Fix for iPhone and BMW iDrive address book not synchronising


UPDATE [21st Nov 2008] – Apple have released iPhone 2.2 software update which appears to fix all known issues with BMW bluetooth and iPhones. If you had no contacts syncing or bluetooth kept dropping the connection every 20 or 30 seconds then update to 2.2 and you should find it’s all fixed.

Ever since Apple brought out iPhone 2.0 software many of us found that the iPhone contacts that used to appear on the BMW iDrive or BMW radio display suddenly disappeared.

Since iPhone2.0 we all waited patiently for a fix from Apple, 2.01 and 2.02 failed to deliver but hopes were high when reports that 2.1 fixed a similar problem with Chrysler uConnect systems but again no change for BMW drivers.

Recently I configured my iPhone to sync contacts with my Exchange server at work and this PUSHed another 2500 contacts onto my iPhone and suddenly all my contacts appeared on the iDrive. I suggested to others this might be because I had multiple address books on my iPhone but this theory was soon disproved, I then suggested that it might be because I had a high number of contacts on the iPhone keeping which may change a timeout option somewhere on the iPhone or iDrive.

Some blog readers tested this theory and created 2000 fake contacts with no phone numbers but that didn’t work, then they tried 2000 fake contacts each with a unique contact number and this worked! By using contact names beginning with Z they appeared at the end of the iPhone and iDrive list but it did take a while to sync so many contacts with the iDrive. Another reader then tweaked this to get 2000 fake contacts each with the same phone number, the iDrive ignores any contacts that have the same telephone number and only syncs with one of them, so now we had 2000 Z-contacts on the iPhone all with the same number and this allowed ALL the contacts on the iPhone to sync with the iDrive but only showed ONE z-contact at the end. [Thanks to Rajesh and vants for their help with this!]

So far the feedback has been extremely positive with around 10 out of 12 people reporting a success.

To make life easy for you I have compiled instructions on how to add 2000 fake contacts to Outlook for the Windows users and Address Book for the Apple users.

Apple OS X Users:

It really couldn’t be simpler for you, simply download the following zip file:

DOWNLOAD FOR APPLE USERS – 2000 Fake Contacts for Apple users

Open the zip file and you should have a single vCard file, simply double click this vCard file and Address Book should spring into life and ask you if you really want to import 2000 new contacts.

Just click add and you’re all done, 2000 contacts z0001 to z2000 should now be in your Address Book. 

All you need to do now is re-sync your contacts with the iPhone via iTunes. [Note – if you use MobileMe to PUSH all your contacts from your computer to MobileMe and then PUSH them down to your iPhone it will still work just have some patience and check your phone after 10 minutes]

If, for neatness, you want to have the 2000 z-contacts in their own folder simply click the +plus at the bottom of the group pane:

then give the group a name:

and now click on the Last Import folder, in the middle Name pane click on the first z0001 and then press Apple+A to select all the entries and then drag them onto the new group you just created.

You can now jump past the lengthy Windows Instructions to read what to do next..

Windows Outlook Users:

Its a little trickier for you guys, it seems it’s not as easy to simply import 2000 contacts from one vCard download, so instead you need to download the following CSV file:

DOWNLOAD FOR WINDOWS USERS – 2000 Fake Contacts for Windows Users

Once you have downloaded the CSV file in Outlook click on File from the top menu and select “Import & Export”

Then select “Import from another program or file”

Then select “Comma Separated Values (DOS)”

On the next screen click Browse and navigate to where ever you saved the CSV file to (in my case it’s on my Desktop)

Leave the option to allow duplicates and click next

Select a destination for all your contacts, in general this will be your Contacts folder

but if you want to you can create a sub-folder in contacts called “z Contacts” or “Fake Entires” and save them in there for neatness but this is not a necessity and has no influence on whether the fix will work or not.

Note: You cannot create the subfolder once you’ve started the import wizard so if you want to, you’ll have to click cancel to exit the wizard then right click on your Contacts Folder and select “New Folder” and name it “z-Contacts” or “Fake Entries” then restart from step one:



That should be it now, you’ll be present with the final screen of the wizard where you can choose to map custom fields. Originally this was necessary but I’ve since added a header row to vants CSV file so the Wizard picks the right fields for Name and Phone number automatically, just click Finish. It should then start importing all the contacts, leave this going, it can take some time, on my machine it took a few minutes but that’s because my profile isn’t store locally, you may find it’s done much quicker.

You should all be done now, if you look in your contacts your should see 2000 Z-contacts all with the same phone number.

All you need to do now is fire up iTunes and re-sync them all to your iPhone.

[Windows users – notice how much easier this whole process was on an Apple 🙂 perhaps it’s time to switch! Just kidding, lets not turn the comments section into an Apple vs PC bash. I spent most of my time on an XP machine at work and manage my entire office’s Windows workstations and just use Apple in my free time]

Next Steps (Apple & Windows Users)

Ok so if all went well above you should now have 2000 contacts at the very end of your iPhone contact list, all of which should have the same phone number. [Remember it doesn’t matter if you have the 2000 z-contacts in a sub-folder or not]


That was all I needed to do, the next time it paired with my iDrive (2006 BMW M5) the contacts list appeared after a short wait HOWEVER, some people have said it’s best to keep the iPhone from sleeping whilst waiting for the initial sync to happen and some have said they had to delete the iPhone-BMW pairing and re-pair, so lets be safe and do both.

Delete the pairing – On you iPhone go to Settings->General->Bluetooth and if you see BMW##### [where there #’s are the last 5 digits of your car’s chasis number in case you didn’t know that] click it and select unpair. Now go to your iDrive (or prof radio if you don’t have iDrive) and select info sources/settings and find the bluetooth page (it differs depending on software version, etc but I’m sure you know where it is) and delete any pairings for any phones you have in there to be safe. Now go through the whole re-pairing procedure again, I will try and post a video on how to do this with iDrive as a few have asked but until then just follow the manual. loads of new features are being implemented, be patient as soon you will be able to recieve neat mechanic

NOTE – If you find your iPhone contantly connects and drops the connection via bluetooth then you may have another problem for which I don’t have a solution just yet.

Keep the iPhone awake – Once you have paired the car will try and connect with the iPhone and sync the contacts, if you go to the communications tab of the iDrive (push and hold up on the iDrive controller for 2 seconds) and try and browse A-Z it will probably say “Please wait” with a little clock. Now here’s what some say is important, whilst that is showing you need to open the contacts app on your iphone and just sit there scrolling the contacts up and down randomly to simply keep the phone from entering sleep mode.

Wait a few minutes (up to 5mins lets say)…..DONE?

Did it work for you? Your comments are much appreciated on this matter and many others reading this thread may benefit from knowing what combination of iPhone, software version, model, year, etc you have.

Good luck!

215 Replies to “Fix for iPhone and BMW iDrive address book not synchronising”

  1. I have an iphone 4S and ’07 530i. These steps worked out fine for me. All I did was create the fake contact and deleted the current pairing on my phone and in the car. I re-paired them and clicked on the A-Z option in the car address book without allowing my phone to go into the sleep mode…my phone address uploaded at most in five minutes.

    Thanks for sharing these step.

    My coworker just told me her iphone address is not uploaded unto her 2014 GLK350. I will try these steps and hope it work.

    1. @Steve – it might be that you need BMW to update your iDrive software. My 2005 e60 M5 has paired with iPhone 2G, 3G, 3GS and 4. I the iPhone is fully updated to latest iOS and has no Bluetooth issues with other car kits then your car must be to blame. Do other phones connect to your car ok?

      Could be a random issue with a name in your address book with a non standard character? Or non standard characters in your iPhone’s Bluetooth name?

  2. ok Simething else must be going on, I loaded the 2000 contacts and no change t my i drive, in fact no z entries sync’d with the i-drive although they are on my phone, computer and mobile me address books

  3. OK I have The original i-phone updated to 3.0.1 (7A400) A 2007 X5 with Nav system. I have a mobile me account where all my contacts reside. When I updated to 3.0 I noticed not all of my contacts sync’d with the idrive, I have about 1060 contacts most with multiple numbers. In some instances one number will show on i-drive from a contact with multiple in others all show. does the 2000 contact solution work for this issue as well? I was thinking that I have some corrupt data in my address book somewhere that was creating the issue. Any other suggestions?

  4. Hi Keith,

    I’m also on 3.0 now, and still have the 2000 contacts “repair” and is still working in my car (120d from 2006 with nav. pro )

    1st gen iphone

  5. Hey Scoopz. You fixed my issue last year with the iphone 2.0 not loading my contacts into the 2005 BMW 645 with the Nav system. Your 2000 contacts repair worked great.

    I just upgraded the same iphone to 3.0. Now the only contacts that will load into the car are V-Z. Same iphone, same car. The contacts still are in the iphone they just will not appear in the phone book in the car.

    I can’t seem to find any thing about this issue so far. Any thoughts?

  6. @scoopz

    Today’s event was mainly a press release. Apparently, people can apply for the beta of the 3.0 software here (, but the real deal is due this summer sometime.

    I’d probably wait for the real deal unless you’re feeling adventurous or curious about the new features – sounds like Apple added a ton of good stuff in the 3.0 software.

  7. So scoopz, are you going to be our canary to see if the upcoming 3.0 software (announcement with more info on Mar 17th) works on our cars? 🙂

    1. @eisenb11 – I’ll do the best I can to be the human guinea pig when iPhone 3.0 software is released, unfortunately I’m not an iPhone app developer so I won’t be getting any early releases to try but as soon as the public release is available I’ll upgrade and test it with my car with a few hours and report back with hopefully good news.
      Is the announcement tomorrow (17th March) just a preview and developer release or is it live to the masses tomorrow?
      Scoopz (Admin)

  8. Re: BMW x5 2006 unable to remain paired issue. The bottom line is all x5s built before July of 2006 will not work 100% with the iphone 3g. It will pair and work but then must be un-paired and re-paired when leaving and returning to the vehicle each time. The 2g will work fine. This is an issue with some hardware on the x5 and not a software issue. There is no fix. The 07s forward have no issue.

  9. Thanks for the reply. Did have my iphone named scott’s iphone. Changed it to iphone. Thought it fixed it but no, seems like it saved the phonebook but then when i tried to make a call it did not recognize the the pairing..
    Seems as though when the phone stays in the car even turned off then on it remains paired and works. leaving the area where the car is causes it not to be recognized. Wonder what the current version of software for an 06 x5 is?
    As i remember had to have my sunroof removed and some hardware replaced. seems like the problem may have started after this. appointment with BMW on Wed
    do you think a bluetooth headset might be a problem even if it is not paired?
    Pairs with my wife’s 07 z4.

  10. @scott – I’m surprised you still have to pair each time you get back in the car, especially since you are running the latest version (2.2.1). There are no other bluetooth devices in the car that could be interferring are there? Perhaps a spare phone left on charge in the glovebox or a partners phone when they are in the car with you?

    Are you able to determine if the need to repair each time applies to all iPhone 3G models? If possible try with a friend’s 3G and see if that acts the same? If you’ve not already delete all pairings from both the car and the iPhone and for good measure change the iPhone name (you have to do that in iTunes) from “Scott’s iPhone” or whatever it is now to just “iPhone”, apostrophes could be causing an issue?

    I beleive BMW now say the 3G is a fully supported device and there is now even a dedicated iPhone 3G cradle so it’s definitely something that you should be able to get rectified even if the dealer has to do a free software update.

    Good luck and let us know if you find a solution!

