AirTag questions

Trying to do a crash course on AirTags. I received a pack as a gift and would like to confirm a couple of things, as the gifter read of stalking after buying them.

As I understand it, stalking would only occur if someone else places an AirTag with me or my items right? There is no way that someone else could stalk an AirTag that is paired to my phone?

If I were to place an AirTag on a bike in the house, or a bag that I didn’t take with me, would it notify me as I leave the house?

In the same vein, if I take off for a bike ride, will an AirTag in my car notify me?

I currently have FindMy turned on with my iPad and I get a single “iPad left behind” notification when I leave it somewhere but it doesn’t happen when I leave my house. It’s happened when I left it in a hotel room, or in the trunk of my car, or in someone elses house.

Based on that experience would the AirTags work the same way? As in not sending notifications if I leave them behind at home (car/bike/bag).

Anything else I should know? Thanks!

That’s correct. You can only get location information about devices paired with your iCloud account. A third-party can’t read your tags.

Additionally, if there is a third-party tag following you (e.g. moving where you’re moving), your phone will notify you. You can then use your phone to try and locate it. Once found, you can (I think) get information about its owner.

It shouldn’t. Like anything else in the Find My network, you won’t be alerted if it is left behind in known-secure locations like your home or office. You will be notified if you leave it elsewhere. For example, when I travel (and put an AirTag in my luggage), I get notified every time I leave the hotel room. But there is no notification when I’m home (and the tag sits on my desk).

The behavior will be very similar to your iPad’s Find My behavior.

And it works far better than I would have expected. For example, when I place a tag in my luggage, I get information about its motion through various airports. I assume this means lots of baggage handlers have iPhones with them while they’re working, or the airlines are using iPads as a part of their operations, since the tag needs to be within Bluetooth range of an Internet-connected iOS device in order to report its location.


Thanks! So if I were to go on a hike and had one in my car, I’d get the notification that I left my car behind (that would actually come in handy on some of my mountain bike excursions).

Now, I cannot share these with my partner? We’d still need to use Find my phone for that?

Is it easy to swap them back and forth between users? Or is it a once-paired to iPhone A, it stays with iPhone A.

Thanks again!

That is correct. Only you as the person who paired an AirTag will receive information about the location of that AirTag.

The system is in fact so rigid, that not even others within a Family Sharing goup can access the location of a tag that has been paired with somebody within that group. There is no way to share a tag’s location paired with you to anybody else. Not even your spouse in the same Family Sharing group. The system is that tight.

Not by default, but you can certainly configure it that way.

Select an AirTag and then scroll down to Notifications. You can for example select Notify When Left Behind and your iPhone will alert you to when your location changes from that of the AirTag (i.e. you leave your house without your backpack). You can actually set up exclusions to that list too (“trusted locations”).


Indeed. You can unpair them and another person can pair them, but it’s always only one pairing at a time without a simple process to swap back and forth between two users. They are considered a truly personal item.

Of course, you can always have two AirTags on the same item so both people remain informed. Our car actually has two AirTags so both my wife and I can always see where we left it.


We do the same thing – two AirTags in our car, one paired to my iPhone and the other to my wife’s.

Additionally, one is in an obvious location (the glove box) and the other is well-hidden using a TagVault:Surface.


I agree with the comments here - Airtags are quite versatile and easy to manage.
My only wish is that I could set it so that my car became a no-notification location. That way I wouldn’t keep getting notified when I intentionally leave my air-tagged bag in the car. iOS knows when my iPhone disconnects from my car’s bluetooth (it shows up as “Parked Car” in Maps) so that could be used to control the Airtag notification.

No contradiction here (although I don’t know how to get information about the owner). However, I had been under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that if the third-party tag’s owner is traveling with the third-party tag that seems to be following the first party, there would not be an alert to the first party.

On a recent train trip, I think I might have been the third-party, and some fellow travelers got alerted to my AirTags traveling with them. In any event, on at least two occasions, one or more of my AirTags started chirping, and once woke me up. Any ideas on what really happened or how to prevent it if my analysis is correct?

