How to avoid unwanted tracking via AirTags

When your iPhone detects an unknown AirTag traveling with you over time, one of the AirTag protection features Apple developed to prevent unwanted monitoring displays a warning.

You Can Avoid Unwanted Tracking via AirTags

The AirTag was introduced as part of Apple's "Spring Loaded" product case in April 2021.

It allows you to easily monitor personal items such as car keys, wallets, purses, backpacks, luggage, and other items, but not pets or children. In the Find My app, you can keep track of your AirTags. The AirTag communicates with nearby iOS devices through Bluetooth, and it has Apple's U1 chip for spatial awareness, which enables a feature called Precision Finding.

To avoid unwanted monitoring, Apple clarifies that the Bluetooth signal identifiers sent by your AirTag rotate regularly. Unwanted monitoring is a serious problem in this region.

Imagine someone slipping an AirTag into your bag or pocket and using it to monitor your movements during the day. Thankfully, Apple has a few AirTag security features to help prevent violence.

When your iOS computer detects an unknown AirTag, one of them appears as a post when not associated with your Apple ID. According to supportive documents on the Apple website, a recognized AirTag associated with your Apple ID that isn't with you "for an extended period" can also play a sound when transferred.

Even if you don't have an iOS device, you can use this to locate your lost AirTag.

Disabling an Unknown AirTag

If an "AirTag Found Moving With You" message appears on your iOS screen, simply ignore it as usual or, better yet, disable the unknown AirTag entirely.

  • Tap the notification that says "AirTag Found Moving With You" when it appears on the touchscreen of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
  • Now choose "Continue."
  • Tap" Instructions to Disable AirTag" and follow the onscreen instructions to disable the AirTag.
  • If you don't know where the AirTag is, you can use the" Play Sound" option.

Basically, you'll be told to remove the AirTag's battery and reset it to factory settings:

  • Press down on the stainless steel polished battery cover of the AirTag, then rotate it counterclockwise until it stops spinning.
  • Remove the battery cover and the battery.
  • Replace the battery now.
  • Hold the battery down until you hear a click.
  • Remove and replace the battery four more times before you hear a sound, then hold down on the battery as long as you don't hear a sound. Each time you press the battery down, you should hear a sound for a total of five sounds.
  • Align the 3 tabs on the battery cover with the three slots on the AirTag.
  • Press down on the cover before a sound is heard.
  • Turn the cover clockwise until it comes to a halt.
  • This will turn off the AirTag and prevent you from sharing your place.

Remember that a single AirTag can only be linked to one Apple ID.

Resetting the AirTag will allow you to use it with your devices again if the previous user removed it from their Apple ID but was out of Bluetooth range.