AirTag is a game-changer when it comes to finding lost items. All you’ve got to do is attach it to any item and track its location through the Find My app. But how far can you track the item? Is it limited to a few feet, or can you track AirTag miles away? Here’s a guide to exploring the AirTag range, its features, and steps to locating a lost AirTag.
Can You Track AirTag Miles Away?
AirTag uses Bluetooth, Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology, and Find My Network to track lost items. It communicates with nearby Apple devices, like an iPhone or iPad, to help you find its location, even if it’s miles away. So, as long as it remains within range of an Apple device, you can track your AirTag.
However, if there are no supported Apple devices near your AirTag or its battery is low, you may be unable to track it.
How Far Can You Track an AirTag?
The Apple AirTag range depends on the strength of the Bluetooth connection and the presence of obstacles, such as walls. It can track up to a range of 10 meters, or 33 feet, from a nearby iOS device. The range can vary, but 33 feet is common for Class 2 Bluetooth specifications.
It’s unclear whether AirTag is rated as a Class 2 device, but it’s likely since Class 2 chips are widely used in mobile devices.
However, Bluetooth is not the only technology AirTag uses. The newer U1 chip in the AirTag supports UWB, which helps ensure its exact location even when Bluetooth has issues pinpointing the item.
Moreover, AirTag can connect to the Find My network, which can help locate a lost or missing item from great distances, even outside the Bluetooth range.
So, as long as AirTag is nearby Apple devices with the Find My feature enabled and location turned on, you can track your AirTag from miles away.
How Does AirTag Work?
Now that you know the answer to the question, “Can you track AirTag miles away?” it’s time to understand how it works.
AirTag sends a secure Bluetooth signal that nearby Apple devices pick up within the Find My network. These devices then send the location of your AirTag to iCloud, which can be accessed through the Find My app.
For example, if you’ve attached an AirTag to your keychain and accidentally left it at a coffee shop. When you realize you’ve lost your keys, you can open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and locate the AirTag on a map.
If your keys are still within Bluetooth range, the Find My app will display their location. You can then navigate to the location to retrieve your keys. If you’ve got an iPhone 11 or newer, your device will use the Precision Finding feature to locate the missing item more accurately.
However, if your AirTag is out of Bluetooth range and you still can’t locate it, you can mark it as “lost” in the Find My app. It’ll enable the AirTag to communicate with any nearby Apple devices that are part of the Find My network, including those owned by others.
When a nearby device detects your AirTag, its location will be anonymously and securely relayed back to you. Moreover, the entire process is encrypted and anonymous to protect your privacy.
What Are the Features of the Apple AirTag?
The features of the Apple AirTag include:
1. Precision Finding
AirTag uses Precision Finding technology to provide users with accurate location tracking. The feature uses a combination of Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology to determine the location.
However, it’s only available on iPhone 11 and later (excluding the SE).
The AirTag has an IP67 rating for water resistance, making it suitable for use in various environments, including rain and other wet conditions.
You can customize AirTag by adding an emoji, initials, or other personal touch to make it easy to identify.
Apple has built several privacy features into AirTag to protect users from unwanted tracking. If you find an unknown AirTag traveling with you, your iPhone will notify you of its presence. Moreover, it’ll guide you to how you can disable it.
5. Built-in Speaker
The AirTag has a built-in speaker that can play four sounds, including a welcome sound, a setup sound, etc.
How to Set Up an Apple AirTag?
Before setting up AirTag, ensure your Apple device is connected to a strong Wi-Fi or cellular connection and runs on iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5 or later. If it’s not, you may not be able to pair it.
Next, take your Apple device and “turn on” the following features:
- Find My
- Two-factor authentication
- Location Services
- Precision Finding
To use Precision Finding, turn on Location Access for Find My. Here’s how:
- Open Settings and select Privacy.
- Scroll down and choose Location Services > Find My.
- Select “While Using the App” and then turn on Precise Location.
Enabling this feature will extend the Apple AirTag range, which helps you precisely locate the missing item. After turning on the above features, follow these steps to set up your AirTag:
- Take your AirTag, remove its protective film, and gently pull the plastic tag from the battery.
- You’ll then hear the AirTag play a welcome sound.
- Now, bring your AirTag near your iPhone.
- After a few seconds, you’ll see a prompt.
- Tap “Connect” and then name your AirTag.
- After that, tap “Continue” to register it with your Apple ID.
- It’ll take a few seconds to complete the setup process.
- Once done, you’ll hear a sound indicating the setup is complete.
How to Find a Missing Item With AirTag?
If you’ve attached an AirTag to an item and it goes missing, you can use the Find My app to locate it. Here are the steps to find a missing item with an AirTag:
- Open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
- Tap on the Items tab.
- You’ll now see the time and place of your AirTag’s last known location.
- If you’ve connected multiple AirTags, you can tap the missing one from the list to take a closer look.
- If it looks like your missing item is nearby, but you can’t find it, tap Play Sound and listen for a chime.
- Now, search for your AirTag by tapping the Find button. However, you’ll only see this button if you have an iPhone 11 or newer model. Otherwise, it’ll say Directions and open Maps.
- Once you tap the Find/Directions button, move your iPhone around your space a bit so that it connects to your AirTag.
