Apple AirTag Battery Life: When Should You Replace the Battery. Airtag battery last

What Are Apple AirTags and How Do They Work?

Apple AirTags are quarter-sized Bluetooth trackers designed to help you keep tabs on valuables or frequently lost items like your car keys, wallet, or luggage. We’ll explain how Bluetooth tracking technology works, how to set up an AirTag, how to make sure no one’s tracking you without your knowledge, and more.

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Two women have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple with the claim that AirTags made it easier for them to be stalked and harassed. There have been a slew of headlines since AirTags launched about bad actors using the devices for nefarious purposes.

Earlier this year, Apple instituted new safeguards to alert people when AirTags are near them, and the company is also working with law enforcement on crime issues related to the devices.

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Learn more about the risks of AirTags and how to keep them safe on our YouTube channel.

Introduction to Apple AirTags and how they work

How do Apple AirTags work?

Apple AirTags emit a Bluetooth signal that anonymously connects to any nearby device active within Apple’s Find My network. The AirTag’s location is triangulated based on the strength of the Bluetooth signal sent to those third-party devices.

Your AirTag’s location information is uploaded to the Cloud and pinned on a map for easy reference.

AirTags can be found in two other ways: beeping and Precision Finding.

If you know the AirTag’s somewhere in your living room, for example, but you can’t find it, use the Find My app to make the AirTag beep. Just follow the beep until you uncover the AirTag.

Precision Finding requires an iPhone with a U1 ultra wideband chip, so it only works with iPhone 11 and up. It’s like a quest arrow in a video game: your iPhone turns into a compass that points toward the AirTag and tells you exactly how far away it is. price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

What is Apple AirTag’s range?

AirTags need to be within about 33 feet of an iPhone or other device in the Find My network for its Bluetooth signal to register. 1

Does Apple AirTag need Wi-Fi?

No, Apple AirTags don’t work with Wi-Fi.

Does Apple AirTag have GPS?

No, Apple AirTags don’t have GPS. But the technology is similar. Instead of calculating a location using a network of satellites, AirTags use a network of around 1.8 billion iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs.

Are Apple AirTags compatible with Android?

Yes and no. You need an iPhone to set up an AirTag, but you can discover it with an Android device.

Download Apple’s Tracker Detect app from the Google Play store to scan for nearby AirTags. Hopefully one of them is yours.

Can Apple AirTag be on two phones?

Apple AirTag can be used on two phones only if you’ve used the same Apple ID to log into both phones. Apple allows AirTags to be registered to one ID only.

Are Apple AirTags waterproof?

Technically, Apple AirTags are water resistant, not waterproof. They can withstand being under about 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. It’ll be fine in the rain and might even survive a trip through the washing machine, but don’t expect an AirTag to help you find something lost in the lake.

Is there a maximum number of Apple AirTags I can register to my account?

You can register up to 16 Apple AirTags under one Apple ID.

Apple AirTag batteries

How long do Apple AirTag batteries last?

AirTag batteries should last for about a year with four daily location pings and one daily use of the Precision Finding feature.

Are Apple AirTag batteries replaceable?

Yes, Apple AirTags use replaceable CR2032 lithium 3V coin batteries. Apple warns that batteries with bitterant coatings may not work right in AirTags. 2

How do I replace an Apple AirTag battery?

Press down on the silver side of the AirTag and turn the silver part counterclockwise. Take out the old battery and put a new one in with the positive sign facing up. You should hear a beep to confirm that the new battery is working.

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Replace the silver AirTag cover by aligning the three tabs into their slots, pushing down, and rotating the silver cover clockwise as far as it will go.

Are Apple AirTags rechargeable?

No, Apple AirTags aren’t rechargeable.

How will I know when my Apple AirTag needs a new battery?

You’ll get a push notification on your phone when the AirTag’s battery gets low. You can also check the AirTag’s battery level by going to the Find My app, tapping Items, and then selecting the AirTag in question.

Activating, using, and troubleshooting an Apple AirTag

How do I activate an Apple AirTag?

Before activating an Apple AirTag, double-check the following settings in your iPhone:

  • It’s running iOS 14.5 or later. Go to Settings General About Software Version to confirm.
  • Two-factor authentication is enabled. Go to Settings [Your Name] Password Security Two-Factor Authentication to confirm.
  • Location services are turned on. Go to Settings Privacy Location Services to confirm.
  • Find My is turned on. Go to Settings [Your Name] Find My to confirm.
  • Bluetooth is turned on. Go to Settings Bluetooth to confirm.
  • It’s connected to Wi-Fi or has a strong cellular signal.

