Apple CarPlay not working? How to fix it

How to fix Apple CarPlay not Working

Apple CarPlay offers a safe and seamless way to access iOS apps on your car’s infotainment. With Siri onboard, you can make calls, send texts, and use maps handsfree. However, sometimes CarPlay simply stops working. It could be due to connectivity issues, wrong setup, or other reasons.

Besides, many users are reportedly facing this issue after updating to iOS 16.4.1. Let us take a look at how to fix common Apple CarPlay issues.

Precursory checks

  • Ensure both your car and iPhone supports CarPlay.
  • If your vehicle doesn’t support CarPlay, consider upgrading to a third-party ICE (In-Car Entertainment).
  • Download and install the latest iOS update.
  • Check if your car’s infotainment is updated to the latest firmware; for help, visit the manufacturer’s website.
  • Check for conflicting devices. Disconnect other wireless devices on your iPhone. See if CarPlay works now.
  • Ensure adequate power supply to the car’s infotainment.
  • Restart iPhone and see if it makes any difference.

If your CarPlay is still not working, read on. I have listed the most common CarPlay issues alongside tried and tested fixes.

The right way to set up Apple CarPlay

CarPlay tends to throw errors if not set up properly. Meanwhile, incomplete settings could also lead to dicey connections. To avoid CarPlay problems, you can follow the steps below.

1. Enable CarPlay

It is not enough for your iPhone to support CarPlay. You must enable the feature. Sometimes Screen Time setting tends to interfere with CarPlay. Therefore, after enabling CarPlay, you also need to tweak certain Screen Time settings.

  1. Head over to iPhone Settings.
  2. Tap GeneralCarPlay.
  3. Choose your vehicle from the Available Cars list.

    Enable CarPlay on iPhone

2. Change Screen Time Setting

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Open Screen Time.
  3. Select Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Tap Allowed Apps.
  5. Toggle on CarPlay.

    Change Screen Time Setting on iPhone

3. Disable USB Restricted Mode

The USB Restricted Mode is designed to ward off hacking attempts in iOS. The feature blocks hackers from breaking into iPhones using tools like Pegasus. However, the restricted USB mode also blocks CarPlay. Follow the steps below to disable it.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. Scroll down and toggle on USB Accessories.

    Disable USB Restricted Mode on iPhone

Note: The step is valid only if you use the wired version of Apple CarPlay. Consider turning on USB restriction after using CarPlay. Else your iPhone will be vulnerable to threats.

How to fix Apple CarPlay Connectivity issues

Apple CarPlay is more than just a screen mirroring tool for your car. Every CarPlay app is tweaked for the best hands-free experience. CarPlay works by syncing iPhone data in real-time. Connectivity issues are very common with CarPlay. Below are some of the common CarPlay connectivity issues and their fixes.

1. Check connections

Make sure the lightning cable is connected properly to CarPlay. For wireless variants, ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are switched on. Restart the car and establish a new CarPlay session.

2. Change USB cable if needed

Lightning connectors are notorious for breaking and giving up easily. Check if the cable needs replacing. Sometimes lint and other debris get deposited in lightning port. Flush it out with a small brush or simply blow some air. Try to get hold of a new lightning cable and check if CarPlay connects.

3. Forget and re-connect CarPlay

You have already established that the lightning cable is working properly. Now let us unpair the car and re-connect CarPlay. Here’s how you can forget and re-connect CarPlay.

  1. Open Settings General.
  2. Tap CarPlay.
  3. Select your vehicle’s make and model.
  4. Tap Forget This Car.

    Forget This Car from iPhone's CarPlay
  5. Restart your vehicle and re-connect CarPlay.

If the problem persists, move on to the next step.

How to fix the Apple CarPlay Siri issue

In my opinion, Siri is one of the most useful CarPlay features. It makes using CarPlay and getting things done effortlessly. Before doing all of that, you need to enable Siri with CarPlay. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Go to SettingsSiri & Search.
  2. Enable all the following options.
    • Listen for Hey Siri.
    • Press Side Button for Siri.
    • Allow Siri When Locked.

      How to fix the Apple CarPlay Siri issue on iPhone

If nothing works, reset iPhone settings

As a last resort, reset your iPhone settings. Ideally, the reset should resolve conflicts between apps and even connectivity issues. Restore your iPhone to factory settings and set up a new CarPlay connection.

  1. Head over to SettingsGeneralTransfer or Reset iPhone.
  2. Tap Reset.
  3. Tap Reset All Settings.
  4. Select Reset network settings if you have CarPlay connectivity issues.

    Reset iPhone settings to fix Apple CarPlay issue
  5. Enter iPhone passcode when prompted.

That’s how you can fix the Apple CarPlay issue. We hope your Apple CarPlay is up and running. Some car models, like the 2019 Toyota Camry, Camry HV, Corolla hatchback, and Avalon HV, seem to have multiple CarPlay issues.

If you own affected car models, approach the manufacturer and ask for a firmware update. Lastly, always keep your eyes on the road and use Siri to control CarPlay.

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Author Profile

Mahit is an engineer by Education with a corporate stint to his name. He ditched the corporate boardroom wars in favor of the technology battleground. For the better part of a decade, he has worked for popular publishing outlets, including Dennis Publishing, BGR India, AppStorm, MakeUseOf, and iPhonehacks.


  1. Hi,

    In two of my three Chevys, I can’t use the buttons on the steering wheel to change songs on my iPhone which is connected thru CarPlay.

    It says this function is “unavailable while the library is indexing”. Any idea how to solve this?

    It happens on my 2021 Suburban and my 2023 Bolt EUV.

    Funny enough it works on my new 2023 Silverado.

    Why would it work on one and not the other two?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. The error message “unavailable while the library is indexing” means that CarPlay is still in the process of loading your music library. This normally happens when you have a large music library or when you have recently added new music to your library.

      So, please wait for a while until the indexing process is complete and your music is ready to play. As an alternative solution, I recommend unpairing CarPlay and setting it up from scratch.

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