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Home / Tips and Tricks / If you lose your AirPods, Apple has new ways to find them. This is what you will do

If you lose your AirPods, Apple has new ways to find them. This is what you will do


The AirPods Pro are small and easy to lose. iOS 15 makes it easier to track them down.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part of Apple event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Of course, Apple’s AirPods are super handy, but they are also very small and very easy to lose. As it turned out, there were some benefits to those pesky wires. Right now you can use the Find My app to help you find a lost earbud, but it only works if you’re within Bluetooth range of your AirPods. And they should be outside the charging case. Yes, not ideal.

That’s going to change for AirPods Pro and AirPods Max owners when Apple releases iOS 15. from for iPhone this fall. Apple unveiled the new operating system on WWDC 2021, where the company also announced iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey and WatchOS 8.

Once iOS 15 is officially released later this year, you’ll be able to find your lost AirPods wherever they are, even if they’re out of Bluetooth range (about 30 feet or 10 meters). Here’s what we know and what you need to know about how the feature works.

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Apple’s AirPods join the Find My network

Apple’s Find My network makes it possible to locate a lost or stolen Apple device, such as an iPhone, the recently released AirTags and third-party devices, such as an electric bicycle.

You can read more about how the Find My Network works here, but here’s the short version. Any Apple device scans and locates the Bluetooth signal of Find My compatible devices.

Once it is found, the Find My network will notify you about the location of your item. Every step of the process is encrypted and the only person who can see the location of your item is you.


Use the Find My app to mark your AirPods as lost.

Apple/screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

Enable Lost Mode for AirPods Pro or AirPods Max

I haven’t been able to test the new feature yet, but using Apple’s WWDC demonstration and my familiarity with the Find My app, I have a pretty good idea of ​​how it will work.

After realizing that you have lost your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max (sorry standard AirPods owners, it seems you are locked out for now), open the Find my app on your iPhone. Tap the Devices tab, then select your AirPods. A map shows you the last location where you had your AirPods, including the time.

The card at the bottom of the screen allows you to mark the AirPods as Lost. (You may need to swipe up on the map at the bottom of the screen to see all available options.)

When Lost Mode is turned on, the Find My network will start searching for your AirPods. Once they are found, you will receive a notification on your iPhone with their current location.


Activate your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max to play sounds so you can find them more easily.

Apple/screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

You know where your AirPods are, but now what?

After you get to the location where your lost AirPods are, you have two options. You can use the Find My app and activate your AirPods to play a sound that gets louder as it plays. Apple said it doesn’t matter if your AirPods are in the case or not. You can choose to play the sound on the left, right or both earbuds.

The other option is to use the same proximity display that Apple’s AirTag trackers use. If you have an iPhone 11 or later, the proximity display will tell you the direction and distance, down to the centimeter you need to retrieve your earbuds.


Your iPhone will help you remember your AirPods when you leave them behind.

Apple/screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

Separation Alerts Make It Hard to Get Lost Your AirPods in the First Place

Apple has also announced a new Find My feature for the AirPods called Separation Alerts. As the name implies, the Find My app will alert you when you’ve left your AirPods behind, so hopefully you won’t have to go on a scavenger hunt.

Integrating AirPods with Find My is just one of the many new features Apple has announced. For starters, the iPhone gets a a whole host of new FaceTime features, and the iPad keeps getting better at multitasking. Check out everything else Apple has announced at WWDC in our collection here.

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