Step-by-Step Guide: How to Connect to Apple CarPlay


Apple CarPlay is a revolutionary new method that integrates your iPhone experience in your vehicle — intuitively and safely. It is the ideal and safe way to make use of your iPhone on the road, particularly with the integrated voice abilities. In this blog, we’ll give you step-by-step guidance on how to connect to Apple CarPlay and get the best experience.

How to Install Apple CarPlay

Here’s the good news: you don’t. Apple CarPlay isn’t an app— it’s a built in function of iOS, so long as you have 7.1 or later.

How to Set Up Apple CarPlay

First and foremost, make sure that your car has CarPlay compatibility. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to upgrade your in-dash infotainment system.


  1. Enable Siri on Your iPhone: Navigate to Settings > Siri & Search and ensure that 'Press Home for Siri' or 'Press Side Button for Siri' is activated.
  2. Allow CarPlay Under Screen Time: Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps, and you'll see the option for "CarPlay". Ensure that it's toggled on.

Now, you're ready to use Apple CarPlay in your vehicle.

How to Connect Apple CarPlay

  1. First, you’ll need to start your car.
  2. Once the dashboard display powers on, pull out your iPhone and unlock the screen.
  3. Take a lightning-to-USB cable and connect your iPhone to your car.


Once your iPhone is connected, CarPlay should automatically launch.

How to Connect Your iPhone to Apple CarPlay

You've learned how to install and setup, now let’s discuss how to connect your iPhone to Apple CarPlay:


  • Use a Lightning USB cable to connect your iPhone to the car: The USB port might feature a CarPlay or smartphone icon.
  • Follow the prompts on your car's display: You might need to grant permissions for CarPlay on your iPhone.


And there you have it—your iPhone is now connected to Apple CarPlay.

Does Apple CarPlay Work with Bluetooth?

Yes, Apple CarPlay can work with Bluetooth, allowing you to reap the benefits without the need for a wired connection. This capability, however, depends on the make and model of your car, as not all cars support wireless CarPlay.

How to Connect Apple CarPlay Wirelessly

For compatible car models, you can learn how to connect Apple CarPlay wirelessly. Here are the simple steps:


  1. Press and hold the voice-command button on your steering wheel: Make sure to keep the button pressed until Siri comes on.
  2. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay: Here, you will see a list of available cars. Select your car to initiate the wireless CarPlay connection.

How to Get Apple CarPlay in My Car

If your car doesn’t come equipped with CarPlay capability, don’t give up. You can still get this feature by upgrading your in-dash infotainment system. You will need to know the size screen your car can accommodate. Infotainment systems are built into the screens, from 7-inch systems to 14-inch. Just make sure the infotainments systems you are looking through specify Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Customize Your CarPlay Experience

Users have a lot of different options to get the most from CarPlay. With a little tweaking, you can create a personalized on-the-go system to keep you informed or entertained during your drive.

Updating to the Latest Version

For the very best access to personalization, you should first ensure your device runs the most recent iOS version. Apple continuously adds brand new features and refines each update. Just navigate to Settings > General > Software Update to check for any pending updates.

Organizing apps on Apple CarPlay

Staying organized saves time and hassle, especially when you're on the road. Luckily, rearranging the apps on your CarPlay display is a simple task. Here's how:


  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Car Play.
  2. Select your vehicle under My Cars.
  3. Using the Customize button, you can add, remove, or rearrange the order of the apps on your CarPlay screen.

Remember that the changes you make on your iPhone will be mirrored on your CarPlay display, keeping everything well-coordinated for your convenience.

Changing the Wallpaper

A fascinating addition since iOS 14, is the ability to add a wallpaper to your CarPlay interface, adding a touch of personal flair. Here's how:


  • On your CarPlay dashboard, open the Settings app.
  • Go to Wallpaper > Set a New Wallpaper.
  • Apple offers a few pre-selected colorful wallpaper options - select any that suits your taste.


The wallpaper will not only enhance your CarPlay screen's appeal but also make the app icons more visually appealing.

Using Siri for a More Hands-Free Experience

Siri, as your personal assistant, brings in a more hands-free control, making CarPlay even safer for the road. You can customize Siri's settings to read out messages, guide you through navigation, and even play your favorite songs without needing you to look away from the road.


Go into the Siri & Search settings on your iPhone to personalize what Siri can do for you while you're using CarPlay.

Using Third-Party Navigation Apps

Even though Apple Maps does a commendable job, you might prefer Google Maps or Waze for navigation. Good news - on CarPlay, you aren't forced to stick with Apple Maps. You can select a third-party navigation app as your default.


Once the third-party app is installed on your iPhone, it will appear on your CarPlay screen, and you can rearrange the app order to make the preferred navigation app more accessible.

Customizing the Icons

Customization of icons isn’t a native feature of CarPlay, but if you’re eager to explore this, some third-party apps allow you to customize the icons on CarPlay's home screen.

Customizing Apple CarPlay for Different Cars

If you connect your iPhone to multiple cars, it's good to know that you can customize the CarPlay layout for each car separately. The settings you personalize for one vehicle won't affect the settings for CarPlay when you connect to a different car.

Drive Safely, Stay Connected

With CarPlay, taking the wheel while enjoying the features of your iPhone has never been easier. Get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, or enjoy your favorite music—all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road. Now that you're equipped with this information, you're ready to enjoy the unbeatable convenience and safety features Apple CarPlay offers. Happy driving!

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