Sync Workshop: Pairing the iPhone 4S and Ford Sync

Tips on using streaming Bluetooth music with your iPhone 4S and the Ford Sync system

Here’s how to pair your iPhone 4s  with your Ford Sync – and how to get the most “music” out of your iPhone 4s!

This workshop will cover a few topics and hopefully make it a bit easier…

Most iPhone 4S users connect their phones to a computer occasionally to recharge their phone or to get iPhone OS updates. If you don’t, you should. What I mean is… if all you ever do is plug your phone into phone’s USB cord and plug it into a USB port to recharge, then you could be using an old out-of-date software version. Connecting through iTunes allows the user to backup files, to download App updates, to download iTunes music, download photos and videos and much more.

If you haven’t already, then pair your iPhone to your Ford sync system in your vehicle. Click on this video link to get that handled. The Sync system will recognize your phone as an iPhone, a Bluetooth music device and an USB device. Where a lot of users get things out of whack is when they starting mixing the uses with the Sync system.

Once an iPhone 4S is correctly paired to Sync, then you can push the “voice” button and when it prompts, say “Bluetooth Audio.” The system will repeat Bluetooth Audio and then go to your phone and in a few seconds it will start playing music from your phone’s Music files.  Your vehicle may have the LED screen on the center console. If it does, it will display “Bluetooth Audio.” If it is a Sony touch screen nav unit it will go to the audio screen and show the “name” of your iPhone as the source device that’s playing. If it is the MyFord Touch or MyLincoln Touch system, it will show the audio screen and the source of the music.

As a footnote… you can “pair” other devices such as iPads, iPods, other smartphones and Mp3 players as Bluetooth Devices. On the Sony Touch Screen nav units or on the MyFord Touch systems you can go to their audio source screens and choose which device you can have streaming the music from. This could also be a USB jump drive, a smart phone connected via USB or an Mp3 player connected via the 1/8-inch RCA jack.

So, let’s get back to the iPhone 4S… once you get the Bluetooth Audio playing you will notice the console screen doesn’t list the song title or the artist name. You aren’t able to use your voice to search for this information, but you can use voice commands such as “Play All,” “Shuffle,” “Play Next Track,” or “Pause.”

If you go to your iPhone and select an app, let’s say Pandora, and then start the app on your phone, it will override the Music Files and start playing the app music. You can use the search arrows on the steering wheel to jump to the next track. You can use the play/pause buttons on the steering wheel or dash to handle those functions as well.

But, let’s say you plug your iPhone into the recharge cord and connect the device to the vehicle’s USB port. If you do, the screen on the iPhone may not let you access your music. You will notice, that after a few minutes, your vehicle will have indexed your music files. It will show the Artist’s Name (AR: name) and Song Title (ST: name) on the LED screen (if you have the screen on the center console) or on the nav system or MyFord Touch screen.

At this point, you may push the voice button on the steering wheel and use the command “USB.” The system will then go to the USB source and look for your device. Then you can make commands such as “Play Artist The Beatles,” “Play Song Let It Be,” or “Play Track Day Tripper.”

Please note, when connected via USB you cannot access your music via Bluetooth Audio. You have to access it as a USB source. One source is “searchable” and the other is not. I know, it’s confusing, but it is what it is…

And, and only for iPhone 4S users, if you push the “home” button on your iPhone for a couple of seconds, you will hear your phone’s tone in your vehicle. Now you can speak your commands to Siri and you will hear her over your vehicle’s sound system. So you could ask her to “Read Text Messages.” Siri will read messages, then you can ask her to send messages (if you’d like). When your done speaking with Siri, just push and hold the “phone” icon on your steering wheel for about four or five seconds and it will end your conversation with Siri.

So click on this link to find out some more about using SyncApps (on some 2012 and 2013 Ford models). Click here for a video link on the iPhone as a music device and a phone with the Ford Sync system. Happy trails!

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119 thoughts on “Sync Workshop: Pairing the iPhone 4S and Ford Sync

  1. I was able to sync an iPhone 4S to a 2011 Ford F150 and use the Bluetooth audio to play music. However, after the initial time I have only been able to get the music to play one more time. I can still call and receive calls by no bluetooth music. Any ideas?

    • * Do you have your Wi-Fi Settings turned on on the iPhone? If so, then turn it off when you are getting into the truck. You can turn Wi-Fi back on later, it’s just that the Wi-Fi activity will block or hinder Bluetooth performance.
      * You didn’t mention if you are trying to stream Bluetooth or play through USB. The commands work differently. I think that’s explained in this article.
      * Have you checked to see if you’ve got all of the latest software updates for your Sync system?
      * and, once you get in and start up the truck, have you tried using the Media button on the steering wheel or the Aux button on the center console to select Sync Line in? Outside of the voice command, that’s another way to get to it.
      * Finally, see your Sync Owner’s Manual, there are a variety of commands, such as “Play All,” “Play Next Track,” “Play,” “Pause,” etc. that you have to say after pushing the “Voice” button to get the music playing on… some of the steering wheel buttons and center console buttons can also help to move to the next track and/or to play or pause the music.
      I’m not sure if maybe the only issue is that you paused the music and you haven’t given it the play command to resume…

  2. Hi,

    I literally just got the Ford Focus with My Touch / Sync yesterday. Weird issue – my MotionX GPS with voice guidance does not provide any audible voice guidance when I’m in the Focus. I’m sure it’s a setting somewhere, but I have no idea what to check. I would love any help if you have any suggestions.


    • I don’t get a lot of comments like this.. you see phone or tablet apps are meant for those devices… just because they Bluetooth connect to Sync doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be Voice-accessible through Sync, or that they will send Voice data back through Sync. For example, you can access your Bluetooth Audio and then turn on your Pandora music app and Sync will stream the music through the sound system, but a GPS-based system like MotionX may not. I would assume that MotionX is giving voice commands back to you through the phone’s speakers and that may not be heard while you are in the vehicle. Also, is you have MyFord Touch, then the vehicle’s own system can give you voice guidance if you have a route set. I don’t have the app to test it anywhere, but if I can, i will get back to you on its applications. Stay tuned…

  3. My bluetooth audio is all weird now. It will be connected but say there is no bluetooth device, or if I get it to work the next and previous buttons wont work. If I go to change it on my phone there will be a delay before the next song comes on.

    • One thing I would recommend is completely power down your phone. Then power it back up. Then check everything again in the vehicle. Start the vehicle, does the Bluetooth symbol show up on the center screen on the console? If that doesn’t work, try this. The “Reboot” Procedure: With your vehicle off, open the hood. Loosen the bolt holding the black battery cable clamp assembly and remove it from the battery for about one minute or more. Then replace it and retighten the clamp. Close the hood.

      Return to your vehicle and start it up. Let the vehicle run for at least four or five minutes. You may see the MyFord Touch screen show the a progress screen showing that the system is “rebooting.” Allow the reboot procedure to finish and let the system runs for a few minutes to make sure everything comes back “online.” This reboots the electrical system from factory specs. Turn off the vehicle again, open the door (this completely powers down the vehicle) and then restart the vehicle. Within a new minutes the system should be functioning normally again. Of course, if this process doesn’t work, then please, go visit your Ford or Lincoln Service Department.

  4. Is there any way to plug my iphone 4s into the USB to get voice commands, music info, etc…. and then keep Bluetooth connected so I can take phone calls when needed? Tried to get this working at the dealership with no luck.

    • I’m not sure what’s up. If your phone is paired, then when the vehicle is turned on it “finds” your phone and connects. Then you can make and receive all the phone calls you want. When you plug your iPhone into the USB port it will charge and be recognized as a USB media source. This allows the voice commands. If you push the voice button while listening to music, the system will respond “USB, state your command.” Say the word, “Phone.” The system will respond “Phone, state your command.” Then you can say “Call+(name) (on cell, at work, or at home)” or “Dial+ (number.)”
      Since you’ve got an iPhone 4S, you should be able to also push the “home” button on your iPhone for a few seconds. Then you’ll hear Siri come on over the vehicle speakers, then you can ask her to call someone or read text messages, or chat about the weather, etc. When you’re done with Siri, push the hold the phone icon on the steering wheel for a few seconds and it will “hang up” on Siri.
      Hope this helps…

  5. Thank you so much! I will see if the salesmen and I can get it to work. Glad I found your website because I was loosing hope.

  6. i have an iphone 4s and a f-150. i am able to listen to my music via blue tooth audio. it works well, BUT … for some reason, every time i get into the car and start it, the music starts on my phone. i have to then go in and manually turn it off. i did tell sync to turn off autoplay, but it still automatically starts the music. suggestions?

    • HERE’S A LITTLE KNOWN APPLE iPHONE SECRET… when you’re phone is on and unlocked… double push the “Home” button on the phone (it’s the big button right below the screen). The screen will slide up and reveal the icons of all of the programs currently “open and awaiting” you that are in ready mode… place your finger and hold it on one of the icons. In a second or two the icons will start to “shake” and a small red circle with a minus sign will appear in the upper right corner of each icon. Tap the minus arrow on any (or all) of the icons and it will officially take the App out of “ready” status. I suspect your music folder was sitting in this cue and ready to kick on the next time you turned your truck on. Oh, by the way, pushing the red button doesn’t make the App go away it turns it off. This will also extend out your battery life…

      • actually, i thought that might be the problem, so i did what you suggested above. once it was still ‘open’. so, i did ‘close’ the app by tapping the minus sign. i then turned off the vehicle and restarted. the music player still started.

        • Did you every figure out how to stop your music from autoplay? Mine does that every single time I start the car. It’s a real pain!! I obviously shut it down but I prefer to stream Pandora. I can have Pandora playing and then get a call and when I hang up the music starts up again. I’m so completely frustrated I want to just un-sync my phone!! It’s an 09 Explorer that I bought used.

          • You have the first year of Sync system in your Explorer (I think)…. Ford has done a lot of development since then… do you know what version of Sync software you have? There should be at least one update to your system (maybe two). Also… this is related to the Music Source that has been selected. Obviously, you may be pushing the steering wheel button and saying “Bluetooth Audio” to start the playing. Do you ever push the voice button before turning the car off and say, “USB” The system will respond by saying “USB.” And then turn the car off…
            Then the next time you start the vehicle, the system will be searching for a USB device to start and probably won’t fall back on searching for a Bluetooth device.
            Also, I’m sure you know that after you turn the Explorer off, if you double push the Home button (the button on the lower center face of the iPhone) it will pull up your App icons… If you push and hold your finger on one of the Apps, they all get a red circle in the upper corner of the graphic and start shaking. Tap the red circle to “turn off” the App. This saves your phone battery a little and turns off the App. Tap the Home button again to return to the regular screen.
            And, if I’m not mistaken, you can go to the Phone Menu on your Explorer, go to System Settings, and turn off Autoplay… it may be the Media Menu… I haven’t reset an older Sync system in months – I think I’m getting rusty!

  7. My phone was working fine with Ford Sync until a few days ago. It says it’s connected and will allow the phone to call and I hear it coming thru the speakers, but then it just stops and then I can’t hear anyone and I have to speak thru the phone. It quits coming thru the speakers. I haven’t changed anything that I’m aware of and has worked fine before. Any ideas?

    • Try this… power down your phone completely. If you are in your vehicle, pull it over to the side of the road and turn off the vehicle. Be sure to open the door to make sure the power to the vehicle is completely off. Turn your phone back on and let it get all the way turned on before starting your vehicle. That should take care of it. Let me know if this works for you.

  8. I actually worked with it last night and the I powered the phone down and the car was not running and it seemed to work after I brought it back up. Thanks!

  9. I am new to this forum. I have a question about pairing a new iPhone 4S. I am about to get the iPhone but my F150 is now paired with my older cell phone (not an iPhone). My question is: do I have to remove the old phone and its telephone book data etc. before I pair my new iPhone? Any help or reference post would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Yes, you must “unpair” the older phone first. Go to your Phone Menu (if you have the LED screen at the top of the center console, push the Phone Icon on the dashboard. It will show “Phone Menu” and then change to “Phone Redial.” Turn the tuning knob to get to the topic System Settings. Pus the OK button (center of tuning knob). Then turn the tuning knob until you see the text “Delete Device.” Push the OK button. Now turn the know until you see your old phone’s name and/or model number. With that name on the screen, push the OK button. It may ask again, “Delete Device” and push OK. Now turn the tuning knob until you see “Return” on the screen. Push OK. Turn the tuning know until you see the words “Add Bluetooh Device” or “BT Devices” Hit OK. Push the OK button. You will hear the “voice” say “Push OK to begin pairing.” In a few seconds a 6-digit PIN number appears on the dashboard. Go to your phone. Push the Setting App icon. Push the General Tab. Push the Bluetooth tab. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on. In a few seconds the phone will find “Handsfree” and in a few more seconds this will change to say “Sync” Now push the tab and a secondary screen will appear, then type in the 6-digit PIN from the dashboard. Then push the blue highlighted button on the phone screen that says “Pair.” In a few seconds the “Voice” will start to go over the basic information. Push OK to answer the questions concerning setting 911 Assist to On, Making the phone the “Primary Phone” and Download Phonebook? Push OK and then Push it again. let the system take a minute or two to Download the new phone contacts. The Sync system never actually records phone contacts, it indexes them so it can identify and retrieve the information it needs. So by deleting your old phone, the old contacts will be gone. Once done, the dashboard screen will go back to say “Phone Redial.” Press the Phone Icon for about five seconds and let go, the system will be reset and ready to go.

      • After studying your answer, I have a follow up concern. The information you provided seems to apply to an LED screen. I have a 2011 F-150 Lariat with Sync & Navigation and I think I need directions more suited for the Sync Navigation Screen. I hope I am clear. Might there be directions more suited?

        • As for “Un-pairing” a phone on a Touch Screen Nav system… push the hard button that says “Phone.” Push the button of the left side of the screen that says “Settings” Go to the list of Bluetooth Devices. If you have one to remove, push the button with that phone’s name, then push the button that says Delete. Also, if you wanted to make a phone “active” then push the button with that phone’s name on it, then push the Connect button. To add one, push the Add Device button, then following the pairing instructions. Like with the other pairing instructions, go to the Phone’s Settings, General Folder, Bluetooth, then add Sync once discovered. I hope this helps….

          • Thank you very much. You took time to answer my specific backup question and I most appreciate it. Now its up to me to apply your advice. Thank you again.

  10. I recently traded in my Droid phone for an Iphone 4S. My Sync always alerted me and allowed me to hear my text messages over the car stereo system without ever having to touch my phone. When I receive a text now, with the Iphone 4S, I get no alert nor can I listen to the text.