To activate an Apple AirTag, remove the battery tab. You should hear a beep that confirms the battery’s working.

Hold the AirTag near your iPhone. A pop-up will appear on the screen that says “AirTag.” Tap Connect.

Name the AirTag from the drop-down list or choose Custom to type in a unique name. Tap Continue, and then tap Continue again to confirm that you’re registering the AirTag with the correct Apple ID. Finally, tap Done.

How do I find an Apple AirTag?

If you own the AirTag, go to the Find My app and click on the AirTag’s name. Note where the AirTag is on the map. If it’s nearby, swipe up to show more options. Tap Play Sound to make the AirTag beep. Follow the sounds until you find the AirTag.

You can also say, “Hey Siri, find my [name of your AirTag]” to activate the beeps with a compatible voice hub.

If you have an iPhone 11 or later, you should also see an option for Precision Finding, which shows the direct and approximate distance of your nearby AirTag.

If you don’t own the AirTag, skip down to the question “Is an AirTag Tracking Me? ”

When do Apple AirTags make noise?

Apple AirTags make noise when prompted to do so by someone who’s nearby and trying to find its exact location.

They also chirp within 8 to 24 hours of being separated from their owner’s phone.

You’ll also hear some confirmation chirps when changing the battery or resetting the AirTag.

Why is my Apple AirTag beeping?

It may have gotten separated from your phone. Or, it may have shown up on someone else’s list of “Devices near me” and they activated the beeping to find the AirTag.

If neither of those scenarios seems correct, try unpairing the AirTag from your account. From the Find My app, tap the AirTag’s name and swipe up to show all the device options. Tap Remove at the bottom of the screen and confirm. Then reconnect it like you did originally.

You can also try to reset the AirTag. Remove and replace the battery five times. It will chirp every time the battery is replaced, but the chirp will sound different when you replace the battery the fifth time. This is the “reset confirmation” chirp.

If that still doesn’t work to control the beeping, contact Apple—we’re stumped!

Why is my Apple AirTag not working?

It may need a new battery. If it seems too soon for the battery to be dead, the battery might have a bitter coating that’s causing it to not connect properly to the AirTag.

Double-check that the AirTag wasn’t accidentally removed from your device list too.

Finally, try resetting the AirTag following the instructions in the question above.

Best uses for Apple AirTags

What can you track with an AirTag?

Apple AirTags can track almost anything anywhere in the world. But there are a couple caveats:

  • AirTags aren’t super helpful for tracking items in motion.
  • Because they depend on Bluetooth signals from nearby devices, AirTags aren’t the most reliable way to find anything (or anyone) lost in a remote area.

Are Apple AirTags good for dogs and cats?

It depends. AirTags aren’t designed for tracking anything in motion. Maybe you could use an AirTag to find where your cat decided to hunker down, but you’d have a harder time pinpointing the average loose dog on their romp around the neighborhood.

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AirTags also aren’t helpful for tracking animals across large farms or remote parks. If there are no other Apple devices nearby to pick up the AirTag’s Bluetooth signal, its location won’t update in the Find My app.

All in all, GPS devices are more reliable for tracking lost pets. See our recommended pet GPS trackers or learn more about how GPS works.

Apple AirTags vs. best GPS trackers

Apple AirTags have a longer battery life and way more affordable price tag than our favorite GPS trackers. But AirTags really have no other features besides location tracking. GPS trackers usually have geofencing alerts and scheduled location updates, whereas AirTags only show their location on demand.

Compare the best gps trackers price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.Costs an additional 10/mo. price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Can Apple AirTag track a child?

You can use Apple AirTag to track your child, but we don’t recommend it as an “everyday wear” tracker. It’s best as a supplement to a kids GPS tracker or for use at crowded events.

In an April 2021 interview, Apple’s VP of worldwide iPhone marketing Kaiann Drance recommended using an Apple Watch with Family Setup to track children instead of Apple AirTags. 3 Although Drance didn’t go into further detail about the pros and cons of using an AirTag for kids, our take is that Apple Watches are more reliable trackers for children because they use GPS.

With an AirTag, your child has to stay within range of devices in the Find My network and needs to stand still (or move reasonably slow) for an accurate location ping. Those limitations don’t exist with GPS—and you don’t want to butt heads with technology when it comes to protecting your child.

