How to set up CarPlay on your iPhone

iPhone connecting to CarPlay
iPhone connecting to CarPlay (Image credit: iMore)

So, you now have a CarPlay-compatible vehicle and want to try it out to see what it is all about? Well, luckily getting set up is a quick and easy process that takes less than a minute to do. You'll only need to set up your phone once, and you can even set up multiple phones to work in the same care seamlessly.

With just a few button presses, you will be ready to take advantage of the fancy new features, so let's see how it is done.

  1. Plug your iPhone into the car with a Lightning cable
  2. Unlock your iPhone
  3. Tap Allow on the prompt asking for CarPlay to access your phone while it is locked
  4. Select CarPlay option on your vehicle's infotainment system

You can double check that the phone has been properly set up in two different ways: First, you'll notice that the CarPlay icon becomes available on your vehicle's console. Second, if you look in Settings on your iPhone, you should see your car listed in the CarPlay menu. Head to Settings » General » CarPlay to check it out.

You only need to walk through this process once, and then each time you connect your phone to your car it will recognize it and allow you to use CarPlay.

Pretty simple, right? If you have any other CarPlay-related questions, let us know in the comments!

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.

5 Comments
  • Can you connect and use after market 3rd party CarPlay head units wirelessly via Bluetooth? Also, with Bluetooth 5 coming soon, does both the sending Bluetooth unit (i.e. iPhone 7) and receiving Bluetooth unit (i.e. say an Alpine CarPlay head unit) both need to be Bluetooth 5 ready to take advantage of the extra speed and range that Bluetooth 5 gives? Or is it just the sending device (i.e. iPhone 7) that needs to be ready?
  • AFAIK, CarPlay is a wired feature. Most of the head units still allow the same old bluetooth options of the past such as phone and music. But to use CarPlay, lightning cable is your only option
  • That's actually not entirely true. Wireless carplay was announced at WWDC 2015. http://www.imore.com/carplay-will-be-going-wireless-future-cars Though halfway 2016 there aren't any aftermarket or car manufacturers implementing it yet.
  • I'm waiting for the "how to turn on your iPhone" post here. I get it that not everyone is a techie and knows how to use these features, but this one kind of hit a new low. Sent from the iMore App
  • Hello! Car Type: Peugeot 218
    The monitor Tuchscreen monitor (not mirror link)
    System: Smeg 5.4.B.R8
    Phone: iPhone 6s (iOS 10) How could CarPlay to use in my car? If the described bind my phone in my car does not appear in the menu of auto Carplay. What is the reason? You might need to screen Mirror Link?