    Scoopz (Admin)

  11. Have 06 x5, no nav. iphone 2g synched great all worked well. Upgraded to iphone 3g and phone will pair and synch but does not remain paired once I leave the vehicle. must repair each time. Running software ver. 2.2.1. Back to the dealer for the 3rd time. Did try the 2000 contact senario but did not make any difference.
    scott manhattan beach, ca.

  12. Scoopz, you’re a Hell of a great person for all of your help and support. In summary, I have read your advice and those of your blog site and can affirmatively tell you the following:

    1- I’m an owner of a BMW X5 2007 with iDrive and use a MacBook Pro at home and extensive Medical Software for my ED Physician job. I utilized Palm Pilots since their inception for work and home up until last year when I went to an iTouch. I’m extremely comfortable and proficient in MS and Mac based products.
    2 – I purchased an iPhone 3G for myself and fiancee when the phones first came out this past July 2008.
    3 – The phone continually dropped calls, the battery life was abysmal (phone dead at the end of a 10 hours shift), and worst of all the phone echoed horribly when used on the Bluetooth for my BMW (something I had no issue with my 3 year old Motorola Razor through TMobile). This also occurred with my girlfriend’s Lexus IS 250 built-in Bluetooth. This happened with both of our phones in each other’s car. This happened with my best friend’s (another ED Doc) iPhone 3G in his 2008 BMW 3 series.
    4 – Myself, my fiancee and my best friend all returned our iPhones within the 14 day Apple return period.
    5 – I subsequently went back to my TMobile Motorola Razor and waited for a new device to come to the market that would fit my purposes while continuing to use my iTouch to sync seamlessly (via Mobile Me) with my Mac at home.
    6 – I changed service to Verizon and had the best service I’ve ever had with an cell carrier. Absolutely crystal clear calls without having to repeat myself to be heard. Within Verizon’s 30 day “test drive program” (can try any phone and the network for free if canceled for 30 days) I used the Samsung Omnia (Windows Mobile) which was a very good phone, but a horrible smart device. It couldn’t decide when to be touch screen or menu driven and tried to be an iPhone/iTouch, but failed miserably. All the good reviews I read on it were by Windows Mobile users who appeared to be quite used to what I considered to be a difficult to utilize product. I returned the phone after two weeks and traded in for a Blackberry Perl. Overall a very beautiful phone that did much of what I wanted and very very easy to use. However, the calendar functions and contact functions required me to purchase a third party app (Missing Link) to work with my Mac. Also, if I read mail on my Blackberry, it would still be there on my Desktop to clear or read yet again. I missed my iTouch Mobile Me over the air synchronization with my Calendar, Contacts and Mail. I returned this as well (as did my Fiancee) and went back yet again hat in hand to TMobile to restart my open contract on my trusty old Razor.
    7 – I took one last gander at your blog and saw that the problem with the iPhone had appeared to be remediated. I took your advice Scoopz and borrowed one of my friend’s iPhone and linked it to my BMW X5 and ‘bam’ instant Karma. It worked and synced without an echo. It was painful to go from the crystal clear Blackberry to the iPhone which hissed and popped, but damn, I love the ease of use, compatibility and ‘set it and forget it’ use of the iPhone that I was willing to trade phone quality for a universal product that performs it’s business and smart functions without a hiccup.
    8 – Of interest, when I purchased the iPhone and plugged it right into my car I bit my lip at the horrible echo problem back to plague me yet again. I suddenly (one might say stupidly) realized that I hadn’t plugged it into my computer for the latest upgrade. I did this, and used it in my car and no echos. Battery life is still fair/poor, but is better than before. Signal strength and dropped calls are still a problem, but this appears to be ATT related and not the iPhone. I predictably drop the call at the same exact three spots driving to work in Chicago everyday. This has been noted by other ATT and iPhone users as well when I queried. My fiancee’s phone works in her Lexus IS 250 without a hitch as well.
    9 – Only the dropped calls and hisses/pops and poor voice quality at many places along my route are my only issues. Overall, I forgive moderate and minor problems for the overall usefulness of the phone. I have tried the top of the line Windows Mobile phone and the revered Blackberry and as smart devices, they just don’t keep up with the iPhone. As phones, they are much better, but I suspect this to be an ATT issue and not the phone. Also, try buying an App from Verizon. A movie app (to find local showings) is almost $20 and you have a choice of one. Other apps are as ridiculously priced (such as games). The same apps are fantastic and free on the iPhone.
    10 – Of interest, the Verizon rep tried to get me to stay by telling me that they would soon open up their network to all phones and that locked phones were going to soon be a thing of the past. I thought he was pulling my leg (Verizon uses CDMA and Apple GSM), but did find this article (note: the timeline has come and gone). So maybe one day Verizon and iPhone could be combined! Link to MacWorld Article:
    11 – Overall I feel very qualified to give iPhone a big thumbs up with a few frustrating limitations (call quality), but a world of benefit.
    12 – Lastly, I recommend new users to find any sort of discount program they may qualify for. They are not advertised and only found out because Verizon and ATT were trying to recruit me to their service at work. Both gave my company discounts (15% off monthly service) that offset taxes and other costs to make the transition from plain cellular service from TMobile much more affordable. They also have discounts for Military, many corporations, many groups (AARP), etc… that many people I know who qualify never thought to ask.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH Scoopz and everyone else who has shown such help and concern on what to me was an important (albeit not life-threatening) issue! You folks are all wonderful. Keep up the good work and advice!

    Dirk D.
    Chicago, IL

  13. @Scoopz – your analysis makes sense re snap-in adaptor versions. Not sure whether the audio features work only with the newest bluetooth option referred to as 6NF.

    My car is a 3-series coupe (E92) built July 2008 and has Professional navigation, Bluetooth 633 and USB audio 6FL (with an iPod adaptor cable which works well). Its not clear whether the phone + audio snap-in will work and the dealer isn’t sure.

    New 3-series have a newer iDrive setup (multiple buttons) and the Bluetooth option appears to have been updated with the option number now being 6NF. I don’t know if this is actually different to the previous option.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get both iPhone 3G telephone and audio functions in one but the BMW documentation is maddeningly unclear.

  14. @Alan – Well spotted! I’ve just checked out the compatibility chart and it does indeed show the iPhone and iPhone 3G as being compatible with version 2.0.1 which is definitely incorrect, the iPhone only became fully compatible with iPhone 2.2 as the hundreds of comments on this blog prove.

    There does appear to be a new BMW snap-in adapter specifically for the iPhone 3G now and from what I’ve read, BMW appear to have integrated a USB fly lead out of the new snap-ins that then integrates with the USB audio interface (if you have that option on your car) to allow simultaneous phone charging, bluetooth connectivity and music access via the stereo/iDrive. So there are now 4 snap-ins for the iPhone, the original iPhone one, the original iPhone one with integrate USB audio, a new iPhone 3G one and a new iPhone 3G one that integrates USB audio.

    Bluetooth telephone audio connection
    To enable the use of the audio player built into specific bluetooth phones, BMW offers the optional Bluetooth telephone audio connection for all new BMW’s (excluding X3). This allows you to use the mobile phone as a combined device for telephone calls and audio playback. This feature is only compatible with mobile phones where we offer a specially developed snap-in adaptor with a USB connection (please refer to compatibility chart). It also requires the car to be fitted with the optional USB audio interface.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the USB audio interface in my car but I’m starting to wish I did now.

    I also notice that this option is currently only available for the iPhone, all the other handsets listed have a “-” in these columns.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  15. I notice the BMW UK site now lists iPhone 3g as compatible (with version 2.0.1 software!) and suggests there are two kinds of snap-in adaptor including one which supports audio playback (depending on vehicle options). Anyone have any experience of these? I’ve emailed my dealer for more info but no reply yet.

    BMW UK Bluetooth:,,___,00.html?siteID=1312

  16. so it has been working since 2.2, until i upgraded to the 3G phone.

    now MOST of the 6000+ contacts i have sync, but not all. go figure; i have them arranged in various subfolders, but there seems no consistency as to what syncs and what doesnt…..

    and of course the 3G doesnt charge in my 2008 M5 (which i didnt realize until the battery ran down, and now that i did a search, found this is expected….damn)

  17. Scoopz…I was writing on one of your blogs back in July when I was one of the hoards that patiently and eagerly awaiting my new iPhone 3G. After 13 days (one day before it was too late) I returned my iPhone because of the constant feedback/echo that presented on my BMW 2007 X5. I really wanted the iPhone to work and returned it in frustration. Am I to believe…before I take the AT&T plunge again that the Echo/Feedback problem HAS BEEN FIXED? And how about the battery life and call dropped issues? I am ready to try again and really appreciate everyone’s input that I have been reading. THANK YOU! Dirk D. in Chicago.

    1. @Dirk – Welcome back! Since the 3G first came out there have been numerous software updates (2.01. 2.02. 2.1, 2.2) and I believe that one of the earlier updates resolved the echo issue for many of those affected. I personally had no echo issues but from reading some of the posts on my blog along with the BMW forums it seems the echo problem appears to have disappeared (or at lest been vastly reduced).

      The remaining big problem that lots of people still had was with older (pre 2007) vehicles not sync’ing the address book contacts with iDrive, hence the detailed fix on this blog entry, but this has been completely resolved with the latest 2.2 update. So it probably would be worth you trying the iPhone 3G again just make sure you have the 14 day return policy just in case. If possible though, I’d find a friend who has a 3G iPhone updated to 2.2 and ask them if you can try connected with your X5 and verify the echo is gone.

      The battery life is still shocking if you are used to Nokia’s that can go for nearly a week without charging. I have my b/tooth and wifi on 24/7, its permanently connected to wifi in my house and work and checking an IMAP email account every 15 mins and also live PUSH connection to my work Exchange server. I use it got talk and data for quite a long time each day and I generally get the 20% battery remaining warning around early evening every day. As a general rule I charge it in the car on any long journeys, it’s an annoyance but if you turn off b/t and wifi, put screen brightness right down you can get a few days standby out of it, I’ve had about 3 days with moderate use for SMS only on holiday. I have noticed an improved battery life since 2.2, but not much.

      I have heard that BMW may have finally brought out a proper snap-in for the 3G iPhone but not been able to confirm this yet, the part number is apparently 84 21 21 51 038. I shall check with my dealer in the new year and if this is true.

      Regarding dropped calls, again this is another issue I was never plagued with but 2.1 and 2.2 were meant to address issues with dropped calls.

      Hope that helps? All the best for the New Year!

      Scoopz (Admin)

      PS – If you take the plunge again steer clear of the WHITE 3G, I’ve had nothing but problem after problem with the casing on the white one cracking or showing hairline fractures all over the back.

  18. Cheers Scoop, many thanks, happy man and no longer in danger of being arrested for fumbling by Grampians finest! Strange how Apple did not declare the fix in their Release Notes?

  19. @Steve Thompson – I have the BMW snap-in adapter which I bought for my original iPhone. The simple answer is NO the iPhone 3G does not fit in the snap in adapter!

    The 3G iPhone is marginally bigger than the original iPhone and as such it doesn’t fit *easily* into the adapter but you can make it fit if you push it hard. Once in it does charge but don’t expect it to “pop up” when you press the eject button, it’s too tightly wedged and needs lifting up at the same time you press eject. I put my 3G in the BMW snap-in as a last resort if I know my battery will die before the end of the day but I don’t like forcing it into a cradle not designed for it and certainly would use it on a daily basis. BMW have not indicated yet if they are making a 3G version of the cradle but if I were you I’d simply buy a Cigarette Socket to USB adapter from Maplins or Amazon for £10 and use that for now.

    Photos and review of the BMW Snap-In adapter for the original iPhone

    Scoopz (Admin)

  20. @KevinG – Thanks for the updates, I thought it odd that you initially reported that you had it working with iPhone 2.1 and an updated B/t module from BMW, that would have been something new.

    The fix has come from Apple in the form of 2.2 and not BMW in this case. The only reason I had my iDrive updated was just in case iPhone 2.2 didn’t fix things but regardless of whether I had the iDrive updated or not, updating my iPhone to 2.2 would have got it all working again.

    Luckily you didn’t have to pay to have your B/T modules updated otherwise you might be slightly annoyed that it didn’t make a difference when your iPhone was running 2.1.

    Apple did indeed fix BMW’s problem but then again I’m of the opinion that Apple may have created BMW’s problem in the first place. Since original iPhones running 1.4 seemed to work OK with BMWs, Apple’s introduction of 2.0 caused BMW’s problems and it’s taken until now for Apple to put things right again. Unfortunately for BMW it does look like Apple have emerged as the heroes when they were possibly the villians to begin with?

    Scoopz (Admin)

  21. Two very interesting developments. I tried my car again earlier to discover that the BMW software upgrade and 2.1 had stopped working!!!!(contacts would not show on screen.) Upgraded t 2.2 and then the contacts worked. It looks like Apple have solved BMW’s problem for them! I must say I think BMW have not covered themselves in glory on this one. I was soon to specify my new car for March – I think I will go elsewhere now.

  22. As I reported earlier my car went in for re-coding of all the Bluetooth modules (E60 2007 530D with professional satnav etc). This was done on Monday and didn’t cost anything. Interestingly the software update has improved the presentation of the graphics on the screen!
    I am pleased to report that the Iphone now works perfectly (I am using 2.1, I will now upgrade to 2.2 with some confidence).
    It appears that both BMW with their latest software release and Apple with 2.2 (see Scoopz above) have both solved the problem.
    Many thanks Scoopz for helping with a fix until this was sorted out.

  23. @Brian – Yes if you have updated to 2.2 you should be able to delete the 2000 fake contacts and it will all still work, 2000 fake contacts only needed for iPhone 2.1.

    2.2 has miraculously fixed the issue of constant bluetooth dropping/reconnecting that many were having too which is why it has all started to work for you now 🙂

    Scoopz (Admin)

  24. I checked this site soon after I bought my iPhone in early August but to my annoyance did not revisit it. I have tried each time there was a software update and on updating to 2.2 tonight and also doing your fix I now have my contacts on my iDrive. After I read your comment about the bluetooth dropping I assumed it would still not work as I had that issue as well. Do you think I can delete the 2000 Z’s?

    Many many thanks you have just eased 3 months of total and utter pain.

    5 Series 06 (July) Plate.

  25. @Didsbury – Stereo cutting out every 30 seconds when b/t comes on and off…..Ooh that’s a new one! Have you tried removing all bluetooth pairings from car and iPhone, perhaps backup the iPhone, do a restore to get iPhone to factory conditions and then try and see what happens? Also, are there any other b/tooth devices in the car when this is happening, like another mobile, a b/tooth earpiece or b/tooth mouse in a laptop bag, etc? Do you have access to another iPhone you can try it with? Is your iPhone 3G or original? Sooo many questions I know, sorry!

    Scoopz (Admin)

  26. I have a 2004 1 series with idrive. No addresses and since I loaded 2.2 the radio cuts out every 30 seconds when the bluetooth comes on and off. It is driving me nuts. Any thoughts?

  27. @VirtualRain – Cheers 🙂 always happy to help, I feel a bit lost now though with nothing to bug test / bodge fix. Perhaps I’ll use the extra time to look into writing some iPhone apps or get a forum up and running on my blog to ease the load on the comments of each blog entry :-s or I might get stuck into bug testing the new M5Board theme in more detail.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  28. @Eoin – Everytime I’ve looked at the list in the last few days it’s looked complete. I read your message before I left for work this morning so had a check on the drive in and all my contacts appear OK today. I’ll keep my eye on it but nothing to report as of yet.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  29. Anyone experiencing a problem with the contacts lists on the i-drive sometimes showing your full contacts list and other times just showing a small sub-set. It looks like the “favourites” list with a few extra numbers thrown in for good measure! Strange and totally random – but annoying!

  30. @Pino – There is no way for you to find out the current iDrive version yourself, it is not displayed in any of the car menus. You could try calling your dealer and ask them what they updated it to. But regardless you should definitely try 2.2 on your iPhone, if you had any contact sync problems you’ll probably find they’re fixed now regardless of you iDrive version.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  31. Hi Scoopz… Where can I see (read) which iDrive version I have.. Got my car serviced not long ago and wanted to check if I could go for the 2.2…


  32. @Viv – I forgot about signing off with that, I’d had enough by then and thought it’d never get sorted out but I’m glad that 2 months (and a few days) after I gave up all hope some light appeared at the end of the tunnel so yes it’s a very happy day for me! 🙂
    What’s next for me to pick on with the iPhone…? Cut’n’Paste? MMS? Hmmm think I’ll take a break and relax until another gremlin/bug rears its ugly head.

    Cheers for offering to help with my idea too 🙂

    Scoopz (Admin who’s now ecstatic his iPhone is working as it should with his car, one step closer to the “Jesus-phone” nickname it has acquired yet still so far from perfection!)

  33. @scoopz:

    A while back, you finished a post in a previous thread with this, Neil:
    “Scoopz (Admin who’s now given up all hope of using his iPhone with his iDrive ever again, I miss 1.1.4)”

    So, today must be a very happy day for you?! 😉

    As for that idea you’re ‘toying’ with- I’d be happy to help you out, no problem at all. 🙂


  34. UPDATE – Having got my car back from it’s service (with iDrive updated to v31.2) like many others I am happy to report that EVERYTHING is now working properly with my iPhone and BMW iDrive, contacts all sync WITHOUT the 2000 fake entries, caller ID works for incoming calls and any entries that were missing when using the 2000 fake entry method are now present. If you’ve been waiting to find out whether you should update to 2.2 yet then wait no more, update your iPhone and it should all work perfectly with your BMW bluetooth (iDrive or non-iDrive).

    • iPhone 3G White (16GB) v2.2 [5G77]
    • BMW E60 M5 with iDrive v31.2 [Dec-2005 build]

    @Kris_C – Update your iPhone from 2.1 to 2.2 (update released last Friday) and you should have everything working like it was with 1.4 without the need for the 2000 fake contacts.

    @Chris – Nice detailed information, thanks 🙂 ! I must say I’m surprised 2.2 fixed the b/t dropping connections every 20 seconds, I thought they might only fix the contact sync for those with steady b/t connections but no contacts but it looks like they’ve pushed the boat out and resolved it all.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  35. 2006 BMW M5 I can confirm that the 2.2 release resolved both the continuous pairing & unpairing problem and also the address book transfer. Have used it now for two days without any problems. Happy days.

  36. Hi Scoopz

    Firstly, great thanks and kudos to you for doing all this!

    Secondly – a fuller update since 2.2 was installed on my iPhone.

    My problem with iPhone 3G/2004 BMW E60 (5 series) with ProNav and ProRadio was that the iPhone would par/drop-re-pair every 20 seconds or so withiout any address book transfer and inability to make/receive calls at all. I knew it wasn’t the car (I used an original iPhone with 1.1.4 OS to test this repeatedly and was successfully using a WM6 phone prior to the iPhone 3G purchase) so it was definitely the iPhone 3G OS causing this.

    With 2.2 all problems are resolved – phone paired no problem and re-pairs without manual intervention when I get into the car. Phone book transfers quickly, and voice dialling/caller recognition works without flaw.

    For me, I need the phone to be usable in the car, so this was Apple’s last chance and I was just about to order an HTC Touch – thankfully this release resolved all iPhone connectivity issues with the car.

    Shame on Apple for now following Microsoft’s policy of beta-testing software on “released and paid-for” products!!! 🙂

  37. Thank alot man. After upgrading to 2.1 I no longer could access contacts in my 2006 330 without iDrive OR even use the phone button on my steering wheel to redial last called numbers. I tried the above method and it works as it was in 1.44. Hopefully it stays

  38. @Sean:

    I’m guessing it’s due to the problem of the iDrive being unable to decide which caller ID to display (as it’s present across multiple contacts), if you were to receive a call from the company’s ‘main number’, so I’m assuming the iDrive is simply ignoring it completely. 🙁

    The only way I can see round it, is to remove the ‘main number’ from all of your contacts, set-up a new contact for the company with that number & just remember those contacts belong to that company. 🙁 🙂


  39. 2007 BMW 530xi with iPhone version 2.2

    Did a complete restore on my iPhone, deleted all contacts and added back about 400 contacts via MobileMe sync.

    I can and always have been able to sync via Bluetooth to my car, no dropped connection, but I am still not seeing all my contacts’ phone numbers. Specifically, those people who work at a company with the same main phone but might also have a unique mobile number. I see their unique mobile number, but not the main number that might be the same across multiple contacts.

  40. Just to say thanks to scoopz once more for the great work on highlighting the whole iPhone 3G contacts sync problem with BMW iDrive- nice work Neil. 🙂

    I’ve just downloaded & installed firmware 2.2 & removed the additional fake 2000 contacts, leaving my original 200 contacts on the iPhone.
    I removed the original pairing in the car & the iPhone & started again. After about 20-or-so seconds later, there was a display of ‘No entries available’, quickly followed by all of my contacts!

    Incoming caller ID works fine as does the usual voice dialling.
    I’ve not tried updating the contacts using MobileMe, but I’ll give that a go next.

    Car: BMW E90 330i SE with SatNavPro
    Build date: Sept 05
    Current Progman: v27.x.x

    So, it does look like a little persistence & feedback to Apple does have a positive effect! 😉

    I’m happy once more!

    All the best.


  41. hmmmmm…. I think caller ID may have been lost. I answered an incoming call today from a landline that is in my address book but all I had showing in the iDrive was *****.

    Just something to monitor.

  42. Contacts now showing on bus prof radio non idrive without the 1000 + contacts

    Well done to Bmw and Apple for fixing a fault that they never really admitted to

  43. @MadeUpName – Interesting observation, amazing what boredom can achieve 🙂 I’ve never had any issues with bluetooth dropping every 20 seconds but then again I don’t think I’ve ever had a bluetooth headset in the car whilst it was trying to connect to the iDrive. Hopefully getting my car back in a few hours and I’ve got a Nokia BH-801 that works with the iPhone so I’ll see what happens for me.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  44. @Scoopz – a BTW comment on the bluetooth dropping. I did experiment with an Apple BT headset and wondered how it would react with the car if the iPhone was paired with both the HS and the iDrive and both were on at the same time……

    Result: The car kept dropping the iPhone connection and re-connecting every 20 seconds or so.

    Not sure what that means, but I did it!… maybe I was just bored for 10 minutes!

  45. 🙂 @KevinG @Eoin @FV7 @dunroven @VirtualRain @Chris @Newbie @MadeUpName @Rob @Psyxologos @samps – Phew that was a long list! Thank you for your feedback, my car has been delayed at the dealer updating the iDrive software so I’m not getting it back until tomorrow (Saturday) so I’ve been unable to test anything but from reading all your comments it looks like Apple have pulled their finger out at last and got all the problems sorted 🙂 even those who had connections dropping every 20 seconds seem to have a fix now too!

    I’ll create a new post tomorrow with my findings but I’m very hopeful! Thanks to all those who helped in figuring out the 2000 contact fix, I think it’s now served its purpose and can be put to rest!


