How does airtag work: Everything explained

So you have heard of apple airtag for the past two years, and would like to know how the device work.

You’re at the right place as I have explained in details on how does airtag work, and all that you need to know about the Apple airtag.

Remember, to track your item or airtag on Find My, there must be an active internet connection on your device to see the location of your airtag on the map.

I recommend you getting an airtag if you have an iphone because it is quite essential in today’s society. You can use the AirTag to track your luggage, car, pet or any item.

Right now let me give a quick overview of the AirTag.

How does airtag work

What is an airtag

Apple AirTag is a small device developed by Apple that is designed to help users keep track of their items or belongings. 

Apple airtag as it is being called was introduced by Apple in April 2021 as a part of their ecosystem of products and services. With AirTag, users can locate their lost or misplaced items with the help of their iPhone or other Apple devices.

However, users can also use the airtag to track someone though it is very illegal to do so without the person consent.

The AirTag is a small disc measuring about 1.26 inches in diameter and 0.31 inches in thickness.

It has a sleek, minimalist design with a white front surface and a stainless steel back.

The device is lightweight and portable, making it easy to attach to keys, bags, wallets, or other items you frequently carry.

Don’t Miss: can more than one person track an airtag? Explained

AirTag uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to connect with nearby Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads, or Macs. When an AirTag is paired with an iPhone, it becomes associated with the user’s Apple ID, enabling them to keep track of its location using the Find My app on an iphone or iPad.

How does airtag work

Find My on iphone or apple device allows users to see the last known location of their AirTag on a map. It also offers a variety of features to assist in locating lost items.

For example, Find My on iphone, ipad or Mac can guide users to the precise location of the AirTag and this is one of the good features of the Apple airtag.

Additionally, if a user is near their AirTag but unable to locate it visually, they can activate the “Play Sound” feature to make the AirTag emit a sound, helping them find it more easily.

How does airtag work

The Find option also help to give you an accurate direction of where your item is located incase you misplaced it.

One of the standout features of the Apple Airtag is its integration with the vast network of Apple devices.

For example, if a user loses an item with an Airtag attached to the lost item, they can mark it as lost in the Find My app.

Apple airtag

When any Apple device comes within range of the lost AirTag, it anonymously sends its location to the owner, allowing them to track their item even if it’s far away.

Now let’s head over to the main question of the day, how does airtag work.

How does airtag work

The Apple airtag works by utilizing a combination of Bluetooth technology, Find My network, and Find My to help users locate their lost or misplaced items on their Apple device.

Below is a quick explanation on how apple airtag works;

  • Pair the AirTag with your iPhone or ipad.
  • Place the AirTag on any of your item like car, keys, bag, luggage, pet, etc.
  • Use Find My to locate or track your apple airtag.
  • WiFi is not necessarily compulsory especially if the AirTag is within your proximity as you can play a sound to locate the misplaced item or airtag.
  • An iphone must be around the AirTag in order to track it on Find My.

Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how AirTag works:

1. Pairing

For you to get started using the Apple airtag, you must pair the device with an iPhone or an iPad.

Note that you can’t pair apple airtag to a Mac or apple watch, but rather only on iPhone and iPad.

To get started, unbox your apple airtag and you will hear a beep sound once you remove the cover from the airtag. This shows that the AirTag has been powered on.

Apple airtag

The next thing to do is to bring the AirTag close to your iPhone or iPad.

It will automatically recognize your iPhone and will display on your screen as shown below.

How does airtag work

Kindly tap on connect, and you will see options to name your airtag, ranging from backpack, bike, camera, handbag, luggage, keys, jacket, headphones, to wallet.

However, you can choose to select the Custom Name option and tap on the continue button.

Now go ahead and name your apple airtag.

Apple airtag

Next is to select an emoji for your airtag, select any of your preferred emoji and tap on the continue button.

On the next window, you will have to agree to the terms of your airtag being linked to your apple ID.

Tap agree and you’re good to go.


It will start to connect the AirTag to your apple ID and find my, wait for it to finish. Once it is finished, tap on Done or tap on view in Find My app.

So you have now successfully paired your iPhone or iPad to your airtag.

Next is to start using the AirTag to track items or even Track People.

But remember, you must do it with their consent else you’re violating the policy.

Kindly know that Apple has implemented measures to protect user data in terms of privacy and security .

The AirTag has built-in safeguards to prevent unwanted tracking, and it automatically alerts users if an unrecognized AirTag is found to be traveling with them. Apple also utilizes end-to-end encryption and ensures that location data is anonymized and stored securely.

This is the first phase on how does airtag work.

2. Using the airTag

To start using the AirTag to track items, Find My app is the only means of doing so.

First, what you have to do is to put the AirTag into your favorite item like your bag, luggage, car, box, on your pets, keys, etc.

Now you’re set and ready to track them on the go.

So all you have to do is to open Find My on your iPhone or iPad, and navigate to Items. 

Find My

Right there you will see your item(s) or airtag.

Remember, Find My requires internet connection to work properly especially when it comes to tracking.


If the item you want to track is within you, all you have to do is to tap on item to open it’s option, then tap on Play Sound option as shown below.

