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Apple iPad: How to connect it to a car stereo

You’re in your car and want to get some tunes going or your kids want to have some shows they want to watch on their iPad. Here’s to make that experience hassle-free.

Get help connecting your iPad with your car stereo

You can connect your iOS device with a compatible car stereo using Bluetooth, a USB cable, or CarPlay. If you can’t pair or connect your iOS device with your car stereo, or you don’t hear audio playback, learn what to do.

If you’re using Bluetooth

  1. Check your car stereo’s user manual for how to pair with a Bluetooth device.

  2. Go to Settings > Bluetooth, and turn off Bluetooth. Wait for 5 seconds, then turn Bluetooth back on.

  3. Restart your iOS device.

  4. On your iOS device, unpair your car stereo. On your car’s display, unpair your iOS device and any other devices. Restart your car and your iOS device, then pair and connect again.

  5. Update your iOS device.

  6. Install any firmware updates for your car stereo.

  7. If you still can’t connect, contact Apple Support.

If you’re using USB Playback

  1. Restart your iOS device and your car.

  2. Connect your iOS device to a different stereo USB port (if you have one).

  3. Try a different Lightning to USB cable.

  4. Update your iOS device.

  5. Install any firmware updates for your car stereo.

Try playing audio from a different app. If you can’t play audio from a third-party app, contact the app developer for help. If you can’t play audio from an Apple app, contact Apple Support.

If you’re using CarPlay

Many newer model cars support CarPlay—providing a safer way to use your iPhone in the car. Some features (like turn-by-turn navigation) aren’t available in all regions. Learn more about how to set up and use CarPlay.

If your car supports CarPlay using your Lightning to USB cable, plug your iPhone into the USB port of your car. The USB port might be labeled with a CarPlay icon or a smartphone icon.

If your car supports wireless CarPlay, press and hold the Voice Control button on your steering wheel to set up CarPlay. Or make sure that your car is in wireless or Bluetooth pairing mode. Then on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay > Available Cars and select your car. See the owner’s guide for your car for more information.

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