Can BMW Keys Be Reprogrammed?

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BMW vehicles come with several modern features like keyless entry to make the life of drivers easier and more convenient. You can open your trunk, unlock your car, and start your engine remotely using your BMW key fob. In addition, these electronic car keys work faster than standard keys and have panic buttons to make daily drives safer.

Therefore, it’s understandably frustrating when your BMW key fob breaks or requires programming. Fortunately, reprogramming your key fob’s keyless entry system is so simple that you can do it yourself. Here are some insights to guide you to reprogram your BMW keys.

Reprogramming Your BMW Keys

Your BMW key fob can malfunction or lose its signal, necessitating immediate reprogramming to reconnect with your car. When this happens, it’s important to know what to do for successful reprogramming. There are no standard instructions to reprogram the keyless entry fob on all BMW models, so keep this in mind. Nevertheless, you can try a few sets of instructions to see which works for your BMW. Some of the steps include:

Instruction Set 1

You can begin your key reprogramming process by replacing the battery in the fob. Doing this is advisable because a bad key fob battery can be a true headache when trying to reprogram it. For instance, you can outrightly lose power in the middle of the reprogramming, potentially leading to other issues. Luckily, key fob batteries are typically cheap and easy to replace, and you can even rely on your owner’s manual for guidance.

Then, get into your driver’s seat with the car keys and close all doors. It is essential to close all doors because leaving one open can disrupt the process. Once inside, turn on the ignition to power the electrical systems but don’t start the engine. You can then press the lock button on your BMW key fob and turn the key back, so the vehicle goes off. This process must be repeated about three times, so your car recognizes your key in the ignition and saves the data

After completing this process, you should hear a lock sound, signaling your car’s entry into programming mode. In this mode, press the lock button on your key fob within five seconds after hearing the lock to ensure the programming’s success. If there are additional keys you wish to reprogram, press the “Lock” button on them within 10 seconds after entering programming mode to reconfigure them accurately. 

Then, turn the ignition to the “Off” position and remove the keys to stop the programming process. Finally, step out of your car and close the doors to test the locking and unlocking functions.

Instruction Set 2

First, close your vehicle’s doors, trunk, and hood. Next, open the trunk door, then open and close the driver’s door. Stick the key in the ignition and turn it on and off five times. However, don’t start the engine. The alarm should beep a confirmation when you do this, so listen hard for this.

Open and close the driver’s door. Press any button on your key fob to reprogram it. The alarm light should flash briefly to acknowledge a successful reprogramming. You can now leave the programming mode by leaving the driver’s door open while shutting the trunk door. However, close the driver’s door immediately after the trunk door is shut. You should hear an alarm sound confirming that you have exited programming mode. 

Instruction Set 3

This process also starts with you shutting your trunk, hood, and all the doors. Then, put your key into the ignition and move it to position 1 and quickly, about five times in a row. You can now remove the key from the ignition.

Next, hold the unlock button and press the lock button (BW logo) three times. Then, release the unlock button and wait for the door locks to cycle to confirm whether you did it correctly. Finally, leave programming mode by putting the key in the ignition, turning it to position 1, and then taking it out.


You can try any of the above-listed approaches again if they don’t work on the first try. It could be that something did not register properly, or your timing was off. However, you may need to reach out to a professional to reprogram your keys if none of the guides above work. The labor and cost involved will generally vary based on your unique circumstances and where you live.

Final Thoughts

In summary, your BMW’s electronic car keys are essential to your safety and convenience. However, you may need to reprogram your keys when necessary to keep them functional.

You can rely on the above-listed instruction sets to reprogram your BMW keys successfully. However, a professional’s help should be your last resort if all else fails.


I'm Scott, a BMW enthusiast and many time owner of these wonderful machines. I'm here to document my experiences with BMW's over the years and hopefully help people out along the way.

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