    • The Microsoft engineers require cellphone companies to use the MAP to access the text-to-voice hands-free technologies. Only a handful of Droid phones use this system (apparently you had one). Apple does not support or use this system, however the iPhone 4S works well with Sync — but in a different way. Just push the “home” button on the face of your iPhone 4S for a couple of seconds. You will hear Siri speak through your vehicle’s sound system. Ask her to “read text messages” and she will comply. Ask her to “send text message” and she will ask to whom and what you want to say. Your iPhone’s tone can alert to incoming messages. Push and hold the phone icon on the steering wheel to “hangup” and deactivate Siri.

    • I ma having the same problem. I will not receive any audio alerts when I get a text message while connect to sync. The rest seems to work fine.

      • You did not mention the type of phone you have, the kind of vehicle you have (year/model) the carrier you have… but when it comes to text alerts, I’m old school… I don’t check text message while I’m driving.
        When it comes to iPhones, they don’t even use the Sync system for voice-to-text. An iPhone 4S or 5 will use Siri to read/send text messages, so don’t expect the Sync system to give text alerts.
        If you have a phone that can to the voice-to-text, you could periodically push the voice button and say, “Read text messages” to check from time to time.

      • I have an IPhone 4s…How come some of my incoming calls come across screen as “in private”? How can I make them come over the speaker system?

        • Some questions…
          What year and model of vehicle do you have?
          What Sync system (Basic – with blue LED screen, Touch Screen Nav by Sony, MyFord, MyFord Touch?
          When you make a call in your vehicle, do you use the Voice button on the steering wheel to start the call, or do you use your phone?
          When a call comes in, do you use the Privacy Mode from Sync, or do you try to shift to privacy on your phone?

      • make sure Text Message Notification is set to Text to Speech under phone settings. I still can’t do voice commands to hear messages or send, but I can use the screen to hear my messages.

        It would be nice to be able to you voice commands though.

        • On your iPhone, Tap Settings> Bluetooth> Go to the Sync Tab and tap the blue circle to the right. A second screen will appear. Make sure the Sync Contacts is set to ON.
          Then turn off the ignition on your vehicle. Open the driver’s door. Wait for your instrument cluster to turn off. Close the driver door. Restart your vehicle.
          This should take care of your issue.

  11. For some reason my iPhone 4S seems to default to the Sync output, rather than the dock connector, even though connected to the USB port and even though the media center shows the output as coming from the USB. Although the music is actually playing, it does not come through the speakers unless I manually select the dock connector in the iPod each time (or if I unplug and plug in again). Is there a way to avoid having to take those extra steps each time?

    • Are you using the “Media” button on the right side steering wheel to select USB input? On most center consoles you can push the AUX button until it states USB and then it will make the USB input the source. Or, push the “Voice” button on the steering wheel and say “USB” to activate that as the source of music…
      And, on your iPhone, when the phone is not in sleep mode… when you are on one of the main screens, then push the Home button twice. Push and hold your finger on any app icon you see in that lower screen. The icons will shimy and you can push the red minus sign to turn off the app, this keeps it out of Ready mode so the music won’t default and turn on every time you start up your vehicle. This also extends your battery life…

  12. I have an iphone 4 with a 2012 f-150 platinum. I want to display cover art on my truck but can not figure out how. can anyone help me with this?

    • OK, let’s go…. you probably have the touch-screen NAV system. Take your photos to your home computer or laptop (hopefully you have a software program such as Adobe AfterEffects, Photoshop or some photo editing program). Take your digital photos into a .jpg format — in some cases you can use .gif, .png or .bmp formats. Maximum file size is 1.5MB, maximum number of photos for your “dashboard library” is 32. Recommended dimensions are 800 pixels wide by 378 pixels high. So vertical photos don’t work so well. Once you have you photos edited to those parameters, transfer/copy them to a CR/R or DVD/R disk. Then take that disk to your vehicle. While parked in a driveway, turn it on. Touch the “Home” icon and bring up the “Home” screen. Push the white arrow in either corner until you see the Ford logo. Now, touch the screen on the logo and let go. The screen changes to the “Editing” function. Insert the disk into the CD player and the system will read the files. It will show the file name of the photos on the disk. Touch the name of the photo, it will show the image on the left side of the screen. Touch the “Add” button to add the file to the hard drive in the dashboard. You can add up to 32 photos to the “library” (based on file size. When you are done, push one of the Nav system hard buttons (like “Radio.”) You’ve got some editing functions (like changing the orientation of the photo or pushing it left or right). Then when you push the “Home” button, use the white arrow buttons to scroll through the screens until you come to one of your personal photos. You can always get back to that edit screen by pushing your finger on the screen when the logo or image is showing.
      Yes, you may have favorite photos on your iPhone that you want to put on the Nav home screen. However, those files need to be transferred to your home computer through the photo software to get it into the right format.
      Here is a quick video that show’s more about this…
      The process is similar, but different for the MyFord Touch system and look for that process to be listed in another blog.

      • I just want to say thank you for this post. I had scoured the web for two weeks, including other Ford sites, and could not find the answer to my question about how to get the photos to my Expedition’s NAV system. I even “chatted” online with a Ford tech and he kept telling me I was doing something wrong, but no matter what I did it would not read my USB device or my iPhone. I followed your steps above, copying onto a CD (and actually used a CD/RW disc) and it worked like a charm! Thanks so much for putting this out there!

        • Thank you!
          Yes you can save your music on a USB flash drive as well.
          Stay tuned and keep watching this blog for more info.

  13. I have a 2012 Ford Escape without sync. I can use my iphone 4s to send and receive calls using the line-in feature however the person I am talking to hears feedback; actually hears themselves. How can I prevent this?

  14. I have the Iphone 4 and I have a 2012 focus and it connects fine but when a call comes through(and I can hear it ring through the car and see the name of the person calling) the options on my phone are sync, iphone or speaker. If I hit sync it is dead air and it does nothing. I have to hit iphone to be able to talk on the phone. Why is this happening and nobody has any answersfor me! If I have a voicemail on myiphone and I hit play, it comes through the car. So I know I can hear through the car but it seems like there is a block somewhere in receing the call or making one through the car. Any help would be SO GREATLY appreciated.

    • I think maybe someone might have given you a bad demonstration of how to make phone calls in your Focus. With a correctly paired iPhone, you pull the voice button (lower right side of the steering wheel). The Sync system voice comes on the speakers and states “Sync, state your command.” Then you say Phone. It responds, “Phone, state your command.” Then say “Call + Name (the name in the phone book as you have it listed)”. Example, “Call John Smith on cell.”
      It sounds like, from you description, that you are picking up your phone, pulling a contact from your Contact list, or using the keyboard, to dial a contact. Then the iPhone screen with show “Sync, iPhone or Speaker” on three different tabs. Yes, you can initiate a call from your phone, but the whole idea of Bluetooth-enabled hands-free is to keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
      Please see this Sync/iPhone video for a reference.
      Your statement about voice mail has thrown me for a loss. Did you mean voice mail or a text message? What do you mean “I hit play?” Which button? On the Phone? On the Sync system? If you have additional questions, please e-mail me at

    • The Expeditions have a 10 GB hard drive built into the dash for storing music. The material was recorded in acc or wav files from your original CDs. I’m sorry but I don’t know of a way to transfer these songs. I believe you would have to have an OBDII-enabled computer connection to plug into your vehicle. Then you would have to be able to “download” the files onto that computer. Then I guess you could transfer those songs back onto your own laptop or burn it onto a CD-R. Then you would have to run all the material through iTunes to convert it in mp3 or mp4a formats. Then, once you connected your iPhone 4S to that computer and, if you have backed up your iPhone 4s on that computer, then you could transfer the files onto your iPhone.
      A better way to do it… take your favorite CDs and put them in your home computer (with iTunes) and have iTunes convert all the music into your iTunes library. Then take a clean USB jump drive and back up those music files onto the USB jump drive. Then, when you plug it into your Expedition, wait about five minutes or so… then push the “Voice” button on the steering wheel. The Sync system will prompt you with “Sync, state your command.” Say, “USB.” It will respond that it has discovered a USB connected to the system. Sync will respond with “USB, state your command.” Then say “Play” and it will begin playing songs from the USB. You will notice that when it does your dash will display that Artist Name and Song Title. Here’s the best benefit of USB play… you can leave the jump drive plugged in. It doesn’t need charging. Since your phone isn’t the source of streaming Bluetooth then it won’t wear your batteries down. Plugging in an iPhone for a music source is doable, however, you have to change your voice commands to “USB” instead of “Bluetooth.” And, you have to deal with your phone being plugged into the USB port and having the cable flopping around. It seems easier and cleaner to play music stored to a USB jump drive.

