Get started with digital car key

You can lock, unlock, and start your car from your Android phone with digital car key.

Important: Digital car key is only available for select vehicles and works with Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and select Android devices that run Android 12. To set up digital car key, you must be connected to the internet.

Pair your phone to your car

Use an email link from your car manufacturer
  1. On your phone, open the digital car key email from your car manufacturer. 
  2. In the email, tap Add to Android. If this is the first time you add a key to your device, you’re prompted to update your device before you start the pairing process.
    • Important: To pair your car with an email link again, you need a new email and link. If the email you received doesn’t have the Add to Android link, contact your car manufacturer for help. 
  3. Once the update is complete, tap the Set up your digital key notification.
  4. On the welcome screen, sign in with your Google Account.
  5. Review the Terms of Service and select Agree & continue.
  6. You can choose to edit the key name. By default, it’s [your name] + [phone model]. For example, “Erik’s Pixel 6 Pro.” This name can’t be changed later.  
  7. Place your phone on your car key reader and wait for your phone and car to pair.
  8. Once pairing is complete, tap Add to Home screen to add a shortcut to your home screen.
Use the car manufacturer’s app
  1. Open the car manufacturer’s app and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your account.
  2. To pair your car to the account, in the app, find “digital car key” and follow the instructions.
  3. On the welcome screen, sign in with your Google Account.
  4. Review the Terms of Service and select Agree & continue.
  5. You can choose to edit the key name. By default, it’s [your name] + [phone model]. For example, “Erik’s Pixel 6 Pro.” This name can’t be changed later.  
  6. Place your phone on your car key reader and wait for your phone and car to pair.
  7. Once pairing is complete, tap Add to Home screen to add a shortcut to your home screen.
Use the car head unit
Important: This option is only available on some vehicles. Check with your car manufacturer for more info.
  1. On the car head unit, select the digital key setup.
  2. If your phone screen is locked, enter your screen lock password.
  3. Place your phone on the car key reader. 
  4. On the head unit, follow the on-screen instructions. If this is the first time you add a key to your device, you’re prompted to update your device before you start the pairing process.
  5. Once the update is complete, tap Set up your digital key.
  6. On the welcome screen, sign in to your Google Account. 
  7. Review the Terms of Service and select Agree & continue.
  8. Enter your activation code.
  9. You can choose to edit the key name. By default, it’s [user name] + [phone model]. For example, “Erik’s Pixel 6 Pro.” This name can’t be changed later.
  10. Place your phone on your car key reader, and wait for your phone and car to pair.
  11. Once pairing is complete, tap Add to Home screen to add a shortcut to your home screen.

Add or change the screen lock settings for your digital car key

Important: By default, your digital car key doesn’t require your screen to be unlocked to use it, and the key can be used for a few hours after your phone’s battery has drained. If you choose to require a screen lock, your key won’t work if your phone doesn’t have battery life.

  1. Tap the digital car key shortcut on your home screen.
  2. Tap Use screen lock.
  3. Choose the action you want to use the screen lock for: 
    • Unlock car
    • Start car
    • Unlock, lock, and start car
    • For no screen lock, select Off
  4. Tap Save.

Lock, unlock & start your car with your digital car key

Important: If you set up a digital car key screen lock, enter your screen lock password.

Lock or unlock your car

Hold the back of your phone near the door handle of your car.

Start your car

  1. Inside the car, place your phone on the car key reader.
  2. Press the car’s start button.

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