How to Unlock the Glove Box in a BMW

Updated July 20, 2017

To unlock the glove box in most BMWs, you simply insert your key into the centre lock cylinder on the glove box cover. On the X5 sport utility vehicle (SUV) and X6, however, things are a little trickier. These BMW models have a sort of James Bond glove compartment with clamshell doors that fold open with the push of a button. Once you know where to find the button, the hard part is over.

Locate the glove compartment button. This button is not labelled, but you can find it on the dashboard centre stack, parallel to the bottom of the glove compartment, just above the stereo.

Press the button to open the glove compartment. The two covers will fold out of the way to reveal the compartment, the inside of which will now be illuminated.

Close the compartment by pressing one of the covers closed.

Locate the handle and lock cylinder at the centre of the glove compartment.

Release the integrated key from your remote by pressing the top button and pulling the key out with your fingers. On some models, such as the X3, the remote functions are part of the key itself. In this case, just make sure you have the "master key" with the remote functions, rather than the plain spare key.

Insert the key into the lock and turn it to unlock the glove compartment. Close and lock the glove box as you normally would.


For year- and model-specific procedures for your BMW, consult your owner's manual.

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About the Author

Dave Baker is an editor and writer based in New York. He has more than a dozen years of experience in the media industry, including work for "The Nation" magazine, the "New York Times" and the "Times-Picayune" of New Orleans, where he shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes after Hurricane Katrina.