    Scoopz (Admin)

  46. Ten minutes later and I can now confirm that all works well. I deleted the pairing from the car and the phone and re-paired the two. everything works great, ALL my contacts now appear, everything is running like clockwork. THANKS!

  47. I can confirm that 2.2 now syncs address book with non-idrive prof radio without the 2000 contacts.

    I still have 2.1 as it’s jailbroken (so I’m waiting for 2.2 jailbreak). I just tested with someone’s phone from my work who just updated to 2.2 and the address book sync’d fine. The phone has less than 100 contacts.

  48. Fantastic news!!!! Just loaded 2.2 and my frustrations with BMW and Apple have now ceased. I can see all my contacts on i-drive and the intermitant dropping of connection solved. BMW 530d 2005 model.

  49. Yaa Hooo….. same result as Newbie

    Downloaded 2.2, deleted the fake contacts, deleted phone from the car and the pairing in the iPhone.

    Reconnected to the car straight away and over 300 contacts appeared INCLUDING the handful of ones that were randomly missing when even using the fake 2000.

    Car is an October 2005 M6 with iDrive running v27 software/firmware.

  50. Upgraded to 2.2 deleted 2000 fake contacts, deleted phone from car…….re paired phone to car and 30 seconds later 300 ish real contacts all there In my 58 reg 3 series non idrive Bluetooth

  51. I am amazed and thrilled! 2006 BMW 530i with iDrive. iPhone 2g with 2.1 firmware. Not only works like a charm but the issue with contact titles ie: mr and mrs, etc are now gone and last names are shown first in the beemer display!!!
    I have read all of this and have no earthly idea why it works, but it does so thanks again!!!

  52. OK, some clarifications
    I had a 3G iphone (2.1 firmware) which didn’t work with the Bluetooth module of my BMW (no idrive)
    I experienced the connection drop every 20 seconds and of course no address sync…
    I tired everything I found on the web including SCOOPZ’s solution (fantastic finding) without any success.
    This morning I upgraded to 2.2 and all functionalities of the BT module worked again.
    In summary the 2.2 fixes my prof radio issue!

  53. Hi Scoopz,

    Ver 2.2 fixes the intermittent Bluetooth signal I had and all my contacts synch with the i-drive! I also changed the name of my phone to remove a ‘ from the name – not sure if that made a difference. I didn’t remove the 2000 fakes yet to see if Ver 2.2 works without your fix.

  54. I called BMW UK today and they told me that a software upgrade that will allow 2.0 to work has been released (09/08) and that it is being uploaded by dealers now. They said that 2.1 and 2.2 had not been tested yet. My car is going in on Monday to have the new software uploaded – I will report here if it works!

  55. @samps – Good question, I’m not sure if @FV7 (comment 3 above this one) had any issues prior to 2.2 with names not syncing? If you’ve still not managed to get contacts to sync with your non-iDrive it can’t do any harm giving 2.2 a try :-s

    Scoopz (Admin)

  56. Dear Business Professional users
    I upgrade this morning to version 2.2 and everything is finally running perfect (address book synchronised, no BT connexion drop anymore…)
    I have a BMW 3 touring 01/2007
    Enjoy !

  57. @Grahame39m5 – Thanks for your feedback 🙂 a stocking filler would be much appreciated, there should be a little coffee cup/paypal button on the left sidebar of the blog but I’ll drop you an PM on incase that link isn’t working 🙂

    @bumble – I forgot you don’t have iDrive 😕 it might be very useful to others if you can find out what they reset/updated on your car because most of those who still don’t have contact sync working are seem to be the non-iDrive equipped cars. When my ELV error came up the steering lock was not engaged and I could freely (well with some force!) move the wheel left and right. I have comfort access so the key isn’t needed in the slot but the only way I could eliminate the error was to manually insert the key.

    @tennis – Believe it or not there is actually no way for you to check what version you currently have. Even on the hidden menu’s there is no indication of software version, there were some visual and menu differences between early v24, v26, v27, etc but there don’t appear to be any obvious changes anymore. If you call your dealer they might have it on record which version they installed. Mine is getting updated (was done over night last night) to v31.2 which came out about a week or two ago, prior to that it was v31.1 that the dealer had and they’d had that for a few months.

    My iPhone is now running v2.2 [5G77], painless update, took less than 10 mins including the download, backup, update and restore 🙂 Not much difference, Safari has had a facelift and Maps app now allows street view, walking directions and public transport directions have been added and some other bits and bobs in the background.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  58. iPhone 2.2 is out and I’m currently downloading it in iTunes (246MB), I’ll report back later this evening when I get my car back from the dealer.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  59. @PeterM

    But had the steering wheel been moved to lock it in the first place?

    Mine hadn’t, it was as if the car just decided to lock it for no reason.

    If not, might be worth while trying to get them to do a reset on your car too.

    It certainly seems to have resolved my iphone interface problem.

  60. Scoopz, what a coincidence!

    I put my elv down to the cold weather we had about 3 weeks ago.

    I wonder what they reset in my car, without idrive. I’ll try give them a ring today and find out.

    What ever it was it certainly worked, it’s as if there was some left over data on the unit that caused the iphone to fail.

  61. Hi Scoopz, Thankyou a million times bud!!

    My dealer told me today that any car before 07 would not work with 3g iphone. I did your fix and hey presto they are all there. It took a while for them to appear but I did what you said and all is good.
    Send me your paypal address and I’ll put you a little stocking filler in there!!
    Once again Thank You.

  62. @bumble – I had the same problem and as PeterM says above, this is the ELV steering lock jamming. I happened to have a camera in the car when it happened to me and similarly the only way to clear it was to put the key in and out a few times:

    My car is currently with the dealer and getting programmed up with iDrive v31.2 over night so I’ll report back anything that’s changed.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  63. Bumble

    “I was presented with an orange steering wheel with a padlock on it. Taking the key in and out a few times eventually allowed me to start the car.”

    This means that the steering wheel lock is jammed.

  64. The car was in the garage due to when the key was inserted, the car intermittently locked everything down. I was presented with an orange steering wheel with a padlock on it. Taking the key in and out a few times eventually allowed me to start the car.

    So – The garage “reset” the car.

    I do not know what specifically this entails, but the radio did loose all its pairings.

    So it looks like this reset may have done the trick.

    Re the 2000 entries, they were left on my phone from my previous attempt.

  65. @Bumble – Great news! Did you change any other settings to suddenly make it work or do you think simply unpairing/repairing whilst the 2000 contacts were on the iPhone was the cause? I’m starting to doubt whether 2.2 will be out tomorrow but I suppose I’ll find out soon enough. You might find there are a handful of your contacts missing but you should definitely have the majority of them. It took me a few weeks to figure out that some of mine were missing from the iDrive.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  66. breaking news:- [2005 330d M Sport – with BusProf]

    So last night as i got out of the car I re-paired my phone to the car.

    This morning, whilst driving to work. A miracle happened.

    My full telephone list was available on the car – for the first time since I switched to the iPhone.

    Full history:-

  67. NOTE iPhone 2.2 software update should be released this Friday 21st November so before you all go updating your iPhones let me be a guinea pig and check that it doesn’t break the 2000 contact fix from working!

    @Gavin – Thanks for the update, very useful info for some of the others who have been thinking of getting the bluetooth module updated.

    My car (Dec 2005 E60 M5) is going in for an Oil Service this Thursday and I’m hopefully getting the iDrive software updated too, my contacts sync with the 2000 fake entry method but don’t sync without. Once it is updated I’ll report back whether I’m able to remove the 2000 contacts or not.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  68. Hi,

    I said I would report back with my findings once my Bluetooth module was replaced under warranty.

    I got my bluetooth unit in my 2006 730d replaced with a new unit as the original one failed, so I tried taking the 2000 fake contacts back out of my iphone 3G 2.1 to see if the new bluetooth unit would allow the phone to sync contacts. Well it didn’t work so the new bluetooth module had no positive impact on iphone 3G compatability.

    I am putting the fake contacts back in as I type this so all will be working again.



  69. @Jasontart – I bet you’re glad you finally got round to sync’ing your iPhone with Outlook 🙂 With the high mileage you do each year it’s certainly going to make you much safer on the roads which is always a good thing!

    @tennis – Do you know what software version BMW upgraded you to? My car is going in next Thursday for service and software update so I’ll report back.

    @normanpaz – as far as I know the BMW bluetooth module doesn’t support A2DP which is one of the main protocols used to stream music to headphones, speakers, etc. A software update from BMW or Apple is not going to enable playing of music via bluetooth. 🙁

    Scoopz (admin)

  70. I did the fix about a few weeks ago and it worked perfectly. However, the 2000 contacts always bothered me on my phone. When I got my car serviced at BMW I requested a “software update” on the iDrive. So now my iphone syncs perfectly with the BMW (i deleted the 2000 contacts) also, the iDrive seems to be faster. good luck everyone

  71. Scoopz, you are a star!!…After months of cursing BMW and IPHONE for not coming up with a solution to the address book not sychronising to Idrive issue, your “2000 dummy addreses” fix worked perfectly. I downloaded your list of 2000 Z’s and installed onto windows outlook last week and then forgot to finish it. All of a sudden phone started working this morning in the car and realised I synched the phone last night. I didn’t even need to re-pair the phone and car or anything like that.

    The fix works on both our 56 plate BMWs running Idrive. The first is a 535i diesel M sport and the second a 335i coupe. I do 45000 miles a year so having a fully working, integrated phone with voice dialling is essential…and safe. Was only inches away from swapping to a Nokia!! Thanks for your help…excellent site!!

  72. @Jim_E – Thank you very much, that’s extremely generous of you indeed!

    @bumble – 🙁 unlucky. Like you say it looks like you’re in the hands BMW/Apple now 🙁

    Scoopz (Admin)

  73. @scoopz – sorry for the delay in getting back to you, (doesnt work on 05, 330d with Prof Radio) – yes, the bluetooth does drop on and off intermittently.

    I can receive calls, the number even shows up, but no entries in the address list.

    So, waiting for apple/bmw 🙁

  74. @Jim_E – Glad it worked! I’m still awaiting a call from BMW to ask me to join their tech department 🙂 but doubt that’ll ever happen! Thanks for the offer of a bottle of vino 😉 very tempting indeed but could I ask you make a small donation to “Children in Need” instead?

    @Kevin – It looks like you are definitely one of the few that have issues with bluetooth connection repeatedly dropping and reconnecting. There doesn’t seem to be a solution for this yet but hang in there until 2.2 is released, failing that I’m afraid you may have to part with some cash to get BMW to update some modules. In the mean time you’ll have to turn to the dark-side and use your blackberry. 🙁

    @Kerryman – You should start a support group with Kevin (comment above yours). However, if your car is a 2006 you should still be covered by warranty, so see if you can get BMW do update your iDrive software for free under warranty. I’m not sure if you know what version you are running now (there’s no way to tell from any of the BMW menus though) but a simple iDrive update might help you? My M5 is a Dec-2005 so slightly older than yours, but I’ve had multiple iDrive updates under warranty in the past few years which may have brought me to an newer iDrive version that yours.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  75. I have a 06 535d M Sport with Idrive.
    Iphone 2g Software Version 1.1.4 synced with the car, full contacts listing however phone needed to be unpaired/repaired each journey to allow bluetooth pairing to happen.
    Now running version 2.1 on Iphone 2g. Phone pairs automatically. Idrive Bluetooth now drops out every 20 seconds or so (icon disappears and searches for phone), however once call connects does not drop out. Contacts do not sync. Cannot dial from idrive as phone pairing drops before number is dialled.
    2000 contacts solution does not work.
    Also own Nokia N95. No better.
    What I need is contacts sync capability of apple 1.1.4 with bluetooth automatic connectivity of apple 2.1.
    Also are any particular Irish BMW dealers more familiar than others with this problem??

