BMW Spotify Not Working: Common Causes And Fixes

From the very first purr of a BMW engine to the last wistful note of your favorite melody, the driving experience is enriched by the seamless fusion of performance and technology. As proud BMW enthusiasts, we at BIMMERIST magazine revel in exploring the vast spectrum of sophisticated features that set these luxury automobiles apart. In this piece, we delve into the curious case of Spotify’s integration with iDrive, or rather, its occasional discord.

It’s a crisp morning, with the sun just beginning to cast its golden glow over the horizon, as you slide into the supple leather embrace of your BMW’s cockpit. A flick of the wrist and the engine awakens, eager to conquer the road ahead. Your fingers dance across the iDrive controller, deftly selecting your cherished Spotify playlist. But then, without warning, the harmony is disrupted — the once reliable app refuses to play along.

In this article, we’ll investigate the causes behind this perturbing phenomenon and provide you with practical solutions to restore the melodious partnership between Spotify and your BMW’s native iDrive app. Together, we shall navigate this symphony of software and hardware, ensuring your drives remain as harmonious as the engineers at BMW intended. So, buckle up, fellow Bimmerists, as we embark on a journey to rekindle the sweet serenade of Spotify within your ultimate driving machine.

Common causes for Spotify issues on iDrive

Software updates

  1. BMW iDrive system updates: BMW is dedicated to keeping its iDrive system up-to-date, adding new features and enhancements to improve your driving experience. However, updates to the iDrive system may occasionally introduce compatibility issues with the Spotify app.
  2. Spotify app updates: Similarly, Spotify frequently updates its app to provide new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. These updates can sometimes cause conflicts with the iDrive system, leading to the app not functioning correctly.

Connectivity issues

  1. Bluetooth: The iDrive system relies on a stable Bluetooth connection to stream music from the Spotify app. If there is an issue with Bluetooth pairing or connectivity, it can prevent Spotify from working on your iDrive system.
  2. Wi-Fi or cellular data: Spotify requires an active internet connection to stream music. If your vehicle is experiencing connectivity issues with Wi-Fi or cellular data, it can cause the Spotify app to malfunction on the iDrive system.

Account-related problems

  1. Subscription status: Spotify offers its services through various subscription plans, including free and premium tiers. If there is an issue with your subscription, such as an expired payment method or account suspension, it can affect the app’s performance on iDrive.
  2. User login credentials: Incorrect or outdated login credentials can prevent the Spotify app from working on the iDrive system. If you’ve recently changed your password or experienced a security breach, it could be the reason behind the app’s malfunction.

Note! iDrive 6

BMW has discontinued this feature for iDrive 6 in 2020.

BMW iDrive 6 (2016). BMW Group

If you’re an Apple fan like myself, you can still rock out to your favorite Spotify tunes via CarPlay in your BMW. Android Auto doesn’t work with iDrive 6 anyways, so the only option is to stream your music via “Enhanced” Bluetooth.

But I digress. 

Fixes for Spotify not working on iDrive

Restarting the iDrive system

  1. Soft reboot: Sometimes, a simple soft reboot can resolve minor software glitches, including issues with the Spotify app on iDrive. To perform a soft reboot, press and hold the volume knob for approximately 25 seconds until the iDrive system restarts.
  2. Hard reboot: If the soft reboot does not resolve the issue, a hard reboot might be necessary. To do this, turn off your BMW, disconnect the negative battery terminal, wait for about 10 minutes, and then reconnect the battery. This will completely reset the iDrive system and potentially fix any Spotify-related issues.

Updating the iDrive software

  1. Over-the-air updates: Ensure that your iDrive system is running the latest software version by checking for over-the-air updates. To do this, navigate to the “Settings” menu, then select “Software Update” and follow the on-screen instructions.
  2. BMW service center assistance: If you’re unable to update your iDrive system through over-the-air updates, you can visit your local BMW service center. They can assist you in updating your iDrive system and troubleshooting any compatibility issues with the Spotify app.

Troubleshooting connectivity

  1. Re-pairing Bluetooth devices: To resolve any Bluetooth-related issues, try unpairing and re-pairing your smartphone with the iDrive system. You can do this by navigating to the “Connections” menu, selecting “Bluetooth Devices,” and following the prompts to unpair and pair your smartphone.
  2. Checking Wi-Fi or cellular data settings: Verify that your vehicle has a stable internet connection. If you’re using Wi-Fi, ensure that the network is connected and has a strong signal. If you rely on cellular data, check that your smartphone has sufficient signal strength and data allowance to maintain a stable connection with the iDrive system.
BMW iDrive 7 Spotify native application. BMW Group

Preventing future Spotify issues on iDrive

Regularly updating software

  1. iDrive system updates: To minimize compatibility issues between Spotify and your iDrive system, make sure to keep your iDrive software up-to-date. Regularly check for updates and install them as they become available.
  2. Spotify app updates: Similarly, ensure that the Spotify app on your smartphone is always running the latest version. Update the app through your smartphone’s app store whenever a new version is released.

Maintaining a stable connection

  1. Bluetooth best practices: To keep the Bluetooth connection between your smartphone and iDrive system stable, avoid placing other electronic devices near the iDrive system that could cause interference. Additionally, ensure your smartphone’s Bluetooth settings are optimized for a seamless connection with iDrive.
  2. Wi-Fi or cellular data management: Make sure that your vehicle has a reliable internet connection at all times. Regularly check your Wi-Fi and cellular data settings and update them as needed to ensure optimal performance.

Monitoring account status

  1. Keeping subscriptions up-to-date: To prevent issues related to your Spotify subscription, ensure that your payment information is current and your account is in good standing. Update your subscription details as needed to avoid service disruptions.
  2. Securing account information: Protect your Spotify account from unauthorized access by using strong, unique passwords and enabling two-factor authentication. Regularly monitor your account for suspicious activity and update your login credentials as necessary.

By taking these proactive steps, you can minimize the likelihood of encountering Spotify-related issues on your iDrive system and continue enjoying your favorite tunes while driving your ultimate driving machine.


In this article, we’ve explored the common causes behind the occasional discord between Spotify and the native iDrive app in BMW vehicles, ranging from software updates and connectivity issues to account-related problems. We have also provided practical fixes to restore harmony between these two essential components of your driving experience.

By keeping your iDrive system and Spotify app up-to-date, maintaining a stable connection, and monitoring your account status, you can minimize the chances of future issues and ensure your BMW remains the ultimate driving machine, complete with the perfect soundtrack for your journeys.

As fellow Bimmerists, we understand the importance of a seamless and enjoyable driving experience. By addressing these issues and implementing preventive measures, you can continue to revel in the unmatched symphony of performance and technology that only a BMW can provide.

Georg Meier

BMW technician since 1996, began his automotive journey in 1993 as an apprentice mechanic at Automag, the world's oldest BMW dealership located in Munich. With years of experience and dedication under his belt, Georg has garnered a wealth of knowledge about the intricacies of BMW vehicles. His profound love for the brand led him to found BIMMERIST website, where he now shares his expertise and insights with fellow enthusiasts.

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