Apple CarPlay Not Working? Try These Solutions

November 24, 2023 • Devin Partida


Apple CarPlay is a service that allows you to link your iPhone or other compatible product with your vehicle. The main benefit is that it lets you use the device more safely because its screen content appears on a car’s dashboard. Users can make calls, get directions, send messages, access the Apple Music library and more. As convenient as this service is, people occasionally experience CarPlay not working. Here are some ways to solve that problem. 

Ensure Your Vehicle and Country Works With CarPlay

If you’re trying to use CarPlay for the first time, start with the basics by checking the compatibility of your car and country. As of October 2023, CarPlay works in several dozen countries. If you’re planning on using it during a trip abroad, verify compatibility first rather than assuming it’ll work. 

You can use Apple CarPlay on several hundred models of cars. But the compatibility is significantly limited on those made before 2016. Even if your vehicle is older, you’re not totally out of luck. Some Apple and auto enthusiasts suggest purchasing a third-party dashboard unit that will work with CarPlay. Then, you can install it or have a service provider do the job. 

Check for Operating System Updates 

The next step is to see if there are any software updates available for your Apple device. Installing new releases is a good early troubleshooting step. However, you should also be aware of reported instances where people found CarPlay not working properly after getting the latest software. 

In the autumn of 2023, some Apple users with iPhone 15 or iOS 17 reported that they could not get CarPlay to work in their vehicles. Many user accounts on Reddit and Mac enthusiast forums indicated the problem may lie with the USB-C-to-USB-A cables they use for in-car connectivity. 

The iPhone 15 has a USB-C port, while earlier models used Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. Many people reported trying to use multiple cables with CarPlay and getting varied results. Some said their phones would charge, but they couldn’t use CarPlay with them. 

People familiar with the matter said Apple may release a software update to address it. If you think Apple 

If CarPlay is not working for you because of a problem with a specific iOS version, it’s not as easy as you might hope to downgrade to an older version. Apple provides a limited window for people to do so. The good news is that if the CarPlay issue is primarily related to the iOS version, it’s not something the company would let persist for very long. 

Verify the Connectivity

You can connect a device to CarPlay through a wired or wireless connection. If you use a cable, try a different one. Then, plug the cable into a different port within the vehicle, if possible. 

When using a wireless connection, the connectivity checks happen through the Bluetooth section of your iPhone’s settings. More specifically, go to Settings > Bluetooth. Once you’re in Settings, go to the Wi-Fi section to check that the Wi-Fi is activated. Once you’re there, tap the CarPlay Wi-Fi network, and check that Auto-Join is activated.

If you notice CarPlay not working after turning on the Auto-Join feature, look for its logo on your vehicle’s display and select it. Finally, restart your device and turn your car off and on again. 

Note that if your vehicle supports using CarPlay with a wired or wireless connection, you should use the wired option when getting connected for the first time. When doing that, you’ll see a message appear on the vehicle’s console, asking if you want to connect wirelessly. 

Some newer cars only support wireless connectivity. In that case, you must make sure the car’s stereo is in Bluetooth or wireless mode. Then, connect CarPlay by pressing the voice command button on your car’s steering wheel. Finally, go through the steps listed above for people who want to use wireless connectivity with CarPlay. 

See If Apple CarPlay Is Not Working Due to an App

There have long been rumors of Apple developing a car. But for now, the company’s automobile-related services primarily exist through CarPlay. You may suddenly be in a situation of Apple CarPlay not working with certain apps. 

Some people have experienced that when trying to use Google Maps with CarPlay, finding that the app will not launch in the service. One main reason that happens is that Google Maps does not have the necessary location permissions to work correctly with CarPlay. 

In that case, you need to go into the app-specific settings on your phone. From there, see which permissions Google Maps has, and make sure location-based settings are turned on. 

Another Google Maps issue that happens frequently is that app glitches prevent the content from loading properly on the car’s console. Fortunately, that problem has an easy fix. You just need to go to the app on your device, force quit it and relaunch Google Maps. 

Similarly, if you find Apple CarPlay not working with any other app, force quit the application from your device, relaunch it and try to connect to CarPlay again. It’s also a good idea to look for user feedback online and see if others found the Apple service suddenly not working with a particular app. 

Use a Phone Mount

If you’ve tried all the solutions here and still find CarPlay not working for you, the easiest immediate solution is to attach a phone mount to your dashboard or window. Although it won’t be as convenient as using CarPlay, it’ll still give you many of the service’s features. Plus, most phone mounts let you alter the position to keep the phone at your eye level for fewer distractions. 

Consider purchasing one with a suction cup or similar non-permanent attachment system. Then, whether you’re using your device in your car or a rented one, you can mimic access to CarPlay.

Fixes Are Usually Easy When CarPlay Is Not Working

This guide will help you solve most CarPlay problems. The issues are undoubtedly frustrating when they arise. However, you can typically go through the solutions in a few minutes. 

If all else fails, consider contacting Apple’s support team or asking for help on the company’s official forums. The advice you get there might be particularly timely, especially if the problem you’re experiencing is due to a new software update or something else that only occurred recently.