Topic iOS Security

AirTag Isn’t Working Properly? A Solution Found!

The smallest of all Apple gadgets, AirTag is a big deal for those who constantly lose their keys, wallet and, well, Apple gadgets. Leveraging wireless connectivity of almost 1 billion iPhones, AirTags help easily locate devices or any other items they are attached to.  

 

Although undoubtedly useful, AirTags are not without their fair share of issues. From pairing to resetting to updating, you might need help to take full advantage of Apple's item tracking devices. To make your life easier, we’ve compiled quick and simple solutions for common AirTag issues.

 

Before we start  

 

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Can’t install AirTag or complete AirTag setup? Try this fix

During the AirTag setup, it is not uncommon to run into this notification: “Upgrade your account security. AirTag uses end-to-end encryption to keep your location information private.” To fix the issue and complete the AirTag setup, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your iPhone. Here’s how to do it:  

  1. In the Settings, tap your name
  2. Select Password & Security
  3. Tap Turn On Two-Factor Authentication and tap Continue
  4. Enter your phone number and tap Next
  5. Enter the verification code texted by Apple

How to reset AirTag if pairing does not work?

You might need to rest AirTag if pairing doesn’t work or if it has been connected to someone else’s Apple ID. It goes like this:

  1. Press the metal battery cover and turn it counter-clockwise to remove it
  2. Remove the battery
  3. Insert the battery and press on it until you hear a sound
  4. Repeat the second and third steps four times. When you hear a different sound, AirTag is ready to pair.
  5. Put the metal battery cover back on and rotate it clockwise to close it.

How to fix the “AirTag not reachable, move around to connect” issue?

When using the Precision Finding feature, you might see the following message on your screen: “AirTag not reachable, move around to connect.” It means that you are out of the AirTag’s Bluetooth range, which should theoretically reach 800 feet outdoors or 130 feet indoors. To solve the issue, move around the area until your AirTag is discoverable again.

 

You might also encounter the “AirTag not reachable” issue if your iPhone is incompatible with the Precision Finding feature. Go to Apple’s AirTag page to check the compatibility of your iPhone with the feature.  

What to do if AirTag firmware is not updating?  

There are many reasons you might want to install a new AirTag update: from solving pairing issues to enhancing its anti-stalking security. Unfortunately, you cannot force the firmware update. If your AirTag firmware is not updating, all you can do is wait.  

To ensure that the latest firmware update can be installed as soon as it rolls out, place the AirTag in the range of your iPhone. Also, enable Wi-Fi on the iPhone and make sure it’s always charged.

How to disable “AirTag Detected” notifications?  

If you are walking or driving with a member of your Family Sharing group who has an AirTag, you are likely to receive a security alert “AirTag Detected.” To disable the notifications for this particular AirTag, do the following:

  1. Tap the “AirTag Detected” security alert
  2. Tap Pause Safety Alerts to stop notifications for one day
  3. Tap Turn Off Safety Alerts to stop notifications indefinitely

You might also receive unwanted notifications if you are using a borrowed item with an AirTag attached to it or traveling with someone who has an AirTag. Here’s how to stop “AirTag Detected” alerts for people who are not in your Family Sharing group:

  1. Open the Find My app
  2. Tap Me
  3. Turn off Item Safety Alerts
  4. In the confirmation window, tap Disable  

What to do if AirTag Precision Finding is not working?

Some AirTag users struggle to enable the Precision Finding feature and report that the option is absent in their Find My app. If you’ve also encountered the same issue, check if the Precision Finding feature is available for your iPhone by going to Apple’s AirTag page.  

 

If the Precision Finding feature is compatible with your iPhone model, follow these steps to enable it:

  1. Go to Settings and tap Privacy  
  2. In the Location Services section, select the Find My app
  3. In the While Using the App section, enable Precision Location

Can AirTags overheat?  

Yes. If your AirTag is overheating, keep it away from direct sunlight. Also, separate the AirTag from your phone or other devices producing heat.  

 

If you plan to use AirTags in harsh climates, you will be delighted to discover that the device’s operating temperature ranges from −4° to 140° F (−20° to 60° C). It means you can take your AirTags to both a searing desert and a snowy mountain. Refer to AirTag technical specs for additional information on the device’s usage requirements.    

A solution for the AirTag battery drain issue

When set up properly, AirTag’s battery should last for up to one year. If your AirTag or iPhone runs out of power quicker than usual, reboot your iPhone and reconnect AirTag.  

 

Here’s how to re-connect AirTag to solve the battery drain issue:

  1. Open the Find My app
  2. Select Items and tap your AirTag Name
  3. Tap Remove Item
  4. In the confirmation window, tap Remove
  5. Reboot your iPhone
  6. Hold the AirTag next to the phone and tap Connect
  7. Name your AirTag and tap Continue
  8. Tap Continue again to register the device with your Apple ID
  9. Tap Done

Some Apple users report unusually quick iPhone and AirTag battery drain when two devices are kept in close proximity to each other. It happens because AirTag can be triggered by the iPhone’s Near Field Communication (NFC) scanner, causing it to ping more frequently. To stop the battery drain, keep the two devices at least two feet apart.  

Can you share AirTags with family members or multiple devices?

No, an AirTag cannot be used by your family members because it can be linked to only one Apple ID. If you want to give your AirTag to a family member or a friend, you have to first disconnect it from your Apple ID.  

 

The good news is you can use AirTags with multiple devices. AirTags can be tracked using iPhones and iPads running iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later. However, make sure you log in to all your devices with the same Apple ID.  

Is AirTag useful against thieves? Would a thief be able to scan my AirTag?

AirTag is not particularly useful as an anti-theft device. A criminal can remove an AirTag shortly after stealing an item, thereby making its location tracking impossible. Worse yet, a thief don’t even have to scan for your AirTag to discover if it’s attached to a stolen item. After some time, the AirTag will make its presence known.  

 

Due to privacy concerns, AirTags are designed to alert people about their presence with a sound or a notification, which might help the thief to find and remove the AirTag.  

Can AirTag be used for stalking?  

Unfortunately, yes. To address the issue of unwanted tracking, Apple has released a software update increasing the frequency of sound notifications. If an AirTag is removed from its paired device for more than eight hours, it will play a 15-second warning sound. Similarly, you might receive a notification about an unknown AirTag discovered nearby.  

 

Although both security measures discourage stalking, they cannot prevent it. For one thing, the eight hour period for warning notifications is reset if the paired device is briefly placed near the AirTag. For another, Android users can’t receive notifications about unwanted tracking.  

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