How to Use the Find My AirPods Feature

Wednesday January 23, 2019 5:08 PM PST by Juli Clover

Apple has a "Find my iPhone" feature for lost iPhones, iPads, Macs, and more, and as of iOS 10.3, there's also a "Find my AirPods" feature that can be useful if you happen to misplace your ‌AirPods‌.

Find My ‌AirPods‌ has its limitations because it's not able to work when the ‌AirPods‌ aren't connected to an iOS device via Bluetooth, but the feature can help you locate ‌AirPods‌ lost nearby and it gives clues as to where your ‌AirPods‌ might be found if they're lost out of the range of the ‌iPhone‌.

It's worth noting that ‌Find My‌ ‌AirPods‌ only works for the ‌AirPods‌ themselves -- it can't locate a lost ‌AirPods‌ Case, nor does it work when the ‌AirPods‌ are disconnected from the ‌iPhone‌ and stored in the case.

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How to Access ‌Find My‌ ‌AirPods‌

‌Find My‌ ‌AirPods‌ is located within the "‌Find My‌ ‌iPhone‌" app on iOS devices and iCloud.com. If the ‌AirPods‌ are out of the case and connected to the ‌iPhone‌, they'll show up on the ‌Find My‌ ‌iPhone‌ map just like an iPad, ‌iPhone‌, Apple Watch, or Mac.


If your ‌AirPods‌ are in the case or not currently connected, the last known location will be displayed. If your ‌AirPods‌ haven't been in use at all recently, they'll be listed as "offline."

Locating an AirPod Lost Nearby

Your ‌AirPods‌ are most likely to be misplaced or lost when you set them down momentarily because there are no cords to keep them together or to make them easier to find. ‌Find My‌ ‌AirPods‌ is mostly designed to locate an AirPod that's nearby by playing a sound.


  1. Open ‌Find My‌ ‌iPhone‌ on an iOS device or iCloud.com.
  2. Tap the ‌AirPods‌ in the list.
  3. Tap "Actions."
  4. Tap "Play Sound."

A soft chirping sound will start playing after you initiate the "Play Sound" command, which will gradually get louder and louder with each chirp to make the ‌AirPods‌ easier to locate.

If just the left or just the right AirPod is missing, you can also mute the sound coming from the left or the right. To stop the sound once the ‌AirPods‌ are located, you'll need to tap "Stop Playing." Putting the ‌AirPods‌ back in the case will also turn the sound off after a few seconds.

Locating an AirPod Lost Far Away

If your ‌AirPods‌ aren't connected to your ‌iPhone‌, their exact location is not relayed to ‌Find My‌ ‌iPhone‌. In this situation, the last known location of the ‌AirPods‌ when they were connected to an ‌iPhone‌ is displayed.

So, for example, if you use them while at the airport and then leave them behind, their location when they were last connected to your ‌iPhone‌ over Bluetooth will be displayed, even if the ‌AirPods‌ are moved somewhere else.

When the ‌AirPods‌ aren't connected to the ‌iPhone‌, the last online location is displayed. It is not up to date.

For this reason, using ‌Find My‌ ‌AirPods‌ to locate an AirPod that's been left behind isn't going to be particularly accurate, but it will give you a general idea of where they were lost so you can go back to the location.

When attempting to locate an AirPod this way, tap the little car icon and it will give you Apple Maps directions to the last known location.

Limitations

Your ‌AirPods‌ will not play a sound while they're in the case, so if you lose the ‌AirPods‌ and the ‌AirPods‌ Case somewhere in the house, you're out of luck.

There's also no way to track the ‌AirPods‌ case because a Bluetooth connection is needed for ‌Find My‌ ‌AirPods‌, so there is no option for locating a lost case.

Replacing a lost AirPod or ‌AirPods‌ Case

Apple offers AirPods replacements if one is lost and can't be located. It costs $69 to replace a single AirPod or to replace the ‌AirPods‌ Charging Case.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
40 months ago
Note to self: never tap the play sound if the AirPod is in the ear.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Okay, just tested this by placing my fingers over the prox sensors on one pod, and FmiPhone gave a warning before playing the sound (see attached screenshot).

They also start the alarm quiet and ramp up the volume. You have a bit of time to remove them before they reach peek volumes.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Lol. I didn't have them in My ears, but was curious about the sound. So while they were playing the alert I put one close to my ear and it was blistering.

I imagine that if they're in the ear that the app won't let you trigger the alert. I hope so anyway.

Okay, just tested this by placing my fingers over the prox sensors on one pod, and FmiPhone gave a warning before playing the sound (see attached screenshot).

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
It didn't find any online on Apple's website. Program is broken.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Does it work with Beats W1 headphones as well?

Just checked with my BeatsX. No, it does not. Pity, I see no reason why it shouldn't.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago
The limitations makes this feature nearly useless. The buds are always in the case when not in my ears.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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