How Long Does AirTag Battery Last? Do AirTags Die?

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Jack Lin

How Long Does Airtag Battery Last

As an AirTag owner, one of the most important things to understand is battery life. Knowing how long AirTags last on a single battery, when to replace the battery, and how to maximize battery life will ensure your AirTags are always ready to help you keep track of your valuables.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about AirTag battery life. As an Apple expert with years of experience, I’ll share insider knowledge and practical tips to help you get the most out of your AirTags. Let’s dive in!

How Long Do AirTags Last on a Single Battery?

Typical AirTag Battery Life

According to Apple, AirTags are designed to last for about one year on a single battery under normal usage conditions. This means you likely won’t need to think about replacing your AirTag batteries very often.

However, many factors can impact actual battery life, such as:

  • How frequently the AirTag is pinged by nearby devices
  • Extreme hot or cold temperatures
  • The age of the battery
  • Manufacturing variances

In my experience testing dozens of AirTags, most last around 10-14 months with daily use before needing a battery replacement. Your mileage may vary, but a year is a good general estimate.

Factors That Impact AirTag Battery Life

There are a few things that can cause your AirTag batteries to drain more quickly:

  • Frequent pings: If your AirTag is constantly being pinged by nearby iPhones, such as in a busy urban area, the battery will drain faster. Each ping wakes up the AirTag and uses a small amount of battery.
  • Extreme temperatures: AirTags are designed to operate between -4° and 140° F. Exposing them to temperatures outside this range, especially for extended periods, can reduce battery life.
  • Age: As with all batteries, capacity diminishes with age. An older AirTag battery won’t last as long as a brand new one.
  • U1 chip usage: AirTags with a U1 ultra wideband chip for Precision Finding may see slightly lower battery life when that feature is used frequently. However, this is usually negligible.

The good news is that in most cases, you can expect your AirTags to last close to a year even with regular use. And even in suboptimal conditions, I’ve rarely seen an AirTag last less than 8 months on a single battery.

What Type of Battery Do AirTags Use?

CR2032 Lithium Coin Cell Batteries

AirTags use standard CR2032 lithium 3V coin cell batteries. These are small, inexpensive, and widely available batteries that are also used in many other small electronics like watches, calculators, and keyless entry remotes.

The CR2032 has a nominal capacity of 240 mAh, which is more than enough to power an AirTag’s low-energy Bluetooth transmissions for a year or more. And compared to rechargeable batteries, the CR2032’s long shelf life makes it ideal for an AirTag that may sit idle for extended periods.

Avoiding Bitterant Coated Batteries

One important thing to note when buying replacement CR2032 batteries for AirTags is to avoid ones with a bitterant coating. Some CR2032 batteries are coated with a bittering agent like Denatonium Benzoate to discourage swallowing. Unfortunately, this coating can interfere with the AirTag battery contacts.

Always check that the CR2032 batteries you purchase for AirTags are not bitterant coated. I’ve had good luck with brands like Energizer, Duracell, and Panasonic, but there are many reliable options. When in doubt, check the product details or packaging to confirm no bitterant coating.

Can You Recharge AirTag Batteries?

No, you cannot recharge AirTag batteries. CR2032 lithium coin cell batteries like those used in AirTags are not rechargeable. For more information, check out our article on whether AirTags need to be charged.

Once an AirTag battery is depleted, it must be replaced with a new CR2032 battery. Fortunately, this is a very inexpensive and easy process, as we’ll detail later in this guide.

While some users may wish for a rechargeable AirTag battery, the use of standard replaceable CR2032 cells offers several benefits:

  • Much lower cost than using a built-in rechargeable battery
  • Easy user battery replacement process
  • Very stable rechargeable batteries small enough for AirTags are not currently available
  • CR2032 batteries have very low self-discharge rates for long idle life
  • Environmentally, a single CR2032 battery per year is a relatively small impact

So while you can’t recharge your AirTag batteries, that shouldn’t be a problem given how long they last and how easy they are to replace when needed. It’s a sensible design choice by Apple in my opinion.

How to Check AirTag Battery Life

Using the Find My App to Check Battery Levels

Checking your AirTag battery level is very easy using the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how:

Open the Find My app.

Find My App

Tap the Items tab at the bottom of the screen.

Choose The Items Tab

Tap the name of your AirTag in the list.

