Why Is Carplay Screen Not Responding?




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A responsive CarPlay screen is crucial to providing a seamless and safe driving experience. Consider this scenario, you’re driving and need directions to your destination, but your CarPlay screen isn’t responding or worse, it’s a CarPlay black screen. The smooth drive suddenly turns into a frustrating experience.

And if you’ve ever been in a situation where your CarPlay is not connecting or your screen touch isn’t recognized, you’d know how annoying that can be, but what causes this to happen? Let’s find out below.

Apple CarPlay may not respond due to connectivity issues, a loose or damaged USB cable, outdated software, or problems with the car’s infotainment system. 

Key Takeaways
A poor Bluetooth connection, if you’re using wireless CarPlay, often prevents the screen from responding.
Having too many apps running in the background on your iPhone could potentially cause performance issues with CarPlay.
Restarting your iPhone or updating to the latest iOS version can often resolve CarPlay responsiveness issues.

Don’t let a malfunctioning car radio display spoil your journey. Find out how to fix this common problem in our article Why Is Car Radio Display Not Working.

Understanding the Problem: CarPlay Screen Not Responding

Technology, as amazing as it can be, is not without its share of glitches and hiccups.

why carplay screen is not responding

When we say that a CarPlay screen is not responding, it might sound quite straightforward. But in reality, it encompasses a range of issues that can significantly dampen your in-car iPhone experience.

Definition of CarPlay Screen Not Responding

When we talk about the CarPlay screen not responding, we’re referring to a situation where the interface on your vehicle’s infotainment screen, powered by Apple CarPlay, isn’t reacting as expected to your touch inputs. This could be an entirely unresponsive screen, a lag in response, or a screen that only partially responds to touches.

Imagine trying to use your CarPlay to navigate or respond to an urgent text (using Siri, of course), and suddenly, it just stops. The touch commands aren’t registering, or perhaps your wired CarPlay is not working altogether.

This scenario encapsulates what it means when your CarPlay screen is not responding.

Common Symptoms of an Unresponsive CarPlay Screen

As an avid user of Apple CarPlay in my electric vehicle, I’ve found that an unresponsive CarPlay screen can present itself in several ways. Some common symptoms might include:

  • The CarPlay screen is not responding to touch commands at all.
  • Certain apps or buttons on the interface are unresponsive.
  • The CarPlay system intermittently becomes unresponsive.
  • Screen freezing or sudden stops during usage.
  • CarPlay is not connecting, or if it does, it disconnects randomly.

These are just a few manifestations of this issue. The key here is to understand that if something feels off about your interaction with the CarPlay interface, it might be time for some CarPlay troubleshooting.

Impact of an Unresponsive CarPlay Screen on Driving Safety and Convenience

Now, you might be wondering, “Why should I care if my CarPlay screen is not responding once in a while?”

As someone who relies heavily on CarPlay for navigating the bustling city streets and sometimes the scenic countryside, I can assure you that an unresponsive CarPlay can significantly affect your driving safety and convenience.

  • Let’s start with safety. If you’re trying to enable navigation or answer a call while driving, a non-responsive CarPlay screen can force you to use your iPhone directly. This shift of focus from driving to your phone increases the risk of accidents. It’s one of the reasons why the seamless interface of CarPlay is so valuable – it helps you keep your eyes on the road.
  • Secondly, an unresponsive CarPlay screen can be a real inconvenience. For instance, if your CarPlay suddenly stops working while you’re driving to an unfamiliar location, you could potentially get lost. Not to mention the frustration that comes with technology not working when you need it the most.

Whether you’re like me, who uses CarPlay every day, or someone who uses it occasionally, understanding the problem and knowing how to fix these issues can save you from a lot of stress and potential risk.

Troubleshooting CarPlay Screen Issues

When your CarPlay screen is not responding, and you’re unsure where to start, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Here I will drive you through common troubleshooting steps to fix CarPlay problems.

Remember, the aim is to get your CarPlay up and running smoothly again, ensuring your driving experience remains safe and enjoyable.

Checking the Wired Connection

The first step in CarPlay troubleshooting is often the simplest one: checking the wired connection. It sounds basic, but you’d be surprised at how often this resolves the issue.

  • Verifying the Cable Condition: Inspect your USB cable for any visible damage or wear. A frayed or broken cable could be the reason your CarPlay stopped working. In my own experience, swapping out a dodgy cable has often been the quickest fix.
  • Ensuring Proper Connection to the CarPlay-Enabled Vehicle: Make sure that your iPhone is correctly connected to your vehicle. Check both ends of the cable and make sure they’re firmly plugged into your iPhone and the car’s USB port.
  • Using Apple-Certified Cables for Reliability: While third-party cables might work, they can sometimes cause connectivity issues. I recommend always using Apple-certified cables to ensure reliability. After all, the last thing you want is your wired CarPlay not working due to a faulty cable.

