iPhone Not Connecting To Ford SYNC? Here’s The Real Fix.

You’ve connected your iPhone to your the USB port of your car with Ford SYNC, but it’s not playing music. You connected it with Bluetooth, and you can make phone calls on the Phone setting — but music isn’t working, even though your iPhone says it’s playing. In this article, I’ll show you how to play music on your iPhone over USB using Ford SYNC and explain what to do when your iPhone won’t play music over SYNC.

What Is Ford SYNC?

Ford SYNC is software unique to Ford vehicles that allow you to connect your iPhone for hands free calls and other features. Holding your phone while you’re driving can be very dangerous, so it’s always good to have a hands free option.

However, if you can’t get your phone to connect, the system isn’t all that useful, is it?

Why Doesn’t My iPhone Connect To Ford SYNC Automatically?

Your iPhone is not connecting to Ford SYNC automatically because your car’s default setting is “line in” rather than USB. So even if your iPhone is plugged in to the dock connector, you still have to manually switch the source to SYNC USB.

How To Connect An iPhone To Ford SYNC

The steps below will be able to help you get your phone connected.

  1. Begin by making sure you are main Media Menu. The Media icon should be highlighted in orange on the left side of your car’s display. If your iPhone says it’s playing music, but you’re not hearing anything yet, that’s normal.
  2. Press the physical MENU button in center console.
  3. The menu will appear on your car’s display.
  4. Make sure SYNC-media is highlighted on your car’s display.
  5. Press the physical OK button in the center console.
  6. The Media Menu will appear on the screen. You may see Play Menu, Media Menu, or something else.
  7. Tap the physical down button in your car’s console until Select Source appears on the display screen.
  8. Press the physical OK button in the center console.
  9. Press the physical down button in the center console until SYNC USB appears on the screen
  10. Press the physical OK button in the center console.

Can I Listen To Music Using SYNC Bluetooth?

Yes, you can listen to music using SYNC Bluetooth, but we strongly recommend using SYNC USB. Bluetooth is great for phone calls, but it’s not as good for the high-quality audio you expect when listening to music, audiobooks, or your favorite podcast.

Bluetooth is also a bit slower than the USB in regard to connecting your iPhone to your car. Listening to audio files via Bluetooth may result in slower load time, laggy audio, and frequent skips.

The reason for this is because USB flash drives use a kind of memory called solid state while Bluetooth sends the music data through a wireless signal. Solid state memory transfers to the vehicle much faster than a wireless connection and with more accuracy, meaning that you’ll get higher quality and with less annoying skips.

Can I Make Phone Calls Over The iPhone Dock Connector?

No, you cannot make phone calls over the iPhone dock connector. The USB dock connector was designed to only support playing audio, not the two-way communication of phone calls that uses the microphone.

Bluetooth was designed with the capability of making phone calls in mind, and it’s still the default way for communication.

Why Doesn’t My iPhone Connect To Ford SYNC Automatically?

Your iPhone is not connecting to Ford SYNC automatically because your car’s default setting is “line in” rather than USB. So even if your iPhone is plugged in to the dock connector, you still have to manually switch the source to SYNC USB.

iPhone: Connected To Ford SYNC!

Your iPhone is connected to Ford SYNC and you’re finally able to listen to your favorite songs while cruising along the open road. It’s incredibly frustrating when your iPhone is not connecting to Ford SYNC, so make sure you share this article on social media to save your friends and family from potential headaches.

Thanks for reading,
David P. and David L.

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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Nigel maisey
7 months ago

I have a fiesta titanium x. My phone has always been synced to the car. I had a new battery fitted on the car after 4 days the phone lost its sync connection. I’ve gone through the process of re syncing it and sync won’t appear on my iPhone. Any ideas what it may be?

11 months ago

iPhone is synced and plugged into the USB, but I can’t play listen to books anymore.

T Ross
1 year ago

different issue…I’ve used sync via bluetooth android in my 2018 F150 since new. just witched to 5G i-phone with little trouble. That said, it will disconnect arbitrarily, meaning sync is still connected to the iphone, or thinks it is, but will not respond to iphone commands, Will will not transmit or receive voice or data commands…Having same issue with 2014 Audi RS5. I smell a glitch…

1 year ago

SYNC made by Microsoft put on a car made by Ford. The whole thing is Karput by default.

1 year ago

It works!
But I have to do this every time after starting the car. Should the car remember the settings?

Carl Ray
1 year ago

And Fords GPS system is no good on the 2019 F250’s

Carl Ray
1 year ago

It would be better if ford turned it over to someone that new something about iPhone.

Randy Robles
2 years ago

My phone button on my car doesn’t work. What can i do?

1 year ago
Reply to  Randy Robles

Did you happen to figure this out lol? 2012 f150 factory but the phone button doesn’t seem to do anything

Robin Archer
2 years ago

My Samsung phone media setting goes red when I get in the car. This is a new thing. My GPS suddenly stopped working and I can’t use the GPS, Google Maps on the phone with sound. I’m not sure how to fix my GPS. It’s a 2017 Ford Mustang

2 years ago

Hi – really hoping you can help. I drive a 2014 Ford Fiesta and I am having the opposite problem. I have used sync for years but suddenly my iPhone will only connect for playing music but not the Sync-phone to make/receive calls. Any troubleshooting advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! I’ve tried all the usuals (removing and re-adding the device, restarting Bluetooth etc.). Feeling stuck

David Payette
2 years ago
Reply to  Jenay

Hi Jenay,

I’d recommend getting in touch with your Ford dealer about this one. We think about updating the software on our phones a lot, but I wonder if there’s a software update for your car? Additionally, your Ford dealership probably has direct experience fixing this problem. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, but I’d rather steer you in the right direction than give you incorrect information.

Best of luck,
David P.

billy bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Jenay

Hi, I’m having the exact same problem. Did you find an answer to the problem?

2 years ago

I have my iPhone connected via USB and when I click on Play Media it says “No Files Found” and won’t play my music apps. How do I get this fixed?

3 years ago

Hello David, my name is Alina Amapola Saenz Perez, I follow you guys since the beginning. I reside in Panama, Republic of Panama Central America. I have just received about a month ago my new Iphone SE 2 bought in USA ONLINE. I have two questions for you (by the way I am 71 yrs). First, I find my celular gets too hot and last night I searched for your video on this subject and did about the first 3 steps. Today i went for my morning walk, my cell had the camera open because i stopped to take a… Read more »

Last edited 3 years ago by alina