  76. Followed all the instruction below but still no contacts are syncing my phone disconnects and reconnects every 30 sec or so.

    I have a 3g 8gb iphone and a bmw2005 535d touring looks like i need a new car or a old iphone.
    But not a problem with my blackberry it synchs fine damm

    Make sure you’ve unpair every phone from the iDrive first
    Delete pairing from iPhone too.
    Connect to iTunes and change your iPhone name from JackP’s iPhone (or whatever it is now)to simple iPhone
    Sync the 2000 fake contacts along with your normal ones.
    Also have a quick look through for any contacts with special characters in the name. I have entries with ‘ì’ in and the ‘ì’ appears as a ‘?’ on my iDrive, perhaps the iDrive cannot cope with some other accented characters so remove any just in case.
    Try repairing again and be sure to keep the phone ‘awake’ while it pairs.

  77. Scoopz

    Class ! I’d tried everything including using Nokia 95 to get phone book onto M6 2006, the various software updates etc , then engaged BMW who are still in the dark. Then you’re tip on 2000 names worked immediately …

    Email me your address , I’ll pop a nice bottle of wine in the post , its the least you deserve !

  78. Hi Scoopz,

    IT WORKS!!!!!

    I just got my 3G iPhone today, and after reading all the threads was dreading pairing it to my 56plate 520d Touring. It paired…… but you guessed it no contact list. The iPhone is running 2.1. BMW business radio with iDrive and Nav.

    I’ve followed your instructions and the additional 2000 contacts (imported your spreadsheet into my windows address book) IT WORKED. Unpair everything that was previously paired, follow all your instructions about keeping it awake etc., and eventually after a few minutes the contact list becomes available. Be patient as there is no obvious message, but occaisionally click on the iDrive contacts until the list appears. Mine just had one “z” number at the end z0867 if anyone’s interested.

    Thanks for making this information available. It may have already been mentioned before but if you are having problems with your contacts being sorted last name > first name in the iDrive it’s caused by a setting on the iPhone. On the iPhone go to settings>mail, contacts, calendars>scroll down to contacts and you can change the sort order. I suggest you do this before the “2000 contact fix” otherwise you may have to unpair and re-sync again (like I did!) for it to display correctly on the iDrive display.

    After all the fiddling I now have my contact list displayed in the correct order by the iDrive display. 🙂

  79. @scoopz – Thank you, I wasn’t aware of the M6Board site.

    Like you, I too have noticed the missing contacts are for people I haven’t called in many months so its not a big deal, it was though more a case of morbid curiosity as to why they are missing.

    I have tried “voice dialing” to see if the missing ones are hidden but they aren’t, I just get offered other names instead.

  80. @MadeUpName – Thanks for the info, I was under the impression that all 2008 cars seemed to be free from all these issues but I guess not 😕 , at least the 2000 fake contact fix worked.

    Regarding the random missing entries, I’m absolutely stumped trying to figure if there is a pattern to those that don’t appear but I can’t find a pattern. Probably coincidence but every number I call on a daily/weekly basis whilst driving has sync’d with the iDrive so I don’t worry about it too much but I would like to have the missing ones sync at some point in the future.

    PS – I’m not sure if you are already a member but be sure to check out forum for a wealth of information on the M6.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  81. @scoopz….. I borrowed a 2008 320 coupe from my dealer (UK) that had prof radio and my 3G iPhone would not sync the address book WITHOUT the fake 2000 contacts.

    Plus I too have noticed that I am missing some contacts in my 2005 M6 iDrive. They appear to be random, but amendments and new entries are updating. Very odd behavior.

  82. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! Works great! Do not know how the heck you came up with adding 2000 contacts is the fix.
    2005 BMW 645ci
    Apple iphone 3g
    Navigation system

  83. @ Scoopz (Admin)

    Hi Scoopz,

    Further to my last post 2/11 @ 10.11pm, here is some more info…

    I upgraded to 2.1 s/w but made sure I had a copy of 2.0.2 before doing so incase I needed to revert back.

    I added back the – and ‘ in my contacts and remove the 2000 fake contacts. The contact list did not appear on my iDrive.

    Added back the 2000 contacts list and the list is shown. No problems displaying names with ‘ and – in them.

    I think the only time punctuation causes problems is when you call your iPhone a name with ‘ and – in it. It is then displayed with a ?

    This is the name shown bottom left of the i-Drive screen, i.e. Jak’s iPhone is displayed as Jak?s iPhone

    Also, once paired I switched on the Wi-Fi, no problems connecting to my car with Wi-Fi on at all times, tried this several times, so will leave Wi-Fi on all the time.

    Hope this helps others on this site…


  84. @Vijaaz – On an earlier blog post about this (see here) there were 400+ comments, I’ve just done a quick search for “X5” on that page and it threw up quite a lot of positive responses from people with 2007 & 2008 X5’s that have no problems with the iPhone without the need for the 2000 contact fix.

    General pattern seems to be that all 2008 vehicles with iDrive seem to be working ok.

    Congrats on the purchases (X5 and soon to be iPhone), you’ll love them!

    Scoopz (Admin)

  85. @J – Great post, lots of useful info there for @hmmmupgrades

    @JackP – If it’s working now using the 2000 fake contacts and 2.02 then like you say “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”, just leave things alone at least until 2.2 is out and I’ve done some test 🙂 I’m curious to know if the apostrophe in the phone name or removing special characters affected anything?

    Scoopz (Admin)

  86. Hi All

    I’m just about to take delivery of a brand new X5 3.0d. I’ve had the Media Pack installed which I believe also includes IDrive. I was just wondering if anybody as yet has been successful in getting the IPhone 3G fully working with the X5. I would really appreciate if somebody would come back to me as i’m planning to buy an IPhone in the next couple of days if it works fully with the X5.

    Thanks a million, great forum!!!

    (An excited soon to be owner of a BMW for the FIRST time)

  87. @ Scoopz (Admin)

    Hi Scoopz,

    Thanks for your advice!

    I actually got my iphone 3g replaced today as I’m sure something was not right…

    Anyway, the 1st iPhone 3g I had came with 2.02 s/w and I upgraded the s/w to 2.1. Other than pairing it with my October 2005 E90 BMW with March 2008 s/w on the idrive (think v.31) I could not see my contacts even with the 2000 fake patch.

    My replacement iPhone came with 2.02 s/w but this time I did not upgrade it. I followed your instructions and sync’d my contact plus the 2000 fake ones and guess what? My car lists all my contacts – using the 2.02 iPhone s/w! But it took a couple of times cycling the ignition to disconnect and reconnect the phone by bluetooth before the list appeared.

    I am a little reluctant to upgrade to 2.1 as the saying goes “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”

    I will try to see if I can see my contacts without the 2000 fake patch and update this site in the next day or so. Also i will put back the ‘ and – in my contact names and see if this causes any issues.

    Hopefully the list will be displayed from now on and this isn’t just a blip!

    Other than that – THANKS VERY MUCH!!!!!

    Will update back soon….

  88. @hmmmupgrades

    If you haven’t bought either yet, bear in mind most BMW snap in cradles out there are for iPhone 2G and don’t fit the 3G model. These charge the phone and connect it to the car antenna. There is rumoured to be a 3G one coming (it maybe available already), but I don’t think it will allow you to use the USB music thing at the same time.

    As my car is not USB enabled anyway, I went and got a Kensington LiquidAux (joins the aux in and charges the iPhone, and also comes with an RF remote for play/shuffle/next track etc.) and also a “straight-through” Brodit iPhone holder. I then fitted this to the “Blank” bluetooth snap-in adapter, so I can easily slide the iPhone into and out of the car without messing about with cables. You may find that a Brodit adapter fitted in the armrest, coupled with the 6FL cable for USB (if this charges the iPhone – does it?), maybe your best solution.

  89. @JackP – Several people have managed to get this to work with a 2005 E90, a commenter called Viv has a sept 2005 E90:

    Car: BMW E90 330i SE with SatNavPro
    Build date: Sept 05
    Current Progman: v27.x.x
    and the 2000 contact fix worked for him.

    I have multiple numbers, addresses, url’s, etc under many of my names and it doesn’t affect it, the iDrive simply appends (Home) (Mobile) (Office) etc onto the end of each entry.

    My suggestions:

    • Make sure you’ve unpair every phone from the iDrive first
    • Delete pairing from iPhone too.
    • Connect to iTunes and change your iPhone name from JackP’s iPhone (or whatever it is now)to simple iPhone
    • Sync the 2000 fake contacts along with your normal ones.
    • Also have a quick look through for any contacts with special characters in the name. I have entries with ‘ì’ in and the ‘ì’ appears as a ‘?’ on my iDrive, perhaps the iDrive cannot cope with some other accented characters so remove any just in case.
    • Try repairing again and be sure to keep the phone ‘awake’ while it pairs.

    If that doesn’t work try somebody else’s iPhone with your car and your iPhone with somebody else’s car and see what the results are.

    Good luck

    Scoopz (Admin)

  90. Hi,

    Has anyone managed to get their contacts listed using a 2005 E90 BMW with Prof Sat Nav/i drive?

    The software in my car was upated in March 2008, I think it is V31 and it came out the day before the upgrade, so got the latest at that time.

    I can pair sucessfully, but cannot see the contacts even with using the 2000 contacts fix, maybe I need to be doing something else…

    I have around 155 contacts on outlook which get sync’d but most have more than 1 number to a name, plus addresses and emails….would this cause problems?

    Any help is appreciated


  91. @hmmmupgrades:

    It seems to be that there is no problem at all between iPhone 3Gs and new BMW’s. Am I right with this?


    If so can I connect my iPhone to the car via bluetooth and see all of my contacts and call them via the voice control (without doing this fix of 2000 fake contacts)?

    Yes, new cars don’t seem to have any issues with contacts and no need for the 2000 fake contacts.

    can I also have my iPhone connected to the USB/Aux and play music through the stereo, with the names of the tracks coming up on my sat nav screen?


    can I have bluetooth and aux/usb connected at the same time so that i’m playing music and it goes off when a call comes through?


    However – Before signing off on the new car, ask the dealer to show you their 3 series demonstrator (which should have prof nav and usb interface) and get him to give you the keys so you can sit in it for half an hour and check out all the queries you have above. Better to be 100% sure before handing over lots of cash!

    Scoopz (Admin)

  92. I am about to buy a new 3 series with professional sat nav. Been looking at all these posts as obviously important to me that my iPhone works perfectly when i’m spending a fortune on professional sat nav and the usb interface…a few questions from what i’ve read:

    It seems to be that there is no problem at all between iPhone 3Gs and new BMW’s. Am I right with this?

    If so can I connect my iPhone to the car via bluetooth and see all of my contacts and call them via the voice control (without doing this fix of 2000 fake contacts)?

    Further, can I also have my iPhone connected to the USB/Aux and play music through the stereo, with the names of the tracks coming up on my sat nav screen?

    Even further, can I have bluetooth and aux/usb connected at the same time so that i’m playing music and it goes off when a call comes through???

    Sorry for all these questions, but it seems that it isn’t just me that wants my iPhone to work perfectly with my new car!! I would seriously not get the car if the above was not going to work!!

  93. @Eoin – Thanks for the update on what the BMW dealers (Ireland) are saying to those with connection dropping issues. If you do end up paying €200 for the dealer to update it make sure you get in writing that they guarantee this will make the iPhone 3G compatible including contact syncing, that way if you have any issues you can easily get your money back. The problem is, what if Apple bring out another update in a few weeks that breaks it all again 😕 ?

