AirTags Separated From Owners for Three Days or More Play Audible Sound When Moved

Apple's AirTag item trackers let you track things like your keys, wallet, purse, backpack, or luggage, and if an AirTag is separated from its owner and out of Bluetooth range, the Find My network can help track it down, thanks to its U1 Wideband chip.

Screen Shot
According to Apple, an AirTag that isn't with the person who registered it for an extended period of time will also play a sound when moved, to alert anyone nearby so that it can be found, even without an iOS device.

Apple's documentation doesn't elaborate on what constitutes "an extended period of time," so Daring Fireball's John Gruber asked his sources at Apple for a more exact definition. They informed him that the timeout period is currently three days, but hinted that this could change in future:

I talked to folks from Apple today about some of this. The timeout period for when an AirTag will play a sound if separated from its owner is currently three days — but that's not baked into the AirTags themselves. It's a server-side setting in the Find My network, so Apple can adjust it if real-world use suggests that three days is too long or too short.

If someone finds an AirTag after hearing it make a sound, they can use any device that has NFC, such as an iPhone or Android phone, to see if its owner marked it as lost and help return it.

AirTags‌‌ start at $29 each or $99 for a four-pack. Online orders open this Friday, April 23, with ‌‌‌AirTags‌‌‌ shipping April 30.

Related Forum: AirTags

Top Rated Comments

Smartwatchlover Avatar
17 months ago
We definitely need to better understand this feature: if I hide an AirTag inside my car and then I'm flying somewhere for a week, I don't want it to play any sound
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
17 months ago
Three days seems reasonable to start with. Probably a good thing that it is configurable server-side.

So if I’m understanding this correctly, this means that if I go on vacation for a week and leave my work bag at home with an AirTag it won’t start making noise unless it is moved?

Also what does moved mean? Does it have a motion sensor so it can tell if it has been picked up (probably not) or does moves mean taken to a different location?

Edit: The three day timeout is probably good for people that want to tag their luggage. It wouldn’t be good to have bags beeping in the plane’s cargo hold after only a few hours ?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wanha Avatar
17 months ago
They should call this feature "iSeparation Anxiety"
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NotTooLate Avatar
17 months ago

I have a feeling "privacy" of thieves is a more important "human right" to Apple than your property rights. :/
Its a fine line , what if I put an airTag in YOUR bag ? wouldn't you want to know that I am tracking you ? In the extreme cases of theft and privacy , there will always be 2 sides for such trackers , the one in which you just want to track your dog or kid or your luggage , vs some 29$ mega anti theft device use case.
I will also say the following , in my country at least , you cannot just say to a police officer "my stuff were stolen , lets go and track it via GPS" , its just not how things go , you need to file a complaint in the police with whatever details you can and they go from there , usually doing nothing.
If , however , you (or anyone else) think you are going to track your car to a chopshop full of criminals and get your car out somehow , then , best of luck , but it seems ill advised to me.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Serban55 Avatar
17 months ago
Thats nice, some of Apples magic
No wonder Tile is angry
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EmotionalSnow Avatar
17 months ago

We definitely need to better understand this feature: if I hide an AirTag inside my car and then I'm flying somewhere for a week, I don't want it to play any sound
If it doesn't move it doesn't make a sound. That's what the article says.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

airtag notification

Lost AirTags Can Be Read By NFC-Enabled iPhones and Android Devices

Wednesday April 21, 2021 12:43 am PDT by
Apple's AirTag tracking devices can be identified by Android phones when they're in Lost Mode, according to a new support document published by Apple. Announced on Tuesday, Apple's new AirTag item trackers let you easily track things like your keys, wallet, purse, backpack, luggage, and more. They work using an ultra-wideband U1 chip to keep in touch with the Find My network. However,...
airtag android 1

Apple Releases 'Tracker Detect' App to Prevent Android Users From Being Tracked by AirTags

Monday December 13, 2021 10:44 am PST by
Apple today released a new "Tracker Detect" app on the Google Play Store, with the app designed to allow Android users to locate AirTags that might be nearby. According to the app's description, Tracker Detect looks for item trackers that are separated from their owner and that are compatible with the Find My Network, so it will locate AirTags and other Find My-enabled devices like the...
airtag in hand

Muscle Car Owner Targeted With Hidden AirTag Placed by Thieves

Tuesday December 21, 2021 9:02 am PST by
Michigan resident John Nelson claims that he was recently targeted by car thieves who hid one of Apple's AirTags in his vehicle, a 2018 Dodge Charger. According to a Fox 2 Detroit report, Nelson visited the Great Lakes Crossing shopping center in Auburn Hills, where he spent about two hours. After departing, he got a notification on his phone that informed him he was being tracked by an...
airtag 1

AirTag Anti-Stalking Measures 'Just Aren't Sufficient' Says Washington Post Report

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:03 pm PDT by
The safeguards that Apple built into AirTags to prevent them from being used to track someone "just aren't sufficient," The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler said today in a report investigating how AirTags can be used for covert stalking. Fowler planted an AirTag on himself and teamed up with a colleague to be pretend stalked, and he came to the conclusion that the AirTags are a "new means...
AirTag is Linked to Apple ID Feature

Apple Announces AirTag Updates to Address Unwanted Tracking

Thursday February 10, 2022 9:58 am PST by
Apple today announced that it is making some updates to AirTags with the aim of cutting down on unwanted tracking. There are several changes that will be implemented in a multi-phase rollout. In an upcoming software update, Apple plans to implement new privacy warnings that will show up during AirTag setup to thwart malicious use. The warning will make it clear that the AirTag is linked to...
airtag in hand

Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Thursday June 3, 2021 11:10 am PDT by
Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to AirTags that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession. At the current time, AirTags play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, AirTags will...
airtag hermes

AirTag Hermès Currently Unavailable From Apple

Monday May 24, 2021 6:26 am PDT by
As reported by 9to5Mac, AirTag Hermès is currently unavailable for purchase from Apple or directly from the Hermès website. The reasoning behind the unavailability remains unknown. Apple's AirTags Hermès line features three separate styles, an AirTag with a Hermès keyring, bag charm, and luggage tag. All styles feature the standard AirTag with a removable backplate but engraved with...
f1618938547

Police Find Unexpected Use for Apple AirTags

Monday July 19, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
The utility of Apple's AirTag item trackers have started to be seen in law enforcement when locating stolen property, according to recent reports. As reported by GadgetLite, an AirTag user in Boston was able to recover their stolen property with the help of the police and Apple's small tracking device. Earlier this month, the user discovered that his bike had been stolen. Thankfully, he...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...