How to Locate missing AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max

Guide to help you find your lost AirPods

by: - Last updated on: February 3rd, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • If you’ve lost your AirPods, you can locate it using either the Find My app or the iCloud website.
  • For both these methods to work in your favor, you need to make sure your AirPods are linked to your Apple ID and that you have Find My enabled on your iPhone.
  • If you have an Apple device, you can use the Find My app to locate your missing AirPods. On the other hand, if you don’t have an Apple device, you can use find your device from the iCloud website on any computer.
  • In the worst-case scenario, if someone gets hold of your lost AirPods, and they reset it and link it to their Apple ID, it would no longer appear under your Apple ID. And therefore, it’s impossible to locate it.

As much convenience as true wireless earphones offer, they also come with their share of shortcomings. Aside from the most obvious one here, which is the sound quality, the other that concerns most of us is the fear of losing or misplacing these earbuds. Because let’s face it, we do get careless sometimes and tend to forget things. And since these are tiny individual buds, the chances of misplacing or losing them is significantly higher than, say, neckband-style earphones that have wires running through the two buds to hold them together.

Locate missing AirPods

When it comes to wireless earbuds, there is a slew of options to choose from. However, in terms of popularity, it is Apple’s AirPods that come out on top as one of the most popular TWS offerings out there — especially if you’re an iPhone user, in which case, the AirPods are more likely to be your preferred choice. With that said, like any other true wireless earphones, these (AirPods) are not immune to the inevitable mislaying problem either.

Fortunately, though, if you’re an iDevice (iPhone, iPod, iPad) or Mac user and have set up your AirPods on the Find My app (and have your AirPods linked to your iCloud account), you stand a higher chance of locating them than say, a scenario where you don’t have these options enabled.

So, should you forget where you kept your AirPods, or in the worst-case scenario, lose your AirPods (or AirPods Pro and AirPods Max), here’s a guide to help you locate your missing AirPods.

What you need to know about finding lost AirPods

Before we jump in and list out the steps on how to locate your missing AirPods, here a few things you should know.

1. Irrespective of what AirPods model you have, you will be able to track its whereabouts only till it’s charged. For, once the battery dies, there is no way you can locate it.

2. If you lose your AirPods case, you do not get to use the chime feature — as you do with the AirPods — to make a sound to traceback to its location.

3. The Bluetooth range in which the sound (chime) feature works is limited to 30 feet (10 meters), so you need to be within this range to have your lost AirPods chiming.

4. For times when you misplace the left and right AirPods separately, the traditional tracking functionality won’t help you. This is because, by default, Maps only shows (one) AirPods’ location at a time. So to locate your AirPods in such situations, you need to, first, use Maps to trace back and locate one of your AirPods. Once found, you need to put it back in the charging case. Finally, similar to how you found the first AirPod, you need to refresh Maps to display the location of the other AirPods to locate it.

Locate missing AirPods

5. AirPods are linked to your Apple ID account. So if you lose them, it is possible for someone, who picked them up, to reset your AirPods and start using them. While you, on the other end, no longer have any access to these AirPods as they are now linked to the new user’s Apple ID.

Find My

6. If your lost AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max is offline and outside the range, you see “Not location found” or “Offline”. As a result, you cannot play a sound to locate your AirPods in such a scenario. However, what you can instead do is get directions to the location where they were last connected. [In case the AirPods do come back online, you get a notification for the same on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.]

Locate missing AirPods using Find My app

Apple rebranded the Find My iPhone app — its location tracking service for iDevices, which had a fairly impressive stint — to Find My, in 2019. The new app enables you to track the locations of your iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS devices right on your phone. In addition to these devices, it also supports location-tracking for its wireless earphones, which includes the entire range of devices from the AirPods and the AirPods Pro to the newly-released AirPods Max.

So if you’ve lost your AirPods, here’s how you can locate its position and trace back to it. However, as mentioned initially, you should have the AirPods set up and linked to your Apple ID before you can take advantage of this feature and locate the missing earphones.

Steps:

1. Open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. [Make sure you are signed in with your Apple ID and password.]

2. Select the Devices tab from the bottom.

Locate AirPods (using Find My app)

3. Click on the AirPods (you want to locate) from the list of devices.

Locate AirPods (using Find My app)

4. You should now see a map with your selected AirPods’ current location or last known location (if you’ve enabled it). Here, you get two options Play Sound and Directions.

Locate AirPods (using Find My app)

Now, based on what you want to do, you can select either of the two options from here. If your AirPods are online, you can select Play Sound to play a chime on your AirPods. When you click on Play Sound, you get a few more options. These include Left, Right, and Stop. As the names suggest here, Left: chimes your left AirPods, Right: chimes your right AirPods, and Stop: stops playing the chime altogether. [The sound played gets louder gradually for two minutes and continues to play until you stop it.]

On the other hand, choosing Directions presents you with Apple Maps, with directions to the location where your AirPods is currently (or has been previously) active.

Locate missing AirPods using iCloud

If you do not have an iDevice, or for some reason, wish to track the location of your missing AirPods on a computer, you can use the iCloud website. For this, all you need is your Apple ID credentials, and you’re good to go.

Steps:

1. Open a browser and head over to iCloud.

2. Here, sign in with your Apple ID and password.

3. Click on All Devices and select your AirPods from the list of devices.

Locate AirPods (using iCloud website)

4. When you click on your AirPods, you should see a map with the location of these AirPods. You can use this location to find your AirPods.

5. Lastly, there is also the Play Sound option, similar to what you get on Find My, which chimes your AirPods to help you locate them.

Locate AirPods (using iCloud website)

Using either of the two methods listed above, you should be able to track and locate your missing AirPods in an ideal scenario. Since, even though these methods work fine most of the time, they are dependent on a few factors — like the ones we’ve listed initially — to work in your favor.

In the worst-case scenario, if for some reason you are not able to trace back and locate your AirPods, you have to, unfortunately, resort to buying a new pair.

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