this right, so tempted to give the car back over something so fundimential!!!

  101. My week old X3 was playing music normally until I updated IOS. Everytime I go to try and manually select a different song from one playing, it goes back and restarts first song. Spoke to my dealer and he infimred me same happened to him and that nothing can be done until I-Phone update IOAS AGAIN!!! His words were, I hope yopu like all your music.

  102. I drive a 2014 F15 X5 (Canadian spec, imported into the US). I had no issues with iPhone 6 on iOS 9 or 10, and iPhone 7 on iOS 10. I upgraded to iOS 11 and then started to have issues similar to a lot of you. I have only ever used the console USB to charge an iPhone, never another type of device, and I’ve never played music through USB. So I was thrown for a loop when the car bumped bluetooth audio, but kept phone audio.

    So in my case, if after starting the car I never plug the phone in for charging the b/t audio appears to stay connected. Once the audio is streaming, if I plug the cable in for charging, the audio stops and the audio mode changes from b/t to USB Aux input. And b/t audio is disabled in the phone settings. But I can still make & receive calls.

    Repeated attempts to reconnect the phone audio don’t seem to solve this. The only solution I’ve found is to turn the car completely off, unplug USB and restart the car. Even this doesn’t work instantly sometimes, but seems to work when the car is left overnight. I’ve looked for ways to disable USB audio, but that option doesn’t seem to exist, at least in the iDrive menus.

    I was planning to call the trusty BMW dealer, but from your experiences, I think I might get a blank stare.

    Too basic an issue in this day & age, and I agree, it’s almost a deal breaker. Driving with headphones can be dangerous, so I’m not ready to go there now, but in a couple of weeks, maybe :-)

  103. I have a BMW X3 2016 and the Bluetooth worked fine with Audio and phone even using multiple phones. However since the new iOS update a few weeks ago I can no longer connect audio with Bluetooth. My daughters phone will connect but not mine. It’s very frustrating.

  104. Problems with iPhone and BMW here as well.

    BMW is a 2014 M4 and the iPhone is a iPhone 6 running 10.3.3.

    Major problem is that when making calls from the car, either via voice recognition, in car phone book or recent call list the phone doesn’t connect audio unless you manually hit the car bluetooth on the phone. A big problem as if you touch your phone while driving here in Australia its a HUGE fine and loss of points on your licence.

    My wife’s phone doesn’t have the same problem. Its the same model iPhone running the same OS.

    I have tried the full reset of bluetooth and forgetting devices, but that doesn’t help.

    My care is in for service today and I asked the dealership about this, and they just pushed the problem back to Apple saying that they don’t get access to iOS versions quick enough. This has been happening since iOS 10 was released and we are now up to 10.3.3 and still no fix from BMW in nearly 12 months.

    Not what I expect from a premium brand car company.

    • “they don’t get access to iOS versions quick enough” – that’s BS. Every registered iOS developer (BMW included) gets the first beta version of each new iOS release in June during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The final release usually doesn’t ship until sometime in September. That’s solid three months to update and test against the new development kits. The problem is that BMW never updates anything! I have yet to get an update for my 2016 X4 that I bought 1.5 years ago.

      • Yep, my bluetooth in my X5 2013, no more making phone calls; drops calls from BT, back and forth, back and forth….I see on the screen that my phone is missing connections to the car. I just called BMW and they said “no solution yet, that 10.3.3 update is what is causing the problem.” So, no more making phone calls while driving.

        • I have 2013 BMW X5 and the new iPhone 8+ Keeps dropping calls back-and-forth exactly like what you are describing. I’m bummed to read all of this and find it’s BMWs problem.

  105. I am experiencing the same problem on my 2017 X3 where Bluetooth does not connect to my IPhone 7. I can not even delete the old device from the connected list. The BMW Genius wants me to take the car back to dealer for service.

  106. 2015 F15 X5. iPhone 6. The car will not answer phone calls properly. When a call comes through, there is a 5 to 8 second gap between pressing the answer button and the phone audio coming through. Most people hang up before that happens. All software up to date, head unit in the car replaced. Still happens. BMW blames Apple “we make cars not phones”. LOL. Very frustrated, other phones sometimes work, sometimes not. Anythoughts?

  107. We just bought a 2017 X5 eDrive and the Pandora app in the iDrive interface keeps failing.
    It won’t play audio or says you have to log in every time we get in the car but you cannot use the Pandora app on the iPhone because it is connected to the car. Would have to turn off bluetooth on the phone, log into Pandora on the phone, turn bluetooth back on and reconnect with the car. Only to have it be disconnected again the next day.
    She could still make phone calls.
    My wife was ready to return the new car.