  15. I have a 2013 Ford Escape with Sync, and I’m using and Iphone 4S. My Blue tooth will work fine sometimes, and others I have to go through and disconnect the phone and reconnect it to play music, as it says that the player is not connected… but the phone portion is working. The phone side always seems to work, I just have problem with the bluetooth playing music. It also will be playing fine then turn off for some reason.

    • You bring up something that I am aware of… and a lot of iPhone users are unaware of. iPhone has built-in sensors that register if the phone is moving or is going through excessive vibration…. sometimes I think sitting a phone in a cup holder, at a slight angle, makes the phone interrupt or stop Bluetooth music. I’m not sure what you mean by disconnect the phone and reconnecting it… do you mean deleting the phone from the Bluetooth devices menu and then re-pairing it? Please note, when you go to the Audio corner of the MyFord Touch, then scroll through the sources of music, you can select your iPhone there. You can also select which Bluetooth device you may want to connect to for music… Only one phone can be connected for making and receiving phone calls, but you can select from up to 10 different devices to stream music via Bluetooth. Connecting an iPhone or iPod via USB creates a different source. You have to use voice commands to call out USB to get a USB device to be recognized and start to play. See this video for more info on the iPhone.

  16. Yes, I actually have to delete and re-pair it sometimes. I have another car with blue tooth technology (not a Ford)that will play music from the phone, it does not appear to be having the same problem with the music shutting off or not starting when I start the car.

  17. I had to get a new Iphone- and now when I try to sync it in my ford focus- it wants a pin# – and I don’t know what it is – how can I reset it?

    • What kind (model and year) of Focus do you have? Do you have the basic Sync system or the MyFord Touch? In any case, on your Focus you need to locate the phone menu and go to settings, to Bluetooth devices, to deleted devices, and delete your previous iPhone. Then go to your Bluetooth devices menu, select “Add Bluetooth Device” When you push the OK button to acknowledge the Pairing process” the Sync system will display a PIN number on the vehicle’s console screen. Go to your iPhone, to Setting, to Bluetooth devices, then your phone will “see” the Sync system. Push the bar labeled “Sync- not connected” and a sub-menu will appear wanting you to confirm the PIN shown on your vehicle’s dash. Enter the number, push OK, and then your Sync system will ask questions about making your iPhone the “Primary” phone, push OK. When it asks about the 911 Assist, be sure to accept it by pushing OK (if it asks). When the Sync system asks about “Download Phone Book”, then push “OK” on your Sync system. After a few minutes it will be finished and you can go back to using your vehicle.
      Watch this link iPhone video for more tips…

  18. Hi, I just purchased a 2013 Ford Focus. It is not equipped with MyFordTouch or Navigation. In Bluetooth mode I am able to access but not control with voice commands (as expected) several of the apps partnered with Ford, such as Pandora, Slacker, and Aha. Also, as expected, there is no onscreen information about music being played. I CAN control them with my iphone 4s touch screen. For example, I can choose a music station on Pandora by touching it. When the phone is connected to USB, I have some voice control. “Play next track” works for these apps. Also, the screen does display the title and artist for the music being played. None of the other commands listed on the Ford site work, however. Also, accessing the apps has to be done on my phone screen. Saying “Mobile apps” always gets the reply “No mobile apps are available.” This is true even when I have started one of them and locked the phone as recommended. My dealer says that Applink is not available unless you have Sync Services. This, however, is not at all clear from the vehicle manual. My question then is:Is what my dealer says the case, and is that why I am having this difficulty voice controling these apps? Thank you.

    • I know with the MyFord Touch System there is a place on the touch screen (under system info) to select Mobile Apps. I believe on your system, you would push the Phone button on the center console, and then use the Up/Down arrows to scroll to the Mobile Apps section on the Phone Menu/Phone Redial screen.
      A comprehensive guide on SyncAppLink is found at This is found at the website, then go to the technology sections and look for Sync AppLink.
      Yes, there are some Voice Commands, but there are also buttons you can use on the steering wheel and/or radio console controls.

  19. Thank you very much for that information. I had looked at a lot of sites, including Ford sites, but I had not seen this one. It looks very helpful and well put together. I am going to go through it and carefully apply it as soon as I can.

  20. With bluetooth set to “on” with my iphone, it will automatically start playing either iheartradio app or songs off of itunes, as soon as I enter my vehicle. How can I stop these from automatically coming on without turning off the bluetooth? Thanks

    • Go to the “Home” button on the center of your iPhone screen. Press twice, your screen will slide up and show icons. Press and hold the icons until a red dot (with a minus sign inside) show up. Then tap the circles and this “turns off” the Apps. Push the Home button again when finished. Or, just push the hard button to access AM/FM, CD, Sirius or Aux to pre-empt the start up of Bluetooth audio. And, if you are listing to Bluetooth and planning to leave your vehicle, then move the source on your vehicle to something else, Sirius, AM/FM, etc. Then turn the vehicle off…

  21. I can sync my i4s with bluetooth or USB just fine, make calls, talk to Siri, etc. But when I try to use either the built-in Apple navigation or the Google app, the phone goes completely mute — no instructions either through the car speaker or the phone speaker. The only exit from this sorry state is if somebody happens to call me, which sometimes activates the speaker channel when I hang up. I can, of course, get instructions from the phone speaker by disabling bluetooth, but then I lose all handsfree support. Any fix for this?

    • You ask if there is a fix for this… I think the problem is that iPhone technology does not want to give you information that could distract your while driving. I know on my iPad that my Apple navigation shuts off when it sense that it is moving. And, I think the only way to stop Siri or your iPhone when it is engaged and using the Sync system is to use the phone icon on the steering wheel to hang up on Siri. I know you may prefer Apple or Google nav, but I think these companies aren’t ready to take on the liability of teaming up with a third party — I’m sure someone would want to sue all of them for damages if there were an accident…

  22. Quick question…I have a 2012 Explorer, and 2012 F150. When I use bluetooth audio in the Explorer and stream music, it gives me the song information. It doesn’t do this in the F150. When we first got the Explorer, it didn’t work very well, and then we got a software update and now it works perfectly. Do you think a similar update for the F150 will come out that allows song info to display when streaming via bluetooth?

    • The Explorer is the MyFord Touch system, the F-150 is the Sony Touch Screen Nav (I’m assuming). Yes, the new MyFord Touch update improved the playability of streaming BT audio. The F-150 would show the increased info if it had more bandwidth (which will come from moving your digital music to a USB jump drive). A plugged in USB drive will be indexed by Sync and then show the song title and artist, and it makes it searchable by voice commands as well. I’m not sure if they will have an upgrade for the F-150. Check in with your SyncMyRide account to see if new updates are available.

