If your drive a 4 Series, 3 Series X3, 1 Series, MC, or any other BMW model, then the BMW IDrive is how you can connect any device to your sound system via Bluetooth.
This feature is terrific because you can use it to play anything you want from your device and not rely on radio stations to entertain you while in your car. However, some issues can arise with the BMW IDrive system.
If you cannot connect your device to your sound system because the Bluetooth is not working, this can be incredibly annoying. Thankfully, there are many ways you can try and get your BMW IDrive working.
Why Is My BMW IDrive Bluetooth Not Working?
1. The Issue with BMW IDrive
Fix – Perform a Master Reset of the BMW IDrive System
You can try to perform a master reset of the BMW IDrive system to fix your issues with your Bluetooth. All the settings and preferences saved to your BMW IDrive will be erased if you decide to do this.
However, this may be the only way to fix your BMW IDrive, so you must be okay with this reset. You can enter all of your preferences back in after the reset is complete.
Performing a master reset of the BMW IDrive system will significantly change depending on what BMW car you own.
To figure out how to perform a master reset of the BMW IDrive system, search“perform a master reset of the BMW IDrive system [your car].” Make sure you include the exact model you have and the year. Many of their cars, including 4 Series, 3 Series X3, 1 Series, and MC, have diﬀerent versions.
Each version will have diﬀerent settings, changing how you perform a master reset of the BMW IDrive system. That is why you must include every detail about your car when looking up how to perform a master reset of the BMW IDrive system.
Otherwise, you might start following steps for an X3 Sports Velocity when you have an X5 Sports Velocity. This will cause you to have improper instructions on how to perform a master reset of the BMW IDrive system.
Fix 2 – Update BMW IDrive
Your DMW IDrive might also need an update, which is why your device cannot correctly connect via Bluetooth. There are two diﬀerent ways you can update your DMW IDrive.
The first way is to bring your vehicle into a BMW body shop. You can do this when you go in for maintenance for your car.
Once you get there, have them do whatever needs to be done to your BMW, and then ask them to update your BMW IDrive on top of the other repairs. The mechanics will be able to tell you if your BMW IDrive system needs an update or not.
Then, if it does, they will know how to update and get you back to enjoying your music.
If you have no reason to bring your BMW into the body shop and do not want to choose this route to update your BMW IDrive, you can also do it on your own. Follow these steps to update your BMW IDrive system in your BMW.
1. Go to bmw.com/en/footer/software-updates.html.
2. Once there, enter your Vehicle Identification Number into the search box. If you are unsure how to find it, it can be found on your vehicle registration certificate.
3. Enter the seventeen-digit number and click Search For Update.
4. If there is an update available for your BMW, you will see it here.
5. Now, download the update onto a USB flash drive.
6. Once you download it, go into your BMW and plug it into your car.
7. Your screen will give you some prompts to follow to download the update.
8. You will need to wait a few minutes for the update to be complete.
9. The screen in your BMW will alert you when the update has been completed. If you do not own a USB, you can also use the BMW app called My BMW app.
10. Download the My BMW app to your device.
11. Next, login or create an account.
12. Enter the seventeen-digit Vehicle Identification Number if you had to create an account. If you are unsure how to find it, it can be found on your vehicle registration certificate.
13. Now, go to the Remote Software Update menu.
14. Click on Start Download.
15. When the download is finished, your app will tell you.
If no updates are available in the app or on the website, then your BMW IDrive was entirely up to date; that is not why you have issues with it.
Fix 3 – Getting in Touch with BMW
Getting in touch with BMW is another way to solve your issues with DMW IDrive.
You can also download the My BMW app. On this app, you can also speak with a live customer service representative on your device. If you want to go to them in person, you can visit a BMW dealership or a local car repair shop.
They can access your car and determine if the problem is caused by something internal that will need a repair. They can fix it right there if you are at the body shop.
If you went to a BMW dealership, they could send you to the nearest body shop so that you can get your BMW IDrive fixed.
If you want to talk to someone on the phone, call 1-800-831-1117. You will have to go through some prerecorded voice messages but will eventually be able to speak with a live customer service representative. Their customer service website is bmwusa.com/contact-us.html which can also be used to contact BMW support.
