Did you know you can update SYNC 3 on a 2016 Ford?
2017 model year Ford’s equipped with the SYNC 3 system will already have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, for 2016 model years, you can now update SYNC 3 to be compatible with the latest smartphone technology.
Ford SYNC 3 compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
There are various versions of the SYNC system depending on the year, model and trim level of the vehicle. For this update to work, it must be the SYNC 3 version.
How to tell if the vehicle has SYNC 3?
Checking the owners manual is one to determine which SYNC version the vehicle has.
SYNC3 systems look similar to the photo above. The screen will either be a 6.5″ or 8″, in color and a touchscreen. It will also have icons for music, phone and (if equipped) navigation along the bottom of the screen.
There are 3 different ways to update the system
- At your local Ford dealership
- Via in-vehicle Wi-Fi connection
- Through a USB update that you can do yourself
How to update SYNC 3 via USB (VIDEO)
“Our SYNC 3 software platform was designed to be easy to update so we can get our customers the latest and greatest features, functionally and security enhancements,” said Don Butler, executive director, Ford Connected Vehicle and Services.
To update SYNC 3, does not cost anything to download.
You will need an active SYNC Owner account. If you do not have one, you can sign up or register here. You will need your VIN number for this. Your Vehicle Identification Number can be found on the side of the driver side door or surrounding pillars. Log in to your account and navigate to the SYNC software updates page. This is found near the top where it says, ‘SYNC and Vehicle Features’. You will see a message that says “You have an update available”.
Insert a USB storage device (aka as a USB dongle) into your computer and download to the file, by selecting “Start Download Process”. Save the ‘ZIP’ file to your computer. ZIP files are large files and so must be saved to your computer first. Then, ‘unzip‘ the folder (usually by double-clicking on the folder). Now, save or transfer the files to the USB. Find the file with the name ‘installing updates to SYNC’, click on it and eject the USB drive.
Note that Ford recommends using a USB storage device that has at least 32GB of free space, and not password protected.
Take the USB to your vehicle. Start the car or truck (all the way on- not just accessory mode) and keep it in ‘Park’. Remove all other USB connections. cables and media devices.
Insert your USB with the software update. It will automatically begin updating. When the update is complete, you should remove the USB and take it back to your computer. Within your owners’ account, click ‘Confirm update’, insert USB then follow the instructions. This is important in case there are future updates or issues with the system.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to: