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How to add an AirTag to Find My on iPhone

If you've just gotten an Apple AirTag and need help setting it up, I'm here to tell you the process couldn't be easier. Still, we'll walk through the steps, so you can start tracking your most important items.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
AirTag and its box placed near iPhone
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

An AirTag, Apple's much-improved rendition of a Tile, is a helpful tool for anyone from the traveler, bike commuter, or just a downright forgetful person. 

Using it to track your most important -- or most forgotten -- items is as easy as opening an app on your iPhone. 

Also: 5 ways AirTags can simplify your life

But if you just bought or received a new AirTag, how do you get started?

How to add an AirTag to Find My on my iPhone

1. Unbox the AirTag and remove the plastic film

Unboxing is the first part of the fun when you get a new device and, like all Apple devices, the AirTag doesn't disappoint. Get your new AirTag out of the box and remove the plastic film completely. The AirTag will turn on and play a sound when you pull the tab from the battery.

Removing plastic film from AirTag
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

2. Unlock your iPhone and place it near the AirTag

Once your AirTag has chirped to announce it's on, unlock your iPhone to add it to Find My. To do this, hold your AirTag near your iPhone until a pop-up comes up on your screen prompting you to "Connect" your AirTag.

iPhone connect button for AirTag
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

3. Name your AirTag

Choose a name from the list of things your iPhone provides or create your own name. 

I'll choose the name Keys for this example.

Name AirTag section of setting up AirTag
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

4. Follow the prompts on your iPhone to finish adding your AirTag

A message will appear disclosing that the AirTag you're adding will be linked to your Apple ID, which means it's only for tracking things that belong to you and never tracks people without their consent.

AirTag disclosure
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

5. Your AirTag is ready to use

Allow a few seconds for your iPhone to finish pairing the AirTag to your Apple ID and it'll be ready to use. In the future, you can find your AirTags in the Find My app, by going into the Items tab.

Also: How to track an AirTag

Ready to use AirTag on iPhone

Map is blurred for privacy.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET


How do I add an AirTag if the pop-up doesn't appear on my iPhone?

If you've held your unlocked iPhone near your AirTag and aren't seeing a pop-up on your screen, you can try adding your new AirTag right from the Find My app. 

Adding another AirTag to Find My app on iPhone

Press the plus sign to add a new AirTag.

Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Before doing this, do check to see that you removed the plastic tab from the battery. If it's still not popping up, follow these steps:

  1. Hold the iPhone and AirTag near each other.
  2. Open the Find My app.
  3. Go to the Items tab.
  4. Press the plus (+) sign to Add a new item.
  5. Select Add AirTag and follow the prompts on your screen.

Can I add an AirTag to two separate phones?

Unfortunately, no. AirTags are exclusively linked to the Apple ID they are added to, so to add an AirTag to a different phone with a different Apple ID, you'd need to remove it from the previous iPhone.

Also: How to securely attach your Apple AirTag to things

If you have two iPhones with the same Apple ID, however, then you can track the AirTag from either phone.

Why is my AirTag not working?

The AirTag is a pretty simple device, so if it's not working, chances are the battery needs to be replaced. If you're having issues pairing your AirTag with your iPhone, Apple recommends taking out the battery and putting it back in. If that doesn't work, try replacing the battery.

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