You don’t have to charge AirTags, but you will have to replace the disposable battery about once every 12 months, depending on usage.
AirTags take advantage of Apple’s vast “Find My” network to make your belongings easy to locate or track. They require battery power in order to work, though, so what happens when that battery inevitably drains? Here’s everything you need to know.
AirTags are not rechargeable and instead get their charge from disposable 3V CR2032 “coin” batteries. There’s no way to charge an AirTag, so when the power gets low, the only solution is to replace the internal battery with a new one. You can find a pack of six decent replacement batteries like Energizer Lithium CR2032s for less than $10.
Energizer 2032 Batteries (6 pack)
High quality Energizer Lithium CR2032 batteries, ideal for use in AirTags.
When choosing a new set of batteries, Apple warns that some CR2032 cells treated with a bitterant (to deter children and pets from eating them) may not work “depending on the alignment of the coating in relation to the battery contacts.”
You’ll know it’s time to change the battery within your AirTag when you see a notification appear on your iPhone. You’ll also see a low battery warning within the Find My app on the “Items” tab.
Apple states that the battery in an AirTag should last “more than a year” but this varies depending on usage. One of the main benefits of an AirTag is the ability to use the Find My app to play a sound on an item you have lost. You can keep playing the sound on your AirTag until you find the item.
AirTags will also emit this sound if they are away from your iPhone and outside of a zone that you’ve marked as home (or similar “safe space” where the item can be left). How much time your AirTag has spent making a noise will have an effect on how long the battery lasts.
As an example, we have used three AirTags over the course of 13 months and so far only one requires changing. These AirTags have all used the same Panasonic cell supplied in the box by Apple. Your choice of battery brand will likely impact how long your AirTags will last.
As a general rule of thumb, expect to change your AirTags batteries once per year if you routinely use sound alerts to find objects, and longer if you don’t.
How to Change AirTag Batteries
Changing the battery in an AirTag is a bit fiddly and requires the use of both hands. You’ll need to take your AirTag out of any keyring holders or other mounts before you begin.
With the Apple logo facing you, press down on the shiny (metal) side and twist counter-clockwise. You should feel the disc stop rotating. At this point you should be able to pop the metal lid off the AirTag, exposing the battery inside.
Take the battery out and replace it with a new one, with the positive side facing up. Now position the lid so that the edges of the metal line up with the AirTag housing, press down, and rotate clockwise until the case stops. Double-check that you’ve done it correctly and that the lid isn’t likely to come off.
Remember to responsibly recycle your old battery.
If you don’t change your AirTag batteries when notified, your AirTag will eventually die. You won’t be able to find a dead AirTag, so make sure to pay attention to any low-battery notifications you receive. Even if your AirTag dies completely it will still be tied to your Apple ID.
Wondering what to do with spare AirTag? Check out some creative uses for AirTags, why you should put one in your car, and the one thing you shouldn’t try and track with an AirTag.