How to use phone as a key with Model Y

Phone key

You can set up your personal phone as a “phone key” that communicates with Model Y using Bluetooth. A phone key supports automatic locking and unlocking.

Using your phone as a key is a convenient way to access your Model Y. As you approach, your phone’s Bluetooth signal is detected and doors unlock when you press a door handle. Likewise, when you exit and walk away with the phone key, doors automatically lock (provided the Walk-Away Door Lock feature is turned on).

Before you can use a phone to access Model Y, follow these steps to authenticate it:

  1. Download the Tesla mobile app to your phone.
  2. Log into the Tesla mobile app using your Tesla Account user name and password.
    NOTE: You must remain logged in to your Tesla Account to use your phone to access Model Y.
  3. Ensure that your phone’s Bluetooth settings are turned on.

You must have your phone’s Bluetooth setting turned on AND you must also ensure that Bluetooth is turned on within your phone’s global settings for the Tesla mobile app. For example, on your phone, navigate to Settings, choose the Tesla mobile app, and ensure the Bluetooth setting is enabled.

NOTE: Model Y communicates with your phone using Bluetooth. To authenticate your phone to use it as a key, the phone must be powered on and Bluetooth must be enabled. Keep in mind that your phone must have enough battery power to run Bluetooth and that many phones disable Bluetooth when the battery is low.

  1. Ensure location access is enabled by viewing the mobile app in your phone’s settings and selecting Location > Always. For the best experience, keep the mobile app running in the background.
  2. Ensure that Allow Mobile Access is enabled (Controls > Safety & Security > Allow Mobile Access).
  3. In the Tesla mobile app, touch PHONE KEY then touch START to search for your Model Y.
    When your Model Y is detected, the mobile app asks you to tap your key card.
  4. Tap the key card against the Model Y card reader on the door pillar or center console.

When Model Y detects your key card, the mobile app confirms that your phone key has been successfully authenticated. Touch DONE.

If the key card is not successfully scanned within approximately thirty seconds, the mobile app displays an error message. To retry, touch PHONE KEY again in the Tesla mobile app.

To view a list of keys that can currently access Model Y, or to remove a phone key, touch Controls > Locks

Authenticating your phone allows you to use it as a key to access Model Y.

Model Y can connect to three phone keys simultaneously. Therefore, if more than one phone key is detected and you want to use, or authenticate, a different phone, move the other connected phone key(s) out of range or turn off its Bluetooth setting.

Unlike the mobile app, once a phone has been authenticated, it no longer requires an internet connection to be used as a phone key for Model Y. Authenticated phone keys communicate with Model Y using Bluetooth. However, to use the phone hands-free, access your phone’s contacts, play media from it, etc., you must also pair it and connect it as a Bluetooth device.

NOTE: Although Bluetooth typically communicates over distances of up to approximately 30 feet (9 meters), performance can vary based on the phone you are using, environmental interference, etc.

NOTE: If multiple vehicles are linked to your Tesla account, you must ensure that the vehicle you want the mobile app to access is currently selected on the mobile app.

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