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What to do when you see 'AirTag found moving with you' on your iPhone

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If you get the "AirTag found moving with you" alert, maybe you're being tracked, or maybe there's just an AirTags in that bag you borrowed. Here's when you get that notification, and what you need to do.

There are a dozen reasons why you could have someone else's AirTag with you, and only one is bad. That bad reason, though, is that conceivably you are being tracked and it's such a bad reason that Apple goes to lengths to prevent it.

So they should. Those lengths, though, have an impact on even legitimate cases when you've got someone else's AirTag with you.

Say your friend wants to avoid paying airport parking rates for their week away. You kindly drop them off at Depatures, you promise to take good care of their car, and your reward is that their AirTag screams at you until they come back.

Here's what happens before you get to that screaming stage, you or the AirTag.

Your iPhone warns you of a nearby AirTag

  1. Your iPhone displays a notification saying "AirTag Found Moving with You"
  2. Tap on that message to go into the Find My app
  3. Choose Play Sound to help you find the AirTag

Not make this sound like a scene from a spy thriller, but if you can't use Play Sound, or you don't hear anything, look at the people around you.

"If the AirTag is within range of the person who registered it," says Apple in a support document, "you also won't be able to play a sound."

Fortunately, a less dramatic reason you may not be able to hear the AirTag is that it's not with you anymore. Say your iPhone noticed it and popped up an alert overnight but you didn't see it until the morning.

That AirTag may have been moved and now we're sounding like you should be too afraid to sleep at nights. Even if the AirTag is still with you, it may have changed its Bluetooth identifier since the notification.

The AirTag can't change its Bluetooth identifier through somehow detecting you've been notified. Rather, it changes periodically anyway, to help with privacy.

So if you've got the notification, but can't find the AirTag because its identifier is now different, wait. Let your iPhone warn you again. Or at least let it do that while you search your bags.

It's still the case that the least likely thing is that you're being tracked. But it's so important that if you are, you need to know how to prevent it.

What to do if you're being tracked

  1. Hold the AirTag to the very top of your iPhone and you'll get a message
  2. Tap on the message to go to found.apple.com
  3. There you'll see and be able to copy the AirTag's serial number
  4. Or you can disable the AirTag by basically removing its battery

There are more detailed instructions on how to disable the AirTag on that Apple site.

And there is also advice about contacting law enforcement. Do it. Apple will work with police to find whose AirTag it is.

Once alerted, go into Find My and you'll usually see an option to play a sound on the unknown AirTag
Once alerted, go into Find My and you'll usually see an option to play a sound on the unknown AirTag

What to do if you borrowed the item with the AirTag

  1. Your iPhone displays a notification saying "AirTag Found Moving with You"
  2. Tap on that message to go into the Find My app
  3. Choose Pause Safety Alerts

This always stops the notifications and the alarm sound — for one day. If you do exactly the same thing but the original AirTag owner is someone in your family sharing setup, you get a choice.

From the same option in Find My, you can choose to disable the alert notifications for either one day, or indefinitely.

If you miss the "Found Moving" message

There are people who don't look at their iPhones twice every minute. If that's you and you don't happen to pick up your phone for a long time, you will miss the notification.

But you will not miss the sound that the AirTag makes. Currently it waits three days before it starts sounding an alert, but Apple could change that time at any point.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider," and you'll get latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for "AppleInsider Daily" instead and you'll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you're interested in Apple-centric home automation, say "Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider," and you'll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.

 

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