Apple AirTags: How to Set Them Up & How to Use Them

Apple’s new AirTags can help you find those items you’re always misplacing: keys, purses, umbrellas, wallets, and more. The Apple tracking device uses the Find My network to show you the location of the item it's attached to. But before you can retrieve your lost item, you’ll need to learn how to set up and use your AirTag. Here’s how:

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Set Up Your AirTag in the Find My App

Before you connect your AirTag, a Bluetooth tracking device, to your iPhone, make sure that Find My, Bluetooth, and Location Services are turned on. To follow our continuing coverage of the best ways to use your AirTags, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter.

  1. Hold your unwrapped AirTag near the iPhone you’d like to connect it to.
  2. Tap Connect.

  3. Choose an item name from the list and tap Continue, or tap Custom Name.

    Custom Name
  4. If you chose Custom Name, enter a name for your AirTag and tap Continue.

  5. Select an emoji to pair with your AirTag.

    Set emoji
  6. Tap Continue.

  7. Tap Continue again to register your AirTag with your Apple ID.

  8. Tap View in Find My app or Done.

    View in Find My or Done

Now your AirTag is connected to your iPhone and ready to be attached to an item you don't want to lose. If you experience your AirTags not connecting, read this.

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Pro Tip

iOS 17 lets you share your AirTag with friends and family! This is incredibly useful for communal items like remotes, dog collars, or the spare house keys.

Related: Apple AirTags Finally Announced: How Do They Compare to Other Trackers?

Use the Find My App to Find Your AirTagged Item

First things first: Before you have the chance to lose your keys again, make sure to attach your AirTag to them. That AirTag won’t be of any use at all if it’s not attached to anything.

  1. Open the Find My app on your iPhone.

    Find My
  2. Tap the Items tab.

  3. Find your AirTag in the list and select it.

    Find AirTag
  4. Tap Play Sound. Your AirTag will begin playing a noise that you can follow to find it.

    Play Sound
  5. If your AirTag is nearby, and you are using any iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 model with Ultra Wideband, you can use Precision Finding to locate it. Tap Find and follow the on-screen instructions to find your AirTag.

    Tap Find
  6. You may need to move around your location until your iPhone is able to connect with your AirTag.

    Move around
  7. Once your iPhone connects to your AirTag, it will show you arrows directing you to the location of your AirTag.

    Precise Location
  8. If your AirTag is not nearby, tap Directions.

    Tap Directions
  9. The app will open Apple Maps. Choose a set of directions to your AirTag, and tap Go to follow the directions.

    Tap Go

Now you know how to set up and use your AirTag! Next, find out if AirTags are waterproof and what to do if they get wet.

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Author Details

Elisabeth Garry's picture

Author Details

Elisabeth Garry

Elisabeth Garry is an Associate Editor for iPhone Life. Formerly of Gartner and Software Advice, they have six years of experience writing about technology for everyday users, specializing in iPhones, HomePods, and Apple TV. As a former college writing instructor, they are passionate about effective, accessible communication, which is perhaps why they love helping readers master the strongest communication tools they have available: their iPhones. They have a degree in Russian Literature and Language from Reed College.

When they’re not writing for iPhone Life, they’re reading about maritime disasters, writing fiction, rock climbing, or walking their adorable dog, Moosh.