What is FORScan for Ford F-150? How to Use It?

There are many hidden features and defects buried in the Ford F-150’s code, which can be used to improve the vehicle’s performance. The best way to access and change the coding of a Ford F-150 is through a FORScan system.

FORScan is third party diagnostic software designed to help the user diagnose and treat technical problems with their Ford F-150. This is done by downloading the scanner onto a computer or similar device and plugging it into the F-150’s computer to examine the Ford’s code in greater detail and scan for problems.

If you want to get the most of your Ford F-150, you will want to pick up FORScan and learn how to use it.

Steps on How to use FORScan for Ford F-150, 800+ words

In order to use FORScan properly on your Ford vehicle, you will need to follow these steps to download, configure, and run the scanner app.

Download the FORScan App onto a Computer, Phone, or Tablet

Before you start making changes to your vehicle you will need to download FORScan onto a compatible device. The full version of the app can be downloaded onto any computer but the Lite version, which only shows information and doesn’t allow editing, is available for mobile devices. To download the app you will need:

  • A computer or mobile device such as a phone or tablet
  • A reliable internet connection

Once you have these you can start downloading the app by following these steps.

  • Step 1: Go to forscan.org and go to ‘Products’
  • Step 2: Find and download the latest version of FORScan which is compatible with your system.
  • Step 3: Finish setting up the app on your computer and open it up to ensure it works properly.

While you are on FORScan’s website, you will want to pick up a FORScan adapter to connect your device to your vehicle if you don’t have one already.

Connect to your Car’s Computer

After downloading the app you can connect your FORScan device to your car in one of a number of ways. In each case, however, you will need an adapter of some kind to connect to your vehicle, whether wireless or wired.

Use a USB adaptor. This is the simplest and most reliable option since most modern vehicles should have a USB port somewhere inside them and a USB connection won’t drop randomly. You can find cables on the FORScan website or on sites like Amazon, but either way you need to make sure it will adapt a computer to a vehicle.

Use a Bluetooth adaptor. Bluetooth is another common feature in most modern vehicles so a Bluetooth adaptor is an excellent way to connect FORScan to your vehicle. In fact, any mobile device that is Bluetooth enabled can use that system to connect to your vehicle without needing a separate adaptor.

Use a WiFi adaptor. Internet connections are a bit rarer for vehicles, especially older models, so you should only buy a WiFi adaptor if your car can connect to the internet. And WiFi connections are less reliable than USB or even Bluetooth since you run the risk of losing your connection in the middle of editing.

Open the “Configure/Programming” Feature

With a successful connection between your FORScan device and your laptop, you can start running the program and making changes to vehicle’s systems. Before you do this, however, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Opening the app will automatically run a diagnostic. Every time you open FORScan while connected to a compatible vehicle, the app will run a full car diagnostic. If the app finds any errors it will mark them with a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) and explain what the problem is.

You have a FORScan profile. FORScan can save configurations so you can switch between them automatically without having to manually change each feature. One good thing to do before you start making changes is to save your default settings so you can return to them if something goes wrong.

To make changes you will need to open Configure/Programming. This feature will allow you to change aspects of your car and save them for later use. This can either be opened in a simple text form that explains what each feature does as a whole, or a more advanced form that shows the coding of each feature.

Make and Run the Desired Changes

After opening the Configure/Programming feature you can start making changes to your vehicle’s code. The safest way to do this is while the battery is running but the car is not on, and after you’ve saved the default settings of your vehicle. Once you are ready you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Hit “Play” at the bottom of the tab and open both the HS Modules and MS-CAN to reveal all the programs on your computer.
  • Step 2: Look at your spreadsheet to what you have enabled or disabled and what setting enabled features are set to.
  • Step 3: Make any changes you want to your programs then hit “write all” to activate them. If you are using the advanced mode be sure not to delete and ‘x’s in the code since this will cause the feature to malfunction.

If you are just starting out with FORScan, only change a few minor programs to start off with so you can learn to use the configuration and scanning software.

Restart your Vehicle

Reconfiguring and rewriting your vehicle’s code will not automatically cause your new features to activate. In order to reboot your system and activate your changes you will need to restart your vehicle by following these simple instructions:

  • Step 1: Make sure you have saved and applied all the changes you made before attempting to restart your vehicle. Go back through your code if necessary to make sure there are no errors or features you missed.
  • Step 2: Be sure to follow all of the restarting instructions that FORScan provides to ensure that your vehicle restarts safely and that all of your changes will be carried over after restarting.
  • Step 3: Once you have restarted your vehicle, plug FORScan back in to scan for any code errors and double check that your changes have been implemented.

After restarting your vehicle and confirming that the changes you wanted have been implemented, you are new free to drive your modified Ford F-150.


By following these easy step-by-step instructions you can use FORScan to safely reconfigure the coding of your Ford F-150 and modify or improve its features.

How Does a FORSCan System Effect your Warranty?

One of the first questions you may ask after getting FORScan is whether or not using it will affect the warranty on your Ford F-150.

Simply owning FORScan will not void your warranty. If you have a computer loaded with FORScan, this alone will not impact your warranty if part of your car is damaged, even if you have plugged the device into your car. FORScan only factors into your warranty when you use it to alter your vehicle settings.

FORScan can affect your warranty in the right conditions. If part of your Ford F-150 suffers damage and the dealership can connect that damage to your use of FORScan, then your warranty no longer applies. This can be either a direct connection, like disabling a feature through FORScan, or indirectly, by creating the conditions that led to the part being damaged.

Be careful with how you use FORScan to keep your warranty. If you are concerned about your warranty while using FORScan, then only use it to make minor adjustments to your Ford’s systems and be careful what systems you change or disable.

Is Using FORScan Safe?

Another common question for first time FORScan users is whether or not the system is safe to use on their vehicles.

FORScan is a safe and reputable system to download. FORScan is a reliable application to use on your vehicle as it was designed specifically for Ford model trucks. Downloading the official FORScan app and using it on your truck is both safe for your computer and safe for your vehicle. Any risk that FORScan might present comes from how you use it, rather than what the system is.

Be sure to read all instructions carefully and thoroughly. While FORScan itself is not dangerous to your vehicle’s systems, it can be dangerous if you do not use it properly or use it to disable vital systems. To ensure this doesn’t happen you need to read all instructions for FORScan thoroughly and do not skip steps when making changes to your vehicle.

Wrap Up

One way to get the most out of your Ford F-150 is to alter the vehicle’s code to unlock hidden features, balance different functions, and fix technical issues. The best way to do this is by using FORScan to reconfigure your vehicle’s code to change how it runs. If you have any questions about FORScan or helpful mods to share, comment with them below.

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