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AirTags: What are they and how do they work

How AirTags work

An AirTag™ is a small Apple® device that uses Bluetooth® technology for location tracking in case your items are lost or misplaced—from keys and wallets to checked luggage that winds up in the wrong city.

Wondering if AirTags are right for you? At Asurion, our experts help millions of customers learn more about their tech every day—from hidden iPhone® features to stopping spam text messages. Here are our answers to frequently asked questions about AirTags, from their battery life to how to set them up.

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How do AirTags work? 

Each AirTag is equipped with Bluetooth technology that allows it to communicate its location to nearby devices in the Find My network. These devices then send the location of your AirTag to iCloud—encrypted and anonymous—allowing you to view it on a map within the Find My app. If an item goes missing, you can put the AirTag into Lost Mode, and you'll receive a notification once it's detected by the network

What can you use an AirTag to track?

AirTags, which retail for $29, can find all kinds of personal items. Here's just a few:

  • Your keys. Put an AirTag into a keyring loop and easily attach it to your keychain.
  • Your wallet. Slip an AirTag into a wallet, purse or backpack to help keep track of your credit cards and other important possessions.
  • Your luggage. If you’ve ever had your checked luggage arrive at a random destination, you know what a pain that can be. Placing an AirTag in your suitcase ahead of time can help you track it down.
  • Your tools. Have a lot of pricey power tools? Put an AirTag inside your toolbox or toolbag to help find them if they go missing.
  • Your tech devices. From your handheld gaming devices to your iPad or camera—toss an AirTag inside your device’s carrying case or attach it with a keyring to help you keep track of it.
  • Your dog. Since AirTags are mostly waterproof and small, you can hook one on your dog’s collar to help keep track of them if they were to get loose.
  • Your kids. You can place an AirTag in a compatible bracelet to get location updates on your children's whereabouts or find them at crowded events.

How to set up and pair an AirTag to your device

Setting up an AirTag is easy—here's how:

  1. Once you remove the packaging around the AirTag, pull the tab to turn on the battery and wait to hear a sound.
  2. Hold the AirTag near your Apple device, then tap Connect.
  3. Select an item name from the list, or choose Custom Name to personalize your AirTag.
  4. Tap Continue Done.

How to find an AirTag

To find your AirTag, try the following steps:

  1. Open the Find My™ app.
  2. Tap the Items tab.
  3. Select your AirTag from the Items list. You'll see it on the map if your AirTag is within range of your device or if the Find My network detected it recently. If the AirTag isn't in range of your device, you'll see its location history.

If your AirTag is nearby, you can make it play a sound to help you locate it. Just tap Items at the bottom of the screen, select your AirTag, and tap Play Sound.

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How long does an AirTag battery last?

An AirTag's battery life is about a year. Once it dies, you'll need to get a CR2032 battery—you can find them in most stores that sell batteries, and they only cost a few dollars.

How far away will an AirTag work?

An AirTags range depends on your chosen tracking method. Even if you're outside of Bluetooth range—which is approximately 30 feet—your AirTag can use other devices connected to Apple's Find My network to track down its exact location, making it possible to find lost items around the world.

What devices are compatible with AirTags?

You can pair AirTags with an iPhone or iPad® running the iOS® 14.5 operating system or later. But you'll need at least an iPhone 6s to be able to download the required software.

If you have an iPhone 11 or 12, you can turn on a feature called Precision Finding that tells you how far away you are from an AirTag and guides you to it with instructions.

Can I use AirTags with Android devices?

AirTags are meant to be used with iPhones and iPads, so you can't pair an AirTag with an Android™ phone.

What you can do, however, is use an Android to return an item with an AirTag to its owner. Just hold the AirTag up to your phone and wait for an alert with a website link. If its owner put it in Lost Mode, you'll see instructions for how to contact them.

How do I disable AirTag tracking?

To turn off an AirTag's tracking, open the Find My app and tap Items at the bottom of the screen. Bring the AirTag near your device, then tap Remove Item and follow the onscreen instructions.

Worried that you're experiencing unwanted tracking? You can also see if an AirTag is tracking you and how to stop it. 

*The Asurion® trademarks and logos are the property of Asurion, LLC. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Asurion is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by any of the respective owners of the other trademarks appearing herein.*


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