    I changed the settings in the Bluetooth device menu for her iPhone and unchecked BMW Apps.
    Now, using just straight Bluetooth Audio with Pandora on the phone and it works great. Getting album artwork in the iDrive display. It automatically connects and starts playing every time she gets in the car. Very happy.

    Just thought I would add that workaround to this great discussion since others with new vehicles may run into the same problem.

    • This didn’t last very long and the phone stopped connecting via bluetooth audio again. BMW Genius could not figure out why. Apple said to reset the phone but she does not want to lose all her info.
      Her phone does not work with other BMWs at the Dealership so there is something definitely wrong with the BMW/Apple software communications.
      Apple CarPlay works just fine but we don’t have that in our car and cannot add it now.
      Getting rid of this BMW after only 6 months because of these problems and a lot of other really bad usability issues – mostly because it is a hybrid.

  108. Looks like I’m outta luck with a 2013 X6 if you guys are still having issues in 2017 models. That USB / Bluetooth audio incompatibility thing is annoying as hell…. I don’t want to plug my phone into USB all the time, nor do I want to keep manually enabling Bluetooth audio! How do we pasted BMW so much they fix it?

  109. Don’t lose heart. I had my 2011 BMW for 14mnths & was told iPhone 6 was not compatible….Rubbish..!!!
    It turned out that the setting in my idrive had only been ticked for music….once all 3 boxes were ticked…hey presto…..I now have full use & able to make & receive calls in the car!!!

    • i have a 2011 5 and i think i went into the setting and tried to tick it, seems as my 7+ is not picking up a signal

  110. Relatively new (2016) model w/ premium package stopped recognizing iPhone 7 (iOS 10.3.1) on both Bluetooth audio AND USB. Brought car in for service and mentioned this, the service advisor pulls out 2 other work orders from today that were on his desk that were in there for the same exact issue. He says BMW Apps via Connected Drive through USB AND/OR Bluetooth simple does not work (when it does, it’s shotty at best, often dropping audio or misbehaving). That’s why starting 2017, BMW released some other interface called “Apple” something something instead of the Connected Drive. He also stated that there’s no fix for the issue, and wasn’t sure if BMW was even planning on rolling out fixes or even supporting the old Connected Drive software anymore now that they have this new product. What a shame.

      • Picking up car from service finally…the new software on the 2017 models is called “Apple Car Play.” Guess my loaner car had this, as it worked rock solid with my iPhone. They didn’t find anything wrong with my car’s ConnectedDrive/BMW Apps software and confirmed that it had the latest update installed…still won’t let my phone connect via USB/Bluetooth. Sucks.

        • Hi John,

          Unfortunately, CarPlay is not only software but required new hardware as well. I will have to check with my dealership if older BMW models can be retrofitted.

          Thanks for the update!

  111. I am in California and I have had a 2016 740i for about two months. I previously had a 2014 X3. I have had and used an iPhone 6s for a couple years. I also have several iPod Classics that hold all my music and playlists. I have not previously used my iPhone to hold music because I just use the larger capacity iPods.

    My iPhone (phone, bluetooth) and iPod (music) all worked seamlessly in my X3–just plugged in the iPod to one of the two USB ports and all the music and playlists were shown on the BMW screen and it all worked fine.

    My friend had a 435i while I had my X3, and similarly, all worked fine for her with her same iPhone (phone) and iPod Classic (music). My friend got a 2016 M4 a few months before I got my 740, and again, all works just fine–iPhone 6s Bluetooth (phone) and all iPod Classics via USB (music).

    My iPhone (phone, bluetooth) works just fine in my 740. However, the iPods do not work at all via USB, and interestingly, the 2016 740i does not even have an aux jack–seriously, there isn’t one, even the dealer was surprised and could not find one. The car seems to recognize the iPods when plugged in (I get the BMW screen on the iPod), but it never reads them and just always says “loading” and nothing ever reads into the car. They do charge, but that is it, no matter which USB connector I use, including the “special” BMW connector, original iPod connector, even a lightning connector with the old 32 bit (or whatever) adapter (I have tried every kind of connection and adapter known to man). I loaded some music on my iPhone (much less capacity, of course, than the iPod), and if I connect via USB it is fine, reads and displays the music and the playlists–but then the phone won’t work at the same time (it seems to then shut off the bluetooth connection). Meanwhile, the phone always works via bluetooth, but the music connection via bluetooth is totally random–sometimes it shows up in the car, sometimes it does not, there is no rhyme or reason at all (I have tried all kinds of different things, but it is truly random).

    So then I got my old iPhone 4 and emptied it of everything and then filled it with music (still way less capacity than an iPod Classic) and used the USB connection for that, and it works–but like the iPhone music bluetooth connection, only sometimes, again totally random. Sometimes it works to disconnect the iPod and re-connect it while in Park, if it does not read into the car at first, but even that does not always work. And the USB connection in the armrest appears to work more often than the one in the storage tray under the dash; sometimes if I go back and forth between them it reads promptly, but not always. I even tried a different old iPhone–same result.

    I have reported this to BMW North America, but while they “took the report,” I have not heard a thing. Even my dealer was surprised. And why it works in the same stereo system in the 2016 M4 but not in my 2016 740i is yet another mystery, I can’t see how the systems are all that different, or different at all, but obviously something is different. And yes, I have updated the BMW software.

    I have seen lots of threads here and elsewhere about iPhone and iPod connection problems, all going way back in years. Since BMW actively promotes its connection with Apple, one would think they would not have any such problems. I am making do–but that is not we BMW owners expect, is it? This is an absurd problem and one that does not seem to have a solution that anyone at BMW has found–or is interested in finding.

    • Hi Jeff,

      thanks for your detailed report! It’s truly embarrassing for BMW that they don’t get their act together. We have a 2016 X4 now and while connectivity has slightly improved as compared to the 2013 X5 we had, we now see some other strange issues. For example, more often than not, the playlist/song selection shown on the BMW HUD or console is different to what the iPhone is actually playing.

      With every new iPhone/iOS update, the situation gets worse. It almost feels like, BMW does not test with Apple’s Beta software at all.


  112. Assume there is no solution for a 2006 BMW 530xi. I don’t have a usb port or adaptor plug in, and my bluetooth does not the same menu options under bluetooth.

  113. Related issue: had 2014 X3, old iPod classic worked like a charm via USB, no special cable or adapter required. iPhone 6 connected fine for all functions whether USB or Bluetooth. Just picked up 2016 740i and iPhone 6 all good, but can’t play old iPod classic with all my music and playlists on it via USB, and it is not a Bluetooth device. Hard to believe my 2014 worked fine and the 2016 does not. Will visit dealer “Genuis” tomorrow and report, but I don’t have my hopes up. This is extremely disappointing. I don’t understand why this is such an issue as revealed in so many posts all over the place. Thanks for your blog, it helps to know others are similarly disturbed.

  114. I have never been able to play music from my phone via the car (2012 116d), only the telephone works.
    Instead I had to use a ‘Y’ cable with a lightening port and an audio jack.

    I’ve installed the latest version of software on iDrive but still no option for audio in the bluetooth settings. Only option is telephone and data transfer.

    Playing music via USB stick works. Any idea why I cannot play audio from my phone?

      • Hi Michael,

        It’s the post under the arm rest. It didnt bother me so much as I was using an iPhone 5S with the audio cable but now I have an iPhone 7 which obviously doesn’t have a headphone jack in it anymore.

        As I said, in the bluetooth settings there is no option for ‘audio’. I thought the software upgrade might’ve fixed this…..but nope.

          • Nope not yet, I think I’ll have to raise it with them.
            I never spoke to BMW about it previously as I was lead to believe it was an iOS incompatibility issue but I don’t think thats the case anymore.

          • I don’t think so either – I have used the USB port in various BMW models with iOS 8, 9 and 10. I often had issues but they all turned out to be BMW’s fault :)

  115. IOS 9 BMW X3 2015 and 2016. All was working fine. Music stored on the iPhone plays via the car speakers just and calls going in Or out used the car microphone and speaker. A couple of weeks later only music via the speakers work. Calls to the car speaker stopped working. Have no idea why it stopped. Don’t see any setting in the car or iPhone 6s that might explain why the car no longer output telephone audio. But iPhone music still plays to car speaker. Car Bluetooth options set for telephone and audio. This is happening on both X3’s.

    Tried pairing a Blackberry to the car. Telephone calls worked to the car speaker as my iPhine did just a while ago. Music from the Blackberry came out of car speakers.

    Have no clue why the iPhone phone calls stopped going to the speaker.

  116. I don’t even have the “Audio” option under my configure IPhone setting on my 2012 BMW 328i although I do have a USB connection and Bluetooth works between both phone and car. Anyone know why?