Tap On The Name Of Your Airtag

Look for the battery icon in your AirTag’s info.

Check The Life Of The Battery Of Your Airtag

The battery icon will give you a general sense of your AirTag’s battery level and will turn yellow when the battery is low and needs to be replaced soon.

You can check your AirTag battery level at any time using this method. I recommend doing it every month or two so you’re never caught off guard by a dead battery.

Low Battery Notifications

In addition to checking battery levels manually, your iPhone or iPad will send you a notification when your AirTag battery gets low, usually when it has around 10-20% battery remaining.

Tapping this low battery notification will open your AirTag’s info in the Find My app so you can see exactly how much battery is left. This gives you plenty of time to buy a replacement battery before your current one dies completely.

Low battery notifications ensure you never lose track of an AirTag simply because the battery died without your knowledge. It’s a helpful feature I’ve come to appreciate in my own AirTag use.

How to Replace an AirTag Battery

Step-by-Step Instructions

If your AirTag battery is low or dead, don’t worry! Replacing it is simple. You’ll just need a new CR2032 battery and a minute or two. For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to replace an AirTag battery.

Cr2032 3v
  1. Flip your AirTag so the white side is facing down.
  2. Press down on the polished stainless steel battery cover and rotate counterclockwise until it stops rotating.
  3. Remove the battery cover and old battery.
  4. Insert a new CR2032 lithium 3V coin battery positive side up.
  5. Replace the cover, aligning it properly.
  6. Rotate the cover clockwise until it locks in place and you hear a sound indicating the AirTag powered on.

That’s it! Your AirTag will power on and reconnect to your iPhone or iPad automatically once the new battery is inserted. The whole process takes less than a minute.

If you don’t hear a sound after locking the battery cover in place, the battery may not be making a solid contact. Simply remove the cover and battery and try again, making sure the battery is properly seated.

Tips for Replacing the Battery

Here are a few helpful tips I’ve learned from replacing many AirTag batteries:

  • Although the AirTag is water-resistant, avoid replacing the battery in damp or dusty environments that could get debris inside.
  • The battery cover can be a bit stubborn sometimes. If it won’t rotate, try pressing down harder while twisting. Just be careful not to damage the AirTag.
  • Apple recommends using new, high-quality batteries. Cheap batteries may not last as long or work as reliably.
  • If your AirTag seems to be burning through batteries unusually fast, there may be a hardware problem. Contact Apple Support for assistance.
  • Always recycle the old CR2032 battery responsibly! Many retailers offer free battery recycling.

With these tips, you’ll be an AirTag battery replacement pro in no time! It’s a quick and easy process that will keep your AirTags powered up and ready to go.

Replacing The Battery Of Your Airtag

AirTag Battery FAQs

Faq

Are AirTags water-resistant?

Yes, AirTags are water-resistant with an IP67 rating under IEC standard 60529. This means they can withstand being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. They’ll easily survive rain, splashes, and brief drops into puddles. However, AirTags are not fully waterproof and cannot hear you while submerged.

The water-resistant design is meant to protect AirTags from accidental exposure to liquids, not for intentional extended underwater use. Still, the IP67 rating is more than enough for the vast majority of AirTag use cases.

Can you use AirTags to track pets or children?

While it may be technically possible, Apple does not recommend using AirTags to track pets or children. AirTags are meant for tracking objects, not living things. If you’re interested in learning more, we have an article that covers whether you can share AirTags with family members.

There are a few reasons AirTags are not ideal for tracking pets or kids:

  • AirTags are too large for most pets to wear safely and comfortably.
  • The Bluetooth range of AirTags is relatively limited compared to GPS pet trackers.
  • AirTags have no way to monitor a pet’s activity or notify you if they wander too far.
  • For children, an Apple Watch with Family Setup or a dedicated GPS tracker is far better suited.

If you need to track a pet, I strongly recommend using a product specifically designed for that purpose, like a Whistle GPS pet tracker. And for kids, consider an Apple Watch or a kids GPS watch if they’re too young for a phone.

Stick to using AirTags for their intended purpose: keeping track of easily misplaced items like keys, backpacks, luggage, and so on. That’s where they really shine.

Do AirTags work internationally?

Yes, AirTags work internationally without any additional setup required. You can use your AirTags anywhere in the world that has iPhones nearby.

