Can You Share an AirTag with Family? Tracking Options Explained

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Jack Lin

Share Airtag Location With Family

Apple’s AirTags provide an easy way to keep track of frequently misplaced items like keys, wallets, bags and luggage. But what if you want to share an AirTag’s location with your family members so they can help locate your belongings too?

As an Apple device expert who has tested AirTags extensively, I’ll explain what’s possible when it comes to sharing AirTags and reveal some insider tips. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn:

  • If someone else can track your AirTag’s whereabouts
  • Whether you can share an AirTag’s location with family
  • How to properly transfer an AirTag to another person
  • Key security and privacy features of AirTags
  • Answers to frequently asked AirTag questions

Whether you’re a new AirTag owner or considering purchasing one, understanding the capabilities and limitations around sharing will help you get the most out of these handy tracking devices. Let’s dive in!

Can Someone Else Track Your AirTag Location?

One of the first questions people often have is whether anyone besides the owner can see an AirTag’s location. Here’s the scoop:

AirTag Tracking is Anonymous and Encrypted

  • AirTags determine their location by pinging nearby iOS devices via Bluetooth
  • This process is completely anonymous and encrypted end-to-end
  • Even Apple doesn’t know an AirTag’s specific location
  • iOS devices that relay an AirTag’s location remain anonymous
  • Location data is never stored on the AirTag itself

Only the Paired Apple ID Can See an AirTag’s Location

The bottom line is that no one else can track your AirTag’s location except for you, the owner. That’s because:

  • Each AirTag links to just one Apple ID
  • Location information is visible only in that Apple ID’s Find My app
  • An AirTag’s travel history is not saved on the device
  • Bluetooth identifiers rotate frequently to prevent unauthorized tracking

So while AirTags use nearby iOS devices to pinpoint their whereabouts, this is done in an incredibly secure and privacy-focused way. You can feel confident that your AirTag’s location stays completely private to you alone. Learn more about how to find an AirTag’s owner.

Is It Possible to Share Your AirTag Location with Family?

What if you want to clue your family members in on your AirTag’s whereabouts so they can help keep an eye on your stuff? Unfortunately, AirTags lack certain features that prevent location sharing.

AirTags Don’t Support Location Sharing

Compared to other Apple products like iPhones, iPads and Macs, AirTags notably do not offer any location sharing functionality. That means there’s no way for your family members to see your AirTag on a map, even if you use Family Sharing for other Apple services.

The lack of AirTag location sharing abilities comes down to two core factors:

As noted earlier, every AirTag is tied to a single Apple ID for security purposes. This one-to-one connection means you can’t register a single AirTag under multiple Apple IDs, which rules out location sharing.

Up to 16 AirTags Can Pair with One Apple ID

However, one Apple ID can be linked to up to 16 different AirTags simultaneously. So if your family members have access to your Apple ID, they could theoretically see all of your AirTags in the Find My app.

But for accounts using Family Sharing, there’s no way for family members to view your AirTags. Since AirTags are designed for tracking personal items, Apple chose to omit any location sharing options, even for families.

How to Transfer an AirTag to Someone Else

While you can’t share a single AirTag’s location with multiple people, you can transfer an AirTag from one person to another. This comes in handy if you want to give an AirTag to a family member or sell a used one. Here’s how it works:

Unpair the AirTag from Your Apple ID First

To transfer an AirTag, you must first remove it from your Apple ID. No one can unpair an AirTag remotely thanks to the Pairing Lock security feature. Removing the AirTag yourself ensures it’s ready for the next owner.

Steps to Remove an AirTag

  1. Open the Find My app
  2. Go to the Items tab
  3. Select the AirTag you want to remove
  4. Tap Remove Item

Visit Apple’s support page for more details on removing AirTags from an Apple ID.

Remove Item

Reset the AirTag Before Transferring It

Even after being removed from the previous owner’s Apple ID, an AirTag will need to be factory reset if it’s out of Bluetooth range. Resetting allows the new owner to properly pair and set up the AirTag.

