What To Do When You Get An “AirTag Found Moving With You” Notification

December 27, 2023

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Seeing an “AirTag Found Moving With You” message pop up on your iPhone can be alarming. Is someone tracking you with an AirTag? Should you be worried?

This comprehensive guide will explain what that notification means, when you’ll get it, and most importantly – what you should do when you see it.

Follow these steps to protect your privacy and disable any unwanted AirTags detected near you.

Understanding the “AirTag Found Moving With You” Alert

Airtag Found Moving With You

The “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification is an anti-stalking safety feature built into AirTags and the wider Apple Find My network.

It is designed to alert you if an unknown AirTag or other Find My accessory that doesn’t belong to you has been traveling with you over time.

The notification will only appear on iPhones and other iOS devices. Android users won’t get the alerts directly, but can still hear an AirTag beeping if it’s been separated from its owner.

When You’ll Get the Notification

For an unknown AirTag to trigger this alert, two conditions must be met:

  • The AirTag has been separated from its owner for an extended time. If the owner’s iPhone is near the AirTag, no alert will show.
  • The unowned AirTag has been moving with you from location to location. For example, if it traveled in your bag or pocket as you commuted to work.

If both criteria are satisfied, your iPhone will realize the AirTag is an unknown accessory tracking your movements and warn you.

When You Might See “AirTag Found Moving With You”

There are several legit and innocent reasons why this alert may pop up on your iPhone. It doesn’t necessarily mean someone is maliciously tracking you. Here are some common scenarios:

You’ve Borrowed an Item With an AirTag Attached

If your friend or family member loans you their keys, bag or other belonging with their AirTag attached, your iPhone may notify you of the “unowned” AirTag moving with you.

This is normal behavior when borrowing tracked items. You can disable the alerts temporarily or indefinitely since the AirTag poses no real threat.

You’re Near A Lost Item With an AirTag

For example, if you’re on public transit near a bag or item someone lost with an AirTag attached. As that lost item travels with you, your phone may alert you.

If the AirTag is marked as lost by the owner, you’ll be able to view their contact details to return it.

An AirTag Was Planted on You or Your Belongings

This is the malicious use case anti-stalking protections aim to prevent. If a bad actor slips an AirTag in your bag unnoticed to track your location, you’ll be warned it is moving with you after some time.

You’ll want to immediately disable the rogue AirTag to protect your privacy in this scenario.

While rare, it’s important to take action when notified since the AirTag owner can see its location during this time.

Responding to an “AirTag Found Moving With You” Alert

When you see the “AirTag Found Moving With You” message pop up on your iPhone’s lock screen or as a banner:

  1. Tap on the notification to open the Find My app for more details.
  2. The Find My app will open to the Items tab. Tap Continue.
  3. You’ll see options to “Play Sound”, “Pause Safety Alerts”, “Learn About This AirTag” and “Instructions to Disable AirTag”.Choose whichever makes sense based on your situation:
    • If you don’t know where the AirTag is, tap “Play Sound”. This will make the AirTag emit a loud beeping noise so you can locate it.Keep tapping Play Sound until you find the AirTag attached to a bag, in a pocket, or somewhere on your person or belongings.
    • If the AirTag belongs to someone you know, like it’s attached to an item borrowed from a friend, you can tap “Pause Safety Alerts” to disable notifications from this AirTag for 1 day or indefinitely.Or if it’s from someone in your Family Sharing group, disable alerts entirely as it poses no threat.
    • If the AirTag might be lost, tap “Learn About This AirTag”.Scan the AirTag with your iPhone’s NFC reader and check if the owner marked it as lost. If so, you’ll see their contact details to return it.
    • If the AirTag is not in lost mode and you’re worried, tap “Instructions to Disable AirTag” and follow steps to remove its battery.This will make the unknown AirTag stop tracking you.
    • If you feel unsafe, contact local law enforcement. They can work with Apple to identify the AirTag owner if needed.
Airtag Found Moving With You 1

How to Disable and Stop an Unknown AirTag From Tracking You

If an unfamiliar AirTag is traveling with you and you’re unable to locate who it belongs to, you’ll want to disable it immediately so it can no longer track you.

