How To Fix the Apple CarPlay Connection Failed Error

Apple CarPlay Connection Failed Error - featured image

Apple CarPlay eliminates many of the distractions that plague most drivers.

You can access GPS and Siri, make phone calls, and receive messages without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.

Sometimes, however, users may experience connectivity issues with CarPlay, which temporarily renders the program unusable — but fortunately, the fixes are usually pretty simple.

Fix the Apple CarPlay “Connection Failed” error by ensuring CarPlay is available in your vehicle and area. Restart the device and turn Airplane Mode off. Update the phone, turn Bluetooth on, and see if it connects. If not, forget the connection and try again. If all else fails, call Apple Support.

This article discusses several fixes for the Apple CarPlay “Connection Failed” error.

Read on to learn more about this issue and how to fix it.

1. Check for Compatibility Issues

Car Compatibility

Though Apple CarPlay boasts compatibility with over 600 vehicle models, it isn’t compatible with every car on the market.

Therefore, if you’re receiving the Apple CarPlay “Connection Failed” error on your iPhone, it could be that your vehicle isn’t compatible with the program.

To determine if the software works with your car, view the list of CarPlay-compatible vehicles.

Most new cars from 2017-2018+ should have CarPlay installed by default.

Region Compatibility

In addition to vehicle compatibility, Apple CarPlay isn’t supported in all regions.

See the compatible regions below:

Apple CarPlay not working - Country Compatibility

If attempting to access the Apple CarPlay feature in an unsupported area, you may have trouble connecting and receive the “Connection Failed” error message.

View the list of supported regions on Apple’s website to determine if your area is compatible with Apple CarPlay.

2. Restart Your Device

It sounds like a no-brainer, but restarting your device is the first step that Apple Support suggests when requesting assistance for problems such as the CarPlay program freezing up, or CarPlay just not working in general.

In many cases, shutting down your iPhone can reset the system, clearing any errors that lead to the Apple CarPlay “Connection Failed” error message.

Once you restart the iPhone, the phone may reconnect to the vehicle without any problems.

Some people skip this step altogether, believing it’s pointless.

Still, it’s absolutely worth a try — it’s the easiest potential fix.

There’s a reason why IT support always asks if you’ve “turned it off and back on”!

Watch the video below to see how to perform a hard restart:

Check Your Phone’s Mode

After resetting your phone, take a moment to check the current mode of your iPhone. If it’s in Airplane Mode, turn it off.

When engaged, Airplane Mode suspends your iPhone’s wireless connection.

As such, when you attempt to access CarPlay via Bluetooth or WiFi, the signals cannot communicate (Eg: Wireless Carplay).

Therefore, you receive the CarPlay “Connection Failed” error.

3. Update Your Device

If restarting your Apple iPhone yielded no results, the next thing to try is updating your device.

Out-of-date software could indicate that you don’t have the latest drivers and software to support Apple CarPlay.

Not only that, but outdated security software may prevent your iPhone from completing a secure connection with the CarPlay software.

Fully updating your iPhone could potentially remedy the problem, fixing any connection issues you’re experiencing.

Note: To update CarPlay, simply update your iPhone. It’s that simple. 

How To Update Your iPhone

It’s simple to update your device with these simple steps.

  1. To prevent losing your current information, back up your device using iCloud, a desktop, or a laptop computer.
  2. Plug your phone into a charger, so it doesn’t die during the update process.
  3. Connect the device to a strong WiFi signal.
  4. Navigate to Settings on your iPhone.
  5. Choose General.
  6. Tap Software Update.
  7. Select the software update that you wish to install. 
  8. Click Install Now or Download and Install (then enter your passcode).
iphone settings area for how to update carplay

Your iPhone should restart.

Upon restarting, check to see if CarPlay compatibility has changed.

If not, move on to the next fix.

4. Adjust Settings

When connecting to your CarPlay-compatible vehicle, ensure that Siri and Bluetooth are enabled on your iPhone.

Here’s how to enable Siri:

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Select Siri & Search.
  3. Move the Slider to the ON position for the following:
    1. Press Side Button for Siri (iPhone models with Face ID)
    2. Press Home for Siri (older iPhone models)

*You can’t really use CarPlay without Siri.

Here’s how to enable Bluetooth (Ignore this if your using a wired connection):

  1. Navigate to Settings.
  2. Select Bluetooth.
  3. Tap Turn On Bluetooth.

From there, check to make sure that your phone is connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth.

If Bluetooth is off, you cannot connect to the car.

If Bluetooth is on and you see the vehicle but still receive the Apple CarPlay “Connection Failed” error, you can remove old Bluetooth connections.

Though this is unlikely to remedy the issue with CarPlay connectivity, it doesn’t hurt to try.

“Forget” the CarPlay Connection (Wireless CarPlay only)

If you’re still having issues, you should “Forget” the CarPlay connection and reestablish it.

To “Forget” the Bluetooth CarPlay connection, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Select General.
  3. Choose CarPlay.
  4. Tap your vehicle.
  5. Click Forget This Car.”
  6. Restart your car and your iPhone.

forget car network - fix carplay microphone not working

*The image above is “forgetting” a home Wifi network, but the premise is the same for your car.

In the next section, you can reestablish the connection to see if it fixes the CarPlay “Connection Failed” error.

Reestablish the CarPlay Connection

Here’s how to reconnect via Bluetooth.

  1. Navigate to Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Select General.
  3. Choose CarPlay.
  4. Tap Available Cars.
  5. Click on your vehicle.
  6. Connect to the vehicle.

If you’re attempting to reconnect to the vehicle without Bluetooth, just connect a USB cord from your iPhone to the car.

Follow any instructions on your device.

If using a USB lighting cable for CarPlay, consider trying a new one to see if the problems lie with that.


Sometimes fixing the Apple CarPlay “Connection Failed” errors requires very easy fixes, including:

  • Ensuring compatibility
  • Restarting the device
  • Turning off Airplane Mode
  • Updating the iPhone
  • Adjusting phone settings


If you’ve tried all of these methods and still experience connectivity issues with Apple CarPlay, contact Apple Support so they can further assist you.

Picture of Alex
I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system! Founder
Recent Posts