How To Activate BMW Digital Key? Unlock Your Car With Your Smartphone

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If you own a BMW, then chances are that you already know about its many advanced features. One of the most innovative features that BMW has recently introduced is the Digital Key technology.

With the BMW Digital Key, you can unlock your car and start the engine using only your smartphone. It’s convenient, secure, and easy to use once you know how to activate it correctly.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs

If you’re wondering how to activate your BMW Digital Key and enjoy the freedom of unlocking your car with your phone, then keep reading because we’ll guide you through the process step-by-step.

In this blog post, we’ll show you exactly what steps you need to take to set up and use your BMW Digital Key. Whether you’re new to the world of connected cars or an experienced tech-savvy driver, our guide will make it simple for you to activate your BMW Digital Key and enjoy all its benefits.

You don’t need any specialized skills or knowledge to get started- just follow our instructions, and you’ll be ready to unlock your car in no time!

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the details of activating your BMW Digital Key!

What is BMW Digital Key?


Technology has revolutionized the automotive industry, and BMW is at the forefront with its new innovation – the BMW Digital Key. This advanced technology replaces traditional car keys and allows drivers to use their smartphones as a key to access and start their vehicle. In this blog post, we will discuss in detail how you can activate your BMW Digital Key.

What is BMW Digital Key?

The BMW Digital Key is an innovative feature developed by BMW that allows users to unlock, lock, and start their cars using their smartphone instead of the traditional physical key. The digital key works via Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that enables communication between the phone and the car’s computer system.

This technology was introduced in 2018 and is compatible with selected models such as the BMW 5 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series, X5, X6, X7, and M5.

How does BMW Digital Key work?

To get started with your BMW Digital Key, you first need to check if your smartphone is compatible with NFC technology. After confirming compatibility, the next step is to set up the digital key feature on your mobile device by downloading the BMW Connected app from the App Store or Google Play store.

Once the app is installed, you need to log in with your BMW ID account details. If you don’t have an existing account, create one. Then, follow the prompts to link your digital key to your car through the app.

After setting up the digital key, it’s time to activate it. To do this, hold your smartphone close to the door handle to unlock the car. Once inside, place your phone in the designated area (usually the charging pad) and push the Start/Stop button to start the engine.

In case you have additional drivers, up to five people can also use this feature by sending an invitation via the BMW Connected app. The invited users must accept the invitation and complete the above-mentioned setup procedure on their smartphones before gaining access to the vehicle.

“BMW Digital Key puts the convenience of controlling your car in the palm of your hands,” says Julien Millot, head of digital products at BMW Group.

Now that you know how to activate your BMW Digital Key, it’s time to enjoy the convenience of using your smartphone instead of a traditional key to unlock, lock, and start your car!

Which BMW Models Support Digital Key?

The advancements in technology over the years have brought forth significant changes in various industries. The automotive industry is no exception, and this has been evidenced by innovative features such as keyless entry, automatic parking assistance, and now digital keys.

One of the leading motor brands that have embraced digital innovation is BMW. The automaker’s revolutionary feature – the BMW Digital Key allows car owners to unlock their vehicle using smartphones instead of traditional car keys. This incredibly convenient feature eliminates the hassle of fumbling through a bunch of keys or worrying about losing them.

BMW Models that Support Digital Key

If you own a BMW, you must be wondering whether your car model supports the new Digital Key feature. Currently, BMW offers its Digital Key feature on select models with an iPhone and Samsung smartphone compatibility. If you’re one of the lucky BMW users, here’s what you need to know:

  • BMW 1 Series (2020 onwards)
  • BMW 2 Series Coupé and Convertible
  • BMW 3 Series (2019 onwards)
  • BMW 4 Series Coupé, Convertible, and Gran Coupé
  • BMW 5 Series (July 2020 onwards)
  • BMW 7 Series (July 2020 onwards)
  • BMW 8 Series Coupé, Convertible, and Gran Coupé
  • All-new BMW X5 (2018 onwards)
  • All-new BMW X6 (2019 onwards)
  • All-new BMW X7 (2020 onwards)

To enjoy the Digital Key luxury, ensure that your car has the BMW Live Cockpit Professional and Comfort Access features. You should also have an unlocked smartphone with up-to-date software to enable compatibility.

Features of BMW Digital Key Models

The BMW Digital Key offers a wide range of features that make it unique and convenient for users. Some of these features include:

  • Compatible Smartphones: The BMW Digital Key feature is compatible with selected iPhone models running on iOS 13 or later and Samsung smartphones running Android 8.0 Oreo or later versions.
  • No Battery Required: Unlike traditional key fobs, the BMW Digital Key doesn’t need batteries, as all power comes from your smartphone’s battery.
  • Remote Parking Assistance: With your phone in hand, you can activate the Remote Parking Assist feature. This enables you to control the car’s movement outside the vehicle while it parks itself into tight parking spaces.
  • ShareSmartphone access: As long as you authorize them, you can easily share your BMW digital key with family members, friends- or anyone authorized to use the vehicle using the iDrive System.
  • Increased Security: The BMW Digital Key works on participating devices via NFC (Near Field Communication) technology; this ensures robust security measures are put in place to protect user authenticity details from hackers and device hijackers. Additionally, the BMW Digital Key also employs four-digit authentication codes alongside Face ID or Touch ID verification methods.
  • Flexible authorization options: One can send restricted-access digital keys to service personnel like valets, thereby ensuring specific vehicle use permissions efficiently designated to other drivers whenever necessary.
“From now on, car owners will be able to lock and unlock their vehicle, start the engine and share access with others using nothing more than a Samsung smartphone or smartwatch.” – Maxime Flament, Chief Technical Officer at the Car Connectivity Consortium.