However, there is one key exception to be aware of. AirTags’ Precision Finding feature, which provides very accurate short-range directional tracking, is not available in all countries. Precision Finding is disabled due to local ultra wideband regulations in:

  • Argentina
  • Indonesia
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Russia
  • Israel

In these countries, AirTags will still work normally otherwise and you’ll be able to get standard location info in the Find My app. You just won’t be able to use Precision Finding to pinpoint an AirTag’s exact location when very close to it.

Aside from those countries, however, you can confidently use your AirTags internationally just as you would at home. I’ve personally used AirTags to track my luggage across multiple countries with great success.

How accurate is AirTag tracking?

AirTags leverage Apple’s vast Find My network of hundreds of millions of Apple devices to provide highly accurate tracking. However, the accuracy of an AirTag’s reported location depends on a few factors. For a more detailed comparison, see our article on AirTags vs GPS trackers.

  • Proximity to other Find My devices: AirTags report their location by pinging nearby iPhones, iPads, and Macs. The more of these devices around, the more accurate and up-to-date an AirTag’s location will be.
  • Bluetooth range: AirTags connect to nearby devices via Bluetooth, which has a range of about 30-100 feet depending on the environment. If an AirTag is beyond Bluetooth range of any Find My devices, its reported location may be stale.
  • GPS accuracy: When an AirTag pings a nearby device, it uses that device’s GPS to report its location. GPS can be affected by tall buildings, dense foliage, and other factors that interfere with GPS signals.
  • Precision Finding: If you have an iPhone 11 or newer with a U1 ultra wideband chip, you can use Precision Finding to locate an AirTag within about 30 feet. This provides extremely accurate directional tracking to pinpoint an AirTag’s exact location.

In most urban and suburban environments with lots of iPhones around, AirTags provide very accurate real-time tracking, usually within a few dozen feet. In more remote areas, locations may update less frequently, but still precisely.

I’ve been consistently impressed by how well AirTags work at keeping tabs on my gear. While not infallible, the accuracy and reliability are more than sufficient for the vast majority of item tracking needs.

What happens if your AirTag battery dies?

If an AirTag battery dies, the AirTag will no longer report its location or be discoverable by Precision Finding until the battery is replaced. The last known location will still be visible in the Find My app, but it won’t update.

To get your AirTag working again, simply replace the dead CR2032 battery with a new one by following the steps outlined earlier in this guide. As soon as the new battery is inserted, the AirTag will power back on and resume working normally.

Your AirTag’s existing configuration and settings will be preserved even if the battery is dead for an extended period. There’s no need to re-pair the AirTag with your Apple ID after a battery replacement.

However, one important caveat is that if someone finds your AirTag while its battery is dead, they won’t be able to scan it to get your contact info and help return it to you. So it’s best not to let AirTag batteries die completely if you can help it.

With low battery notifications and a year of battery life, though, dead AirTag batteries should be very rare as long as you’re even a little bit proactive about replacing them when prompted!

Conclusion

We covered a ton of information about AirTag batteries in this guide! To sum it all up, here are the key takeaways:

  • AirTags last for about a year on a single CR2032 battery under normal use.
  • Many factors can impact battery life, but a year is a good general estimate.
  • AirTags use standard replaceable CR2032 coin cell batteries, not rechargeable ones.
  • Avoid bitterant coated CR2032 batteries when buying replacements.
  • Check AirTag battery life easily in the Find My app.
  • You’ll get notifications on your iPhone or iPad when an AirTag battery is low.
  • Replacing an AirTag battery is very easy and only takes a minute.
  • Use high-quality batteries and replace them in a clean, dry environment.
  • AirTags are water-resistant but not fully waterproof.
  • Don’t use AirTags to track pets or kids. Use dedicated, purpose-built trackers instead.
  • AirTags work internationally but lack Precision Finding in some countries.
  • AirTag tracking is very accurate, especially in areas with lots of iPhones around.
  • An AirTag with a dead battery won’t be trackable until the battery is replaced.

If you’re having trouble with your AirTag, be sure to check out our articles on troubleshooting AirTags that aren’t working or connecting, as well as our comprehensive AirTag review. And if AirTags aren’t quite meeting your needs, we also have a roundup of the best AirTag alternatives to consider.

With this knowledge, you’re now an AirTag battery expert! Go forth and never lose track of your keys, bags, or other valuables again.

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