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What to do with an AirTag that’s lost, borrowed, or tracking you

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There are over a billion potential AirTag owners, and this number is expected to grow in the future. How come “a billion owners”? Well, Apple’s Find My network, which can help you locate an item even if it’s turned off, is found on iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices that together have a combined install base of 1.7 billion.Also read:

The Find My network doesn’t exist in a vacuum, unlike other Apple products. You don’t need to own an AirTag or even an iPhone to be able to interact with other AirTags in the wild.

What to do if you find a lost AirTag

If you find a lost AirTag, do the following:

  1. Tap and hold the top of your iPhone or Android smartphone to the white plastic side of the AirTag. Your phone must have NFC.
  2. Tap the notification that appears. This directs you to a website with details about the AirTag, including a serial number.
  3. If the owner marked it as lost, you might see a message with contact information. You can contact them and arrange the return.

What to do if an AirTag is attached to a borrowed item

If you see a message on your iPhone saying “AirTag that has been separated from the person who registered it is traveling with you,” don’t panic! The AirTag might be lost or you might have borrowed an item with an AirTag on it. 

If you find an AirTag on a borrowed item, do the following: 

  1. Tap the ‘AirTag found moving with you’ notification.
  2. Tap Continue. 
  3. Tap ‘Play Sound’ if you need help finding the AirTag.
  4. Tap ‘Pause Safety Alerts’ to turn off ‘AirTag Detected’ notifications for one day, in case you’ve borrowed an item with an AirTag on it. If you’re borrowing an item with an AirTag from a member of your Family Sharing group, you can turn off Safety Alerts for a day or indefinitely. 

What to do if an unknown AirTag is attached to your item

If you find an AirTag that doesn’t belong to you on a personal item, do the following: 

  1. Tap the ‘AirTag found moving with you’ message.
  2. Tap Continue.
  3. Tap ‘Play Sound’ if you need help finding the AirTag. If you can’t hear a sound, don’t worry. The AirTag might not be with you anymore. If the AirTag is within range of the owner, you won’t be able to play a sound.
  4. Tap ‘Disable AirTag’ and follow the on-screen instructions. 
If the AirTag was with you overnight, its identifiers might have changed. If you believe the AirTag is still with you, look through your belongings to try to find it, or wait to see if another alert appears as you move from location to location during the day.
If you feel your safety is at risk, Apple advises that you contact your local law enforcement who can work with Apple. You might need to provide the AirTag or its serial number.

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