The Complete Guide to Managing Your Tile Tracker

February 27, 2024

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Finding a lost item or keeping tabs on important belongings is easier nowadays thanks to Bluetooth trackers like Tile. With Tile, you can ring your missing keys or locate a misplaced wallet using the Tile app on your smartphone.

But sometimes you need to deactivate, reset, hide, transfer or replace an old Tile tracker. This comprehensive guide will walk you through all the steps to properly manage your Tiles over time.

Why Proper Tile Management Matters

As convenient as Tile trackers are, they come with some responsibility on the user end. You’ll want to take a few minutes periodically to manage your Tile account and settings properly.

Here are some of the main reasons to stay on top of your Tiles:

  • Security: If you lose a tracked item or sell it, you’ll want to remove access so the Tile isn’t used to monitor you. Likewise if you give an item away, you need to transfer Tile access.
  • Performance: Over time, batteries wear down. Resetting or replacing Tile trackers ensures you get reliable tracking and the best range possible.
  • Notifications: Hiding older Tiles you no longer use prevents false alarms or unnecessary notifications on your end.
  • Account limits: Most Tile plans only allow a set number of active trackers per account. Managing Tiles that aren’t in use frees up capacity for new ones.

Properly setting up, using, hiding, transferring and replacing your Tiles takes little effort. But it makes a big difference for reliably tracking your valuables over months and years.

If your Tile is having functionality problems however, be sure to try troubleshooting steps before assuming it needs replacement.”

When to Deactivate a Tile

Deactivating a Tile tracker should be done only as a last resort. Once deactivated, a Tile can never be reactivated. This is an irreversible, permanent action.

Common reasons to deactivate a Tile include:

  • You are getting rid of the Tile for good due to privacy/security concerns, damages or other issues.
  • You lost the Tile along with the tracked item and want to remove access for good.
  • You are upgrading plans and want to deactivate older Tiles from a previous plan.

If the Tile still functions properly however, deactivation permanently renders it useless. Only deactivate Tiles which you are certain you’ll never use again.

We always recommend transferring or replacing Tiles instead, if possible. Those options let you keep your Tiles active and useful.

But when deactivation is truly needed to address security or plan capacity limits, here is how to easily deactivate a Tile.

How to Deactivate a Tile Tracker

You’ll need to contact Tile support directly to deactivate a Tile.

Live chat is available daily 8:30am – 5:30pm PT. Outside those hours, you can submit a request and their support team will follow up.

To speed up the process, provide them with:

  • Your Tile app login email address
  • The Tile Identifier (ID) code for the specific Tile to be deactivated

You can find any Tile ID within the Tile app under the Tile Details screen. Tap the ⋮ button, tap Edit, then look for the Tile Identifier code.

Transferring Tile Access To A New Owner

Once you supply that info to their support team, they can quickly complete the deactivation process for that particular Tile attached to your account.

Important: Make absolutely certain you want to deactivate the Tile before going through support. Again, deactivation is permanent and can’t be undone or reactivated if you change your mind later.

How to Temporarily Hide a Tile

If you have an older Tile that you’re just not using anymore, hiding it is a better initial option than deactivating. Hidden Tiles continue functioning in case you ever need them again.

Common reasons to hide a Tile rather than deactivate:

  • You replaced an old Tile but are keeping it as a backup
  • The item tracked isn’t valuable so notifications are meaningless
  • The Tile battery ran out but you might replace it someday
  • You want to declutter the app interface without losing Tile capacity

Hiding gets a Tile out of your app view and stops notifications without deactivating it permanently from your account. There are also other Bluetooth tracker options that may allow hiding devices.

Follow these simple steps to hide a Tile in seconds:

  1. Open the Tile app on your phone
How To Temporarily Hide A Tile 1
  1. Swipe left on the Tile card you want hidden
  2. Tap Hide in the pop-up menu
How To Temporarily Hide A Tile 2

That’s all there is to it! The Tile immediately disappears from view in your app.

To view or unhide Tiles later on, go to Settings > Manage Hidden Tiles from the main Tile app menu. Tap any hidden Tile card to unhide it.

How To Temporarily Hide A Tile 3

Hiding tiles is quick, reversible, and prevents wasting your Tile account limits. Just be sure to unhide if you ever need that Tile again someday.

Transferring Tile Access to a New Owner

Over time you might gift or sell an item with a Tile tracker. To enable the new owner to use the Tile, you need to formally transfer access.

Transfer moves the Tile from your account to another person’s app and Tile login. That lets them reconnect and use it going forward.

Why transfer a Tile instead of deactivating? Transferring keeps the Tile active and usable by the new owner. That maintains its functionality as a tracking device.

To transfer a Tile:

  • Have the new owner install and set up the Tile app if they haven’t already
  • Get their Tile app login email address
  • Locate the Tile Identifier (ID) code under Edit Details for the Tile being transferred
Transferring Tile Access To A New Owner

Then email with:

  • Your Tile login email address
  • The new owner’s email address
  • Tile ID you want transferred

The Tile support team can quickly shift Tile access and permissions to the new user. Just respond to any follow-ups from the support staff.

