Ford Authority

2021 Ford F-150 Digital Owner’s Manual Saves A Literal Mountain Of Paper


Automakers are all about conservation these days, and efforts to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly are all the rage. But while the focus typically revolves around fuel efficiency and emissions, there are other, smaller ways automakers can help do their part to save the planet. One of which is apparently reinventing the old fashioned owner’s manual everyone has stuffed in their glovebox.

We rarely even think about the humble owner’s manual until it’s time to look up our vehicle’s scheduled maintenance or need to figure out how to use some built-in feature. So it makes perfect sense to digitize them, which would make finding information much easier than sifting through physical pages. Ford has already done that to an extent with its FordPass app, as owners can access their manual that way.

But now, the automaker is taking things a step further with the all-new 2021 Ford F-150. Every new Ford F-150 comes with a standard center console touchscreen with a new digital owner’s manual built right in. The digitized manual also features search capability and streaming videos, making the process of finding information and the communication of that information better than ever before.

Ford will still include a thin, supplemental guide with the new F-150 for those that prefer paper, though we imagine most will quickly realize how much easier the digitized manual is to use and navigate through. And at the same time, this change will save an incredible amount of paper – a whopping 290 tons per year, according to Ford, which weighs as much as 122 2021 F-150 pickups.

Stack that paper on top of each other, and it would reach 18,000 feet – which is quite literally tall enough to classify as a mountain. We’re not sure how many trees that saves, but it has to be a lot. Throw in the fact that this change also makes truck owners’ lives easier, and we’d call this change a definite win-win for everyone involved.

We’ll have much more on the 2021 F-150 very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news, and continuous Ford news coverage.


Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Ford Owner

    Ford offers digital owner manuals in PDF form years ago. Having it inside the infotainment screen is new. But there are millions of F-150 owners (including my two neighbors) that prefer the paper copy because they can find and tab the needed pages in seconds without the need of a smartphone, tablet, or computer. I prefer to have both the paper and digital versions of my owner manuals.

  2. gareth

    A supplymental thin manual comes with it I guess it covers the basics if it does then haveing the rest inside the informant screen is not that bad idea at all as it saves tree’s being cut down

    1. Bob

      Gary, imagine, you can hug more trees now. Win win for you fella!


        While digital is fine, there is nothing like a paper manual when you need info fast, or when you have no signal, internet or your electrics are down on your vehicle rendering the on-board options mute. I’ve downloaded pdf manuals and have hardcopies nearby when I need them for all 5 of the vehicles I maintain and my 2 Model Ts I’m restoring. I Don’t want to damage my smart phone or tablet in the garage, drop it in the engine bay accidentally, or try to find page 282 on a small screen. By the time I’ve performed the digital exercises I have the info from the paper manual and I’m back at work. Again, digital is fine, just not practical. IT folks would differ but paper doesn’t have to be migrated or updated continuously to be accessible. My 1923 and 1924 manuals are proof of that.

  3. Bob

    “Automakers are all about conservation these days,” Indeed they are! They conserve aka give the consumer less & charge him more for what he doesn’t receive!
    It’s a matter of access, the manual is always in the glove box, digital content is not always available.
    They don’t allow us to choose individual options when ordering a vehicle & charge us more for options we don’t want that are included in an option package.
    They can keep their new cars & trucks, I will stay with my OLD vehicles that don’t need a degree in electronics to diagnose!

  4. Chris P

    It’s a great idea until my battery is dead and I can’t pull up the manual.

  5. Vern

    What happens when my battery goes dead It seems like Ford could at least let owners print there own owners manual $65000 and no manual it SUCKS


    I completely agree with you Vern! The paper manual is much more convenient when you are trying to reset something, look at a diagram or read fine print. Phones and tablets are fine as long as you don’t get grease, oil or fluid on them, or drop them! Then you have the whole screen size issue, let alone the issue of signal or lack thereof. For 65K you should get a paperback version, a hardback coffee table version and a digital pdf version. Of course once the battery replaces the ICE all of this is mute because we won’t be able to do much work ourselves except brakes, tires and suspension work. That manual will require knowledge of electric systems and your HVAC and local electrical guys will become your best buds. I am doing my best to channel my inner Rush and my Red Barchetta…

  7. brad

    And it is VERY hard to do stuff on the screen if you have to view the manual ON THE SCREEN for directions!!! If I print the thing I am printing on 8 1/2 x11 paper while the manual is on like 4×5 so wasting that much more paper.


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