The BMW Digital Key incorporates a variety of features that enable users to have added convenience, safety features, and exceptional security measures for your car. If you are using an iPhone model compatible with the Digital Key feature alongside newer or pre-existing BMW models, activating the feature is straightforward.

Ensure that you’re connected via Bluetooth. This involves opening your phone’s settings, then going to general Bluetooth and ensuring it is switched on. You should wait for it to pair successfully before attempting any interface actions. The device should recognize the car near it automatically. After recognized by the car through Comfort Access, select “BMW Digital Key” from the iDrive main menu under My Vehicle -> Apps -> ManageMyCar-> BMWDigitalKey

To activate activation mode, authenticate yourself (Face ID and Touch ID options available), hold the smartphone to the door handle until the door unlocks. Place your phone charging pad in the cup holder at the center console while pressing ‘start’ button, after this procedure is completed, the phone must remain in the charging unit located, allowing the system to complete its sync test.

“Since November 2020 Apple now allows their iPhone XR, XS/XS Max and later devices starting with iOS version 13.6 and above which support Ultra Wideband functionality like the iPhone 11 Series, iPhone SE (2nd generation) and iPhone 12 series to use UWB passive entry functionality to access vehicles such as BMWs equipped with the digital key feature over NFC connectivity.” – Okapi Analytics.

If your car model isn’t integrated with the Digital Key feature yet, don’t worry. BMW plans to introduce this innovative feature in other models that are compatible soon. Everyone needs an easy and convenient way to open their cars, especially when running errands or making quick stops while on the go.

How to Set Up BMW Digital Key?


The automotive industry has witnessed a revolutionary development in the form of digital keys. For instance, BMW now offers an innovative solution called BMW Digital Key.

BMW Digital Key enables customers to unlock and start their cars without using a physical key or even a smartphone app. Instead, they can use their phone as a key for their BMW.

If you own a BMW car and are interested in activating its digital key feature, this article provides comprehensive guidelines that will help you set up the BMW Digital Key on your phone easily.

Requirements for Setting Up BMW Digital Key

  • Your BMW car must be manufactured after July 2020 and equipped with the Comfort Access option
  • You need an iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro/Pro Max, 12 Mini, 12, or 12 Pro/Pro Max running iOS 13.6 (or newer)
  • Access to the BMW Connected App Version 15.0 (or newer)
  • A mobile data connection or Wi-Fi network
  • iCloud account signed in into both devices – your iPhone and iPad (if applicable)

Step-by-Step Guide for Setting Up BMW Digital Key

Here’s how to activate, configure, and use the BMW Digital Key:

  1. Connect with BMW ID: Log in to the BMW Connected App by entering your BMW ID or registering if you don’t have one yet.
  2. Activate Your Vehicle: Add a new vehicle to your account by tapping the “Activate Your Vehicle” button and following the on-screen prompts. You need to enter your VIN code, which can be found on the registration papers or inside of the car’s windshield on the driver’s side.
  3. Configure Digital Key: Once you have activated your vehicle, scroll down to “Digital Key” in the app menu, then select “Set up Digital Key.”
  4. Select Permissions: Choose the permissions that you want the digital key to have, such as access to lock and unlock doors or start the engine.
  5. Create a Passcode: Create a six-digit passcode for the digital key to prevent unauthorized access.
  6. Add Digital Key To Apple Wallet: After creating a passcode, tap “Add to Apple Wallet,” then “Next.” From here, you can place your phone over the NFC reader (if available) in the car or press and hold the power button on your iPhone to use Face ID functionality.
“It is essential to complete all these steps correctly to enjoy five-star driving experiences with BMW Digital Key, ” advises Maximilian Kellner, Vice President Customer & Aftersales at BMW Group Middle East.

Last but not least, once you set it up successfully, you can share your digital key with anyone via iMessage so they can also access and use the automobile without handing over any physical key.

BMW’s innovative technology offers customers the ultimate level of convenience, freedom, and flexibility when unlocking their cars and igniting memorable journeys. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to make life easier – activate the BMW Digital Key today!

How to Use BMW Digital Key?


BMW Digital Key is a feature that allows you to use your smartphone as a digital car key. You will no longer have to carry around a physical key and fumble with it to unlock or start your BMW. This feature uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which means that you only need to hold your phone close to the door handle or the dashboard to activate it.

In this article, we will discuss how to activate BMW Digital Key and some of its other functions.

How to Unlock and Start a BMW with Digital Key

Activating BMW Digital Key is quite simple. Here are the steps:
  • Ensure that your iPhone is updated to iOS 13.6 or later.
  • Pair your device with your BMW using Bluetooth in the BMW Connected app.
  • Select “Digital Key” on the home screen of the BMW Connected app.
  • Create a new Digital Key by following the on-screen instructions.
  • You can then share access to your Digital Key with up to five people using iMessage.
  • To unlock your BMW, simply hold your iPhone close to the driver’s side door handle until it beeps and flashes a green light. The same process applies for locking the vehicle too.
  • To start your BMW, place your iPhone in the Wireless Charging tray situated at the center console. Press the brake pedal and push the Engine Start/Stop button to turn the engine on.

Note: In case your iPhone battery dies or you lose your phone, you can still access the traditional physical key located inside the Smart Key Holder on the Driver Door Handle.

Other Functions of BMW Digital Key

Apart from unlocking and starting your vehicle, BMW Digital Key has some other interesting features. Here are a few of them:
  • Personalization: You can customize your Digital Key by selecting BMW themes or uploading personalized photos to it.
  • Safety Features: The Digital Key is always encrypted and cannot be duplicated. In addition, you can set restrictions on the digital key that allow specific access, for example locking out opening the boot/trunk if the valet driver has been given access but not the trunk/boot area.
  • SOS Services: With just one button click, you can contact roadside assistance if needed.
  • Valet Mode: This feature allows you to limit the functionality of your car when giving someone else access. For example, you may choose to disable the speed limiter or change driving modes while loaning your vehicle to a friend or family member.
“With the BMW Digital Key, our customers now have an even more convenient and secure way to access their cars with their smartphones”, – Alexander Maier, Senior Product Manager at BMW

Activating and using BMW Digital Key is easy and convenient, especially in times where safety and minimal physical touching is important. It eliminates the worry about losing keys or sharing them without having to physically hand the others over resulting in keys disappearing and leaving us stranded. Now it’s time to give it a try and enjoy a seamless experience!

What Are the Benefits of BMW Digital Key?


The BMW Digital Key is a new feature that allows you to use your smartphone as a key for your car. This innovative technology provides several benefits, such as increased convenience and improved security.

Increased Convenience and Security

One of the main advantages of the BMW Digital Key is its convenience. With this feature, you no longer have to carry around physical keys or worry about losing them. Instead, all you need is your smartphone to access your vehicle and start the engine. Additionally, because the Digital Key is secured through advanced encryption and authentication technologies, it’s much safer than traditional keys that can be easily duplicated or lost.

Beyond these basic features, the BMW Digital Key also offers additional conveniences, such as the ability to share access with friends or family members remotely. Users can send a virtual key to others via text message, which they can then use to unlock and drive the car without having to give them a physical copy.

Cost Savings and Reduced Environmental Impact

In addition to the convenience and security benefits, the BMW Digital Key can also help users save money and reduce their environmental impact. For example, because users can share access to their vehicles with others, there may be less need to purchase multiple cars in households where only one or two people frequently use them. This option could potentially lower overall vehicle ownership costs over time.

Additionally, by eliminating the need for plastic or metal keys, the Digital Key can help reduce waste and conserve resources. Furthermore, because users can manage their vehicle remotely with the BMW Connected app, they may be able to optimize their driving habits and reduce fuel consumption, further contributing towards sustainability goals.

Integration with Other BMW Connected Services

Finally, the BMW Digital Key can be easily integrated with other connected services offered by BMW. For instance, users who have a BMW that is compatible with the company’s ConnectedDrive technology can use it to remotely check their vehicle status, such as battery charge levels or maintenance needs.

In addition, users can also connect their BMW Digital Key to services like Apple CarPlay or Amazon Alexa, which allow them to access voice-activated commands or hands-free driving features. Overall, these integrations help create more seamless and efficient experiences for drivers using the BMW Digital Key feature.

“The BMW digital key offers an innovative smartphone solution for those always on the go,” said Frank van Meel, former CEO of BMW M GmbH. “Combined with smart technology it gives our customers ultimate control, convenience and flexibility.”

As you can see, the BMW Digital Key provides several benefits for users looking for a secure, convenient, and eco-friendly way to manage their vehicles. Whether you’re sharing access with family members or integrating with other connected services, this feature is definitely worth considering as part of your overall driving experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to activate the BMW digital key?

To activate the BMW digital key, you will need to have a compatible BMW vehicle and download the BMW Connected app on your smartphone. You will also need to create an account and complete the pairing process between your phone and your vehicle. Once these steps are complete, you can use your phone as a digital key to unlock and start your vehicle.

What are the requirements for using the BMW digital key?

The BMW digital key requires a compatible BMW vehicle and a smartphone with the BMW Connected app downloaded and installed. The smartphone must also have Bluetooth enabled and be connected to the internet. Additionally, the digital key feature must be activated in the BMW Connected app and the phone must be paired with the vehicle.

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