That’s all it takes to authorize a new user to reconnect and control access for a Tile you’re giving away or selling.

Resetting an Unresponsive Tile

Like any electronic gadget, Tile trackers can occasionally get glitchy and stop responding properly. Before replacing it, try rebooting the Tile tracker first.

A simple reset often fixes performance issues like:

  • Tile won’t ring when paged
  • Not showing proper location updates
  • Connectivity problems or limited range
  • Erratic behavior and notification issues
  • Battery ran out quicker than expected

To reset a Tile tracker:

  1. Press and hold the button on the Tile device for 10+ seconds
  2. Keep holding as the Tile LED light flashes
  3. When the flashing speeds up, release the button
Reset The Tile Pro

This forces a reboot just like resetting a frozen computer. Give the Tile a few minutes to reset its connection and refresh location access after rebooting.

Resetting brings sluggish or unresponsive Tiles back to normal operation 90% of the time. So try this quick fix before replacing batteries or the Tile itself.

How to Replace an Old or Dying Tile

After extensive long-term use, Tile batteries will eventually need replacing. Battery performance declines slowly over the 1+ year lifespan.

Signs your Tile batteries need swapping:

  • Decreased Bluetooth range and connectivity
  • Not ringing or inaccurate location updates
  • Battery icon shows empty/low intermittently
  • Frequent error notifications or glitches

Rather than keep using a dying Tile, replacement ensures the best tracking reliability and performance.

The good news? Replacing an old Tile is easy and low cost! Standard Tiles cost only $25 individually, or less in multi-packs.

Best practice is to replace single older Tiles as their battery depletes every 1-2 years. For bulk multi-packs, swap out the whole batch every 2-3 years.

Purchase Replacement Tiles

You can purchase just one single new Tile, or save with multi-packs with discounted pricing:

Tile also offers combo packs with a mix of device types tailored for your specific tracking needs. See how Tile compares vs alternatives like Samsung SmartTag or check our AirTag vs Tile comparison.

Once your new Tiles arrive, replacing old ones is fast and simple.

How to Replace an Old Tile

Replacing an old Tile tracker takes just minutes start to finish:

  1. Open the Tile app and locate the Tile Details screen for your old tracker
  2. Tap the Replace Tile button
How To Replace An Old Tile 1
  1. Follow the on-screen guide to pair your new Tile, keeping the old one handy
How To Replace An Old Tile 2
  1. Activate the new Tile when prompted within the app
How To Replace An Old Tile 3
  1. The app will automatically deactivate the old Tile

That’s all there is to it! Your new Tile is now activated in the app, with the old tracker deactivated.

Easy battery swaps are no longer needed. By replacing aging Tiles routinely, you ensure reliable tracking and maximum Bluetooth range at all times.

FAQs About Managing Tile Trackers

Can I reactivate a previously deactivated Tile?

Unfortunately no, deactivated Tiles can never be reactivated or added to your account again. Deactivation via Tile customer support is a permanent, one-way action.

What happens if I get a new phone?

Simply installing the Tile app on your new device and logging into your Tile account with the same credentials automatically syncs your Tiles. All your existing trackers reconnect with the new phone without any action needed.

Can someone else use my Tile if I hide it?

No, hiding a Tile only impacts your app view and notifications. It remains connected to your account and unusable by other people unless transferred formally.

How many Tiles can be on one account?

The Tile app allows a maximum of 32 devices linked per account currently. If you reach that limit, you’d need to deactivate or transfer older Tiles before adding new ones.

What information gets removed when I deactivate a Tile?

Deactivating clears all access, recent activity, notifications and other personal data related to that specific Tile from your account and Tile’s systems. Only non-identifiable analytics for product improvement may be retained anonymously.

Can you track a Tile if the battery dies?

Unfortunately no – without battery power the Tile stops functioning, loses connection to your phone, and no longer updates its location. That’s why replacing aging batteries proactively is so important for reliable tracking.

Key Takeaways on Managing Tile Trackers

Learning to properly manage your Tiles over time ensures you get the most security, value and use from these useful tracking gadgets. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Deactivate sparingly – Only deactivate Tiles you’re certain you’ll never reuse. This permanent action renders Tiles unusable.
  • Hide liberally – Temporarily hiding little-used Tiles removes clutter while keeping them active as backups.
  • Transfer when giving away – Enable new Tile owners to reconnect by formally transferring device access.
  • Reset before replacing – Try rebooting sluggish Tiles before assuming batteries need replacement.
  • Replace annually – Swap out old single Tiles every 1-2 years, or replace packs every 2-3 years.

Following best practices for Tile management takes little effort. But staying on top of these gadgets means you’ll never have to stress over a lost item again.

With robust Tile products and proper ongoing management, you can find important tracked items in seconds for years to come.