    @J – I’ve not done any long journeys to give the car a change to sync any changes but you are right, the iDrive might only be set to look for differences every 24/48 hours?

    @tennis @tonach – Thanks for the feedback, glad there’s two more happy BMW owner out on the roads, and more importantly safer drivers now you can access all your numbers on your iDrive (voice dial if fitted).

    @KevinG – I’ve not had any experience using the iPhone on networks other than O2 but I just did a quick search and it seems there might not be ‘separate’ settings for 3G, if you have Edge working then 3G should just take over when coverage is good enough?

    > Thanks for the pointer. I now have the GPRS settings, do I need to do
    > naything else to get the 3g settings?

    There’s no such things as 3G settings.

    3G data transfer is still done using GPRS, it’s just faster. If you are
    in a 3G service area then you will get 3G speeds.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  94. Off topic, sorry – but someone may know the answer!
    Does anyone know the settings to get an unlocked Iphone working on Orange UK to access the 3g network. (I can get on Edge but not 3g)
    Many thanks

  95. Thanks for the post. I’m so glad there are other people that were just as frustrated with this problem as I am. Did the fix just now and it works perfectly! Thanks everyone for your help!

  96. Scoopz,

    I put a new number in that didn’t show up on iDrive straight away. It didn’t appear for around 30mins I was in the car. I didn’t worry about it but when I checked again a few days ago (after the car & phone had synced a few more times), I noticed that the number had appeared. I didn’t pair or unpair or anything (infact I haven’t changed the pairing for ages, even when I put the 2000 fix in – it just started working automatically) – so perhaps the phone and the car decide when to update the contacts on some unknown schedule/basis!

  97. Hi Scoopz,

    My BMW dealer wants to charge me €200 for a S/W upgrade they say will fix the problem. They say they have to check that all sensors etc are working following the upgrade and thats why the cost is so high. Its really not worth that so I hope Apple can help fix this problem with the next release. It seems a few people have the same problem as me still. Your fix doesn’t work and BT connection dropping every 20 – 30 secs. Anyway – thought I’d let you know what BMW Ireland are saying.

  98. Update on yesterday’s tests, now I’m confused 😕 .

    I first went looking for the entry I deleted “Nokia Service Centre” and it wasn’t there, great, but then I noticed a few other N’s were missing from the list 😥 , people or companies I don’t like or phone too often so never really noticed before. I thought it might be because the entries on my iPhone either have no phone number (just email) or are a duplicate for another entry, but they weren’t.

    I checked if the newly added entry was in there but it wasn’t 😥 however I also modified an entry and that modified entry updated, wtf?

    Basically I haven’t got a clue what’s going on, all I know is that 90%+ of the numbers appear to be on the iDrive, and all the numbers I need on a daily basis are on the iDrive so I’m not too bothered.

    I think that perhaps I’ve reached the iDrive’s max capacity, which has been discussed in the comments before. What I really need to do is sit in the car with a cuppa tea and scroll through the idrive counting one by one how many entries are sync’d, then try reducing the 2000 fake contacts in small chunks of 10 to see if that makes a difference. I’ll be honest with you all though, I don’t think I’ll do that just yet, eveything is working smoothly and reliably for me bar a few missing numbers so I’m not going to rock the boat just yet.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  99. @TimUK – 🙂 glad it worked and thanks for the feedback. 3-5mins to sync though, that’s longer than I’d have expected, bet you had your doubts whilst you were waiting!

    @Le Phil – No need to apologise for your English, it’s better than some British people I know and if you take into account lots of my typo’s it may even be better than mine 🙂 I’ve only heard back from one Blue&Me user who reported that he cannot get contacts to transfer and he tried adding the 2000 fake contacts described above and that didn’t work either 🙁 There is no harm in giving it a try with your iPhone 3G, if it doesn’t work simply remove the 2000 contacts and resync your iPhone to remove them all in one easy step. If it does work please let me know. Good Luck!

    @Psyxologos – I’d hang fire on unpairing and deleting all pairings just yet, you’ll kick yourself if it breaks it all completely! I’m pretty sure that new numbers were showing up in my listing, I’ve just added a new number “Test New – 01244 112233” and will see if this transfers to the iDrive on my drive home from work tonight. I must admit though, that from experience when running 1.1.4 (the good old days when everything ‘just worked’) that newly added numbers could take some time to sync, the car seemingly using a cached snapshot of all the contacts to speed up initial connection and then looking for new/modified/deleted contacts after a short time out. I’ve also just scrolled through and deleted an entry “Nokia Service Centre 🙂 ” and will see if that disappears too.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  100. Scoopz, I have the same experience with James. Newly added contacts won’t show up when I pair again. also, numbers that I have deleted from my phone continue to show up on my car screen…

    Any idea how to remedy this (apart from unpairing, deleting all pairings and trying again? I am too scared to try… 😛 )

  101. Hello, first of all, sorry for my english….

    My car is a Alfa Romeo 159 with the Blue and me connection.

    I just bought an Iphone 3 G and it’s also impossible to transfer the contacts of my phone in the car.

    But I owned an Garmin Zumo 550 GPS and when I made the bluetooth connection,
    all the contacts were automatically transfered in the Zumo….

    So I think the problem is with the Blue and Me and not with the Iphone….

    Can you confirm this opinion


  102. Great work guys – it works…

    Late 05 535dSport with Full Sat-Nav
    New iPhone 3G with 2.1 installed

    Had paired the phone with the car before but no luck with sync. Downloaded the 2000 users from your link – 2000 users 1 number.
    Dragged from download folder to Apple Address Book
    Created Group, added users to Group
    Just turned on Bluetooth on Phone
    In the car I just started the car, after less than a minute the phone and car paired.
    Selected A-Z listing
    Waiting probably 3-5 mins
    All entries displayed

    And better than the old Nokia 6230i I had before which would only give me the first number in the contact.

    Great work guys. A VERY pleased iPhone/BMW owner.


  103. @KBO – That explains it, thanks! 🙂 But considering you had the TCU upgraded earlier this year and it still wouldn’t work without the 2000 fake contact fix, I’d be looking to claw some money back off the dealer that upgraded the TCU? Although I suppose if it allowed the iPhone to operate in basic accept incoming call mode without caller ID then at least you remained legal.

    @Mike – At least you know as a last resort that upgrading the TCU (Telephone Control Unit) in combination with the 2000 contact fix should get things working like it did for KBO.

  104. @KBO – Thanks for the detailed and positive feedback, I’m surprised it worked with a 2004 car!

    @james – very strange that you need to constantly unpair and repair. Have you tried unpairing from both and then changing the *name* of the iPhone via iTunes and then repairing to see if that makes a difference? Keep an eye on the comments for this thread (Comments RSS Feed) and hopefully 2.2 might fix things, or BMW may bring out this rumored update.

    @Mike – Thanks for reporting back, I feel your pain! If you’ve got a brand new unit and it’s still dropping the b/t connection constantly then it does appear to be a problem on the car side of things. Since KBO (2 comments above yours) has had success with a 2004 5-series I’d perhaps suggest to the dealer that your bluetooth module itself is faulty? Ask them to locate an identical car to yours (model/year/options) and then try your iPhone with that one, if it pairs up OK then ask them to consider replacing your b/t module under warranty. Failing that, you’ll have to wait and see if BMW bring out a software update, or again see if 2.2 fixes things for you in a few weeks.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  105. Well I’ve just got my iphone back from being repaired. They actually sent out a brand new phone. However I’m still having the same problem of the connection constantly dropping and re-connecting.

    Totally gutted. I’m now starting to wonder if it’s the car.

    2006 520d MSport.

  106. working but not every time, somtimes contacts wont show up an ill need to un pair – re pair its not stable i dont know whay…
    P.s newly added contacts won’t show up on idrive, iteresting….

  107. Hello SCOOPZ,

    You’ve made another happy camper with this fix! I have been looking for such a fix since I got the phone in August. Looked every where and today whilst reviewing all of my E60 forums I came accross a post with your link!

    Followed your instruction (OUTLOOK) but diviated slightly and did not use iTunes to load the contacts I simply waited for them to transfer on my iPhone via MS Exchange. Re-paired and 96secs later, voila, everything magically appreared!

    Thank you so much for orchestrating this fix and taking time to make it public!

    APPLE/BMW owe you.


    BMW 545i 2004 (Canadian Car)
    iPhone 3G 2.1

  108. @andyW – That’s another £400 you can now spend over the festive period on presents for others or food/drink for yourself! 🙂

    @LloydR – Just about to get rid of your iPhone? Shame on you…just kidding…I’m glad you found my blog and got it working before it was too late.

    @Local – Yes the 2000 fake contacts need to stay in the address book…for now, once iPhone 2.2 is released I’ll test it as soon as I can without the 2000 fake contacts and report back. Until such time, if it’s working with the 2000 fake contacts added, leave them there. They shouldn’t cause too much trouble being at the very end of the list and the iDrive should only import ONE of the fake contacts since they all have the same phone number. If the dealer wants to change your bluetooth unit FREE OF CHARGE and under warranty then definitely let them do that. If you’d have to pay to change the unit save the money and leave the fake contacts 🙂

    @bellbrie – Sorry to hear you are still having difficulties with the connection dropping all the time. Is your iPhone running 2.1 or an older version? There were issues with pre 2.1 connections being a little flakey unless you turned off wi-fi but that seemed to be resolved for me at least with 2.1. I doubt BMW would have updated the b/t module firmware when they updated the stereo to play MP3 cd’s etc. From other comments on here there is still a suggestion that BMW are releasing a fix for the b/tooth module that will be released to all dealers and can be done for a nominal charge (1/2hr labour). This is yet to be confirmed though so don’t take it as bible.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  109. Hi Scoopz,

    I am in the UK with an 05 530d with idrive, prof nav, media kit etc.

    I have tried all the tricks you suggest – 2000 contacts, unpairing and re-pairing and nothing works.

    On re-pairing the phone and car connect for a couple of minutes and then start the 20 second drop-out, where the bluetooth connection seems to drop on a regular basis.
    Funny thing is that when a call comes in I still get to see that contact’s information on screen and can use the handsfree kit as normal, with no drop-out. However, my A-Z list remains empty … 🙁

    As an aside, in June I had the software for the stereo updated (to allow me ot play MP3 CD’s) and the software for the nav system (to allow me to use the latest nav disks). Not sure if this would have updated the bluetooth software as well.

    Anyway – thanks for all your work – I’ll keep coming back to see the latest.


  110. Hi Scoopz,
    many thanks from Germany. I just came out of my garage and my 2G with 2.1
    works again with my 535d 2005 Nav.Prof.
    2 weeks ago i got the latest software, but adress book was still not syncing.
    I brought me a Nokia 6500 to replace the IPhone. It is syncing!
    Finally my BMW dealer wants to change the bluetooth unit.
    But I did it today with your help! Great!
    We also have a X3 from 2008…no problem at all.
    So what´s with the 2000 fake contacts? Did they have to stay in the adress book or can I delete them? Should my Dealer still change the bluetooth unit?
    Thanks so far.

  111. was just about to get rid of phone and found your blog. amazing i can now see All my numbers on my IDrive. Better than before.
    BMW 325i coupe (56 plate new model).


  112. wow what can i say, worked first time, e87 mcoupe here & iphone 3g 16gb 2.1 all working fine again!! BMW can stick there £400 new BT module up there AR$E

    very happy thanks for figuring this out!!

  113. Yep. You are right. I have NO iDrive.

    I have the one on the second pic.

