Tracking down a lost pair of AirPods can be tricky. Apple’s Find My application will be crucial in your search because it can show you their location on a map or play a sound to help you locate them assuming certain conditions are met.
They’ll need to be connected to an iOS, iPadOS, or macOS device via Bluetooth in order to see their exact location. That said, if they’re out of range of your iPhone or iPad, the app will still provide you with their last location which can be useful as you begin your hunt.
If you lose your AirPods case, note that Find My won’t be able to find it. It’s only useful if you misplace your AirPods buds, or in the case of the AirPods Max, your headset.
How to Find Lost AirPods
If you set up Apple’s Find My app on the device (iPhone, iPad, etc) you use with your AirPods, AirPods 2, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, you can use the application to track down your missing headphones.
Unfortunately, if you didn’t set up Find My before you lost your AirPods, you won’t be able to use the application to help in your search.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Find My app, it shows you the location of devices that are using your Apple ID including AirPods. Again, it will only show the current location of your AirPods if they’re connected to a device. If they aren’t connected, the map will show you their last known location.
Here’s how to find lost AirPods on the map in Find My if you’re using an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac:
- Open the Find My app on your device.
- Now select the Devices tab.
- Select your missing AirPods.
If you’re using a Windows computer, here’s how to track your lost AirPods:
- Open your browser.
- Go to iCloud.com/find.
- Sign in with your Apple ID.
- Click All Devices.
- Click your AirPods.
If your AirPods are connected to another device you’ll now see their current location. If they aren’t, you’ll see their last known location.
If you haven’t used them in a while, you won’t get a location. You also won’t see a location for your AirPods or AirPods Pro if they’re inside the case. However, you can see AirPods Max in Find My for up to 18 hours inside their Smart Case.
How to Find One Lost AirPod
If you’re missing one bud from your AirPods, AirPods 2, or AirPods Pro, note that you can only see one location on the map at a time.
In order to find the missing bud, you need to put the bud in your possession inside the AirPods case. Once you’ve done this, refresh the map in the Find My app so you can track down the other one.
How to Find Lost AirPods Nearby
If you know your AirPods are nearby, but still can’t find them, you can play a loud sound from the Find My app or your iCloud account to help you find them. They must be connected to another device via Bluetooth in order for this to work. Here’s how to do this:
- First, open up the Find My app on your device.
- Select the Devices tab.
- Select your AirPods from the list.
- Tap Play Sound.
Once you tap that, your AirPods will emit a sound that will grow louder of the course of a few minutes or until you find them and stop the sound yourself.
It’s important to note that your AirPods won’t make a sound if they’re inside their case. Again, you can’t track a lost AirPods case using these methods.
How to Replace Lost AirPods
If you’re unable to find your missing AirPods or the charging case, you can contact Apple about getting a replacement. You’ll need the serial number and some cash in order to get one.
Install iOS 14.4.2 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing iOS 14.4.2 right now.
iOS 14.4.2 has an important security patch on board and you can read more about the change over on Apple's website.
If you missed iOS 14.4.1, you get its patch with your upgrade to iOS 14.4.2. You can read about that patch right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.4, you get the update's patches with your upgrade. You can learn more about iOS 14.4's security patches right here.
If you skipped iOS 14.3 you'll get its nine security updates with your upgrade. You can read more about them on its security site.
iOS 14.3 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you skipped iOS 14.2, your iOS 14.4.2 update includes 24 additional security patches. You can learn more about the patches on Apple's security website.
If you're still running iOS 13, iOS 14.4.2 includes iOS 14.0's security updates.
iOS 14.0 brought 11 new security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, iOS 14 comes with some security and privacy upgrades including improvements to Home/HomeKit and Safari.
For instance in Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With iOS 14 on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
There is also a new recording indicator that will appear at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. You can see if an app has used them recently in Control Center.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to iOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.