How To Check If An AirTag’s Battery Needs Replacing In iOS 16

Apple's AirTag runs on a removable coin cell battery that can be easily serviced by the user, and Find My will tell them when it needs replacement.

The AirTag, a small puck-sized tracking device created by Apple for use with its Find My ecosystem, runs on removable coin cell batteries — and it's simple to find out whether a battery is ready for replacement. In some cases, users might not even have to take any extra steps to learn whether a battery still has life left in it, or needs replacing. Instead of using some kind of proprietary battery solution or a rechargeable battery that is not user-serviceable, Apple went with a coin cell battery that is pretty standard. While it's unlikely that a user will have the CR2032 battery that powers the AirTag around the house, a quick trip to the drugstore or supermarket is all it takes to find the replaceable battery.

Apple estimates that a single CR2032 battery should last about a year while in use within an AirTag, and the first one is pre-installed when the tracker is purchased. When it is time to swap out a new battery, the process is simple. However, without a screen or any other medium to let a user know that it is time to replace the battery inside an AirTag, the notifications and battery status functions are left to Apple's other devices. An AirTag cannot be setup without an Apple device, so it makes sense that part of the AirTag's usage relies on the company's devices. The Find My ecosystem, which encompasses all of the company's devices that have location tracking enabled, backs the AirTag and makes it possible to check the tracker's battery status.

Most of the actions that can be taken while using an AirTag take place in the Find My app, which is pre-installed on Apple devices. The most convenient usage of the Find My app is on the newest iPhones, where the ultra-wideband chip makes it possible to locate the AirTag directionally with impressive accuracy. In the Find My app on the iPhone, any AirTags associated with the user's Apple ID will be displayed within the 'Items' tab at the bottom of the screen. Tap the 'Items' tab to view any connected AirTags by name, and tap the AirTags that will be viewed. A new page will open showing all of the actions and information that relate to the selected AirTag.

Low Battery Warnings Appear In Find My

Before late updates to iOS 15, it was possible to view the current battery status of the AirTag at any time. On devices running iOS version 15.5 or earlier, the battery status of an AirTag will appear under the tracker's name in the 'Items' list in the Find My app. However, with the iOS 15.6 and iOS 16 beta releases that followed, this feature was removed. Now, the AirTag's battery status can only be viewed if it has a low battery status that will soon require replacement. If no battery indicator is shown in the Find My app under the AirTag, it is safe to assume that the AirTag's battery does not currently require replacement.

Users do not need to frequently check the Find My application in order to see if their AirTag's battery is low, because iOS devices will send a push notification when the AirTag battery will soon need a replacement. A notification from the Find My app reads 'AirTag Battery Is Low,' with subtext informing the user which AirTag has a low battery. To check manually if a battery is low, open the Find My app and navigate to the 'Items' page. Then, select the name of the AirTag that might need a battery replacement. If a 'Low Battery' warning appears below the device name, it's time to replace the coin cell battery. Otherwise, the AirTag's battery still has enough power in it to provide all of the essential functions of the compact tracking device.

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