  23. I have a 2012 Escape XLT. My iPhone 4s will connect to Sync via Bluetooth and works when I receive phone calls. Unfortunately for some reason, this week it will no longer play music through bluetooth or through the USB. It will keep telling me that no bluetooth device is connected and if I plug it into the USB, it displays “initializing”. I have let it “initialize” for over 15 minutes and nothing will happen. I haven’t changed my phone and it worked just fine over the pst year. I tried troubleshooting (turning the phone on and off, re-pairing the phone, checking for updates) and can’t seem to figure it out. Any suggestions?

    • There have been many changes in the past few months…. the Apple iOS (the system that operates the iPhone, has had some changes.) Also, there are millions of more Bluetooth devices sharing the road (and, sometimes, the same Bluetooth frequencies).
      When you say your system no longer plays Bluetooth, I would ask, do you push the Voice button and say “Bluetooth Audio.” And when it responds “Bluetooth Audio, state your command…” Do you reply with “Play All” or “(Play Artist + Artist Name)” If not, have you changed your Media Source to (Sync Line in) or some other variation?
      When you plug your iPhone in, do you then push the Voice button and say “USB” And have it reply “USB state your command.” And then say, “Play All” or some other command? Yes, the system will index (review your material) but it just won’t start playing music automatically until you start giving it commands. Once again, check your Media Source to see if it is on “USB.”
      I know this seems weird, but do you have music and material recorded through iTunes? The system sometimes will not play strange content (WAV files, AAC files, etc.).
      Lastly, have you checked everything in your iPhone Settings folder? You could have the music muted or turned off.

      • When I give the command “Bluetooth Audio”, Sync replies that there is no bluetooth device connected then ‘searches’ for one and does not connect to my phone (although the display still shows that my phone is active and will work when I send or receive phone calls).

        As for plugging in through the USB, I use the Voice button on the steering wheel and give the command “USB” and it will immediately show “Initializing” I’ve checked the iTunes on my phone to make sure it is streaming through “sync” not “dock”.

        I’ve also tried using the “AUX” button on the control panel. The owners manual suggests pressing the “AUX” button multiple times to scroll through the AUX options, but as soon as I press the “AUX” button, again I get the “initializing” message.

        • Yes, the system may say “initializing” but after a minute or so, do you use the Voice command to say “Play”?
          It seems like there must be something more going on here…
          If you can, turn off the car. Unplug any USB cable from your system.
          Open the hood. Loosen the black (negative) battery cable clamp and remove it from the battery for at least five minutes.
          While you wait, go to your phone and delete Sync from your Settings/Bluetooth folder.
          Then reattach the battery clamp and tighten it.
          Close the hood and start your vehicle.
          It’ll crank a little longer and the radio will be on AM.
          Let the vehicle run for about five minutes.
          Then pair your phone again.
          Follow the instructions to download the phone book, etc.
          Then check to see that the phone system works.
          Then push the Voice button to see if the Bluetooth system works with voice commands.
          If all is well, then try to plug your phone in via USB. Yes, it will detect the USB device and begin indexing. After a few minutes, then give the Voice button a push and try giving USB commands.
          Everything should be running again. In rare, very rare, cases, you may have to redo this whole battery cable thing again.
          If all else fails then call the Sync In-vehicle Technology team at 1-800-392-4040.

  24. I have a 2013 ford focus. I use an iphone 4s but no matter what I do I cannot any sound when a text comes in. No problem with any other Bluetooth feature, phone rings etc, its just no sound when a text comes to the phone while in the car. I have no issue with the text sound when it is not connected to the Bluetooth in the car. Any help.

    • I’m not sure how you are using your iPhone in the Focus. As you know, if you had the phone outside of the car and a text came in, your phone would make the text alert sound. However, when you are in the Focus and the phone is paired and on, I don’t think it’s going to make that same sound. Apple did not use the protocol that MicroSoft requested when it came to the voice-to-text feature on Sync. So, technically, your iPhone does not work for sending/receiving/making alerts at all. However, when your phone is pair, and you are driving your vehicle (with Bluetooth on) you can press and hold the Home button on your iPhone (the large round button at the bottom of the main screen). After a few seconds you will hear the Apple chirp and you can say “Read text message.” And, if your phone has got unread messages, it will read it to you. If you want to send a text, say “Send text message.” Siri will come over the Focus’s speaker and prompt you on who you want to text and what you want to say. In fact, you can carry on any conversation you ant with Siri. When you’re done, just push and hold the Phone icon on the steering wheel and “hang up” on Siri to turn her off.
      If you’re phone is doing what I’m thinking, I’m guessing that the text message alert won’t work while you are in the car. If you had another type of phone (i.e. Samsung Galaxy, HTC One, or an Android), then it would make audible tones and show an icon on your dash when a text is received. However, the MicroSoft voice-to-text system on Sync offers only a limited list of standardized replies that can be sent — see you Owner’s Manual, or visit for more information.

  25. I have a 2013 ford focus. My phone was working fine until last night. It wouldn’t locate my phone, just said “connecting”. I tried to turn the car off and everything, rebooted my phone, etc and it still couldn’t connect. So I then deleted my old phone that was in there. I thought that would allow me to re-add my phone, but now it’s not even locating a blue tooth device. I thought it was my phone, but when I got to work my computer was discovering my iPhone. The screen with the code pops up for a quick half a sec and then goes away. Any thoughts? Does the sync system need to be rebooted?

    • This is a case of Bluetooth signal loss, where I would turn off the car. Open the hood, loosen and remove the black battery cable clamp assembly (the negative side). Keep the clamp off of the battery pole for about five minutes. Then retighten the clamp. Close the hood. Start the car and let it run for about four or five minutes before adjusting anytime (like the time). Then go to the Phone Menu and be sure the old Sync connection to your phone is deleted. Make sure it is deleted from your iPhone. Then, pair the phone back to the Focus.
      I realize that this may not be a task that you want to do. If so, swing by your Ford service department (maybe in an off-peak time) and ask the Service Advisor for assistance. They should be able to handle it while you wait.
      I feel that something emitted a strong signal that knocked your Sync system and its connection to the phone for a loop.

  26. Thanks for your detailed answer. I do not know why but when I received a text the morning after I posted this request the system just stops the radio and shows a message that I have a text. It then reads it allows for me on request. This seems to work only when sent from an I phone but at least it works

  27. I have the iphone5 and when plugged in with the USB cord the music plays but the voice command says “action unavailable” when I tell it to play a certain song or album and such. And also when I try to access my ‘play menu’ it always says ‘not available’. I’ve tried going to the main menu and syncing USB but it still doesn’t work. Any ideas?

    • Go to the Settings folder of your iPhone.
      Go to the Music tab. Tap it. Go to the iTunes Match tab. Is it turned on? If so, turn it off. By doing this, Apple makes your music unavailable to the Sync system. So keep it turned off when you are using your phone as a music source in the vehicle. Turn it on when you need it.
      Also, please check on something…
      Is your USB cord plugged into the USB port for the Sync system, or is it plugged into a power plugin that’s in your 12 volt power source on your dash or console?
      And, if plugged into the USB port, are you using the Voice command to say “USB” and after a few minutes, push the Voice button again and then say, “Play All?”

  28. Thank you so much for your help. I figured out the problem was because I didn’t have the genre filled out for any of my songs. Once I entered a genre for my songs they all synced to my car no problem.

