Can You Track AirTag Miles Away? A Detailed Guide

Estimated read time 7 min read

Can You Track AirTag Miles Away? This guide dives into the max tracking range, accuracy over long distances, how soon it shows up after going missing, and tips to extend its tracking capabilities miles away from its owner. 

The AirTag, Apple’s tracking accessory, has become quite popular for finding lost items. Its powerful tracking capabilities through Apple’s Find My network allow you to locate missing items even when they are far away. But just how far Can You Track AirTag Miles Away? Can you really use it to track belongings miles away?

In this comprehensive guide Can You Track AirTag Miles Away, we will dive into the tracking range of AirTag, how it works, and tips to maximize its tracking capability over long distances.

How Does AirTag Tracking Work?

AirTag utilizes Apple’s vast Find My network to track items. The Find My network consists of hundreds of millions of Apple devices all over the world. When an AirTag is separated from its owner and put into Lost Mode, it can tap this massive network to determine its location.

Here is a quick overview of how AirTag tracking works:

  • AirTag uses Bluetooth LE to connect to nearby Apple devices also equipped with Bluetooth LE such as iPhones, iPads, or Macs.
  • These nearby devices then relay the AirTag’s location information to iCloud and Find My network.
  • Even if the AirTag moves away and is no longer in Bluetooth range, its location updates continue to be sent to the network.
  • When the owner of the AirTag looks for it in the Find My app, it pulls the latest location data from Find My network to display where the AirTag is.

This crowdsourced approach to tracking allows the Air tag, “Can You Track AirTag Miles Away” to be tracked even when it is far away from its owner. As long as it comes into proximity with other Apple devices, its location gets updated in Find My network.

Can You Track AirTag Miles Away

What is the Max Tracking Range of AirTag?

Apple has not provided an exact tracking range for the AirTag. However, there are a few factors that influence how far you can track it:

  • Density of Find My network in the area: Regions with more Apple devices in circulation will allow an AirTag to be tracked from farther away. Remote areas with fewer iPhones around will have a more limited range.
  • Mode of transportation: If an AirTag is attached to a car or person traveling via plane, it can potentially be tracked across hundreds of miles. But if it is moving only by foot traffic, the range will be much shorter.
  • Battery life: The battery inside AirTag is designed to last for around 1 year before needing replacement. With a fresh battery, it can be tracked farther than one with a depleted battery.

While Apple does not provide an exact maximum range, most sources estimate that AirTag can be tracked reliably up to about 100 miles away if there is sufficient Find My network coverage in the area.

Tips to Maximize AirTag Tracking Range

Here are some useful tips to help maximize the tracking range when using your AirTag over long distances:

Frequently Check Find My App

The more you open the Find My app and refresh the AirTag’s location, the more accurate the tracking will be over a long range. This ensures the latest updates are pulled from the network.

Use Lost Mode

Enabling Lost Mode tells the AirTag network that this specific AirTag is lost and needs more frequent location updates from any Apple devices it encounters. This can improve long-range tracking.

Know Find My Network Coverage

Check Apple’s Find My network coverage map to get an idea of geographic areas where long-distance AirTag tracking will work better vs. remote areas with sparse coverage.

Travel by Car/Plane

Attaching an AirTag to a car, pet collar, luggage, etc., and traveling hundreds of miles will extend its tracking range considerably.

Keep AirTag Battery Fresh

A depleted battery will reduce an AirTag’s ability to be tracked from afar. Replace the battery every 12 months.

Avoid Signal Interference

Placing AirTag in a metal case or containers with liquid can interfere with tracking. Keep a clear Bluetooth/radio signal path.

Can You Track AirTag Miles Away

How Accurate is AirTag Tracking Over Long Distances?

AirTag tracking accuracy declines as distance increases between the AirTag and the device trying to locate it. Here is a general guide to the accuracy you can expect:

  • Within Bluetooth range (up to 30 ft): Highly precise location, within inches.
  • Up to 1 mile away: Accurate tracking within a house or block.
  • 1 to 10 miles: Location updated to nearest neighborhood or city sector.
  • 10 to 100+ miles: Can identify the right city, but not precise location within the city.

So while the overall tracking range of AirTag can be quite long in optimal conditions, the precision deteriorates beyond about 1 mile. Within 10-30 feet its location tracking is highly accurate.

How Soon Do AirTags Show Up in Find My After Going Missing?

There is usually a lag between when an AirTag goes missing and when it will show up in the Find My app. Here are the general timelines:

  • If within Bluetooth range: Will show exact, real-time location in Find My immediately.
  • If AirTag hasn’t been set to Lost Mode: Can take 3-24 hours to report the location in the Find My app.
  • If in Lost Mode: Usually will display location within 1-3 hours after going missing.

So if your keys go missing across the house, Find My will display its location instantly. But if a suitcase with an AirTag goes missing across the country, it may take a few hours to begin reporting its new location. Read more here astroneer freight module.

No, AirTags are meant to track belongs and items only. Apple has put specific safeguards in place on AirTags to detect unauthorized tracking:

  • Notifications to unknown AirTags: iPhones will notify users if an unknown AirTag is traveling with them, indicating someone is tracking them.
  • Warning sounds: An AirTag separated from its owner will play loud beeping noises after 8-24 hours. This warns anyone nearby about an unwanted tracker.
  • Precision tracking limited: Unknown AirTags cannot leverage Precision Tracking which provides exact real-time location.

Apple takes user privacy very seriously. Tracking people with AirTag is not only unethical but can also result in criminal charges in many areas.

FAQs About Can You Track AirTag Miles Away

Can an AirTag be tracked internationally?

Yes, as long as the AirTag connects with local Apple devices in the new country, its location will be updated in Find My and trackable internationally. Over 195 countries have Find My Network coverage.

How do you track an AirTag on a stolen car?

Put the AirTag in the car in a hidden location. If the car is stolen, mark the AirTag as lost in the Find My app to enable more rapid tracking over a long range. Check Find My app often to see the latest location updates.

Can police track a stolen AirTag on Find Me?

With the owner’s permission, police can work with Apple to request location data from the Find My network for a stolen AirTag. This can aid the recovery of stolen items.

How long can an AirTag’s location history be tracked in Find My?

The Find My app holds the location history of an AirTag for about 24 hours. So if it has been missing for days, you can only see where it has been during the past day.

Do Google Android phones help track AirTags?

Unfortunately, Android devices do not participate in Apple’s Find My network. Only Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs assist in relaying AirTag locations.

Can an AirTag be tracked if the battery is dead?

No, a dead battery means the AirTag can no longer connect via Bluetooth to update its location. Battery life is critical for long-range AirTag tracking.

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