Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 32 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals
12 comments

Apple Improves the AirTag “Unwanted Tracking” Sound

One of the complaints about Apple’s AirTag location tracker is that it can be hard to discern the alert sound of an unknown AirTag traveling with you. As the company promised earlier this year (see “Apple Explains How It Will Address AirTag Privacy Issues,” 12 February 2022), Apple has now addressed that with the AirTag 1.0.301 firmware update, which makes the “unwanted tracking sound” easier to hear. As Macworld notes, the update happens automatically so any potential stalkers won’t be able to avoid getting it. Remember, if you do discover an unwanted AirTag among your possessions, Apple explains how to learn more about it (including the last four digits of the owner’s phone number, which you can search for in Contacts), how to disable the AirTag, and how Apple can aid local law enforcement in identifying the stalker.

Read original article

Subscribe today so you don’t miss any TidBITS articles!

Every week you’ll get tech tips, in-depth reviews, and insightful news analysis for discerning Apple users. For over 31 years, we’ve published professional, member-supported tech journalism that makes you smarter.

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

Comments About Apple Improves the AirTag “Unwanted Tracking” Sound

Notable Replies

  1. I wish it was a way you could confirm that the AirTag traveling with you was a friendly AirTag. Me and my wife gets the warning often.
    By the way, I am thrilled with my Airtag. Lost my keys for the first time in my 68 years while out training. I discovered it was lost after 1/2 an hour. The experience was kind of funny and also nice. I got a position for it and came into range. I expected it to be on the ground and maybe hidden in the snow. So it told me I was 0,2 m away. But when I moved the phone closer to the ground, it told me I was further away. Only after enabling the sound, I found it hanging on a branch. Somebody had found it.

  2. My AirTags have saved me on a couple of occasions, had one in my flight documents pouch which had slipped from my grasp and ended up several airline seats away on the ground, all in the rush of passengers boarding. The attendant asked for my boarding pass which led to my discovering it’s absence. He was really impressed when I could position so accurately the bag it was in. I’ve tracked my wallet down on other occasions, when you’ve a brain like mine, they are invaluable.

  3. Second that. Every time we go out for a walk I get this ‘warning’ by the time we come back home. It’s such a shame that so much of the AirTag conversation has been driven by fear and paranoia. There must be thousands of people looking for a button that says ‘Thanks, yes, I know. That’s my wife/husband/dog’ i.e. some kind of ‘Trust’ response.

  4. According to the Apple page linked in the article,

    If you’re borrowing an AirTag or another item compatible with the Find My network from a member of your Family Sharing group, you can turn off alerts for that item for one day, or indefinitely.

    Not so?

  5. :+1: Exactly. That’s what my wife and I did. No problems since.

  6. How does one do that? I found the quote (saying it was possible)( in the long article cited, but I must have missed the explanation of the process.

  7. If Apple can’t find the Airtag, this means little. And my experience (described in a recent post to the forum) outlines just such an issue:

    I had an Airtag keyfob on my keyring. Seemed smart. Still have the keys – but the Airtag fell off. Well, should be easy to find, right? Wrong! Find My insists the Airtag is at my office. Tells me here and there that I’m in range (which, apparently, is about 4 feet, which I also find less than satisfying). Tells me it’s playing a sound (neither I nor others hear it). Tells me I’m right on top of it. Nope – no Airtag. So, in my eyes, it can’t even find itself!

    Seems to me there’s something wrong when I can use an Airtag to stalk someone, but can’t use one to find something right under my nose.

  8. I think it’s not right for Find My to tell you that the location is definitely where you are, but the most likely explanation is that’s the location where it last pinged the Find My network. Your AirTag perhaps fell somewhere in a location where nobody with an iPhone (with Bluetooth on and the option to participate in the Find My network) has been near.

  9. The Find My app was telling me it received a signal, and was making the Airtag play a sound – in an open parking lot. If I left the parking lot, or moved too far away from a certain spot, it said the Airtag was no longer in range. I moved every loose piece of anything anywhere near the point where it said it was close enough to ping the Airtag – it’s simply not there.

  10. Thanks for the tip. I will look into Family Sharing. I still think there should be a way you could confirm that the AirTag traveling with you is a friendly AirTag. When traveling with my fly-fishing companions, sometimes for weeks, they get this warning. People visiting at our cabin in the summer holiday get the warning. I feel like I am a nuisance.

  11. Based on the web site it sounds like these notifications get collected in a “seen with you” section of Found My app and you can take actions from there. I have not had a notification like this so I can’t test.

    If you need to see a list of all AirTag and Find My Network accessories about which you have been notified, launch the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Tap Items. Scroll to the bottom and tap Items Detected With You. Items that have recently triggered an unwanted tracking alert will be listed. If the option to play a sound isn’t available, the item might not be with you anymore, might be near its owner, or if it was with you overnight, its identifier might have changed.

Join the discussion in the TidBITS Discourse forum

Participants