Resetting Apple CarPlay

If the problem isn’t with the wired connection, then resetting Apple CarPlay could be your next step.

  • Step-by-Step Guide to Resetting CarPlay: Start by disconnecting your iPhone from the vehicle. Then, on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, select your car, and tap ‘Forget This Car’. Reconnect your iPhone to the car and see if CarPlay starts working. If not, you may want to try a complete restart of your iPhone.
  • Restoring Default Settings to Resolve Software-Related Issues: Sometimes, software-related issues can cause CarPlay problems. If you’re experiencing issues, resetting all settings on your iPhone could help. Remember, this will remove your personalized settings, but it won’t affect your data or apps.
  • Updating CarPlay Firmware and Software for Optimal Performance: Make sure your iPhone and your car’s infotainment system are running on the latest software versions. An outdated system can sometimes cause CarPlay issues, including the CarPlay screen not responding.

Troubleshooting Touch Screen Recognition

If the touch screen isn’t recognizing your inputs correctly, it might be time for some hands-on troubleshooting.

  • Cleaning the CarPlay Screen to Remove Dirt and Smudges: Any dirt or smudges on the screen could affect touch sensitivity. Clean the screen with a soft, lint-free cloth to ensure the touch inputs are not obstructed.
  • Calibrating the Touch Screen for Accurate Inputs: Check if your vehicle’s infotainment system has a calibration feature for the touch screen. This could help improve touch recognition.
  • Checking for Physical Damage to the Touch Screen: Inspect the screen for any signs of physical damage. If there are cracks or scratches, it might be worth taking the vehicle to a professional for repair.

CarPlay Not Connecting: Causes and Solutions

Sometimes the problem isn’t just the screen but the entire CarPlay system not connecting.

  • Verifying Bluetooth and USB Settings on the iPhone: Make sure Bluetooth is turned on and that CarPlay is not restricted in the settings. To do this, go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps and make sure CarPlay is enabled.
  • Resetting Network Settings to Fix Connectivity Issues: If you’re still unable to connect, try resetting your network settings. This often fixes connectivity issues, but it will also erase all your saved Wi-Fi networks and passwords, cellular settings, and VPN and APN settings.
  • Analyzing Compatibility Between the iPhone and the Car’s Infotainment System: Compatibility issues can cause CarPlay not to connect. Check with Apple to be sure CarPlay is supported in your area and with your specific car model. Remember, not all cars or stereos are compatible with CarPlay.

Addressing CarPlay Black Screen

Finally, we have the dreaded CarPlay black screen.

  • Common Reasons for the Black or Blank CarPlay Screen: A black or blank screen usually indicates a serious issue with either the CarPlay software or the infotainment hardware. This could be caused by a software glitch, compatibility issues, or even a faulty screen.
  • Resolving Software Glitches Causing the Black Screen: If you suspect a software glitch, try resetting Apple CarPlay as described earlier. An iOS update could also resolve the problem, as it often contains fixes for known bugs.
  • Checking for Hardware Issues Leading to Screen Blackout: If you’ve tried everything and the CarPlay black screen persists, it may be a hardware issue. At this point, I’d recommend taking the vehicle to a professional for further investigation.

These steps help you navigate and fix any CarPlay issues you might be experiencing but remember, always prioritize safety. If the CarPlay screen is not responding while you’re driving, don’t try to fix it on the go. It’s better to pull over safely or deal with it when you’ve reached your destination.

Fixing CarPlay Screen Freezing and Sudden Stops

Now, let’s delve into the pesky issues of the CarPlay screen freezing or CarPlay suddenly stopping. Both can be particularly frustrating, especially if they occur when you’re navigating unfamiliar routes.

Identifying Potential Software Conflicts

Like any tech system, CarPlay can sometimes run into conflicts with other software on your iPhone.

  • Analyzing Recent Updates and App Installations: Have you installed any new apps or updates recently? Sometimes, these can create unexpected conflicts causing CarPlay problems. For instance, I once installed an update on my iPhone that made my CarPlay unresponsive. Uninstalling the recent updates solved the issue.
  • Closing Background Apps That May Interfere with CarPlay: Try closing apps that run in the background as these might be consuming too much memory, causing the CarPlay screen not to respond. Simply double click the iPhone home button or swipe up from the bottom (for phones without a home button) and close any unnecessary apps.
  • Verifying CarPlay’s Compatibility with the Current iOS Version: Ensure your iOS version is compatible with CarPlay. While Apple strives to make each iOS version CarPlay-compatible, glitches may sometimes occur with new releases. If you suspect compatibility issues, you might want to consider either updating or rolling back your iOS version.

Reconnecting CarPlay

Here are step-by-step instructions to reconnect CarPlay and ensure a proper connection.