  29. I’ve been using the 12V access to charge my 4S for the past 7 months and just a week ago it stopped working. The 12V outlet is working for sure, injustbhad it checked. But when I plug the charger into the iPhone it does not charge anymore. Any ideas oh how to fix this and why it would suddenly stop working? I know I can charge through the USB but I prefer most times to listen to Sirius radio. Any info would be helpful!,
    Thank you!

    • I would suspect usage, temperature and handling has damaged the USB cord. You will want to find a replacement at BestBuy, Radio Shack or a phone store.
      I’m confused about your last statement (I know I can charge…) You can charge (at a 5 volt rate) through the USB port in your vehicle console. You can use the Voice button, or the Aux or Media button to get to USB or to Sirius or any other Media. So you can listen to anything you want while your phone is charging….

  30. Hello:

    I have a 2013 Ford Escape S trim. I have paired my iphone and downloaded my phone book.
    But clearly I am doing something wrong as I cannot get my Itunes playlists/music to play through sync. I have not tried using the usb port yet as I just got the car.
    Don’t I need to be in the Phone mode?

    • First of all, I’m assuming you have music stored on your iPhone.
      Push the Voice button (the one with the mouth and sound coming out) on the steering wheel.
      When it says, “Sync, state your command.”
      Say, “Bluetooth Audio.”
      Within a few seconds, the Sync system will locate and access your music files and start playing a song. Due to differences in recording, you may have to turn up the volume more to hear your Bluetooth music (compared to FM radio).
      If the system, responds to your statement with “Bluetooth Audio, state your command.”
      Then say, “Play all.”
      If the music does not start playing and the system doesn’t ask the question. Push the Voice button, and you should hear the response, “Bluetooth Audio, state your command.”
      They say, “Play” or “Play All.”
      If you push the buttons and shift over to AM or FM radio, then when you pus the Media button you can “find’ your BT music again by scrolling through the options.
      If you plug your iPhone into the iPhone cord and plug it into the USB port on your console, then you have to push the Voice button and say “USB.” The system will respond “USB, state your command.” They say, “Play All”
      Go to the new Ford support site at for additional information and you’ll even find self-help videos.

  31. I have a 2012 f150 with sync and a iPhone 4S. Out of nowhere the USB port has stopped recognizing the device (Bluetooth works fine). I tried
    1. Turning off phone
    2. Soft reset of phone
    3. Factory reset of sync
    4. Master reset of sync

    All to no avail, and to make matters worse my buddy plugged in his iPhone 5 and it recognized it. Oh yeah and I also tried shutting down all of the running apps on my phone. The USB port was working fine since I bought the truck (6 months ago). I am at a total loss. Help would be greatly appreciated.

    • I’m not sure what you mean between “Factory reset” and “Master Reset” of Sync. The things that works for me is pulling the black battery cable for at least three to five minutes before replacing it and tightening it. Then restarting the vehicle and letting is boot up before changing anything.
      Also, you didn’t say you re-“Paired” the phone, which I would do.
      But, finally, and this could be at the heart of the issue. In your iPhone Settings Folder, check to see under the Music Tab if you have iTunes Match turned on. Go ahead and turn it off. Then turn off the iPhone and restart it. Turn off your vehicle (if you are in it, be sure to open the door and close it before) and restart the vehicle. Seems that iTunes Match “prevents” Sync from seeing and finding your music. And, lastly, try another USB cable. If all of this does not help, have a Service Tech check the USB port, it may need to be replaced.

  32. I have a 2013 ford f150 platinum. I have an Iphone 4. My problem is that my BT audio is not working when I am trying to stream pandora. I have only tried Pandora. It worked the first time I used it, now it just doesnt work at all. It will show me the track that it is playing on MyFordTouch, but the audio will only go through my cell phone and not the car audio speakers… I tried booting the phone on and off. Tried simultaneously turning the car on and off with the phone also. I can receive all phone calls still through MyFordTouch and can conversate through the speakers, but when I go to BT audio, it doesnt play the audio through my car speakers. Any help?

  33. I dont use any of the voice functions at all on my phone. I just touch it on the dash screen. I go to BT Audio and it shows the pandora on the screen but it only plays it through my phone’s speakers. Not my truck speakers…….

  34. I have a 2010 F-350 extended cab that came with SYNC. I used it for the trial period. I replaced by original factory radio with a Kenwood DNX 9900. I purchased the steering wheel option to allow SYNC to work. I currently use the steering wheel buttons and it starts the SYNC but I need to renew my subscription. I dont want to pay for it and find that it will not work with the aftermarket radio and navigation radio. Could you advise if using SYNC in this configuration is possible.

    • There are a few things going here… the Ford Sync system is installed at the factory with the hardware in the factory radio head unit and controls that fit in the steering wheel. Sync is not a subscription service, it is built into the vehicle.
      There is no subscription period. If you have changed out the OEM radio unit for something else, then you probably have a Bluetooth system from Kenwood and I’m not sure how, if at all, the new Kenwood control on the steering wheel would even work with it. What the Kenwood controls would be working would be the Kenwood BT system and I’m not familiar with that. Have you tried to get assistance from the Kenwood website?

  35. My iPhone 4S was sync’d to my Ford Flex ’09 just fine but now it doesn’t recognize it. I deleted it off my iPhone to try to reconnect but to no avail. It won’t create a pass code or even look for my iPhone

    • You didn’t say if it is the basic SYNC system or the touch screen…
      I would recommend visiting your Ford dealer to have them reset your system, or, you can park your vehicle and turn it off. Open the hood, loosen and remove the black battery cable clamp assembly (the negative pole). Keep the clamp off the battery for about three to five minutes and then replace it on the pole and retighten it.
      Get back in the vehicle and start it. Allow the vehicle to run for several minutes.
      Then go to the Phone Menu, to System Settings, to Bluetooth Devices, to Delete Bluetooth Device, delete your iPhone from the phone list. Then go to Add Bluetooth device (in the Sync Phone menu). Start the process of pairing your phone, the system will give you the 6-digit PIN. Go to your phone’s System Settings, Bluetooth and search for the Sync tab, when it appears, touch the tab, put in the 6-digit PIN. Use the OK button to answer the following questions and download the phone book.
      Everything should be working at this point.

  36. I have a 2013 F150 Lariat with touch screen nav. My phone is paired correctly; however, when I play music over bluetooth – it skips after about 5 seconds. Please help!

    • I’m not sure what you mean “it skips.” Where is the phone while your music is playing? iPhones are sensitive to excessive movement. How does it play when it’s plugged into USB?

  37. This is a question NOT about playing music, but about using voice command to make calls. In this regard, my 2014 mustang SYNC is so NOT friendly to my iphone 4S!

    Other cars allow you to input a contact using voice, matching your voice to a number, aka. manually input. but the SYNC unwantedly download every damn entry in my iphone, many of them i don’t even use (because the iphone also sync with other Apple devices). NO MANUAL CONTACT entering.

    This is fine, as long as the SYNC can recognize my voice and my pronouciation of a contact’s name it’s fine. Problem is, the SYNC doesn’t recognize my voice, or my read-out of a contact’s name, even when it’s as simple as John.

    So, what the hell?