That said, there’s one scenario where AirTags provide better accuracy than a GPS tracker: crowded events. GPS trackers can locate someone within about 16 feet of their true location. 4 If your kid’s GPS tracker shows they’re right on top of you but you still can’t find them amongst a crowd of people, whip out the AirTag’s Precision Finding feature to learn exactly which direction to go and how far to walk to find your child.

To combat the issue of AirTags failing to track anything in motion, consider teaching your child to respond to the AirTag’s beeping sound. For example, it could mean “stop and wait” or “go to the family meeting place.”

That said, GPS trackers designed for kids have features that help in a true emergency, like SOS buttons and two-way audio. We recommend those purpose-made devices for keeping track of your child’s location on a daily basis.

One Precision Finding alternative, the Lynq tracker, retails for 400—14 times more than a simple 29 AirTag. Unless you’re heading out into a remote area, we don’t see any reason why you’d want the Lynq versus an AirTag.

Can Apple AirTag track a car?

Apple AirTags can track cars but with a few limitations.

For example, AirTags don’t work like the Domino’s delivery tracker—you won’t get to watch the route someone takes or know when they’re seconds away from your doorstep. But once the car reaches its destination and stops moving, you’ll see its location—assuming other devices in the Find My network are close enough to catch the AirTag’s Bluetooth signal.

The other potential issue is that an AirTag may get exposed to extreme temperatures in a car that reduce its performance or render it inoperable. Apple AirTag works between −4° to 140°F, so this shouldn’t be an issue except in the hottest and coldest regions.

As with kids and pets, GPS devices are the way to go for tracking cars. Check out our recommended GPS vehicle trackers for more information.

Can Apple AirTag be used to track luggage?

Yes, Apple AirTag can be used to track luggage. You won’t be able to see its real-time progress down the luggage carousel, but you’ll know it safely made it to the correct airport.

Apple AirTag Battery Life: When Should You Replace the Battery?

Your Apple AirTag uses a common CR2032 battery, which means when the remaining charge gets low, you can replace the battery. Apple estimates that an AirTag battery should last more than a year. In this article, we’ll tell you how to determine if your AirTag’s battery needs to be replaced and how to replace the battery with a new one.

What determines the AirTag battery life?

The battery life of an AirTag depends on the expected battery life of the CR2032 battery it uses. It also depends on how much “work” the AirTag is doing. A CR2032 can last 4 or 5 years if it only gets used only intermittently, such as in a key fob.

When should you replace an AirTag battery?

You will, of course, want to replace the battery in your AirTag before the remaining charge gets too low. Unfortunately, there is no way to check the remaining charge from your iPhone. When the AirTag’s battery is low, you will get an alert on your iPhone, but there isn’t much information on exactly how much charge is left.

How to check the battery charge left in an AirTag

There is no way to check the AirTag battery from your iPhone (other than the notification you get when it is low). If you want to test the battery directly, you could take the battery out and use a universal battery tester or multimeter.

Choosing when to replace the battery

  • You can wait until you get an “AirTag Battery is Low” notification on your iPhone. If you miss the notification, you will also see a message in Find My when you select your AirTag.
  • You can change the battery when your AirTag is one year old. Most sources agree that Apple’s estimation of “more than a year” has been true.
  • You can test your AirTag’s button battery with a battery tester or multimeter.

How to replace the battery in an Apple AirTag

When you decide to replace the battery, the process is pretty simple. Apple warns that batteries that have a bitterant coating (to deter children from swallowing them) may not work well in an AirTag. To replace an AirTag’s battery:

  • With the AirTag white side down and silver stainless steel side up, press and turn the silver side counterclockwise until it is free from the rest of the AirTag.
  • Remove the silver part of the AirTag cover and the battery.
  • Put in a new CR2032 battery with the side up. The AirTag should make a sound.
  • Put the silver cover back on. There are three tabs on the bottom side of the silver cover piece that should fit into three slots.
  • Turn the silver cover piece clockwise until it is secured.

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Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Here is her LinkedIn profile. Email Stacey Butler.

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Are Apple AirTags always on?

Quick Answer: Yes, Apple’s AirTags are always on. The only way to turn them off is to remove the battery.

Apple’s AirTag is designed to help users track their belongings whenever, wherever. But does that mean AirTags always remain on?

And if so, what does that mean for its battery?

Battery conservation concerns would, of course, compel users to seek ways to keep AirTags turned off except when they need to locate a possession.

However, AirTags cannot be turned off. They always remain on. As far as battery-draining reservations are concerned, AirTags have a robust battery that can last more than a year.