Do either of you ever get notified of being followed by a third-party AirTag?

Um, okay, you would get notified that you had left your car behind. I would have expected that you would already be aware of that situation. Are you saying your iPhone would remember where the AirTag was when it was left behind? If so, I hope someone more knowledgeable than I am will comment on how well this would work.

In case anyone is unaware, an AirTag can only be paired with an iPhone. It cannot be paired with an iPad, and certainly not with a Mac. Corrections are welcome.

One you get alerted there’s an option to mute that alert. That’s for example why I don’t get bugged about my wife’s AirTag in our car anymore.

The system is well designed. You will be alerted if you’re being tracked (i.e. another person’s AirTag traveling with you). But if that is known to you (and “desired”, as in my example) you have the option to shush warnings from that specific AirTag.

It’s actually better than that. It will “remember” where you last saw that AirTag. However, if in the meantime another person with an Apple device (that has position information, eg. GPS or similar) came across that AirTag, the AirTag’s location would be updated. That other person will have no knowledge of this update and won’t be able to learn anything about your AirTag (not even its existence), but you will.

In @dianed143’s example, that would for example mean that while she’s out, Find My will tell her when her car was last “seen” at the location she left it at. And if a thief stole her car and she only notices when she gets back to where she left her car, one glance at Find My would show where the car was last seen.

Obviously, this only works when there are enough people around with iPhones etc. In my personal experience, it’s amazing though how well this works, at least in an urban setting. With my car parked on a public road here around the Bay or my luggage making its way around SFO or OAK, I get position updates usually no older than a couple minutes. It’s pretty cool. And reminds me of the old “Apple magic”. :slight_smile: :+1:

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We’ve each been notified once. It gives you the option of ignoring this particular AirTag so you don’t get pestered constantly.

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The second part I knew. The first part I didn’t know. I was afraid the owner’s iPhone would “forget” the AirTag location information if it wasn’t confirmed or updated every nn minutes. Thanks. (Of course, knowing where a car is and knowing how to get to it while biking or hiking could be two different things. But it’s certainly better to know where the car is than not know.)

If you tap on an AirTag with an iOS device, you get a notification which, when tapped, brings up an “About this AirTag” page. That page shows its serial number and the last four digits of the owner’s phone number. And there’s a link to a page describing how to disable it (remove the battery).

If the owner has marked it as lost, then it may also display a message from the owner containing contact information.

See also: What to do if you get an alert that an AirTag, Find My network accessory, or set of AirPods is with you - Apple Support

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Humbly suggest my book! Take Control of Find My and AirTags.


:+1: I second that!

Many thanks, @Shamino.

The Apple support file says, in part (with my emphasis added), “If any AirTag, AirPods, or other Find My network accessory separated from its owner is seen moving with you over time, you’ll be notified in one of two ways.”

Since my AirTags were with me, they shouldn’t have alerted anyone else, and certainly I didn’t tell them to chirp. Any ideas about what set them off?

It’s on my Buy list. Thanks.

Did your iPhone have location services turned off? Did your iPhone know where it was during all that time? That’s the only way for the AirTags to determine if “they’re with you”.

If your iPhone did not have updated location information, the AirTags would not be registered as with you, and they would appear to be “following” the other people in the group. That could set off their tracking alarm.

+1 on that. I sent feedback to Apple a couple months ago with that very suggestion. Maybe if they get enough, they’ll consider it.

Ah, I think we have a winner. I don’t recall for sure, but I believe I had the iPhone in Airplane Mode when the AirTags chirped. (The battery had been draining quickly, and I attributed that to the sparse cell service in some of the wide open spaces.) So, technically, while I did not turn Location Services off (and I expect the phone knew where it was), I believe Bluetooth (and Wi-Fi) had turned off when I chose Airplane Mode, and that would have left the AirTags wondering where their mother ship was. Thank you.

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