AirPods are notoriously easy to lose. The case is smooth and slippery: It can slip out of your coat pocket all too easily. And given how small and nondescript it is, it’s easy to forget where you last left them in your home.
Thankfully, all models for AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max have Find My compatibility built in, which can help you locate your AirPods. And if you have one of the latest AirPods models, you can find your AirPods case with precision-finding tech, where your iPhone will you accurate directions to find the AirPods Pro.
No model of AirPods has the ability to update its location to Find My on its own. Instead, it’ll rely on connecting through internet-connected Find My devices, like nearby iPhones. You can read more about how AirPods work on the Find My network in this piece.
How to find lost AirPods using the Find My app
Credit: Khamosh Pathak
Most of your Apple devices can be tracked using the Find My app. First, open the app, and from the list of devices, choose your AirPods model. If your AirPods are out of the case, you can pick from the left bud or the right bud to locate. If you have AirPods Pro (2nd Generation), you’ll have the option to choose your AirPods case itself.
If you left your AirPods somewhere, you’ll be able to see its last known location if it was picked up by an iPhone nearby, or its last known location if the battery is dead and it wasn’t able to connect to the Find My mesh network.
If the AirPods Pro are out of Bluetooth range, you’ll see a Directions button at the top. This will open the Maps app and it will guide you to the last known location.
How to find your lost AirPods when they’re close by
Credit: Khamosh Pathak
If your 3rd generation AirPods, 1st or 2nd generation AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max are in Bluetooth range, you’ll see a Find Nearby button at the top of the AirPods page in the Find My app.
When you tap it, your iPhone will guide you to the AirPods. First, move your iPhone around in the space a bit to connect to the AirPods. Then, the Find My app will show tell you if you’re getting closer, or farther away from the AirPods. It will also show you a handy direction guide as to where you should be walking, and how far you are from the AirPods. If you’re using this to find the case for the 2nd generation AirPods Pro, the Precision Finding feature can lead you directly to it. Here, you can tap the Sound button to play a chime on the AirPods case, or the earbuds. Once you find them, tap the X button to go back.
In fact, you can play a sound to locate any AirPods model. It’s easier to do this for the 2nd generation AirPods Pro because the case itself has a pretty loud speaker built into it. From the AirPods page in the Find My app, tap the Play Sound button. This will play a loud chime, so if there’s a possibility someone has your AirPods in their ear, exercise caution.
How to find your AirPods nearby using Siri
Credit: Khamosh Pathak
If you know your AirPods are nearby, and they are connected to the Find My network already, you can easily find them using Siri.
Bring up Siri and say something like “Find my AirPods.” Siri might tell you something like, “I can’t locate them in Find My, but do you want to play a sound?” Yes please. This is effectively the same process as tapping the Play Sound button, but it’s always nice to outsource some work to Siri. Your AirPods will play the familiar chime, and you can follow the sound to retrieve your earbuds.
How to retrieve your lost AirPods
Even if after following the directions, and the sound, you can’t locate your AirPods, not all hope is lost. Apple has a special feature called Lost Mode just for a situation like this. Because AirPods don’t have the level of tracking that the iPhone does, it works a bit differently from the iPhone’s lost mode.
When you activate Lost Mode on AirPods, it will enable Notify When Found, which will send you a notification when your AirPods come online. It will also enable the Find My Lock feature, which makes sure no one else can connect and use your AirPods on their Find My network. Lastly, you can also leave a phone number or email for the finder of your AirPods to contact you. This will show up when they try to connect your AirPods to their iPhone.
Open the AirPods page, swipe up, and tap the Activate button in the Mark as Lost section. Tap the Continue button, and follow the steps to set up the Lost Mode.
Prepare for the future
If your AirPods aren’t connected to Find My in the first place, you won’t be able to use these tricks to locate them in the future. Take a second to make sure they’re set up properly: With your AirPods connected to your iPhone, head to Settings > Bluetooth, then tap the (i) next to your AirPods’ name. Scroll down, then make sure Find My Network is toggled on.
The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans
It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.