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Apple AirTags -- the company's entry into the item tracker market -- was first released in April of 2021, so the product is coming up on its first birthday. And given that Apple says that the tags have a battery lifespan of "more than a year" for everyday use, your AirTag might be coming up to the point where it needs its battery replaced.
Note: "Everyday use" is defined by Apple as "four play sound events and one Precision Finding event per day" so you might get a lot more of a lot less out of the battery in your AirTag.
Now, I'm pretty sure that the AirTag will tell me when it needs its battery replaced, but I'm the sort of person who'd much rather deal with this on my own terms than wait for the battery to get to the point it's dead, and then I go and lose my keys.
You can check the state of your AirTag's battery by going into the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad, tapping on Items, finding your tag and tapping on it. Tapping on the battery icon also shows you the tag's serial number and firmware version.
And replacing the battery in the AirTag is easy. So easy you can do it in a coffee shop while you have a cup of your favorite wake-up juice.
First, you're going to need a replacement battery. AirTags takes a standard CR2032 button cell. While you can buy these button cells in a pack at dollar stores, I prefer to buy a branded cell, something like Duracell, Energizer, or Amazon Basics.
I don't want a cheapo battery to spew out its gut inside my $29 AirTag.
Note: Some button cells are coated with a bitterant to prevent kids putting them into their mouths and swallowing them. This coating can cause a problem with the AirTag and it might either need to be scraped off or you might need to realign the battery so the coating doesn't interfere with the contacts.
OK. So, you've got the battery.
Next up is opening the AirTag. I squeeze it between my fingers and thumbs and rotate the stainless steel back anti-clockwise. It can be a bit tricky, especially if the tag is a bit slippery (giving it a wipe with a lens cleaner can help here).
Note: I keep my AirTag in a cheap silicone sleeve (not the expensive Apple version!) so it keeps quite clean.
Remove the old battery. Dispose of it safely.
Insert new battery (note orientation with + on top). You should hear a chirp coming from the AirTag. If not, remove and change its orientation until you do.
Replace the cover by aligning the three prongs on the cover, gently squeezing the two halves together, and rotating the stainless steel cover clockwise until it locks into place.
In the Find My app, you can check if the battery status has changed to confirm you replaced the battery correctly and the battery is good.
Time for a second coffee as a reward!