How to Start Android Auto Without Unlocking the Phone? 

“Every time I try to select Android Auto on my car’s head unit, I have to unlock it first.” “Can Android Auto be available directly, without any lock-screen, after connecting my phone to my car’s USB port?” “Can I start android auto without unlocking the phone?” 

Many Android Auto users have discussed these problems on the Internet. Unfortunately, most online forums have failed to provide users with a satisfactory solution. No worries. Here’s the complete guide on how to start android auto without unlocking the phone.

Do you have a particular question about starting Android Auto without unlocking the phone? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Understanding Android Auto

Android Auto is an app that allows drivers to control their Android phones while they’re driving. You can use this app by connecting your smartphone with your vehicle via Bluetooth or a direct USB connection. 

Once your smartphone is connected to your car’s head unit via Android Auto – your phone display will go blank. This is because your phone screen will now appear on your car’s head unit. Since the touchscreens in cars are usually much bigger than phone screens, using the smartphone while driving becomes easier. 

Now, you can see Google Maps or your Spotify playlist on your car’s large head unit or radio touchscreen. The basic idea is simple. Fidgeting with your phone while driving is very dangerous. 

The Android Auto app alleviates these risks by allowing users to control their phones via their cars’ in-built systems. That’s the theory. But, this theory isn’t helpful if drivers need to unlock their smartphones manually every time they use this app. Imagine this –

  • You get inside your car and connect your phone via a USB cord. You try to open the Android Auto app, but the phone asks you for a password.
  • You try to play a song on the Spotify app – again, the phone asks for a password.
  • Someone calls you, and you try to use Google Assistant to answer the call hands-free – again, there’s a password request.

If you can’t start Android Auto without unlocking your phone manually, this app fails in its intended use. 

Start Android Auto Without Unlocking Phone in 4 Easy Steps

Take the following four steps to start the Android Auto app without having to unlock your phone each time manually. 

Step 1. Check if Your Car is Compatible with Android Auto 

Check whether your car is compatible with the Android Auto app. Although this app can function independently, it’s designed to be used on touchscreen car radios. So, check whether your car is fully compatible with this app. Android Auto is compatible with cars from most top automakers in the market, including Mercedes, Volkswagen, Chevrolet, Honda, & Kia. In addition, car head units from leading manufacturers like Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood, and Panasonic are also fully compatible with this app.

Step 2. Check Whether Your Phone Supports Android Auto

This app is only available on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) through 11. If your phone runs on outdated software, it won’t feature Android Auto. Newer versions of Android (from Android 12) also don’t support this app. Instead, these users are advised to use e Google Assistant Driving Mode – a similar feature to Android Auto.

Step 3. Make Sure Your Car is Connected to Android Auto

Your phone must have a strong internet connection to link to your car’s system. Turn on your vehicle and your phone. Connect the two via Bluetooth or a USB cable. Open the Android Auto app and accept the terms and conditions. Follow the on-screen prompts on your screen and offer the app access to different permissions. Once connected, the Android Auto app will be displayed on your car’s head-unit screen.

Step 4. Set the Smart Lock

Before connecting your car’s system to the Android Auto app, review your phone’s Smart Lock features. This feature allows users to circumvent their lock screens in specific situations. You can tell your Android phone – “Don’t show me the lock screen when I’m…,” with this feature. The goal is simple – use the Smart Lock feature to ensure your phone doesn’t ask for passwords while driving. Here’s how you can do this –

  • Find the Smart Lock settings on your phone’s settings panel
  • Click the Security option
  • Click on “Smart Lock”
  • Enter your phone’s lock screen password
  • Select the “Got It” option in the bottom right corner of your screen

Now, you’ll be given three options –

  • On-body Detection
  • Trusted Places
  • Trusted Devices
  • Select the Trusted Devices option
  • Select the option that says “Add Trusted Device.”
  • Select your car’s Bluetooth connection
  • Make your car’s Bluetooth device a “Trusted Device” in your phone

Now, you can pair your car’s head unit with your smartphone without any passwords. Your car’s system is now a “trusted” device for Google. It will automatically unlock your phone whenever you connect it with your car. I hope this answers your question. Drive safe and use your Android Auto app without having to unlock your phone each time manually.

Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.

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