How to Factory Reset an AirTag

How To Reset Your Airtag
  1. Open the AirTag battery compartment
  2. Remove the battery
  3. Re-insert the battery
  4. Press down on the battery until you hear a sound
  5. Repeat this process 5 times total
  6. Listen for the 5th sound to be different, signaling the reset worked
  7. Replace the AirTag battery cover

After resetting, the AirTag is ready for the new owner to pair with their Apple ID and begin using it to track their items.

AirTag Security and Privacy Features

Apple takes AirTag security and owner privacy extremely seriously. Here are some of the key measures in place:

Rotating Bluetooth Identifiers Prevent Tracking

AirTags broadcast unique, frequently rotating Bluetooth identifiers to thwart unwanted location tracking. This ensures you can’t be followed from place to place if you’re carrying an AirTag.

End-to-End Encryption Protects Location Data

All location data transmitted by AirTags is fully encrypted from end to end. No intermediary devices or servers ever have access to an AirTag’s unencrypted location info.

Not Even Apple Knows an AirTag’s Location

Thanks to the robust encryption used, not even Apple itself can view any AirTag’s current or past whereabouts. The location history also remains private on the owner’s device only.

If your lost AirTag is found by someone with another iOS device, you may see its location on a map. However, you’ll never learn details about the person or device that helped relay the AirTag’s location. It’s all kept anonymous.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about how AirTags work? I’ve rounded up answers to some of the most common queries.

Are AirTags Rechargeable?

No, AirTags use standard CR2032 coin cell batteries instead of rechargeable ones. The batteries last about a year and are user replaceable. You’ll get a low battery notification when it’s nearly time to switch it out. Learn more about whether AirTags need to be charged.

What Range Do AirTags Cover?

While Apple doesn’t specify an exact range, AirTags likely have a Bluetooth range of around 100 meters, similar to other devices. More rigorous testing would be needed to confirm an AirTag’s precise range.

Can You Connect Someone Else to Your AirTag?

No, it’s not possible to link multiple people to one AirTag. If you want to transfer it to someone else, you must first remove the AirTag from your own Apple ID. Then the other person can pair it with their device.

An AirTag cannot be simultaneously linked to two different iPhones. Each AirTag pairs with just one Apple ID at a time for security and privacy reasons.

Do AirTags Use GPS to Determine Location?

No, rather than using GPS, AirTags communicate their location via Bluetooth by pinging nearby devices in Apple’s Find My network. Ultra Wideband technology in newer iPhone models also allows for Precision Finding with more accurate AirTag locating. Learn more about whether AirTags have GPS.

Key Takeaways

Here are the most important things to know about sharing AirTags with family members:

  • Each AirTag links to only one Apple ID for security
  • AirTags don’t offer any location sharing features
  • Family Sharing doesn’t allow AirTag tracking
  • You can transfer an AirTag to someone else
  • First unpair it from your Apple ID
  • Factory reset the AirTag if it’s out of Bluetooth range
  • AirTags use anonymous, encrypted location data
  • No one besides the owner can track an AirTag

Conclusion

As you can see, AirTags provide an easy, secure way to keep track of your own belongings. However, Apple chose not to include any family location sharing abilities in order to maximize privacy.

While some may find the lack of AirTag tracking options for families limiting, it ensures your location data stays completely confidential. No one, not even your family members or Apple itself, can see where your AirTags are besides you.

If you do want to transfer an AirTag to a family member, it’s a straightforward process. Just make sure to remove it from your Apple ID first and reset the AirTag if needed before handing it over.

Hopefully this in-depth guide based on my hands-on experience with AirTags has cleared up what’s possible when it comes to sharing them. Feel free to refer back to it anytime you need a refresher on how AirTag tracking works! And if you’re curious about other AirTag topics, check out my guides on using AirTags for your car, AirTag heat resistance, and putting AirTags in checked luggage.

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