- After a successful connection, the Find My app will lead you to the last known location of your item.
How to Find a Lost AirTag?
If your AirTag is not nearby, you may have to mark your item as “Lost” and then search for it. Lost Mode enables the AirTag to send out a Bluetooth signal that nearby Apple devices can pick up and send its location to iCloud.
Here are the steps to finding your lost AirTag:
- Select your missing AirTag from the Items tab.
- Next, swipe up on the handle, locate Lost Mode, and enable it.
- Tap “Continue” on the next prompt to finish setting up Lost Mode.
- Once you complete the setup, you’ll receive a notification when the item is located by a device in the Find My network.
That’s how you can track AirTag miles away!
Note: Make sure you add your phone number or email address where you can be reached by someone who has found your AirTag.
Related Reading: How to Find AirPods When Dead or Offline? (REALLY Possible!)
How Does an AirTag Track Nearby Apple Devices to Report Its Location?
Now that you know the answer to “how far can you track an AirTag,” it’s time to understand how it relays information back to your device from other Apple devices.
AirTag uses a network of nearby Apple devices to track and report its location. This network is part of the Find My network, available on all Apple devices running iOS 14.5 or later.
When an AirTag is out of range of its owner’s Apple device, it can use the Find My network to communicate its location to nearby Apple devices that are signed in to iCloud and have Find My enabled.
These devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs, act as anonymous and encrypted relays to send the location data of the lost AirTag back to the owner’s device, allowing them to see its location on a map in the Find My app.
If the AirTag is marked as lost in the Find My app, it’ll start playing sounds to notify others of its presence. Moreover, it also sends nearby Apple devices a notification saying, “AirTag Found Moving With You.“
So, if a person finds your AirTag, they will receive a notification that the AirTag is lost and have contact information to return it to the owner.
Related Reading: How Long Does AirTag Battery Last? (Much Longer?)
Is the AirTag or GPS Tracker the Same? Which One Should You Use?
AirTag and GPS trackers are used for tracking items but have different functionalities and use cases.
You can attach an AirTag to personal items such as keys, wallets, or bags and use it to track them. It uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with nearby Apple devices and can be located using the Find My app.
Moreover, the Apple AirTag range is about 10 meters when it’s near your paired device. However, you can still track your AirTag miles away as it uses Find My Network.
On the other hand, GPS trackers use global positioning system technology to track the location of an item in real time, regardless of its proximity to other devices.
GPS trackers may require a monthly subscription and are more expensive than AirTag. The choice between an AirTag and a GPS tracker depends on the use case.
If you need to track an item within a short range and have an Apple device, AirTag might be the best option. However, a GPS tracker may be a better choice if you need to track an item over long distances or in areas with no cellular coverage.
What Should You Know About Apple AirTag Privacy Concerns?
Apple’s AirTag has raised some privacy concerns since it has the potential to be used to track people without their consent. Here are some things you should know about Apple AirTag privacy concerns:
How Apple Protects User Privacy
Apple has implemented various privacy measures to address the potential risks associated with AirTag.
For example, if someone else’s AirTag is found to be traveling with you, your iPhone will notify you. AirTags also emit an audible alert if they are away from their owner for too long, which can help deter unwanted tracking.
Moreover, Apple has designed AirTag to protect user privacy, so the location data transmitted from an AirTag to Apple’s servers is both encrypted and anonymous.
Potential Risks and Solutions
Despite these measures, there are still potential risks associated with AirTag usage, such as stalking, unwanted tracking, and location spoofing. Here are some solutions to these risks:
If an AirTag is away from its owner for a certain amount of time, it will play a sound to help locate it. So, if you suspect someone has placed an AirTag on you or your belongings, you can use the Find My app to locate and remove the tag.
Additionally, you can use the Find My app to disable AirTag’s tracking function, preventing it from being tracked.
Related Reading: Do Apple AirTags Make Noise? (Here’s What You Need to Know)
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Does AirTag Update Location?
If your AirTag is in an area with many Apple devices nearby, it may update its location information every few minutes. However, if your AirTag is in an isolated area with no other devices nearby, it may stop providing location updates altogether. So, the frequency of location updates depends on the proximity of other devices within the Find My network.
Will AirTag Work Without Internet?
AirTag can function and communicate its location even without internet connectivity. It uses Apple’s Find My network, a crowdsourced network of millions of Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs. These devices can anonymously relay the location of the AirTag back to the owner as long as they come within range.
Can I Use AirTag to Track My Dog?
You can use AirTag to track your dog by attaching it to a third-party pet accessory and then to your pet. However, Apple doesn’t recommend it, and AirTags rely on nearby Apple devices to update their location. So, if your pet goes out of range of any Apple devices, you may be unable to track them.
The Bottom Line
Can you track AirTag miles away? Definitely! The range of AirTag’s tracking capability depends on various factors, including:
- The strength of the Bluetooth signal
- The number of obstacles in the way
- The availability of Apple devices nearby
With its reliance on Bluetooth and the Find My network, an AirTag can only transmit its location if it’s within range of an Apple device with Find My enabled.
While this can potentially cover a wide area in densely populated urban areas with many Apple devices, it may be less effective in more remote or rural locations.
Hopefully, you now know how far you can track an AirTag. If you have any questions about AirTag, feel free to comment below!