Ford's MyKey system is a nifty way to configure different car settings for different drivers, and it is mostly used to set maximum speed limits, activate speed warnings, and restrict audio volume for improved concentration on driving tasks. It turns all the vehicle's electronic safety features permanently on, and can be programmed to disable certain functions such as manual navigation destination entries while driving, activate "Do Not Disturb" mode on a connected mobile device when the vehicle is moving, and even mute the audio system until all occupants have fastened their safety belts.
So what is an Admin Key for a Ford, and what role does it play? The Admin key functions as the master key for a Ford product, and it has the ability to change vehicle settings and override some 'always-on' features. The Admin Key is used to program the functionality of secondary keys via the vehicle's menu system, has the ability to lock all other keys out of the vehicle's setup menu, and is also needed when other keys need to be derestricted to regain full functionality. But what if you want to disable or turn off Ford MyKey without the Admin key on cars like a Ford Escape or F-150? Can it be done?
Ford's official position is that you cannot disable, reset, clear, or remove restrictions that are programmed for a key with Ford MyKey unless you have the Admin Key at hand. Using the Admin Key, it's a very simple operation to unlock restricted keys in seconds, either via the driver's information display, or via the SYNC display screen.
If you have an Admin Key, this is the first method to reset MyKey:
The second method to reset Ford MyKey if you have an Admin Key is just as simple:
Some owners have found ways to get past the MyKey restrictions, which will prove helpful in the case of a used Ford being sold without the Admin Key but with MyKey activated on the only available key. Naturally, there may be nefarious reasons for wanting to know these techniques, which CarBuzz does not condone.
Three methods can be used in such a case, with the first option being to follow the reset procedure in FORScan or a similar OBD-II scanner with Ford-appropriate software (a generic OBD-II scanner won't be able to perform this reset function). If you have a suitable OBD-II scanner already, this would be the preferred option. There are, however, two other methods to reset the MyKey restrictions.
If your Ford is equipped with the optional Ford-approved Remote Start accessory, this is one method if you're wondering how to turn off or reset Ford MyKey without the Admin key:
The final method of bypassing the MyKey restrictions involves "hiding" the restricted key's identification signal from the vehicle: