How to Fix When Your AirTag Keeps Saying “Searching for Signal”

November 9, 2023

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Have you ever felt the panic of misplacing your keys or wallet? You frantically search everywhere, hoping your valuables will magically appear.

That’s why Apple’s AirTags are so handy. These small Bluetooth trackers connect to the Find My app and help you locate lost items. But what if your AirTag itself seems lost, continually saying “Searching for Signal”?

Don’t worry, there are fixes. This comprehensive guide will explain:

  • Common reasons an AirTag loses connection
  • Steps to troubleshoot and restore connectivity
  • Tips to prevent “Searching for Signal” issues
  • FAQs on rebooting and resetting faulty AirTags

After reading, you’ll know exactly how to troubleshoot when your AirTag can’t find a signal. Let’s dive in!

Why Does My AirTag Keep Saying “Searching for Signal”?

When an AirTag says “Searching for Signal,” it means it has lost connection with your iPhone or other Apple devices.

There are a few key reasons connection could fail:

1. Out of Range of iPhone/Apple Devices

AirTags use Bluetooth to “talk” to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac from up to 100 feet away. If your AirTag moves out of that range, it will lose signal.

For example, if you stick an AirTag in your suitcase then check your bag for a flight, it may lose connection once out of Bluetooth range.

2. Interference Between AirTag and iPhone

Certain materials can block the Bluetooth signal between your AirTag and iPhone. Putting your AirTag in a metal golf bag or on your motorcycle are two examples.

Interference interrupts the connection, causing “Searching for Signal.”

3. Low Battery

AirTags are powered by replaceable CR2032 coin cell batteries. As batteries deplete, connection becomes less reliable.

Apple estimates these batteries last about 1 year before needing a swap. Low battery can cause intermittent signal loss.

4. Hardware Issue

In rare cases, a hardware problem like a faulty Bluetooth chip can prevent an AirTag from maintaining connection.

If you’ve ruled out the other factors, a hardware defect could be the culprit.

How to Troubleshoot an Apple AirTag With No Signal

Apple Airtag With No Signal

Don’t panic if your AirTag loses connection. There are straightforward troubleshooting steps to restore functionality:

1. Move Closer to Your AirTag

If your AirTag says “Searching for Signal,” first move within Bluetooth range. Walk closer while checking if the Find My app starts detecting its location.

If moving nearer restores connection, distance was the problem. Consider getting a battery-powered holder to attach the AirTag if you’ll be away from your phone for extended periods.

Move Closer To Your Airtag

2. Remove Any Potential Interference

As mentioned, various materials can block Bluetooth signals. If proximity isn’t the problem, check for interference.

For instance, remove your AirTag from any metal bag or container. See if connection improves in an open environment without concrete or steel barriers.

Changing locations often fixes interference issues causing “Searching for Signal.”

3. Replace Your AirTag’s Battery

It’s quick and easy to swap your AirTag’s CR2032 battery when it runs low on power.

Here are the steps:

  1. Press down firmly on the white plastic top of your AirTag and twist counter-clockwise to unlock the cover.
  2. Remove the old battery and insert a new CR2032 with the positive side facing up.
  3. Press the battery into place, re-align the white cover, and twist to lock it back on.
Airtag's Battery

Replacing an exhausted battery typically resolves any connection problems.

4. Reset Your AirTag

If new batteries don’t restore connectivity, try resetting your AirTag. Resetting clears any software glitches that could cause “Searching for Signal.”

Follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the white side button on your AirTag until you hear two sequential tones.
  2. Once you hear the tones, release the button, then press and hold again until your AirTag emits one longer tone.
  3. After this reset sequence, your AirTag will be ready to re-pair.

Resetting your AirTag essentially works as a power cycle, fixing many intermittent connection bugs.

5. Contact Apple Support

If you’ve tried everything else with no luck, reach out to Apple Support online or by phone.

Describe the issue and troubleshooting steps you’ve taken. Provide your AirTag’s serial number so they can access diagnostic data.

Apple can run deeper diagnostics and determine if your AirTag has a hardware defect covered by warranty. If so, they will send a replacement.

Tips to Avoid “Searching for Signal” Problems

A little prevention goes a long way when using AirTags. Follow these tips and you’ll rarely deal with lost connections:

  • Stay within Bluetooth range (up to 100 feet) of your tracked items. Don’t let them stray too far.
  • Check battery levels periodically in the Find My app. Proactively replace batteries before they’re totally depleted.
  • Buy a keychain or adhesive holder for your AirTag from stores like Etsy. This prevents interference by isolating it from other materials. Popular holds include engraved leather cases.
  • Update your iPhone, iPad, and Mac regularly. Keeping firmware current ensures connectivity. Apple releases monthly updates so make sure to install them when prompted.
  • Disable Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Ultra Wideband only when needed for power savings or security. Leaving them on improves connections.
  • Turn off “Optimize Battery Charging” to avoid power disruptions. Find this in battery settings on your iPhone.

Following these basic guidelines will help your AirTags maintain a strong signal. But if issues do occur, now you know how to troubleshoot!

Frequently Asked Questions About AirTags Losing Connection

Airtags Losing Connection

Here are answers to some common questions about lost AirTag signals:

How do you reboot an AirTag?

To reboot (power cycle) your AirTag, press and hold the side button until you hear two tones. Release, then press and hold again until you get one long tone.

This reset sequence will restart your AirTag, often resolving “Searching for Signal.” Re-pair it to your iPhone after rebooting.

Can you use an AirTag internationally?

Yes, AirTags work internationally. They utilize ultrawideband technology approved in most countries. AirTags don’t have SIM cards so you don’t have to worry about international roaming fees. Just make sure location services and roaming are enabled on your phone. Here’s more on using AirTags abroad.

Do AirTags work without WiFi?

AirTags rely on Bluetooth, not WiFi, to connect with your iPhone. So they work without WiFi access. However, WiFi can supplement location accuracy when in range. Check out this guide on using AirTags without WiFi.

Key Takeaways on Fixing an AirTag With No Signal

Dealing with an AirTag that loses connection is annoying but solvable. Here are the key tips to remember:

  • Move closer to your AirTag and remove any potential interference blocking Bluetooth signal. This solves many “Searching for Signal” errors.
  • Proactively replace your AirTag’s CR2032 battery about once a year. Low battery can cause intermittent connection loss.
  • Reset your AirTag if new batteries don’t help. Resetting it often fixes software glitches causing signal issues.
  • Contact Apple Support if you’ve tried troubleshooting without success. Hardware defects require replacement.
  • Stay within Bluetooth range and avoid materials that block signals. Use AirTag accessories to improve connectivity.

With these fixes, you can get “Searching for Signal” AirTags working again quickly. No more frustration over lost valuables thanks to restored connections.