Sync or Swim: How To Turn Off Apple CarPlay on Your iPhone – 2 Quick and Easy Methods

Apple CarPlay is a handy feature on your iPhone that syncs your phone’s features with your vehicle. It gives you access to messaging, GPS, and entertainment, from the hub of your car’s dashboard.

And while Apple CarPlay is seriously handy, sometimes you’ll want to keep your phone disconnected. What happens then?

Apple CarPlay on iPhone

These things often have a mind of their own – once you’ve hooked your phone up to your vehicle, it can be hard to take a step back.

If Bluetooth connections are driving you up the wall, then you need to turn off Apple CarPlay.

And if voice alerts about CarPlay connections are grinding your gears, then it’s time to disconnect.

Here are two tried and tested methods for turning Apple CarPlay off with iOS 12, iOS 13, iOS 14, and iOS 15. That’ll help you keep your eyes on the road.

Method One: Temporarily Turning Off Apple CarPlay In Setting

Maybe you don’t want to use Apple CarPlay for a single journey, or you’re in a friend’s vehicle and you want to disconnect Apple CarPlay from connecting with their car.

The quickest way to keep Apple CarPlay from connecting with your stereo is through the settings. Here’s how:

  • Step One: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. This is symbolized by a grey gear (and you can search for it in your app library).
  • Step Two: You’ve got a lot of options here. Scroll down until you see General and tap through.
  • Step Three: You should see CarPlay settings right away. It’s in a list with Airdrop and Handoff.
  • Step Four: Tap through to CarPlay settings and you’ll see a list of vehicles that your phone has paired with previously. Unfortunately, they might have generic names so if you and your friends all drive Toyota Corollas, you’ll have to disable them all manually.
  • Step Five: Tap the vehicle you want to disconnect from CarPlay and you’ll see a button labeled Forget This Car. Time to set and forget!
  • Step Six: Your iPhone will ask you to confirm that you’re unpairing this vehicle from Apple CarPlay. Click Forget to finish the job.

This method disables Apple CarPlay from a particular vehicle, and you can use it on vehicles you no longer drive, or to temporarily turn off Apple CarPlay for a single journey in your regular vehicle.

Method Two: Permanently Turning Apple CarPlay Off In Restrictions

If you’re finding Apple CarPlay just doesn’t work for you and you’d like to drive distraction free, then you can turn off CarPlay altogether. Your phone will no longer be eagerly pairing with every vehicle you come across, and you can forget about CarPlay forever.

It’s a little less obvious – seems like Apple isn’t so keen on you abandoning CarPlay entirely. But here’s how it’s done:

  • Step One: Find the Settings app in your app library.
  • Step Two: Scroll down to Screen Time. This is symbolized by a little hourglass icon. Tap Screen Time to find the next menu of settings.
  • Step Three: You’re presented with a lot of options. We’ll scroll down to find Content & Privacy Restrictions and tap through.
  • Step Four: Your content and privacy restrictions default to off, so the first thing to do is to toggle them on using the button in the top right corner. The greyed-out options will turn to bold and you’ll be able to click through.
  • Step Five: We’re looking for Allowed Apps. It should be near the top of the menu. Tap it to get through to the next set of options.
  • Step Six: You’ll find CarPlay on the list of apps. Its default is on, so you can toggle the switch to off. The switch will turn from green to gray.

Now Apple CarPlay is restricted from ever initiating on your iPhone. It won’t try to automatically sync with any vehicle, and it will forget all the vehicles you’ve synced with before.

Wrapping Up…

Apple CarPlay is a handy tool for getting limited phone features on your dash – and it can keep you from a distracted glance at your phone screen at the wrong time.

But it can also be a distraction in itself. Constant attempts to sync with your vehicle while you’re driving can take your eyes off the road.

Don’t forget you can turn Apple CarPlay on at any time by reversing the steps in this guide. It’s still there if you need it.

Time to hit the road.

Robert Muñoz

I’m Robert, a US-based auto electrician, auto mechanic, trained engineer and fanatic about all things motor vehicle. After studying engineering in college I returned to my original passion - car mechanics - and I ran a garage for a number of years serving my local community. Through my garage, I got involved in numerous road safety campaigns in my local area until eventually, I decided to share what I've learned with the world. Know more about me... You can follow me on LinkedIn.

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