  • Disconnect your iPhone from the car and restart it: This simple step can often resolve CarPlay issues.
  • Delete your car from the CarPlay settings on your iPhone: Go to Settings > General > CarPlay, select your car and tap ‘Forget This Car’.
  • Reconnect your iPhone to the car using a USB cable: Ensure that the cable is properly plugged in and that the car’s infotainment system recognizes the connection.

If you keep experiencing disconnections, it may be a sign of a faulty cable or USB port. Try using a different cable or check the USB port in your car for any visible damage.

Enabling CarPlay on the Infotainment System

Sometimes, the problem might be as simple as CarPlay not being enabled on your infotainment system.

  • Checking the Car’s Settings to Enable CarPlay: Different cars have different settings. Ensure you’ve enabled CarPlay in your car’s infotainment system settings. Check your car’s manual for precise instructions if you’re unsure.
  • Updating the Car’s Firmware to Support CarPlay: Just like your iPhone, your car’s infotainment system may need updates. Check with your vehicle manufacturer for updates that might fix CarPlay issues.
  • Verifying CarPlay Activation on the iPhone: Lastly, don’t forget to check the iPhone’s settings. Go to Settings > General > CarPlay and make sure your car is listed and CarPlay is enabled.

Apple CarPlay Not Working After an Update

You’ve just updated your iPhone and you’re excited about the new features. You get in your car, eager to try out your tunes on your freshly updated device, only to find that CarPlay isn’t working.

Yes, it can be a real bummer. Let’s walk through some common issues caused by updates and how you can reset CarPlay if it’s acting up after an update.

Common Issues Caused by Updates

Updates are intended to improve your device’s performance and introduce new features. However, they can occasionally lead to unexpected issues.

Understanding Potential Conflicts After an iOS Update

Sometimes, updates can cause conflicts with older versions of apps or even with the car’s infotainment system.

A personal experience comes to mind where, after an update, my wired CarPlay stopped working altogether. The conflict was later resolved by an additional iOS update.

CarPlay Incompatibility with Specific iOS Versions

Some iOS versions may have compatibility issues with CarPlay, causing CarPlay problems like a non-responsive or black screen. Make sure to check the release notes of any new iOS update for any reported CarPlay issues.

Addressing Post-Update Bugs and Glitches

Bugs and glitches might appear after an update, leading to CarPlay not working. If you encounter such issues, Apple usually addresses them in subsequent software updates. So, ensure your iPhone has the latest software.

Steps to Reset Apple CarPlay After an Update

If you’re still experiencing issues with CarPlay after an update, there are several steps you can take to resolve them.

Performing a Soft Reset of CarPlay Settings

This involves disconnecting your iPhone from the car and forgetting this car in your CarPlay settings. To do this, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, select your car, and tap ‘Forget This Car’. Afterward, reconnect your iPhone and allow it to set up CarPlay afresh.

Restoring the iPhone to Factory Settings to Resolve Issues

This is a more drastic step and should only be used as a last resort. Make sure to back up all important data on your iPhone before proceeding. To restore your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

Contacting Apple Support for Further Assistance

If none of the above solutions work, it might be time to contact Apple Support. Their team is equipped to help with these types of issues and more.

Further Reading About Car Radio Screen Issues

If you like this post, there are a few more related to this topic that you may find interesting. If you do, click the link below and enjoy another article.

Why Is My Car Radio Display Fading?

A fading car radio display can leave you frustrated and confused. From difficulty seeing controls to missing song information, understanding why your car radio display is fading becomes the first step towards resolving the problem.

Why Is Car Radio Display Too Bright?

car radio display that’s too bright can be a nuisance and a potential hazard, especially during night drives. Knowing the causes and how to adjust the brightness is necessary for a comfortable and safe drive. 


As we’ve discussed, the responsiveness of the CarPlay screen is vital to the functionality of this convenient system. With a properly working CarPlay, you can access maps, send and receive messages, listen to music, and more, all while keeping your eyes on the road.

When the CarPlay screen is unresponsive, it hampers the entire experience, affecting not just convenience but also safety. As a regular CarPlay user myself, I cannot stress enough the importance of a responsive CarPlay screen.

There are various troubleshooting steps we can take if we encounter common CarPlay issues such as the CarPlay screen not responding, the CarPlay not connecting, or a CarPlay black screen.

These steps range from checking the wired connection, resetting Apple CarPlay, and troubleshooting the touch screen recognition, to identifying software conflicts and reconnecting CarPlay. When a post-update problem arises, understanding potential conflicts and knowing how to reset Apple CarPlay can be a lifesaver.

A critical element in ensuring the seamless performance of CarPlay is regular maintenance. This includes keeping your iPhone up to date, regularly cleaning and inspecting your car’s infotainment screen for physical damage, and confirming the cable’s proper connection.

Further, consistently checking for updates in your car’s infotainment system is crucial for maintaining compatibility with your iPhone. After all, technology is always evolving and Apple’s CarPlay is no different.