    I have to say here that, apart from following the instructions here, I also changed the order my contacts appear on my iphone 3G as well as the sorting (I do not really understand how these two differ but there are two option buttons so I changed them both ). I now have them sorted with first name—>surname rather than surname—>first name. Some people say this also helps.

  114. @Psyxologos – iDrive has the rotary iDrive controller down by the hand brake and a screen similar to

    I think you have the same thing I had in my E39 with full screen sat-nav display that drops down to allow cd?

    Scoopz (Admin)

  115. You know what Scoopz? I have no idea if I have idrive. All I know is that I have an e46 2005 330 Ci SE coupe with Navigation unit MK4 and the CD behind the navigation screen. There is also the Navigation DVD in my boot. I *think* I have the professional set-up. What is the easiest way to know?

  116. @Psyxologos – Great news! I think you’re one of a few with non-iDrive to report back with any success.

    @VirtualRain – Yet again another happy customer! Let’s hope Apple don’t f**k things up with the release of 2.2 that’s coming soon.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  117. Hey Scoopz, I finally got my Exchange Sync working again after my company upgraded to Exchange 2007 and I got an opportunity to try your work-around and it works just great. I was concerned at first… I was ready to give up on the iDrive’s “Please wait” screen but just as I was about to navigate away, my contacts appeared! It took about 60-90 seconds I’m guessing (which seems like an eternity). I really appreciate your contribution to the iPhone/BMW community on this! Awesome!

  118. Hi. I have an e46 (2005) without idrive (I have the professional CD system). I just downloaded the contacts file and updated my iphone contacts.

    I will try tomorrow and hope for the best. so far my iphone 3G was pairing with my bluetooth but after that the screen in my MK4 was stuck on ‘please wait’. I hope your fix works. I have no idea what version my bluetooth is though….

  119. @Calvin – Thanks for trying it and for the feedback. It was a long-shot I guess, but since the Fiat/Alfa drivers seem to be experiencing a similar problem to the BMW drivers with no contacts showing up I had my fingers crossed this would work. I hope you get it resolved via a software update from Apple/Alfa/Fiat soon!
    Scoopz (Admin)

  120. Hi,

    I just tried your trick with blue&Me (Fiat and alfa buetooth system) as you proposed, but it is unfortunately not working… I can still Not sync the contacts.


  121. @Scoopz: Nice work Neil!

    Thanks for keeping me up-to-date & for providing a means for Apple to identify a ‘fix’ for the problem.
    As you say, the more people that use the iPhone 3G Feedback form to let Apple know about this ‘fix’, the sooner they’ll hopefully update their software in a forthcoming firmware update.

    BTW- the ‘fix’ works fine for me- THANK-YOU 😉
    Car: BMW E90 330i SE with SatNavPro
    Build date: Sept 05
    Current Progman: v27.x.x

    There is a small issue of some names not appearing for me at all (all with the same surname, all have email contact info & different, multiple phone numbers), but I’ll have a ‘play’ with those contacts to see what is causing the problem.

    As for the idea of the iPhone App- if the app icon ‘looks’ good enough, it’ll get through the scutineering & into the iTunes Store, although it could take months for any of your updates (additional ‘z-packs’) to make their way to the customers. 😉 🙂


  122. Received an email today from someone at BMW group uk who says that “a new software update for bluetooth will be available within the next few weeks. The update will be chargeable as a labour rate only and will not be offered free of charge”.

    It its a case of plugging car into a computer and just pressing a few buttons it shouldn’t cost to much.

  123. @Janimax @Mike @Manjunath – Great news, more happy customers, thanks for the comments guys!

    I’m kicking myself now, I should have rolled this into an iPhone App that adds 2000 fake contacts to the iPhone and called it “BMW iDrive fix” 🙂 I know I’d have paid £5+ to get it back up and running with my iDrive, I’d be rolling in £££ by now 🙂 Doubt it would have made it through Apple’s application scrutineering though.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  124. Awesome work. Last night I downloaded the vcf and imported it to my iPhone contacts. This morning while I was driving to work I suddenly realised and then checked the Communication Menu. All the Address Book contacts were synced to my 2004 BMW 530i Address book.
    I didnt have to unpair/repair or do anything.
    Excellent job guys.

  125. Brilliant..worked first time. Followed instructions to the letter and hey presto..sorted. BMW E60 530 d se 2006 i drive pro nav and i phone 3g running software v.2.1. All contacts now synchronised for the first time….huge thanks chap..really nice work.

  126. P. S. For reference re privious post.

    2006 525xi original iDrive software. Best of luck to all in resolving this pesky issue sans BMW-Apple assistance 🙁

  127. Scoopz, thank you for this workaround. Downloaded your file, installed on outlook following your detailed instructions Worked flawlessly 1st time. Was about to go back to 1.1.4 – now all my contacts appear so I can use my iPhone legally and more safely while driving my 525xi in Canada.
    Keep up the great work.

  128. Hi Scoopz,

    Yes I have an idrive and it didn’t work. Cant see how it will when it seems to loose connection every 20sec. The connection symbol on the sceen just vanishes for a second in every 20. Thanks for your efforts in anycase.

  129. @Chris – You’re a legend! Thanks for getting that info it could prove to be very useful to myself and others. My car is in with the dealer tomorrow so I shall pass on those details and see what happens.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  130. BMW UPDATE :

    The current Software / Firmware Versions of my BMW after the update are :

    idrive : E89X-08-09-520
    Ipod : 9196669
    Bluetooth : 9165008

    with these the issue was resolved. At least for me.

    best of luck to you guys.

    oh btw : I paid 29 € for the Software update. Normally he would have charged me ~ 66 €. After I talked to my BMW Dealer they went down with the price, since i only did it because of the iphone. Hope this helps.

  131. Thank you BMW and Apple for nothing.

    Thank you Scoopz for solving the problem. Worked like a charm first time. I nearly ordered a Blackberry Storm today as I was so frustrated with my iPhone not syncing with my 2005 525d Sport.

    I pick up my 635d at the weekend and will confirm back if I have a problem. If you don’t hear from me then it’s OK!

    Now if only I could get the info up on my heads up display!

    Thanks Scoopz.
    BMW 525d 2005, iDrive, Sat Nav Professional

  132. @ChrisB – If your iPhone isn’t able to hold a stable connection via bluetooth I’d be surprised if the 2000 contact fix helped anything 🙁 Most of the comments from people having bluetooth dropping/connecting issues are non-iDrive and they had no luck with the fix above.

    It could be that your B/T module is too old to support the iPhone but it could also be that the iPhone’s B/T module is faulty. See if you can try a friend’s iPhone and see if that connects/drops repeatedly. Also make sure you try with wi-fi turned off and make sure there are no other phones in the paired list and no other bluetooth devices within range.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  133. Hi Scoopz

    Keep up the good work on this – clearly BMW and Apple aren’t (or at least aren’t prepared to tell we paying customers what they are actually doing).

    My 2004 E60 has iDrive and Pro Nav and my 3G iPhone repeatedly connects, dops, connects in roughly 10, 5, 10 second intervals. It may be that the car’s BTUM is too old to ever work with iPhone. In which case I’ll have to consider going back to my trusty “old” WM6 phone.

    I may well try your 2000+ phone book trick just to see if that makes any difference.

  134. @Eoin – 🙁 do you have iDrive or BMW Professional Radio? It seems everybody without iDrive has connectivity issues, connecting and dropping the connection every 20-30 seconds like you describe.

    I’ve not come across anybody yet who has iDrive that this didn’t work for; but similarly i don’t think anybody with Prof Radio has it working.

    Sorry it didn’t work for you 🙁

    Scoopz (Admin)

  135. Hi Scoopz,
    Tried your fix but it doesn’t work for me. My BT looses connection every 20sec or so. This might be the reason it doesn’t work for me. I too have the names showing when people call me and the delay in connection when u answer the phone.

  136. Apologies for the watermarks I’ve had to put on my images, it seems another blog had simply cut’n’pasted my entire post and claimed it as their own with no recognition or link back to this original post! 🙁 Since they’d hot-linked my images too I had to watermark them to get a least a mention on their site.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  137. @DocRob – It’s a shame that Apple & BMW have kept quiet on this whole situation, I think more out of embarrassment than arrogance. Had one of them come forward and acknowledged the problem, stating that a fix was being worked on with an approximate date for a fix I’m sure many people in your situation would postpone upgrading to a non-iPhone a little longer until there was a fix.

    As it happens neither manufacturers have come forward with any remotely useful information and considering safe handsfree driving is a big issue at present (in many countries) I for one am very disappointed at their silence.

    In your situation I’d have probably gone for an iPhone but stumped up the extra cash for a 3rd party bluetooth car kit with external display, in fact I had to get a Nokia car kit installed in my sister’s 1-series because her Nokia wouldn’t work with the BMW prof radio bluetooth that we paid BMW £500 for, but it all depends on how badly you want an iPhone i guess.

    With the Google android phone now launched Apple’s domination of the multi-function mobile phone market isn’t as strong as it used to be and whilst losing customers over bluetooth incompatibilities isn’t going to damage the sales figures that much it’s still leaving a sour taste in a few people’s mouths.

    Good luck with whatever phone you opt to upgrade to, just make sure it’s on BMW’s bluetooth compatibility list first, for all we know the latest offerings from Sony, Nokia, LG, etc might not work either 🙁

    Scoopz (Admin)

  138. Well, Apple have lost at least one customer.

    I’ve been holding off buying an iPhone 3G because of these problems, and I have persevered with my old Motorola. However, the Motorola has developed some annoying problems and I really want to replace it.

    So today I will go and get an upgrade – and not to an iPhone. Why have Apple been dragging their heels so much?

    (Oh, I know Scoopz has come up with a workaround, but I don’t have iDrive and I really don’t want to get one and then find it doesn’t work).

  139. @Chris – Thanks! It would be very useful if you could find out the details of the software update disk from your dealer.

    I spoke with my UK dealer yesterday and asked about a recently released version but he said they’ve not heard of one. I mentioned the source of the info was in Germany and he said they don’t always get all the updates in the UK that are released in Germany but if he knew the disk reference number, CIP version, or SIB technical reference he’d look into it.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  140. @Chris

    Can you ask your dealer for the software version number?

    It may take longer for it to reach the states/UK/etc so having the version number would ensure we don’t have to buy the upgrade twice.

  141. @KevinM – I honestly don’t know if this would work with a 53-plate (2003/2004 model for those outside the UK), most of the responses have been with 2005 or newer. I’d see if you can get a friend with an iPhone to try it with your car before you commit to buying an iPhone.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  142. having just got the iphone 3G. The idrive and the iphone bluetooth connection is intermitent. 15seconds on 5 seconds off 15 secs on etc………… Approx. Any ideas?

    This is before I get to the problem of sync of contacts

  143. I have a 53 plate 530d with iDrive. Will the fix work on this. I have not bought the phone yet, but I’m in my upgrade zone. I also read of similar problems with nokia

  144. @bumble

    I was lent a 2008 320 coupe with Prof Radio last week and after adding the 2000 fake contacts my 3G iPhone synched the address book fine. I could navigate A-Z via the push buttons on the radio and save and make voice dialed calls

  145. @PeterM – I think it’s a bit of a long shot but it might. I suspect the update is purely to the music side of the bus prof radio to tell it to recognise the iPhone/iPod as a CD changer and update the commands it needs to send to the device when you press the steering wheel controls for fwd/bck. I would be surprised if it affected any portion of the telecomms/bluetooth software but it might be one of those updates that requires a complete re-flash of the entire unit rather than individual units so who knows.

