AirTags: How to pair and set up Apple’s new trackers

Here’s everything to know about how to set up and use your AirTags once you buy them.AirTags: How to pair and set up Apple's new trackers

Patrick Holland/CNET

You can finally get your hands on one of Apple’s new

AirTags tracking devices

. The beacon-style devices work

similarly to Tile and Samsung’s SmartTag

Bluetooth trackers and can

help you find lost items

like your keys, backpack and more by tracking them with the

Find My app

once you have

iOS 14.5

.

Apple AirTags cost $29

(£29, AU$45) each or $99 (£99, AU$149) for a pack of four, and are now

available to buy

. You can also find different

AirTags accessories like keychains and eyeglasses straps

available from third-party sellers such as Belkin.

But once you get your AirTags, how do you actually use them? Here’s what you need to know about getting started with AirTags.

Read more:

AirTags vs. Tile vs. Samsung SmartTag: Here’s how Apple compares to the competition

How to set up your Apple AirTags

Apple says the AirTags setup is similar to how you activate AirPods. Here’s what to do once you’ve got the devices in hand.

1. Locate the Find My app on your iPhone or

compatible Apple device

. The app should be preinstalled, but you’ll need to set it up.

2. Pair your AirTag with your iPhone. All you have to do is bring the AirTag close to your iPhone, and it should connect.

3. Follow the onscreen steps to name your new item (e.g., “My car keys” if you’re attaching your AirTag to your keys) and register it to your Apple ID.

Pairing your AirTags with your iPhone is easy thanks to Bluetooth technology.

Apple

4. Once the AirTag is paired, you should be able to see it under Items in the app, where you’ll be able to see its current or last known location on a map.

5. Attach the AirTag to whatever item you’d like to keep track of — your keys, your phone, anything.AirTags: How to pair and set up Apple's new trackers

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How to use AirTags to find your stuff

Use the Find My app

One cool feature: If the item you’ve misplaced is within Bluetooth range, you can use the Find My app to play a sound from the AirTag to help you find it. You can also ask Siri to find the item, and the AirTag will play a sound if it’s nearby. If you have an

iPhone 11

or

iPhone 12

, you’ll be able to take advantage of the Precision Finding feature, which can help guide you to the AirTag with more precise directions.

Can’t find it anywhere? Turn on AirTags Lost Mode

If you’ve misplaced your item in a public place, you can place the AirTag in Lost Mode and get notified once it’s in range or has been located by the Find My network. If someone finds it, they can tap it using their iPhone or another NFC-capable device (

including an Android phone

) and be taken to a website to display the contact information for the owner, if you’ve set that up.

For more, check out

how to use the Find My app

, and

everything to know about iOS 14.6

.

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CNET Apple Report

Stay up-to-date on the latest news, reviews and advice on iPhones, iPads, Macs, services and software.

See also

iOS 14.5: How to use the most useful features

iOS 14.5 is here: How to download

Your iPhone apps are tracking you. iOS 14.5 lets you turn that off

iOS 14.5: New Siri voices

iOS 14.5: Face ID with a face mask

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