2. The Device is Not Connected Properly
Fix – “Forget” BMW IDrive As A Device and Connect Device Properly
If your device is not correctly connected to your BMW IDrive, it will not work. One way to solve this is by going into your device and forgetting BMW IDrive as a device. Doing this will change from device to device but is pretty similar.
Open up the setting on your device and then go to Bluetooth. Once you are there, you should be able to see all the devices you have ever been connected to. Look for BMW IDrive. There should be some button by it that you can click on to forget your BMW IDrive.
Once you forget your BMW IDrive, reconnect to it. Now that you have reconnected your device to your BMW IDrive, see if this solves your issues. Sometimes the connection needs a quick reset, and doing this will do just that.
You may need to wait a while between forgetting your BMW IDrive and reconnecting to it. However, if your BMW IDrive is still not working with your device after reconnecting it, another cause for your problems with your BMW IDrive.
Fix 2 – Check the Security and Auto Accept Prompt on Your Device
Another cause for why your BMW IDrive is not working is because you need to check the security and auto accept prompt on your device.
These settings allow your device to connect correctly to various things, including your BMW IDrive because you connect to it via Bluetooth.
To check the security and auto accept prompt on your device, you must search “How to check the security and auto accept prompt on [your device].” Every device is diﬀerent, has diﬀerent settings, has other buttons, and is made by other companies.
These diﬀerences make each device have a diﬀerent way of checking the security and auto accept prompt. Once you check these settings and ensure that they are correctly working, keep trying to connect your device to your BMW IDrive.
If these settings are not working, fix them however you can. Once you have them working, try to connect your device to your BMW IDrive once more.
3. Possible Cell Phone Malfunction (Glitch or Bug)
Fix – Try Switching Oﬀ Your Device
Turning oﬀ the device you are using to try and play music on your BMW IDrive is another potential solution for getting your Bluetooth to work.
To restart your device, turn it oﬀ. Doing this will vary depending on the device that you are using since every device has diﬀerent buttons and settings.
If you are unsure how to turn oﬀ your device, look it up, and you will be met with plenty of information on how to turn oﬀ the device you are using. Once you turn oﬀ your device, leave it oﬀ for a couple of minutes so it can fully restart.
After a few minutes, you can turn your device back on, completing the reset. Now that your device is powered back and you have oﬃcially reset it try connecting it through Bluetooth to your BMW IDrive.
Hopefully, this reset will allow your device to figure itself out, and your BMW IDrive will be potentially working as usual for you.
Fix 2 – Force Restart Device
A force restart may also solve issues with your device not connecting via Bluetooth to your BMW IDrive.
Doing this will take it a step further than normally restarting your device, as it is a force restart. Doing this will change depending on your device to try and access your BMW IDrive.
Since every device has diﬀerent buttons and settings, search the device you are using along with force restart, and you will easily be able to locate how to force restart your device.
When doing a force restart, your device will automatically power back up once the reset is complete. Once your device has turned back on, you will have to unlock your device, and then you can again try and get back to utilizing your BMW IDrive.
Fix 3 – Update Your Device
The Bluetooth device you connect to your BMW IDrive might need an update.
Companies must constantly update their devices to fix any bugs customers have complained about and oﬀer new features to their users. If your device needs an update, that could be why it is not working with your BMW IDrive.
To update your device, you will need to search “How to update [your device].” Every device is diﬀerent, has diﬀerent settings, has other buttons, and is made by other companies.
These diﬀerences make each device have a diﬀerent way of being updated. Once you can learn how to update your device, update it if one is available. After the update is complete, try to see if it will now connect to your BMW IDrive and work.
However, if your device did not have an update available, then that is not why your BMW IDrive is not working with your device.
Fix 4 – Reset Network Settings
You can try resetting your network settings on your device to make it connect to your BMW IDrive via Bluetooth. Doing this will set your device back to its original settings and erase any personal preferences you have saved.
To reset network settings on your device, you will need to search “How to reset network settings on [your device].” Every device is diﬀerent, has diﬀerent settings, has other buttons, and is made by other companies.
These diﬀerences give each device a diﬀerent way of going through a network settings reset. Once you can figure out how to reset the network settings on your device, follow them and complete the steps.
When the reset is complete and your device is working again, see if it will now connect to your BMW IDrive. If it does and functions, your issues have been solved.
Your device was having some problems of its own. This reset fixed those issues, and you can enjoy listening to your favorite songs in your car again.
