How to disable an AirTag to avoid being tracked

Who I am
Marie-Ange Demory
Author and references

The new Apple AirTags allow you to easily locate things like keys, wallets, purses, backpacks, suitcases and more. The AirTags have a circular design with a white side and a stainless steel side with the Apple logo.

AirTags are designed to prevent unwanted tracking. If you are an iPhone or iPad user, the Find app will alert you if an unknown AirTag moves with you over time, displaying an on-screen message similar to “Found an AirTag moving with you”.

Even if you're not using an iOS device, an AirTag that doesn't stay with the person who registered it for a while will make a sound when moved.

According to Daring Fireball, the time it takes for an AirTag to make a sound if it is separated from its owner is three days, but it is not something that is programmed within the AirTag itself, rather it is a setting in the server search, so that Apple can, at will, change it if the real-world experience shows it is too long or too short.

If an unknown AirTag moves with you (i.e. you don't know you have it with you) you need to follow these steps to disable it and stop sharing your location:

  1. Tap the message “An AirTag is moving with you” - or whatever the message, Apple has yet to provide the translations.
  2. Tap Continue.
  3. Touch the Instructions to deactivate the AirTag and follow the steps indicated on the screen.

In a new support document, Apple says users who think their safety is in jeopardy should contact the police, who in turn can work with Apple [to locate the owner following us]. You may need to provide the AirTag or its serial number. If you need help locating the AirTag, tap Play Sound after tapping the “An AirTag is moving with you” message.

If you find an AirTag or lost item, with an AirTag attached that did not move with you, follow the steps outlined to get information about its original owner.

  1. Touch and hold the top of your iPhone or Android device on the white part of the AirTag.
  2. Tap the notification that appears on the phone screen. A web page will open providing information on the AirTag, including the serial number.
  3. If the owner of the AirTag has placed it in lost mode, you will see a message with information on how to contact the owner. You can contact the owner of the AirTag if you feel comfortable doing so.

According to Apple, AirTags have unique Bluetooth identifiers that change frequently, which helps prevent them from being tracked from point to point. Apple claims that no one, not even Apple, knows the location or identity of any participating users or devices that help locate a lost AirTag.

For more information, read this Apple support document (there is no Spanish version yet).

Note: AirTags use standard CR2032 (button cell) batteries and can be changed by the user, making it the first device where Apple allowed the user to replace the battery in ... we don't even remember when.

add a comment of How to disable an AirTag to avoid being tracked
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.