How to Use Tile to Track Your Belongings

Find your keys, phone, and other possessions

What to Know

  • In the Tile app, tap + > Activate a Tile > select type > Click the button on your Tile > Next > Next > select the type of item > Next.
  • Tap Find in the Tile app to find your item. Double press the button on your Tile to test it. If it works, your phone will sound an alert.
  • If your item is too far away, you can tap the corresponding Tile device in the Tile app, then tap Location History.

This article explains how to use Tile tracking devices to track and find your belongings, like keys, wallets, electronics, and more. We also include instructions for activation and use, including how Tile works and how to use Tile to find your stuff.

How Do You Activate Tile?

To set up and use Tile, you need the Tile app on your phone and at least one Tile tracking device. Tile devices come in various shapes and configurations, including keychain fobs, flat cards, and stickers, but they all work the same way.

Here’s how to set up and activate a Tile device:

  1. Download and install the Tile app.

  2. Open the Tile app, and tap Get Started.

    Already have an account? Tap Get Started instead.

  3. Tap Continue with Facebook, or enter an email address and create an account.

  4. Enable Bluetooth on your device if it isn't already enabled.

    Tile app sign-up/sign-in options on Android
  5. Enable location access on your device.

  6. From the main Tile screen, tap + in the upper left corner.

  7. Tap Activate a Tile.

    Activating a Tile by enabling location data and adding a new device via the Android app.
  8. Tap the type of Tile device you want to set up.

  9. Click the button on your Tile.

  10. Tap Next on the app, and wait for the app to find your Tile.

    Selecting the type of Tile to activate via the Android app.
  11. Tap next.

  12. Select the type of item you will use your Tile with, and tap Next.

  13. Tap find to test your Tile.

    Last steps to activate a new Tile include selecting the main purpose of a new Tile, and using the Find tool.
  14. Double press the button on your Tile to test operation. If it works, your phone will sound an alert.

How Do You Set up a Tile Sticker or Additional Tile Devices?

Once you’ve created your Tile account and set up the app to work on your phone, you can add additional Tile devices the same way as your first one. You set up Tile Stickers in the same way, but the steps are just a little different.

Here’s how to set up a Tile Sticker:

  1. Open the Tile app.

  2. Tap + in the upper left corner.

  3. Tap Activate a Tile.

  4. Tap Sticker.

    Adding a sticker to the Tile app via Android.
  5. Press the button on your Tile sticker.

  6. Tap Next.

  7. Wait for the app to find your Tile sticker.

    Activating your Tile sticker via the Android app.
  8. Tap Next.

  9. Select the item you’ll use the Tile Sticker with, and tap Next.

  10. Tap Find to test the Tile Sticker.

    Finishing up setting the Tile sticker via the Android app.
  11. Double press the button on the Tile Sticker to check operation.

  12. Tap OK.

  13. Read the description of how the Tile Sticker works, and tap Next.

    Creating a bond between your Tile sticker and your phone.

    As the description states, your Tile Sticker will take 24 hours to bond fully. If it is disturbed sooner, you may have to remove it, attach a new sticker base, and reattach it.

  14. Your Tile Sticker is set up and ready to use.

How Does Tile Work?

Tile tracking devices are designed to help you keep track of your stuff. As described in the previous section, setting up a Tile device involves connecting it to the Tile app on your phone via Bluetooth. It's a little like pairing headphones or a speaker with your phone via Bluetooth, but it's not a constant connection.

When you tap a find button in the Tile app on your phone, it sends out a signal via Bluetooth. If the corresponding Tile device receives the signal, it sounds the alarm. By listening for the direction of the alarm, you can track down and find your item.

Each Tile device has a button you use to put it into connecting mode. This button also causes the Tile to send out a signal via Bluetooth if you double press it. If your phone is in range of the Tile and Bluetooth is on, the phone will ring, allowing you to find it. This feature allows you to find your phone with any of your Tile devices in the same way you can find your Tile devices with your phone.

How Far Can You Track the Tile?

Since Tile uses Bluetooth, it’s limited by the range of Bluetooth. Tile states their tracking devices work at distances of up to 150 feet for the Tile Sticker, 200 feet for the Tile Slim and Tile Mate, and 400 feet for the Tile Pro. These distances assume a direct line of sight, so the actual distance you can find a Tile Device with your phone will depend on the sort of obstructions you’re dealing with, like furniture, buildings, and vehicles.

While the range of Bluetooth limits the range of Tile, and you can’t use Tile like a GPS tracker since it doesn’t have GPS, the physical location of your Tile device is recorded by the GPS in your phone. That means you can check the last known location of your device if you lose it and it’s no longer in range of Bluetooth.

Other Tile users can also pick up the location of your Tile device if it’s out of range of your phone but within the range of someone else’s phone. They can’t use their phone to locate your Tile since your Tile is connected only to your phone, but their phone can transmit the GPS coordinates of your Tile to the Tile servers.

If you tap the Tile device in your app, its location history will reflect information Tile has received from the entire network of other Tile users. This process is entirely anonymous, and nobody will ever have access to your Tile’s location information unless you give it to them.

How to Find Your Tile Device

There are two ways to find your Tile device and the belonging to which it's attached. The first way uses a direct Bluetooth connection. If you lost your keys somewhere in your house, this is the method you’ll use.

  1. Open the Tile app.

  2. Tap Find in the box for item you’re looking for.

    If you see “connecting” instead of find, move around your house and try again. You need to be close enough to your missing item for the Tile to connect to your phone.

  3. Listen for the alert sound, and tap Done when you find the item.

    Using a Tile to find the device you are looking for.

    If the sound stops before you find your item, just tap Find again.

What If Tile Won’t Connect?

If Tile won’t connect to your phone, and you never have the option to tap find, then either the battery in your Tile device is dead, or it’s out of range of your phone. If you have a good idea of the general area where you last saw your item, go there and try again. Try moving around your house or wherever you think the item was lost to see if the Tile will connect.

If the Tile device is out of Bluetooth range, you can find its last known location:

  1. Open the Tile app.

  2. Tap the item you’re looking for.

  3. Tap Location History.

  4. The Tile app will show you a map of the last place your Tile device was detected.

    Steps to find a Tile that is out of range.
  5. Go to the location indicated in your Tile app, and check to see if the Tile device connects. If it does, tap Find to locate the device.

  • Can I use Tile to track a person?

    No, Tile tracks down connected objects and devices with location updates, not real-time tracking. If you're interested in following the movement of lost items, you can use the Tile Network to help you try to find them. This feature automatically updates the Tile location in your app if another Tile user comes within range of your Tile.

  • How do I use Tile to find my phone?

    Press the button on your Tile tracker twice to make your phone ring. This feature works even if your phone is on silent mode. However, the Tile app must be running in the background on your phone to activate ringing from a Tile tracking device.

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