Fix 5 – Factory Reset
You can try a factory reset on your device to make it connect to your BMW IDrive via Bluetooth. Doing this will set your device back to its original settings and erase any personal preferences you have saved.
To perform a factory reset on your device, you must search “How to do a factory reset on [your device].” Every device is diﬀerent, has diﬀerent settings, has other buttons, and is made by other companies.
These diﬀerences give each device a diﬀerent way of going through a factory reset. Once you can figure out how to reset the network settings on your device, follow them and complete the steps.
When the reset is complete and your device is working again, see if it will now connect to your BMW IDrive. If it does and functions, your issues have been solved. Your device was having some problems of its own. This reset fixed those issues, and you can enjoy listening to your favorite songs in your car again.
4. There’s An Issue with the Song or App You’re Playing From
Fix – Play Another Song
Your problems with your BMW IDrive might stem from the song you have decided to play. To fix this, you will need to change the song you are currently playing. Open up your app that you stream music through and pick another song.
This can be incredibly annoying because maybe the song that has issues with your BMW IDrive is your favorite song. Sadly, you will need to try playing another music to fix your problem. You can play any song you want.
Once you change the song, you are good to go if your BMW IDrive starts working. You can try playing the song that broke your BMW IDrive again. However, if playing a new song did not make your BMW IDrive work, the music is not the cause of your issues.
Fix 2 – Use Another App Like Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and Soundcloud
There may be an issue with your app that is causing your BMW IDrive not to work. So many apps today stream music, so trying another app may be your solution. However, this can be an annoying solution.
The app you use is most likely your preference for music streaming apps, and you may be paying a fee to enjoy this specific app. If you want to listen to music on your BMW IDrive, you must try another app, even though it means not using your favorite app.
Some well-liked apps for streaming songs include Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube, Soundcloud, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Tidal, and others. Download one that is diﬀerent from the app you were previously using.
These apps oﬀer a free version of some sort but also have an upgraded service you can purchase. You can use the free version with an account or upgrade, whichever works best for you.
If you think the issues with your BMW IDrive are temporary, you should stick with the free service since you will be using your preferred app again. Otherwise, if you think you need to switch apps permanently, you can look into the advanced services to see what the app oﬀers.
If you decide to use Youtube, you must keep your device unlocked and Youtube open for music to play or upgrade to Youtube Red to be able to lock your device and still have music play.
5. The Bluetooth Volume on the Phone May Be Low
Fix – Increase the Volume on Both BMW IDrive and Your Phone
You are unable to hear any music being played on your BMW IDrive because you have to turn up the volume on your stereo system in your car or on the device you are connecting via Bluetooth.
If the volume is set too low on either of them or both, you might think your BMW IDrive is not working because you cannot hear anything. However, there is a simple remedy of just turning up the volume on these to listen to the music already playing through your BMW IDrive. Look at your stereo system to increase your BMW car’s volume.
There will be a knob located somewhere that has Volume written under it. Turn it to the right to increase the volume. Grab your device hooked up to your BMW IDrive via Bluetooth if you still cannot hear anything.
Locate the volume buttons on your device and turn it up. If you cannot find the buttons, you can also turn the volume up in the app you use to stream music. Once you turn the volume up, you should hopefully hear your music now.
If you are positive that the volume is turned up on your device and in your BMW car, then the volume is not why your BMW IDrive is not working.
6. The song is Not Playing
Fix – Play the Song From Your Device
A silly mistake could be causing all of your issues with your BMW IDrive. If your music is not playing, ensure you have pressed play on your device. While this may seem like a mistake you could never make, it is always best to double-check.
If your song is not playing, there is no way you can hear it through your BMW IDrive. Follow these steps to see if the music is playing on your device.
1. Open up your device to connect to your BMW IDrive via Bluetooth.
2. Next, go to the app you use to stream music.
3. Open up the app and look for your Currently Playing
4. Make sure you see a pause button when you are in Currently Playing. If you see a play button, your song is paused.
5. Click on the play button. Once you see the pause button, your song is playing.
If you have ensured that your song is playing on your device, something else is causing your issues with your BMW IDrive. Remember that if you are using Youtube, you must keep your device unlocked to play your song. However, if you use Youtube Red, the premium service Youtube oﬀers for $10 a month, you can lock your device, and a song will continue to play.