Here is how to disable an unknown AirTag that is moving with you:

  1. When you get the notification, open the Find My app and tap “Instructions to Disable AirTag”.
  2. Follow the on-screen steps to open the AirTag and remove its user-replaceable CR2032 battery.
  3. Once the battery is removed, the AirTag will no longer be able to track its location or connect to Apple’s Find My network.
  4. Do not reinsert the battery if you want the AirTag to stay disabled. Putting the battery back in will allow the unknown owner to continue tracking the AirTag.
  5. An important note – disabling the AirTag does not identify its owner. Only law enforcement can work with Apple to find the associated Apple ID.
  6. If you feel the AirTag was tracking you maliciously, save it and bring it to local law enforcement to investigate further.

Removing the battery is the only way to reliably disable an AirTag that is moving with you.

Reset Your Airtag

Once disabled, the AirTag will no longer update its location or emit sound alerts. It effectively becomes unusable unless the battery is reinserted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some common questions about AirTags and what to do when you see the “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification.

Can I locate the owner of an unknown AirTag myself?

No, there is no direct way for you to find out who owns an unknown AirTag through the Find My app.

The owner’s identity and contact info will only display if they marked the AirTag as lost. Otherwise it shows up as an “Unknown Accessory”.

Only law enforcement can work with Apple to look up the Apple ID associated with an AirTag by providing its serial number.

How accurate is AirTag tracking?

AirTags leverage Apple’s expansive Find My network to provide location accuracy within several feet outdoors.

Indoors, proximity to iPhones with UWB improves accuracy while Bluetooth provides room-level accuracy. Overall, AirTags offer unparalleled location accuracy among item trackers.

Can AirTags track me if I’m not an iPhone user?

AirTags will only directly notify iPhone users if an unknown AirTag is traveling with them.

However, after being separated from its owner for 8+ hours, an AirTag will play a loud sound. So even Android users would hear an AirTag beeping if it was slipped in their bag.

How long until an unknown AirTag alerts me?

To prevent false alarms, an AirTag must be away from its owner and traveling with you for an extended time before triggering the notification.

In most cases, you’ll be alerted of an unknown AirTag within 8-24 hours of it moving away from its owner with you.

Can I proactively scan for unknown AirTags?

There is no built-in scanning feature to manually detect nearby AirTags not associated with your Apple ID.

Your iPhone will automatically sense and warn you of any unknown AirTags traveling closely with you over time without any extra effort needed.

What should I do if I keep getting unknown AirTag alerts?

If you continue receiving “AirTag Found Moving With You” notifications even after disabling AirTags found on you, something fishy may be going on.

Check all your belongings thoroughly for any additional AirTags. Look in jackets, bags, pockets, compartments, etc.

Call local law enforcement if you believe someone is persistently tracking you with AirTags after you’ve disabled them.

Do AirTags have monthly fees?

No, AirTags do not have any monthly fees or subscriptions. They rely on Apple’s Find My network which is free to use.

You just pay a one-time cost for each AirTag, then can use them indefinitely without ongoing costs.

How long does the AirTag battery last?

The AirTag’s user-replaceable CR2032 battery lasts approximately 1 year before needing to be changed. Certain use cases like frequent tracking may drain it faster.

Can AirTags work internationally?

Yes, AirTags work internationally as they rely on Bluetooth and the Find My network which is global.

So you can track items abroad or get notified of unknown AirTags in supported countries. Some features may be limited.

Are AirTags waterproof?

AirTags have an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. This means they can withstand being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

So they are waterproof enough to withstand rain, splashes, snow, and more during everyday use. But they are not designed for deep, prolonged water submersion.

Can AirTags be used on cruises?

AirTags have limited functionality on cruise ships since they have no cellular connectivity and are out of Bluetooth range.

They will temporarily stop updating location until back in range. But can still help find items on board or once on land.

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