  117. I had been able to Bluetooth stream music till i decided to charge up phone via USB port hole under armrest of my BMW 1 Series. From then on prob;em arose were i could only hear music via USB cable and not automatically via Bluetooth. Car under warranty so BMW replaced commodity box at a cost to them of £450…!! Two weeks later again I used the USB cable thinking that the problem had been resolved……again I am now not able to connect to Bluetooth wirelessly. So back to the garage i will go. Don’t allow BMW to replace any part at your expense as it is probably a design fault that can easily be reset if you have the know how…..!!!!!

    • Guys, just to let you know that I have received a new BMW Serie 5, and have no issue.
      I can start an audio streaming in bluetooth, and the audio switch to USB when I plug the cable (better music quality). I can switch back in bluetooth without any worries.

  118. Thanks a lot for your blog post !

    Is there a way to stream the music via the USB cable and still being able to make handsfree calls via bluetooth ?


  119. Whenever I connect my ipod touch to my 320i xdrive 2015 bmw and try to listen to music via BT or AUX cable at times the song will play in fast forward and then
    back to normal and then fast forward again. Any solutions? Please help? Am I the only one with this problem?

  120. I’ve had a snap-in for my iPhone4 for years. All ok. Bought a snap-in today for my
    Iphone 6.No audio! Everything works ok (apps etc), but no audio except for telephone.

    My multimedia firmware is up to date. Of
    course I can use BT, but I want to store my phone away + added signal strength and apps…

    • Hi Erling,

      If I had to guess I’d say BMW screwed up again by producing a snap-in that doesn’t support audio streaming. They did the same with the 5s where they had two models of the snap-in – one for BT phone only and then months later they finally released one for audio as well. I’m guessing the audio model for the 6 doesn’t exist yet. BMW usually releases it when the next iPhone model is out.


  121. Ever since I plugged in via USB I have the same issue
    I have gone through the menus and tried to reconnect music through bluetooth audio to no avail.

    Should I delete my phone and start over? I can’t find the solution to the problem.

      • I have a 7th generation iPod Nana. I try to play it via Bluetooth in my 2013 BMW 328i, but it does not find it. I can find it easy when connecting to my wife’s Ford Escape so it does not seem to be an iPod issues. But, for some reason, the only way I use the iPod in the BMW is using the connection through the USB inside the console compartment. Even my iPhone 5s … I can access the phone portion of it via Bluetooth in my BMW, but the music portion of my iPhone cannot in the BMW unless I do the USB connection. Is this a known issue or something that should be discussed with the BMW folks?

  122. It’s so annoying. How can a program manager design a feature like this. I’m already holding no hope on software quality of all the Auto makers. I’m now counting on Carplay. Only silicon valley company can build a software make people enjoy to use.

    • Same here in Europe (brand new Mini Countryman), so after two years BMW/MINI still haven’t fixed the problem. Surprisingly the dealer didn’t know the problem even existed, even the so called product genius didn’t know. So we are left with an expensive snap in adapter (and connect feature) that we don’t use and multiple statements from Mini that this is just the way it is. Goodluck and goodbye.

  123. I have the same issue on my new 116D sport, it has the latest software update and I have an iPhone 5S with iOS 8.

    If I connect the device via BT and also the cable using the USB port the phone will charge and play a song via the music app on the phone or by Spotify. However when I go to fast forward or rewind a song using the iDrive the car disconnects the devices via both methods. This means I am unable to play any music or use the telephone to make or receive calls. The phone will not reconnect via Bluetooth unless I stop the car.

    I have been back to the garage and We have also tried both the music and the media cable provided by BMW which has the USB and AUX however when it is connected via one of these cables the car identifies the device is connected however does not play any song at all. How can BMW cables not work and they charge £60 for them!!!

    I was told by the dealership to buy and try a cigarette lighter charger but it wouldn’t charge the phone at all.

    I have sent the dealership an email to forward to BMW as this is what the ‘Genius’ at the garage told me to do. It’s annoying that I previously had a Nissan Juke which was just over half the cost of my BMW and yet it worked perfectly in that car connected to BT and USB. How can BMW not have fixed this already?

  124. They (BMW) fixed the issue with the new head unit. My 2012 with CIC has this problem and it drives me crazy. I got a 2013 loaner with NBT and it went seamlessly between USB and bluetooth.

    My guess is that they’ve abandoned development on the CIC systems and only new BMW with the NBT will get the “fix” for this issue.

  125. Just wanted to post a quick follow-up to this:

    We’ve discovered another issue which may be somehow related to this.

    When using Navigation apps w/ spoken directions, the display will read “My Number (xxx)xxx-xxxx…” (while still listening to, say, satellite radio) then speak the directions over the speakers. This is exactly how it worked in our old Nissan.