    • The Ford Sync system was designed to work across a multitude of customers, with differing accents and even languages… but the system isn’t able to do every thing…
      Let me explain, some names are “ethnic.” The voice-to-text system does not assume the French pronunciation of a name like “Monique.” Is it Mo-Ni-Ca or is it Mo-Nikk?
      And, what confuses the system the most is a one syllable name. For example, Mon, Ron, Tom, Dom essentially all sound the same to the Sync system. If you amended/edited your phonebook contact name to have a last name (such as Greatest Mom, Ron Jones, Tom Smith and Dom Caruso, the the system has more syllables and more phonetics to help it decipher what to look for.
      For folks who have a hard time getting Sync to “hear” them. I would recommend a revision such as creating a phone book entry, let’s say “Contact One Hundred” for a friend who you call a lot. In other words, use specific words that you can enunciate more easily to be understood… I know some women who speak with a breathy voice, in a low register are hard for the system to hear.
      Another way to address this is to use Siri on your phone. Push and hold the Home button on your iPhone 4S screen for a few second, you will hear the tone sound on your Sync system, ask Siri to “Call (contact name).”

  38. When using my Iphone 4S with my 2013 Explorer to Bluetooth from Rhapsody, the sync system seems always defaults to the Iphone MUSIC app. My phone will not let me just ‘tap’ on the Rhapsody app in order to begin playing from there instead of the MUSIC app. Terribly frustrating, as I am trying to play from Rhapsody or Pandora instead. Any ideas ?

    • Sync was DESIGNED to go to the phone’s Music App first.
      So when you push the Voice button and say “Bluetooth Audio.”
      Then go to your phone and tap the icon to start your streaming music app.
      Currently, only on some non-MyFord Touch Ford Sync systems are capable of having AppLink to allow voice activated streaming music commands for Apps such as Pandora or Spotify.

  39. Hello, I have an IPhone 4S and a Ford 2011 Escape. My car has always been able to connect with my phone through Sync and Bluetooth. All of a sudden Tuesday night it stopped working. No repairs or anything was done to my car; however, on Monday night Apply pushed a “FIX” or something like that to my phone. Sync is finally working for my car and phone, but not the bluetooth. It keeps on saying Bluetooth disconnected after I try to make it see the phone. Please let me know what I can do to fix this. This is getting silly and I am about to get rid of the phone and the car. It should be about convenience not goofy crap.

    • Please understand, Bluetooth is a communication process between your phone and your dashboard. As you drive around you go in and out of thousands of frequency changes. And dozens of chances to corrupt the signal. You have Bluetooth working at your job, your home, in Wi-Fi spots around town but they are “moving” between cell towers and varying signal strength and transmission protocols.
      That being said, to maintain the best connection, do a clean pairing. Paste this link into your browser to see the process. This should re-connect your systems.

  40. Hello! I have a 2011 F150 XLT with basic SYNC (no touch screen) paired with an iPhone 4s. I use the BT Audio function all of the time and for the most part it works great. My one annoyance though is that every time I get back in my truck I have to use the voice command or dash controls to reinstate BT Audio. Is there a way to have SYNC just start back where I left off automatically? I have AutoPlay enabled and the phone does pair automatically but even if I push play on the iPhone (and it shows as playing) no audio will come throughout the truck speakers unless I initiate BT Audio. I’m a General Contractor and I’m in and out of my truck all day and having to take these extra steps every time drives me batty! Thanks for the great site.

    • The major issue is that the Sync system is much more advanced now with the MyFord Touch system in the 2013 and newer F-150s.
      You have the basic system and it does require a voice prompt to restart the Bluetooth streaming each time.
      Another option would be to record all of your favorite music through iTunes. Then make a copy of all of your music and put it on a 16 gb or larger USB 2.0 flash drive. You could plug that into your truck and use the MEdia Source Menu to switch to that input. The USB will more easily start up as the source that Bluetooh (there’s more bandwidth).
      It’s either that or you could trade in your 2011 on a new truck with MyFord Touch…

  41. I just bought a 2013 focus, and was able to pair my Iphone 5s. The only problem is when I stream music, it only plays thru the passenger door speaker. Any solutions?

    • First, check your sound settings to see if you are all correct there.
      How are you streaming? Bluetooth or USB?
      Check (with earbuds) to see if your iPhone is playing back in two channels…
      Check your USB cable to see is is giving playback in two channels…
      I might recommend pulling the black battery cable clamp on your vehicle (take it off fora few minutes) and then reinstall and retighten it. Completely power down your phone while you are doing this and then reboot your phone.
      Restart the vehicle and let it run for a little before resetting anything.
      Lastly, visit your Ford dealership and have them check to see if your door speakers are not connected.

  42. I have an IPhone 4S and just dowloaded the most recent software update. Since completely this update, by IPhone has not been playing through my SYNC. The Bluetooth is connected and I can control everything from my touch screen, but not sound comes out… I tried hooking my phone up through the USB and again the same problem – no sound, even though I can control everything on the touch screen or on the phone!

    Any suggestions? This has been a huge hassle! I assume it is something with my phone and the most recent update, but not sure what the problem is!

    • Try this…
      Delete Sync from your iPhone.
      Delete the iPhone from your Sync phone menu.
      Completely power down your iPhone for about three minutes.
      Turn off your vehicle (if it is on). Open the door to ensure that the vehicle is completely “off.”
      Power your iPhone back up for at least a minute…
      Now turn on your vehicle.
      Let it run for about three minutes.
      Now pair the iPhone back to the vehicle.
      Everything should be working fine…

  43. I am having the exact same issue as Ashley. It started on the evening of 11/21. I’m not sure if it is due to an IOS updated but I haven’t done anything to my phone or truck. I own a 2011 F-150 with the Nav screen. it says I’m connected to Bluetooth but when I try to use Tunein Radio, or any other streaming app, no sound comes out of my speakers. When I disable the bluetooth, sound then comes out of my device. I have tried to connect several times and it says I am in fact connected by bluetooth but when I engage any one of the apps, it is just silent. Then when I disconnect, sound comes from my device.

  44. In a 2012 Ford Fusion, is there any way to use the USB port to charge an iPhone 4s while NOT having audio or video play through the system? My passenger would love to watch movies without completely draining her battery, but whenever her phone is plugged in it tries to output video to a non-existent screen. Unfortunately we do not have access to a 12v charger. I have already attempted to turn off autoplay via the menu

    • I would highly recommend getting a USB charger that works of the Fusion’s standard 12V charge point. Plug the passenger’s iPhone into that. BestBuy has these for under $7.
      The Fusion’s onboard USB is the gateway to the Sync system so it will consider your passenger’s iPhone as a potential Media Source. Going to the Sync system menu to turn off Autoplay may only affect the device that is the Primary Phone or maybe the selected on the Media Source Menu for media input.

  45. Hi,
    I got a Ford Territory 2012 SZ- The USB in the center box is not either charging my Iphone 4S (IOS 7.1) nor recognizing it for playing music. When i bought the vehicle in 2013 I used to play music thru this USB port via Iphone.
    Now My Ipod Nano works fine. But not the Iphone.
    Have you encountered this Issue. Can i get a solution for this. The Ford dealer specifies that, the software upgrade cant really fix this. As the Iphone got a software upgrade.

    • I’m not sure this is a Ford Sync issue. First, completely power down your iPhone. Turn it back on and let it come completely back up before starting your vehicle.
      If necessary, delete your phone from the vehicle. Delete your vehicle from your iPhone. Re”pair” your device and see if everything works.
      A common issue is that the USB port could be defective… or the USB cable and/or connections could be the problem. As you know the iPhone or the iPod has a USB to a Apple connector. The Apple end of the connection has multiple connectors and sometimes people are using a cord that’s meant for an iPod to connect an iPhone.
      Best thing to do is to borrow someone else’s USB/Apple Connection cable and try it. Or, buy a new cable. And, if necessary, ask your dealer to check the USB port to verify that it’s working properly.