Battery management for AirTags: All you need to know

Now that you know that AirTags are always turned on, let’s dive into more stats about the battery and how to replace one.

How long does an AirTag battery last?

Short answer: The AirTag’s battery can last about a year. This approximation is based on the average usage per day.

  • One of the most significant factors is the frequency of usage. The more frequently you use your AirTag, the faster it will drain the battery.
  • Temperature and humidity can impact the battery life of your AirTag.
  • Using features like Precision Tracking sound events can affect the battery life of your AirTag.
  • The choice of replacement battery manufacturer also impacts the battery life of your AirTag. Opting for high-quality replacement batteries can ensure a longer lifespan for your AirTag.

You receive an alert when the battery of your Apple AirTag is running low letting you know that the battery needs to be replaced soon.

Alternatively, you can also check the battery level of your AirTag at any time by opening the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad and selecting the AirTag.

The app will display the current battery level of your AirTag and give you an idea of how much battery life is remaining.

How to conserve AirTag battery power

Short answer: Minimize how many times you ping the AirTag

If the AirTags are sitting idle and not being used, the battery can be removed to save unnecessary drain.

However, there is no need to take any additional measures to conserve battery in an AirTag being frequently used.

On top of that, you can minimize the use of battery-intensive features, such as Precision Finding, to help extend the battery life of your AirTag.

Finally, make sure to keep your AirTag up-to-date with the latest software updates from Apple, as these updates may include improvements to battery life.

How to replace the AirTag battery

The standard CR2032 lithium 3V coin battery can be purchased from any electronic store or online. Follow the steps given below to replace the AirTag battery:

Press down on the silver cap and turn it counterclockwise until it becomes loose

Lift the lid off and pop out the battery from the AirTag

Replace the old battery with the new one, making sure to face the positive side upwards

Listen for a chime sound to ensure the battery is seated correctly

Rotate the cover clockwise to assemble the AirTag again

And there you have it. You’ve now successfully replaced your AirTag battery.

While Apple makes it easy to replace batteries, it has specified that batteries with a Bitterant coating might not work with the AirTag.

Wrapping Up

The Apple AirTags are made for everyday use, and one of the best things about them is that they are always on. This is made possible by the coin-size battery in the AirTag that lasts almost a year. It can be easily replaced, thus providing users the flexibility to swap out the battery when it runs out, without needing to replace the entire device. This can save users both time and money in the long run.

Apple’s AirTags are a great way to keep up with your valuables. They work practically anywhere and work with Apple’s Find My app.

Quick Verdict: Apple’s AirTag is one of the best item trackers on the market and perfect for people in the Apple ecosystem.

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Editors’ Recommendations:

  • How do Apple’s AirTags work?
  • If you’re traveling without AirTags, you’re doing it wrong
  • Are Apple’s AirTags draining the battery life of nearby devices?
  • Does the Apple AirTag make noise?

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How to check your AirTags battery level one year after launch

Apple said that AirTags batteries should each last about a year, so if you bought one at launch, it’s now time to check how much charge you’ve got left.

The battery is a commonly available CR2032 one.

It’s impossible to predict with any certainty how long a battery will last, because it depends chiefly on how much it’s used. And if the battery in your AirTag does get so low that you need to replace it, your iPhone will notify you.

Only, that’s the sole notification you get. You’ll be told that the AirTag battery is low and that so you ought to replace it, but that’s not a lot of help if it happens as you’re stepping onto a transatlantic flight.

Read from AppleInsider

So especially when you bought an AirTag at launch, or any time that it’s around a year since purchase, check your battery.

How to check your AirTag battery

Apple does not provide a way to see the precise battery charge percentage, it solely gives you an icon. Consequently you can’t be very precise with it, but you can readily see when it’s starting to look a little low.

In the Find My app on iPhone, choose Items, then pick your AirTag to check

You could replace the battery immediately, but it’d be better to bring a replacement battery with for when the original one is really used up. Then replacing AirTag batteries is a quick job.

Estimating your AirTag use

Apple’s estimate of a one-year battery life is based on testing under a specific use case.

Battery life based on an everyday use of four play sound events and one Precision Finding event per day, says Apple in a support document. Battery life varies with usage, environmental conditions, replacement battery manufacturer, and many other factors; actual results will vary.

It’s possible that Apple has been under-promising and over-delivering, though. While not remotely statistically valid, a rough sampling of AirTags owned by AppleInsider staff showed battery levels of 75% or more after a year.

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