How to Pair Your New BMW Digital Key

November 10th, 2020 by

Your compatible Apple iPhone and Apple Watch can now work as your BMW’s car key for models equipped with Live Cockpit, iDrive 7, and Comfort Access, and built after July 2020. The 2021 G12 7 Series is excluded from this capability. Check compatibility by logging into your BMW Connected Drive account. No retrofit is currently available for this feature. You can share the key with up to 5 other people, and can set up optional restrictions prior to sharing the key. In all three setup scenarios, both key fobs have to be in the vehicle and the vehicle engine must be turned off.

How to activate BMW Digital Key via BMW Connected App

  1. Log into the BMW Connected App
  2. Tap “Digital Key” setup button, then tap “Start setting up your Digital Key”
  3. Confirm both key fobs are inside the vehicle. 
  4. Tap “Next”
  5. Tap “Start Pairing”
  6. Place your iPhone on the smartphone tray with NFC sensor and wait while the Digital Key is created. 
  7. The Digital Key for iPhone can be accessed in your Wallet App and is now ready for immediate use and sharing.

In addition to your iPhone now acting as your new BMW Digital Key, your Apple Watch will also store the digital key in your Apple Watch’s wallet, allowing you to activate the digital key from the watch, as simply as you would pay for groceries or your favorite cup of coffee.

How to activate BMW Digital Key via email: 

  1. Open the email containing the pairing link.
  2. Tap on the pairing link. 
  3. Place your iPhone on the smartphone tray with NFC sensor and wait while the Digital Key is created. 
  4. The Digital Key for iPhone can be accessed in your Wallet App and is now ready for immediate use and sharing.

Man opening his BMW by his Apple iPhone

How to activate BMW Digital Key via iDrive:

  1. From the main iDrive home-screen, select: Car → Settings → Doors/Access → Digital Key
  2. Place your  iPhone on the smartphone tray with NFC sensor. 
  3. You may open either the BMW Connected App to continue with automatic pairing, or you may manually enter the pairing token received via email. 
  4. Place your iPhone on the smartphone tray with NFC sensor and wait while the Digital Key is created. 
  5. The Digital Key for iPhone can be accessed in your Wallet App and is now ready for immediate use and sharing.

Cockpiut image of a BMW once you use your BMW Digital Key for iPhone

Now let’s figure out Key Sharing with BMW Digital Key:

  1. Open Apple Wallet on iPhone and select your BMW Digital Key
  2. Tap the 3 Dots icon, followed by “Invite”
  3. Tap “Invite” button once more. 
  4. You may optionally select an Access Level
  5. Type in the contact of your key recipient (they must have iOS 13.6 or higher)
  6. Tap send, and confirm! You will see Invite Pending under their name. 

Person opening a BMW door with their BMW Digital Key for iPhone

Revoking Digital Key Access

If you’d like to stop access with someone you’ve shared  your key with, you can revoke the key. With a physical key in the vehicle to ensure the car is in your possession, follow these steps:

  1. In the iDrive menu navigate to Car → Settings → Door and Access → BMW Digital Key
  2. Select the shared key you would like to revoke access to. 
  3. For safety reasons, when you Revoke a Shared Key through the Wallet App, the key goes into a “pre-deletion” state. Once a physical key fob locks or unlocks the car, it will delete fully. If the delete is done through the iDrive, the revocation is instant. 

Express Mode: This default feature allows the user to lock, unlock, or start the vehicle without unlocking your iPhone. It allows you to use your iPhone as the key for up to 5 hours after your iPhone battery runs out. This feature can be disabled in the Wallet App. 

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