  46. I just purchased an iphone 4s…I had the 3….I have a Lincoln MKX 2011. All was transferred from the 3 phone to the 4 where I bought the phone. When I get in the car, the screen shows maggie crawfords phone as it always did. I tell Siri to call a number and she talks to
    me as always, but there is no sound coming through the speakers
    and I have to manually dial the person myself on the phone..all it shows on the screen is call ended. There is no sound from the sync system
    other than Siri taking my command/which then is a dead end…any
    help? does the 4s need to be reprogrammed although when it says
    on the screen as always, maggie crawfords phone and she takes
    my phone command/but nothing happens. The radio just keeps on
    playing, where before when calling another person, the radio goes
    off immediately….Thank you…

    • At issue is that the former phone, the iPhone 3 was paired to your system. Yes, it may have been titled “maggie crawfords iphone,” however, you need to delete the old iPhone from your Sync System settings. Your Sync system is still “searching” for the old phone and it won’t let you access the new phone until it is paired.

      Use this procedure:

      Go to your iPhone 4s Settings folder. Go to Bluetooth (make sure it is on). Look to see if there has been a Pairing to the Sync system. If so, then tap the blue circle on the right of the Sync tab, then hit the tab that says “Forget Device.”

      Now, completely power down your phone. Turn it off and keep it off for about five minutes. It is best to do this before you get in the vehicle and start it up. It is recommended to completely power down your phone at least once a week. Always check to see if your phone’s operating system has all of the current updates.

      Once your phone has powered back up, go to the Settings on your phone to make sure the Bluetooth connection is turned on.

      Go to your vehicle and start it up. Go to the System Settings (if you having problems, then e-mail me at and let me know the year, the model and the type of Sync system you have).

      Select Add Bluetooth Device (or Add a Phone). Push the OK.
      You will hear the Sync system state “push OK to begin pairing a device.” Push OK, then the system will display a 6-digit PIN on your dashboard.
      Go to your phone’s Bluetooth Devices page and when a tab appears that says “Sync” then tap that tab and when the secondary screen appears, enter the 6-digit PIN.
      Then, as Sync asks more questions, “Set 911 Assist on?” “Set as Primary Phone?” and “Download Phonebook?” Push OK to ll the questions.
      When the system is finished, you will see the Sync System report “Download Complete.”
      Now, push the Phone icon on the steering wheel for about five seconds and let go, the console screen will be clear.

      Push the Voice button to start making a call, everything should be back and working fine.

  47. I recently purchased a 2014 F-150 lariat with my ford touch. At the dealership we were able to pair my iPhone 4s and everything functioned correctly including reading the text messages. Even later that day, the reading of the messages worked just fine. Not sure the exact time that it stopped, but on the following Saturday, after picking the truck up on Wednesday, the reading of the messages was not working. Everything else seems to be working fine, I have tried to unpair the phone and SYNC by deleting the device. Resetting the iPhone, Resetting the SYNC system. And have asked the salesman that showed me the system and paired the device when I purchased the truck. Is there anything else that I can try?

    • Since the Sync system was developed by Ford and Microsoft, you could see why sometimes there’s going to be issues with Messaging. I know that getting message notification on the Sync system is spotty with the iPhone. It depends on the iOS you use, the type of phone (4s vs. 5C vs. 5S and now the 6).
      As an iPhone user, I never rely on the Sync messaging system. I just push the Home button (the large button on the lower center, front of the iPhone) for a few seconds. You’ll hear Siri become active on your Sync system. You can ask her to “read text message,” “send text message,” or ask her “is it going to rain later today?” or “Where’s the nearest Whole Food grocery store?” and Siri will go to work for you. The Ford Sync system has a limited ability to send messages. So, I guess I’m saying that you said “everything functioned perfectly” and then later that changed… I’m not sure that Apple will ever work according to the parameters that Microsoft established. Apple doesn’t want to use Microsoft engineering protocol because it could lead to “backwards engineering” of the iPhone OS.

  48. My sync is being persnickety and telling me that my iPod is “consuming too much power.” Also, when I plug my iPhone 6+ in, nothing happens at all.

    • I’m not so sure that Sync is the cause… I’m assuming you are plugging your iPod into the main USB port to play music… if you are getting the message about power, the cause might be the battery system on the iPod failing and pulling more power than the 5 watts the USB port can deliver… With this happening at some point your Sync system will refuse to play from the USB port. Case in point, if you were to plug your phone in for a charge, it may not even acknowledge the phone as a media source.
      Using a 12-volt plug in charger with the single or dual USB ports is a better way to power some systems for charging. However, since they are not plugged into the main USB port, then the Sync system won’t be able to allow throughput back to the SYNC system. But, if you have a Bluetooth-capable iPod, you could pair your iPod as a Bluetooth device and change your source to Bluetooth for ipod music (while charing on the 12-volt charger which should handle the demand. Maybe have your iPod battery checked as well.

  49. Thanks, Vincent. I would think the new iPhone 6+ would be able to use the Usb port on a 2012 vehicle… Plus my iPod isn’t having battery issues. Maybe a faulty cord?

  50. Vincent

    I just purchased a F150XL. I have Sync hooked up to my iPhone 4s thru Bluetooth and everything works fine.

    I would like to use the USB port but when I do everything works fine for a few moments then quits, kind of like it locks up. I can unhook the phone from the USB and Bluetooth works fine. Should I try the USB with Bluetooth turned off?

    Please let me know.

    • You might not have been shown how this works… but it works like this… your phone is connected to Sync via Bluetooth. If you push the Voice button on the steering wheel. The system responds, “Sync, state your command.” After the tone, respond by saying “Bluetooth Audio.” The system responds with “Bluetooth Audio, state your command.” Say, “Play.” Sync will find your device’s residents digital music and start playing it. If it does not, then go to your device, go to your digital music app, select a song and push play on your device. That songs should be heard playing through your Sync system. If you push another App, such as Pandora, and start a station or song, then your resident digital music stops and the streaming music takes over.
      Now, if you plug your device (connected via USB cord) to the vehicle’s central USB hub, you may hear the music stop. Push the steering wheel voice button and when Sync responds, say “USB.” The system will go into a narrative about “Sync has detected a USB device and is indexing the music.” Allow a minute or two for the system to index the music. Push the steering wheel voice button again, when you are prompted, say “USB.” The system will respond, “USB, state your command.” Reply with “Play All” or some other command (such as, “Shuffle,” “Play Artist.” and so on.).
      Essentially, your media source is either Bluetooth OR USB… your phone should still make and receive calls, even when it’s on the USB.

  51. We have a 2010 Ford Escape. I was driving it and paired my phone to it initially with no problem. I now have a new vehicle and my husband is driving the Escape and wants to pair his phone. We are unable to get it to pair. It seems we no longer have a subscription to Sync. Is there anyway to pair the phone without Sync? Seems like there should be! Thank you. Cathy

    • The way you said that “we no longer have a subscription to Sync” makes me think that someone explained something to you incorrectly. Sirius radio, or Sync Directions are examples of subscription-based things you can do with your vehicle’s Sync-equipped sound system. However, if you have a Sync-equipped sounds center, you will either have the Basic system (with blue LED) readout on the center screen on your console. Or, the touch-screen based system which has the option for map-based navigation.
      It sounds like no on has ever shown you how to pair a phone… watch this video for some good pointers.

      This should help…

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