How to Turn Off Apple CarPlay

Not everyone finds Apple CarPlay useful; some drivers argue that it can be a major distraction. If you want to connect your iPhone to your car without seeing CarPlay on the infotainment screen, you’ll need to disable the software. Thankfully, disabling CarPlay is a simple process that will only take a few taps, regardless of the type of iPhone you have or the car you drive.

Adjusting iPhone Settings

A hand holding an iPhone.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When you first plug your iPhone into a CarPlay-compatible car’s USB port, you’ll receive a notification asking if CarPlay should be active while the screen is locked. Although selecting “no” here may seem like it would disable CarPlay, it only prevents the system from connecting when the device is locked. To disable CarPlay directly from your iPhone, follow the steps below:

Newer iPhone Models

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Choose Screen Time.
  3. Select Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Enable restrictions and then choose Allowed Apps.
  5. Disable CarPlay.

Older iPhone Models

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Choose Restrictions.
  4. Enable restrictions and enter a passcode.
  5. Toggle the CarPlay option to Off.

It’s also possible to temporarily disable CarPlay from the iPhone. To do this, go to the Settings menu under General, select CarPlay, choose the currently connected vehicle, and opt to disable/remove it from the list. This change won’t permanently remove the device’s ability to connect, but you’ll need to approve the vehicle for playback the next time you plug in your phone. If you decline CarPlay, your phone will only charge when connected. Disabling CarPlay can be useful in various situations.

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Vehicle Settings

2021 Hyundai Elantra CarPlay interface.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

On the vehicle side, many automakers offer an option to disable Apple CarPlay. For example, Ford has made it easy to turn off CarPlay in its vehicles. The Sync 3 system in many late-model Ford models allows users to disable CarPlay by selecting Preferences and then choosing the currently connected iPhone. The system will then disable CarPlay for that phone.

Other manufacturers handle this differently. If you have a late-model Jaguar, for instance, it will prompt you to choose how you want your phone to interact with the infotainment system when plugged in. You can either connect with CarPlay or sync music and phone calls using another method. You can also have the system remember your selection, which is convenient for longer trips. Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal method for disabling CarPlay. We recommend contacting your automobile manufacturer or the local dealership for more information on the proper procedure. Additionally, consulting your user manual may provide a detailed step-by-step guide.

Fortunately, once you disable CarPlay, you can easily re-enable it whenever you want. Enabling or disabling CarPlay does not affect its quality or effectiveness. Feel free to switch it on and off as much as you please. If you have a self-proclaimed DJ as your passenger, you can quickly disable CarPlay. Once they leave your vehicle, you can turn it back on and enjoy the songs you actually want to hear.

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