How does airtag work

Once you tapped on the play sound option, the AirTag will starting beeping.

Irrespective of the fact that the sound is not so high, you will definitely hear it. The Apple airtag usually beep three times and the sound will stop.

So you need to continue tapping on the play sound option until you can locate the AirTag and your item.


To track an item few inches away from you, all you have to do is to open Find My on your apple device, and navigate to Items.

Tap on the item you want to track, and this time you tap on Find Nearby as shown below. 

How does airtag work

As you tap on Find, it may show Searching for signal, try moving to a different location. So if you happen to see this on your screen, do as it stated.

When you start to move to the right direction, you will see lights circle on your screen along with the distant you’re from the AirTag.


Continent moving until you see an arrow appear on your screen.

If you see a white arrow with a black background, it means that you’re going to the wrong direction. Below is a typical example of it.

Airtag location

If you happen to see a green background, it simply means that you’re going to the right direction of where your airtag is located.


So you should continue going to the direction until you notice your iPhone vibrating and which display Nearby on your screen.

How does airtag work

Keep going until you find your item (airtag).

Kindly note that once your iPhone or apple device begins to vibrate, it means that you’re very close to the AirTag or your item.

So this is all about tracking your airtag if it is within you.

But in the case of theft or your airtag is miles away from you, then you have to use the map to track your airtag.

3. Tracking the airTag miles away

This is in the case of theft or maybe you want to track someone miles away from your location.

All you have to do is to open Find My, navigate to Item and tap on the AirTag.

It will show you the location of the item on the map.

However, one of the cases is the AirTag updating to it’s current location. Please bear in mind that airtag doesn’t update frequently, but rather airtag updates it’s location within two to fives minutes when in motion.

If an airtag stays at a particular place without moving, you won’t see the location gets updated.

Another thing that you should know is that for an apple airtag to update it’s current location, there must be an iphone or apple device around.

This is one major disadvantage of using an airtag for tracking.

If you happen to find yourself in a place or environment where android phones dominates, you will find it difficult tracking your airtag.

The truth is that you can’t even Track it because it will display Unavailable.

This is how airtag work when it comes to tracking an item on Find My.

How does airtag work for dogs

For airtag to work for dogs, you simply have to tag the AirTag on your dog, then use find my to track the dog location.

Now listen, if your dog is miles away from you, that is in the case whereby your dog is lost but has an airtag placed on home, you will have to use find my to track down the dog.

This requires you to open Find My on your iPhone or apple device, navigate to Items and tap on the AirTag for that very dog.

It will display a map on your screen with the current location of the AirTag or the dog.

However, it will only update the location if there’s an iphone or iphones or iPads around the airtag(dog).

From there, you can track down the dog.

If it doesn’t update the location, this maybe due to no iphone(s) within the dog location or the dog is motionless which is not possible unless the dog is dead.

Aside from this, if the dog is within you or haven’t gone far, you can use the Play Sound feature to see if you can locate the dog, or use the Find option to navigate where the dog is.

Aside from dogs, this works with any pet like cats, goats, etc. Simply place the AirTag on your pets and you can easily locate them.

How does airtag work without internet

The Apple airtag works without internet because it uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to communicate with nearby devices.

Thie according to apple.

Once paired with an apple device like iphone or iPad, the AirTag remains connected to your iPhone or other Apple device within Bluetooth range.

This is why if you can play sound to locate the AirTag or use the Find option to navigate to where the AirTag is.

Apple Airtags relies on the proximity of an apple device to maintain a connection. When you move away from the AirTag or no apple device around it, then it goes out of range, and the connection is lost.

In a situation whereby you misplace or lose an AirTag, and it goes out of Bluetooth range from your device, it can still communicate with other nearby Apple devices, like iPhones or iPads that have the Find My network enabled.

This is why if you want to track an item or probably track an airtag, there should be iphones it ipads around or within the AirTag in order to update it’s location.

However, if there’s no iphones or apple device around, then I’m sorry you cannot track the AirTag.

It will display Unavailable.

When an AirTag comes within range of another Apple device with Find My network support, it securely and anonymously communicates its location to that device. This happens in the background, without the need for any user intervention.

This is comes in handy if you misplaced your airtag or probably looking for your item that has airtag on it.

How does airtag lost mode work

In lost mode, you have to enable it and customize the lost mode option by adding your phone number or email address.

So you have an item you misplaced or maybe a pet which has an airtag attached to it, the first thing you have to do is to open find my, navigate to items and tap on the item.

Scroll down to where it says Lost Mode and enable the option.

Airtag lost mode

It will explain what will happen which includes;

  1. Notifying when found
  2. Find my lock
  3. Leave a message

Tap on the continue button.

In the next window, enter your phone number or you can use your email address.

Toggle on Notify When Found and finally activate the lost mode.

If someone sees your airtag, placing an iphone over the AirTag will pop up your phone number or email, and which will indicate the item or airtag is missing.

So the person can give you a call or send an email to your address.

And this is all I have to explain on the question of the day, how does airtag work. There are more to this question which I will explain in the next post.


I'm Kennedy Nora by name, a tech enthusiast who loves writing articles on tech tips and tutorials. My main focus is about mobile tech and gadgets.


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