How to Fix “AirTag Not Reachable, Move Around to Connect” Error

November 9, 2023

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Seeing the “AirTag not reachable, move around to connect” error message can be frustrating when you’re trying to locate a lost item like your keys or wallet. This commonly occurs when your iPhone is having trouble connecting to your AirTag, often because the AirTag is out of Bluetooth range.

Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to restore connectivity and start tracking your lost item again. In this guide, we’ll walk through the main causes of the “AirTag not reachable” error and provide actionable solutions to get your tracker working properly.

What Does “AirTag Not Reachable” Mean?

Airtag Not Reachable Move Around To Connect 1

The “AirTag not reachable, move around to connect” notification indicates that your iPhone is unable to connect or communicate with the AirTag tracker.

AirTags use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to pair with the Find My app on your iPhone. This allows you to view the AirTag’s location on a map and activate features like Precision Finding to locate a lost item.

When your iPhone shows the “not reachable” error, it can’t establish a Bluetooth connection to update the AirTag’s location. As a result, you’re unable to track or interact with the AirTag until connectivity is restored.

Why You See the “Not Reachable” Error Message

Why You See The Not Reachable Error Message

There are several potential reasons why an AirTag might become unreachable and trigger this error message:

  • AirTag is out of Bluetooth range – The maximum Bluetooth range is around 100 feet. If your AirTag is farther away, your iPhone can’t connect.
  • Low battery – If the AirTag battery level drops too low, it may lose connectivity.
  • Signal interference – Objects, walls, or radio signals can block the Bluetooth connection.
  • Find My app issues – Glitches in the Find My app may prevent connecting properly.
  • iPhone software bugs – Outdated or buggy iPhone software can cause problems. Make sure to install updates promptly, as they often fix bugs causing “AirTag location not updating” errors.
  • AirTag hardware damage – Physical damage from dropping or water exposure could disrupt connectivity. Consider a waterproof case if you’ll be attaching your AirTag to outdoor gear.
  • Incorrect AirTag setup – If not properly paired, the AirTag may not remain connected.

Now let’s look at the steps to troubleshoot an unreachable AirTag and restore connectivity.

How to Fix “AirTag Not Reachable, Move Around to Connect” Error

Here are the top solutions for resolving an AirTag showing as “not reachable” and getting it back online:

Restart Your iPhone

As with many tech glitches, a simple restart of your iPhone is the first troubleshooting step to try:

  • On an iPhone 8 or earlier, hold down the Power and Home buttons together until you see the Apple logo.
  • For iPhone X or later, press and hold the side button and either volume button until the slider appears. Drag the slider to turn off your phone.
Restart Your Iphone

After 30 seconds, turn your iPhone back on. Open the Find My app and check if your AirTag is now reachable.

Restarting your iPhone will clear out any minor software bugs that could be preventing connectivity.

Check AirTag’s Battery Level

If the battery in your AirTag dies, it won’t be able to send or receive signals.

To check the battery status:

  • In the Find My app, select the Items tab.
  • Tap on your AirTag.
  • Look at the battery icon to see the current charge level.
Airtag Battery Icon

If it’s low, replace the AirTag battery according to Apple’s instructions. This typically restores connectivity.

Toggle Bluetooth Off and On

Since AirTags rely on Bluetooth to connect, turning Bluetooth off and back on can often resolve connection issues. This refresh may help if your AirTag was emitting an unexpected beeping sound.

  • Open Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Turn the Bluetooth toggle Off.
  • Wait 30 seconds, then turn Bluetooth On again.
Ensure Bluetooth Is Enabled

Toggle it off and on to refresh the connection. Then open Find My to see if the AirTag is reachable.

Force Close and Reopen Find My App

Problems with the Find My app itself might be the culprit. To rule out any software glitches, force close and relaunch the Find My app:

  • Double-click the Home button to view open apps.
  • Locate Find My in the app switcher and swipe up to close it.
  • Open the Find My app again.

Resetting the app often resolves temporary bugs preventing connections.

Reset Network Settings

Resetting your network settings will wipe all Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth pairings, which can eliminate bugs:

  • Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset.
  • Tap Reset Network Settings.
  • Enter your passcode if prompted.
  • Select Reset Network Settings to confirm.
Reset Network Settings

Your AirTag will need to be re-paired after resetting networks. But this often resolves stubborn connectivity issues.

Update Your iPhone Software

Outdated iPhone software can cause performance issues. Updating to the latest iOS version can improve connectivity:

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Download and install any available updates.
Iphone Software Update

Updating your iPhone will also update the Find My app, which could resolve bugs.

Move Closer to the AirTag

The “not reachable” error typically appears because your AirTag is out of Bluetooth range. Moving closer with your iPhone can help it reestablish the connection.

Walk around the location of your lost item, keeping your phone out as you move. This brings you and your phone nearer to the AirTag. Once in closer proximity, it should be able to connect again.

Remove Obstructions Between iPhone and AirTag

Objects and materials between your iPhone and the AirTag can block the Bluetooth signal:

  • If possible, move the potential obstruction out of the way.
  • Change locations or move around it.
  • Cup hands around iPhone or hold higher to amplify the signal.

Improving the line-of-sight between devices may allow them to reconnect.

Put AirTag in Lost Mode

Putting your AirTag in Lost Mode will make it start emitting audio when anyone with an iPhone comes near it. This can help retrieve a lost AirTag even if the battery has died. But keep in mind Lost Mode will drain the battery faster.

If your missing AirTag is out of Bluetooth range, put it into Lost Mode via Find My:

  • In the Items tab, select the AirTag.
  • Scroll down and tap Enable on Lost Mode.
  • Follow the prompts to enter a phone number and message.
Airtag Lost Mode

Lost Mode makes the AirTag emit sound so anyone nearby can locate it for you. This may bring it back into Bluetooth range.

Hard Reset Your AirTag

Resetting your AirTag erases any glitches and resets it to factory conditions:

  • Press down on the stainless steel side and twist counter-clockwise to open.
  • Remove the battery and reinsert it.
  • Press down on the battery until you hear three tones.
  • Repeat the steps of removing and reinserting the battery two more times.
  • On the fourth time, you’ll hear a different confirming tone.
  • Replace the cover by aligning the three tabs and twisting clockwise.
Airtag's Battery
AirTag

After resetting, you can pair the AirTag with a family member’s iPhone to share it between you. This will give you backup tracking in case your iPhone has connectivity issues. Just be sure to fully reset it before switching devices.

Contact Apple Support

If you’re still seeing the error after troubleshooting, reach out to Apple Support:

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > About > Apple Support.
  • Tap Contact Apple Support and select your issue.
  • Speak to an advisor via chat or phone to troubleshoot.

Apple can provide tips for improving connectivity or facilitate a replacement if your AirTag seems to have a hardware defect.

Tips to Avoid “Not Reachable” Errors

Here are some tips to prevent AirTag connectivity problems in the first place:

  • Keep your iPhone software up-to-date to avoid bugs.
  • AirTags don’t require charging, but regularly replacing the battery is essential. Set a reminder every 6-12 months.
  • Attach your AirTag securely if placing it in checked luggage. Some luggage trackers like Dynotag have anti-theft alarms.
  • Avoid overcrowded Bluetooth environments that can cause interference.
  • Set a notification to alert you if an AirTag is left behind.
  • Periodically open Find My to update AirTags’ locations.
  • Know AirTags’ Bluetooth limitations and stay in range.
  • Reset AirTags and repair to iPhone to refresh connections.

FAQs About “AirTag Not Reachable” Issues

Why does my AirTag say not reachable?

The “not reachable” error appears when your iPhone can’t connect via Bluetooth to your AirTag tracker, typically because the AirTag is too far away, has low battery, or there is signal interference.

How far can an AirTag be from iPhone?

AirTags have an estimated Bluetooth range of around 100 feet depending on environment. Obstacles and interference can reduce this range.

How do I fix an AirTag not connecting?

Try restarting your iPhone, toggling Bluetooth off and on, force closing and reopening the Find My app, moving closer to the AirTag, and removing any objects blocking the signal.

Why can’t my iPhone find my AirTag?

If your iPhone can’t find your AirTag, the AirTag is likely out of Bluetooth range. Enable Lost Mode or move around the area while checking Find My to locate it.

How do I make my AirTag beep if it’s out of range?

You can make an out-of-range AirTag beep by enabling Lost Mode in the Find My app. This will cause the AirTag to start emitting sound when anyone with an iPhone comes near it.

Key Takeaways

  • The “AirTag not reachable” error occurs when your iPhone can’t connect via Bluetooth.
  • Common causes include the AirTag being too far away, low battery, signal interference, software bugs, hardware damage, or improper setup.
  • Solutions include restarting your iPhone, toggling Bluetooth, resetting the Find My app, moving closer, removing obstructions, Lost Mode, resetting the AirTag, and contacting Apple Support.
  • Prevent issues by keeping iPhone and AirTag software updated, monitoring battery level, avoiding signal interference, and staying within Bluetooth range.
  • If troubleshooting steps don’t restore connectivity, contact Apple Support for additional help.

By understanding what triggers the “AirTag not reachable” error and following the troubleshooting steps outlined, you should be able to get your tracker back online and visible in the Find My app quickly.