    Why not get them to update the software for the music interface and then suddenly turn round to them and say since the update the contacts no longer appear on the prof radio screen… 🙂 Cheeky but it might get you a free software update some time in the future if BMW release a fix. [Note – if the dealer already knows your contacts don’t appear then then obviosuly don’t try this trick]

    Scoopz (Admin)

  146. Re the previous post I made

    The reason I was in my local BMW dealer was to enquire about having a iphone interface thingy added to my non idrive prof radio car. This would allow me to change tracks using the multi function steering wheel etc.

    He said that whilst the installation would only take about an hour, they would have to remap the software which might take the rest of the day.

    Does anyone think having the software remapped would allow me to see my contacts?

  147. @bumble – Thanks for the link from your blog. Sorry it hasn’t worked for you 🙁 it does seem to only work for those with iDrive as opposed to Business Professional radio’s with bluetooth. I think now the only glimmer of hope left for the non-iDrivers is a software update from BMW, hopefully it’ll be an update for the bluetooth module rather than an iDrive update. Failing that iPhone 2.2 should be out in the next month but I won’t hold my breath for it fixing these issues.

    Does you iPhone seem to connect/disconnect/connect…etc as others with the prof radio have reported?

    Scoopz (Admin)

  148. I tried the this when it was first posted and it didn’t work, but last week i did a full reset and restore of my iphone, so thought i should maybe try again.

    And, NO, it still doesn’t work. very disappointing.

    So, a 2005 330DM, with Bus Prof – does not work. 🙁

    BMW – If you are reading this blog, please give us some feedback when this will be hopefully working.

  149. Works for me too – thanks *so* much for persevering where two of the World’s most innovative multinationals have failed….

    ’05 535d, 16GB 3G iPhone.

  150. @scoopz

    Thanks for the suggestions. My phone actually syncs to the car quite well. Just the phonebook doesn’t sync.

    I’m just going to have to wait for Apple and BMW to resolve this with some sort of a software update.

    My old 2G iPhone running 1.1.4 ran like a charm. Too bad about the new software. ='(

  151. It works! I just tried the procedure and I am finally able to see my contacts. I have iPhone 1G 2.1 software (jailbroken and unlocked to T-Mobile USA), 2007 BMW 328i Coupe with v25 program and Feb 2007 build.

  152. @PeterM – “for contacts to synch across to the car the contacts have to be on the sim card and not on the phone”
    …..ouch….nice to see BMW are teaching their techies complete b.s. on these course which I’m sure they pay a fortune to host. If contacts stored on the phone now the SIM of a Nokia 6230i will sync with a prof radio (non-idrive) then why would they need to be on the iPhone SIM and not the iPhone itself and what’s their reasoning for the incoming calls showing the name but A-Z lists being empty.

    Once thing I haven’t checked with the prof radio (non-iDrive) is whether or not you have any “illegal” characters in your contact names or in the iPhone device name itself? Normally iTunes tries to call the iPhone device “PeterM’s iPhone” or similar with an apostrophe, try renaming the phone in iTunes to simply iPhone and then also have a glance through your contact list and see if there are any names with accents, punctuation marks, etc (E.g – O’Brien, Café, etc) and try removing them? The iDrive seems ok with these, it can’t display Santíago but instead shows Sant?ago but perhaps the non-iDrive struggles with accents and apostrophes in the device name too?

    Scoopz (Admin)

  153. Just got back from a visit to my local BMW dealer (South lakes area, BMW dealer of the year a coupe of times)

    Anyway the guy who i was passed onto told me that he was on a course last week and was told for contacts to synch across to the car the contacts have to be on the sim card and not on the phone. I just walked away shaking my head.

    (Non idrive, contacts don’t appear on car radio, but if a contact phones their name appears)

  154. @samps – If I still had access to a car with prof radio rather than iDrive I’d be out testing different things for you but unfortunately that car is now sold so I’m unable to offer much more in the way of suggestions. Mike (comment below yours) has sent his iPhone off for repair, there are a few iPhones knocking around with faulty bluetooth modules in the iPhone, keep an eye out for his response in a few days when he gets it back.

    @Mike – I really do hope that the bluetooth module in your iPhone is found to be faulty and causing the dropping/reconnecting of b/t all the time. I’m stumped as to how the name was able to appear for an incoming call but no contacts appear in A-Z, it HAS to be something to do with the iDrive caching the name list locally?! Perhaps the name list cached on your car is from pre 2.0 update, if you added a name recently and they call you does that also show up on the display or just ******? I hope you get it all working, if not then there may be new hope if you read Chris’ comments above. He’s managed to get everything working with the very latest iDrive update just released this week but I don’t think it’s filtered down to dealers outside Genrmany yet.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  155. I had the problems with the phone constantly dropping and reconnecting to my car so I’ve taken Scoopz advice and sent it away for repair.

    However i’ve noticed that some people still were able to see the callers name on the idrive even though the contacts weren’t synced. I was also able to do this. Whenever i got a call from someone in my contacts the name was displayed on my idrive.

    I never really thought much about it until now but it is very weird.

    Anyway fingers crossed my phone will work once i get it back.

  156. I’ve tried the 2000 fake contact method and it does not work with my 2007 E90 w/o idrive.

    Can anyone else confirm if it has worked for them w/o idrive?

  157. nop i live in Germany at the moment. The New Idrive Software has just been released and according to my dealer there won’t be another version for quite some time.

  158. @Chris – having read KevinG’s comment below I think the UK dealers don’t have access to this yet and I’m assuming you are not in the UK? Hopefully this will arrive at the dealers in the next few days and I’ll see if I can get an update and then wipe the 2000 fake contacts and see if the update has worked. Apple are also beta testing v2.2 at present so that might help others too.

    @KevinG – WOW really, I know my dealer called me up today to ask for the link to the site because I mentioned to one of them there is a fix but somebody from BMW-UK! I’ve also seen an increase in visitors from my Google Analytics from BMW (bayerische motoren werke ag) and Apple (apple computer inc.) network locations so I know they’ve been reading 🙂

    Scoopz (Admin)

  159. Scoopz
    I rang BMW UK today to check on the update. They said that the update is not yet available but should be soon – he then said that there was a fix that might work, he said there is a web site run by a guy called Scoopz……. even BMW are taking your advice now!!!

  160. no they updatet my whole idrive to the latest version. I cant tell you exactly which version the put un but it was released either friday or yesterday on the BMW Dealers server.

    hope this helps

  161. @Chris – Thanks for the info, I’m shocked that it only cost you €25! That’s about 1/10th the cost I think a UK dealer would charge to update the iDrive firmware unless they only updated a certain module, perhaps they can single out the bluetooth module and update just that much quicker and cheaper?

    Do you know what version the dealer put on? My local dealer updated a customer to the latest version in September and it still didn’t fix things, perhaps the German dealers get updates sooner? Although adding 2000 contacts does appear to work, I too would be much happier if I could get an iDrive update (preferably under warranty) that would make it work without the 2000 fake contacts.

    Thanks again

    Scoopz (Admin)

  162. Der is ANOTHER FIX – I just got back my BMW form the Dealer who updated my idrive with the latest firmware that was just released.

    Paired it with my Iphone 2g – no Problems – all contacts there.

    so I am Happy at the moment.

    Oh – cost me 25 € …

  163. Worked on my BMW 7 series (2006) with the 2000 contacts.

    2006 iDrive, Iphone(2G) running 2.1 software

    Thank you Scoopz for the site and everyone else for the help in solving the problem (BMW and Apple Thank You for nothing).

    I can put my blackberry back into the desk draw.

  164. @KevinG – I can’t take all the credit, I just put out the ideas/theory once mine suddenly started working, it was dedicated blog readers (Rajesh & vants) that did the testing that probably wouldn’t taken me a week or two to find the time to do. I then checked what they were reporting and write a summary of the instructions to help others.

    I get a PUSH email notification everytime there is a comment to the fix threads and once I’ve read the comment I have to spread the good news, so generally tell the nearest peson in an excited manner that the fix has worked for yet another person! I think my girlfriends getting a bit annoyed with me now 🙂 but I do like hearing from anybody it works for, so please leave a comment, just to annoy my girlf if for no other reason!

    Scoopz (Admin)

  165. Scoopz – you are a hero!
    Worked first time and every time I have used the car since – well done. I did not have to deviate from your instructions at all.
    Well done.

  166. @Gavin Browne – Glad to hear it worked, please do report back once you’ve had the b/t module replaced and deleted the 2000 contacts, I’m curious to know the outcome.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  167. Scoopz,

    You have a very happy customer here!! I just tried your fix and it worked!! I have been fighting with my iphone 3G and my car since I got the car a month ago and until tonight I have never been able to get the address book to sync with the car. I have a 2006 730d. My car is actually waiting to have the bluetooth unit replaced next week because when I call anyone, they can’t hear me but that’s another story and they are fixing it under warranty.

    Once the new bluetooth unit is fitted to my car I may try taking out the extra 2000 contacts and that might tell us whether the problem is also somehow linked to the 2006 bluetooth units?

    Thanks again,


  168. Scoopz,

    After 2 days working well, my iDrive just went nuts this afternoon, and my contacts were wiped out of the display and the “No entries found” appeared. I unpaired the iPhone, deleted all contacts with my Outlook, copied the contacts again, repaired and nothing. Tried again with 30 contacts and it worked. Tried again with 290 and also worked… This is really getting annoying!!! I will keep the 290 contacts for a few days and let you know the results.

  169. @JoaoFN – Strange you get it working with <300 contacts, i tried with just 1 contact on a factory fresh iPhone and got nothing. The iDrive definitely seems to cache contacts somewhere though, if I delete an entry and browse A-Z as soon as I connect after deleting the entry it still shows it....for a few seconds then disappears. How it picks what to cache, where it get's cached and why is a mystery, i presume it's to allow for quicker access to contacts as soon as you connect until it has time to refresh the entire list.

    @james - Thanks for the info...iPhone2.0....I hope it all still works when you update to 2.1, it does for me and most others. I'd not tried this method with 2.0 but it seems to work based on your report. 2.1 did fix a load of other bugs btw and seriously increase the speed of loading the contacts list on the iPhone, dictionary speed, etc.

    @yogi - Another happy customer! Great news, spread the word, get some brownie points with you local dealer and tell them about the fix. My local dealer has several customers who had the same problem and will be happy to hear there is a fix.

    Scoopz (Admin)

  170. scoopz your the man, works great, reducing the contacts to 2300 solved the problem, with 2450 didnt work, so now i have 2289 and its synching, THANK you all , by the way bmw 2006 3 series with idrive, iphone 2.0

  171. As per other thread – many thanks – works for me (e61, 2007, iDrive and pro nav, iPhone 2G v2.01).

    Just wish it worked for everyone with the problem as I know how much of an issue this is – a great phone, a great car – just be nice if they talked to each other properly!!

    Thanks again 🙂

  172. Scoopz,

    Thanks a lote for your suggestions. Last night I went to the car and experimented a lot, and here’s what I can tell:
    my 3G iPhone appears to work well with my iDrive if I reduce my contact list to 300. I then increased one at a time, and up to 315 the list appears sometimes and sometimes not. Above 300, it tries for about 5 min and nothing. I reduced again to 300 (I really don’t know how many entries that means as most of my contacts have more than one number) I will test for a couple of days and return to you for some news. However, my guess is that the problem lies within the iDrive. With all my 608 contacts on the iPhone, I still have the caller id on the iDrive, even after clearing the iPhone Contact List. Meaning that the contacts were stored somewhere in the iDrive, right? So how come they are not shown??

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.