iDrive BMW 2010-5 Series

iDrive in the 2010-5 Series BMW vehicles is the fifth generation of the system and it comes with various updates compared to the previous versions. It features an updated interface, improved navigation, and additional functionality such as Real Time Traffic Information and BMW Online.

It also includes an 8.8-inch high-resolution display and a new controller with a touchpad surface, which allows the driver and front passenger to operate the system using finger-writing recognition and multi-touch gestures. It also includes an improved speech recognition which allows to control the system with natural language commands, and a new BMW Connected Drive features that offers a wide range of services such as remote control, vehicle status, and BMW Assist e Call.

iDrive combines the functions of a large number of switches. This allows these functions to be operated from a central position. The following section provides an introduction to basic menu navigation. The control of the individual functions is described in connection with the relevant equipment.


iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series

1 Control Display
2 Controller with buttons You can use the buttons to open the menus directly. The controller can be used to
select the menu items and create settings.

  • Call up a menu directly, arrow 3
  • Move in four directions, arrows 4
  • Turn, arrow 5
  • Press, arrow 6

⚠ To avoid posing an unnecessary hazard due to inattention, both to your own vehicle’s occupants and to other road users: never attempt to use the controls or make entries unless traffic and road conditions allow.

iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series1

Operating principle

From radio readiness,the following message is shown on the Control Display:

iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series2

To hide the message: Press the controller. This displays the start menu. The message is hidden after approx. 10 seconds.

Opening the main menu

Press the MENU button. The main menu is displayed.

iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series3

All iDrive functions can be called up via the main menu.

Selecting a menu item

The menu items shown in white can be selected.

  1. Turn the controller until the desired menu item is highlighted.
iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series4
  1. Press the controller.

A new menu is displayed or the function is executed.

Menu items in the Owner’s Manual

In the Owner’s Manual, menu items that can be selected are set in quotation marks, e.g., “Settings”.

Changing between panels

After selecting a menu item, e.g., “Radio”, a new menu is displayed on a panel. The panels can overlap. Move the controller to the left or right to change between the panels.

iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series5

White arrows pointing to the left or right indicate that additional panels can be opened.

Opens the Options menu

Press the OPTION button. The “Options” menu is displayed.

iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series6

Additional option: move the controller to the right repeatedly until the “Options” menu appears.

The “Options” menu contains the following:

  • Screen settings
  • Control options for the selected menu.
Adjusting settings
  1. Select a field.
  2. Turn the controller until the desired setting is displayed.
iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series7
  1. Press the controller to confirm the setting.

▶ The scroll bar on the right side indicates whether additional menu items or settings can be selected that are currently not visible.

Example: setting the clock

  1. Press the MENU button. The main menu is displayed.
  2. Turn the controller until “Settings” is highlighted, and then press the controller.
iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series8
  1. Turn the controller until “Time/Date” is highlighted, and then press the controller.
iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series9
  1. Turn the controller until “Time:” is highlighted, and then press the controller.
iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series10
  1. Turn the controller to set the hours and press the controller.
  2. Turn the controller to set the minutes and press the controller.

Status information

iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series11
  1. Time
  2. Display for:
    • Reception strength of the wireless network, depends on the mobile phone
    • Incoming, outgoing or missed call
    • SMS* received
    • Phone book* loading
    • Roaming* active
  3. Display for:
    • Entertainment:Radio, CD/DVD, external devices
    • Phone book*:Name of the mobile phone paired with the vehicle
  4. Sound output is switched off or traffic bulletin display*:
    • “TI”: Traffic bulletins are switched on.
    • No display: Traffic bulletins are switched off

Other displays:

The status information is temporarily hidden when there are Check Control instructions or inputs via the voice activation system*.

Switching the control display on/off

  1. Press the OPTION button.
  2. “Switch off display”
iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series12

Press the controller to switch on.

Split screen

Additional information can be displayed on the right side of the split screen, e.g., information from the computer. In the divided screen view, the so-called split screen, this information remains visible even when you change to another menu.

Switching the split screen on and off
  1. Press the OPTION button.
  2. “Split screen”

√ The split screen is activated.

Selecting the display for the split screen content

When the split screen is switched on, you can select the content displayed on the screen.

  1. Move the controller to the right repeatedly until the split screen content is selected.
  2. Select the display.
iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series13
Programmable memory buttons

Certain iDrive functions can be stored on the programmable memory keys and called up directly, e.g., radio stations, navigation destinations, phone numbers and entry points into the menu.

Storing functions
  1. Highlight the function via the iDrive.
  2. 16 Press the desired button longer than 2 seconds
Example for programmable memory keys

Switch the voice instructions for the navigation on/off.

  1. “Navigation”
  2. “Map”
  3. Select the symbol using the controller.
  4. 16 Press the desired button longer than 2 seconds.
Executing a function

16 Press the button. The function is executed immediately. This means, for example, that the number is dialed when a phone number is selected.

Displaying button assignment

Touch the button with a finger. Do not wear gloves or use objects.

Displaying short info

16 Touch the button. The key assignment is displayed at the top edge of the screen.

iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series14
Displaying detailed information

16 Touch the button longer.

Letters and numbers

Entering letters and numbers
  1. Turn the controller: select the letters or numbers.
  2. Select additional letters or numbers if needed.
  3. “OK”: confirm the entry.
iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series15
Switching between letters and numbers

Depending on the menu, you can switch between entering letters and numbers:

iDrive BMW 2010 5 Series16
Wordmatch concept during navigation

Entry of names and addresses: the selection is narrowed down every time a letter is entered and letters may be added automatically. Destination search: the entries are continuously compared to the data stored in the vehicle.

  • The only letters offered for entering addresses are those for which data are available.

Town/city names can be entered with the spelling used in any of the languages available on the Control Display

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