Apple CarPlay offers seamless connectivity between multiple devices when you’re on the road.
This same seamlessness can occasionally be annoying.
Perhaps you’d prefer it if passengers did not get to see your phone’s notifications or if they’re distracting you while driving.
You can remove messages from CarPlay and stop them from appearing in the future by disabling notifications on one or all apps in CarPlay. You can also turn on “Driving Focus” mode. If you only want to remove messages from your display, you can have Apple’s voice assistant Siri announce them.
I’ll show you how to do this using a few simple steps.
By the time we’re through, you’ll know how to turn off messages on CarPlay and have sorted out another minor CarPlay irritation once and for all.
Disable Message Notifications
Blocking messages from popping up on your car’s display when using Apple CarPlay is relatively straightforward.
You can do this for a single app that is concerning you – like a phone or messaging app – or for all apps.
For instance, to turn off notifications from your messaging app in CarPlay:
- On the iPhone you use in your car, go to Settings > Notifications. This will display the notification settings for every app you have on your phone.
- Select the specific messaging app you are using. You should now see settings that allow you to customize the notifications for this app, including where and how they will appear.
- Toggle the “Show in CarPlay” switch to “Off.” This will disable notifications from your messaging app when your phone is integrated with CarPlay. You will continue receiving messages on your phone the rest of the time.
Note that this solution will only remove messages from this particular app from popping up on your car’s display. Notifications from other apps will continue to show up.
If you want to block all notifications, you will need to perform the same actions for all the apps on your iPhone. While the process can be quickly reversed, it will still take some doing. So, I’d recommend an easier workaround for this.
Turn On Driving Focus Mode
So many Apple users showed an interest in turning off Apple CarPlay messages that – with iOS 15 – Apple introduced what it calls a Driving Focus mode to CarPlay.
With a focus on improving driver concentration, Driving Focus works to limit the use of phone and messaging apps (somewhat like the Do Not Disturb mode).
When you turn on Driving Focus, the notifications you receive will be limited across applications. This way, you do not have to block every app individually. However, the feature offers a degree of customizability, allowing you some control over what gets blocked.
To set up Driving Focus mode:
- Go to Settings > Focus. This will reveal options for the different focus modes such as Work, Personal, Sleep, Do Not Disturb, and Driving.
- Click the + icon in the top right. You will then see “driving”. Click this.
- Customize the mode to your preference. You can choose whose calls will be blocked and whose permitted when in Driver Focus mode. You can even assign those whose repeat calls will come through so that they can reach you in the event of an emergency.
Once set up, Driving Focus can be enabled and disabled using a single command. Alternatively, you can set it up to trigger automatically when your phone is connected to your car’s WiFi, CarPlay, or when your vehicle is in motion.
When in CarPlay, your phone can also share your status or send automated replies on your behalf so that people who are trying to get in touch with you know why you are not picking up.
But what if your problems with messages are more limited?
Maybe you do want to receive notifications, only not on your car’s media display, where they block the limited available screen space.
Have Siri Announce Messages
If you’d like your messages read out, instead of having them pop up on your media system display, you can set up Apple voice assistant Siri to read them out for you. You can even reply to your messages using voice commands.
However, your phone needs to be running iOS 15 or later to use this feature. Update CarPlay to get this.
To have Siri read out your messages when you are driving:
- Go to Settings > Siri & Search.
- Select Notification Announcements.
- Click “CarPlay”.
- Customize to your preference
Note that the process described above announces all notifications. To specifically announce only calls via Siri:
- Go to Settings > Siri & Search.
- Select Announce Calls.
- Choose from between Always, when using Headphones & Car, or Headphones only.
For more cool ways to use Siri in the car, check out our article on the most useful Siri CarPlay commands.
There are several ways to prevent messages from appearing when using Apple CarPlay.
You can disable notifications for individual apps or all apps.
Since this can be tedious, using Driving Focus mode is the easiest way to solve the problem. Driving Focus mode is customizable and offers the ability to swap between driving and default phone-use modes quickly. It can also be automated, so you won’t have to bother making frequent changes.
Siri voice announcements are a nifty workaround to the problem for those who would like to get their notifications but just not on their car’s display unit.