DIY: How to Update Your BMW iDrive System to the Newest Version [UPDATE]

BMW iDrive System 5 photos
Photo: BMW
BMW iDrive SystemBMW iDrive SystemBMW iDrive SystemBMW iDrive System
These update files improve Bluetooth communication with the car's multimedia system for new mobile devices. They are easy to install and the whole process can be done in a matter of minutes.   The BMW policy on this specific problem is strange. The publicly available updates are very old, and if you have issues with your new phone, the only option to have a newer software version for the multimedia device is to visit a BMW Dealer. They can access newer software versions and charge money in the process.

 The latest update from BMW for the CIC system came on 01.10.2014 - code name UPD01008.

The latest update from BMW for the NBT system came on 25.08.2016 - code name UPD05074.

All you need is a FAT32 formated USB drive with enough free storage space (which won't be a problem, since the update is as small as 8.07 MB), a car that has a USB audio interface (included in optional equipment codes 6FL, 6NH, 6NK or 6NL) as well as the Control Display and iDrive.

First of all you'll have to download the new software from the BMW support site (Make sure to enter the correct VIN - last 7 figures - in the specified window on the BMW site, in order to get the proper software update for your vehicle) and copy it onto the USB drive (again, remember that it must be formatted as FAT32).

Note: If you have a retrofited CIC, use this VIN#: E797432.

After that, all you need to do is insert the USB drive in the USB audio interface and access the Software Update option in the Settings menu of the Control Display. The iDrive system will be automatically updated.

Once the software has been updated, the system is restarted and data transferred from the USB device resynchronised where necessary. You'll just have to wait a few minutes until the USB device is operational again.

That's about it, and yes, it's as easy as that!

It seems that BMW has stopped this self-service and now you can get the newest Multimedia Software only by visiting the dealer.

There is no official explanation for this behaviour, but out of warranty, this software upgrade can be pretty expensive, so I suggest you doit only if you have big problems.


Some cars may have newer software than the one listed on BMW's support website. Compare your existing software version with the one in the update PDF files (above), if you get this error when upgrading:

"Software on USB device incompatible with this vehicle"


This is a DIY guide and, as such, you must be aware the procedures described here involve some risks. autoevolution cannot be held responsible for any possible damage that might result while following these instructions.
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 Download: Software update UPD05074 information (PDF)


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