How to Put an AirTag in Lost Mode

Track your AirTag through the network of active iPhones

What to Know

  • Open the Find My app and tap Items. Select the lost AirTag. Under Lost Mode, tap Enable, and follow the on-screen prompts.
  • You can enable Lost Mode from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
  • When AirTag is in Lost Mode, view its location on a map using the Find My app.

This article explains how to put an Apple AirTag into Lost Mode using the Find My app on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. In addition, it includes information on turning off Lost Mode when the AirTag is found.

How to Put an AirTag in Lost Mode

Lost Mode is one of the most important AirTag features, as it helps you find items attached to an AirTag. To put an AirTag in this mode, you need to have your iPhone, iPad, or Mac handy.

Here's how to put an AirTag in Lost Mode on an iPhone. The steps are similar when using an iPad or Mac.

  1. Open Find My on your iPhone.

  2. Tap Items.

  3. Select the AirTag that you lost in the Items list.

    Find My Phone > Items > AirTag
  4. You'll see options to Play a Sound or Directions. However, to mark it as lost, swipe up on the menu to show additional options.

  5. Tap Enable in the Lost Mode section.

  6. Select Continue in the information screen.

    Find My app Showing the Lost Mode setting
  7. Tap the phone number field.

  8. Enter your phone number and tap Next.

    If someone finds your AirTag, they will be able to see the phone number you enter. If you prefer, tap Use an email address instead.

  9. Tap Activate.

    Find My app showing phone number entry for Lost Mode

    You can tap the Notify When Found toggle to receive a notification when your item is found.

What Happens When You Turn On Lost Mode for an AirTag?

When you turn on Lost Mode for an AirTag, you have options to enter a phone number or email address and a short message or enable notifications. Apple marks the AirTag as lost, and its system starts looking for it. Whenever someone with a compatible iPhone moves close to your lost AirTag, their phone senses its presence and forwards that information to Apple.

After that, one of two things can happen:

  • If you enabled notifications when you turned on Lost Mode, your iPhone provides an alert that your AirTag was located, and you can view its location on a map.
  • If someone with an iPhone or an Android phone that has an NFC reader finds your tag, they can view a notification. If you entered a phone number or message when you set up Lost Mode, they will see the message on their phone.

How Do You Turn Lost Mode Off?

If you find your lost item and no longer need help from Lost Mode to locate it, it's a good idea to turn off Lost Mode immediately. This removes your AirTag from Apple's system as a lost item and ensures you don't receive unwanted notices about your item after you find it.

Here's how to turn off Lost Mode:

  1. Open Find My on your device.

  2. Tap Items.

  3. Select your lost AirTag.

    Find My app on an iPhone showing Items list and a missing AirTag
  4. Drag the menu up to reveal more options.

  5. Tap Enabled in the Lost Mode section.

  6. Tap Turn Off Lost Mode and confirm the decision.

    Steps to turn off Lost Mode for an AirTag on an iPhone
  • How far do AirTags reach?

    AirTags connect to iPhones using Bluetooth during setup. Since the theoretical limit for this technology is 33 feet, an AirTag must be within 33 feet of the iPhone to be operational.

  • What should you do if you find a lost AirTag?

    If you find an AirTag that does not belong to you, tap and hold the top of your iPhone to the white side of the AirTag and then tap the notification that appears to open a website with information about the AirTag. If it is marked as lost, you should see contact information for the owner.

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