    Unfortunately, this seems to work off and on, and most of the time requires us to actually be playing music via BT Audio for the spoken directions to be heard over the speakers. Weird.

    I called the BMW Genius hotline and they didn’t have any solution, other than saying that a software upgrade was coming out in the next couple of months to improve compatibility.

    Anyone else experiencing this?


  126. I had the same thing happen to my X1 which I just got. It worked great in the dealers lot but when I brought it home and plugged the phone in I got the message. I unhooked it and enabled the phones audio again but I can’t hear anything. The phone seems to be working correctly so I’m not sure what the issue is.

  127. Just took delivery of a 2015 X3 and can confirm this issue is still present. Huge bummer, considering this works fine on cars that cost half as much….Hopefully BMW can fix this in a future iDrive update.

  128. Same exact freaking issues here. I prefer Bluetooth Audio because sometimes when I use USB audio using another Music app the music cuts out after 30 seconds and I have to keep connecting back to the iPhone through the interface over and over again every single drive.

    I have my iPhone jailbroken right now and am trying to find a way to stop USB audio from being detected and have it only recognize the cable to charge but I’m not sure if that’s a BMW “feature”

  129. Thank you for this post!!! We do not even get the option of Bluetooth Audio for the iPhone5s. Not sure what to do any thoughts? Just did the software upgrade on a 118d manufactured last year, thought it would solve the problem :(

  130. Thank you so much for your post!! I was going crazy not being able to work out why my phone stopped transmitting music via Bluetooth:-)

  131. Can someone confirm whether I could use bluetooth audio streaming without having to add the ConnectedDrive package option? I should come as a standard is it not? I have the impression that the Bluetooth Audio streaming is option unless you add some package to it.

  132. Best solution I can find: before plugging the iphone into the USB adapter connected to the BMW, disable Bluetooth temporarily. Swipe up to access the Control Center on the iphone, then click off bluetooth. When done charging, turn bluetooth back on. This saves you the extra step of repairing each time you want bluetooth audio streaming. Hope this makes sense and helps!

  133. I just updated, I got the disable Bluetooth audio message, went back to media then chose USB and it plays and charges. But I still had to go back and enable Bluetooth audio again after unplugging from USB. It’s not completely fixed yet.

  134. From my research, the best solution until BMW provides a software update would be to simply use a low profile cigaratte to usb car charger and charge the phone that way while playing music through bluetooth.

    This it seems would work perfectly. Of course it would be nice to be able to use the native usb port instead, but until then!

  135. Does anyone know if they have heard any update from BMW on this? This appears to be a pretty big issue. Works perfectly in an entry level Hyundai Elantra.

  136. Hi Michael. I have a 5s and I just get the Bluetooth to work for calls, not the audio. Have you managed to get the music connected via BT on the iPhone 5s as well as your iPhone 5? Thanks in advance. Alison

    • BT audio works as long as the check box in one of the screenshots (see post) is checked and you don’t have the phone connected via USB/charging cable. As mentioned in the post, as soon as you plugin the phone via USB the BT audio feature disables itself and you have to re-enable it manually.

      I just got the BMW iPhone snap-in adapter (part number ending in 308) and I can’t hear any music. Calls work and I can see album artwork and song information. Turns out that I need to wait for the yet to be available part number ending in 309 to get audio. What a mess BMW, by the time the adapter is available I’ll have a new iPhone and the whole issues starts from the beginning.

  137. This really helped, thanks! Ridiculous that every time you plug it in to a USB you have to re-configure but at least there is a solution… Thanks

  138. I’m also having the issue on my 2013 Z4 35i. I’m commenting to make sure I see any solution that may pop up in this forum.

  139. This is a constant frustration for me: wanting to charge my phone via built-in USB in vehicle, while also streaming audio via Bluetooth (as playing audio via USB connection is buggy when using audio apps other than built-in iPhone “Music” app). Searched the web for any type of solution, naturally only came across your write-up… maybe one of these days…

  140. Same issue with februari 2013 Mini Countryman.

    Bought separate charger so I can still charge, and only listen to audio via bluetooth.

    Silly solution of course in 2013 and with a premium brand like BMW/Mini

    • 2013 BMW 328. Bluetooth issues from day one. BMW told me repeatedly hat they didn’t have a fix and after the warranty expired hey told me that I had an older car and that is the issue.

      Very unlikely to buy another BMW unless they factor in the last five years of the technical issues in the new purchase price, which is highly unlikely.


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