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Do Apple AirTags need to be charged?

Forget about your Lightning or USB-C cables.
By
November 3, 2022
Apple AirTag in shoulder bag
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The quick answer to the question is a simple “no.” But with that established, you need to know how to check an AirTag‘s battery level, as well as how to replace that battery when it runs dry. We’ve got instructions for both tasks.

Read more: The best Apple AirTag alternatives

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Instead of a rechargeable battery, AirTags rely on a disposable CR2032 coin battery.


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Do AirTags need to be charged?

No. Mostly due to space constraints, they rely on disposable CR2032 (3V) lithium coin batteries. One battery should last up to a year or more, but once it’s depleted, it has to be replaced.

How to check your AirTag battery level

Most of the time you shouldn’t worry about this, since the Find My app on your iPhone or iPad will actively warn you when power is running low. If you still want to check levels yourself:

  • Open the Find My app, making sure that Bluetooth is on for your iPhone/iPad, and that your AirTag is within range. That’s normally within a few dozen feet. If you want to be sure, get as close as possible.
  • Select the Items tab, then the AirTag you want to check.
  • In the bottom panel, look for a battery icon under the AirTag’s name. If you don’t see one, don’t worry — that’s what you want, since it actually means your battery is fine.

When levels are critical the battery icon will appear in red, and you’ll see a “Low Battery” message with a Replace Battery button when you’re ready.

How to replace your AirTag battery

Apple AirTag with iPhone rear
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Before getting started, make sure you’ve got the right kind of CR2032. It has to be a lithium 3V model, and not only that, it shouldn’t have any sort of “bitterant” coating meant to keep children from swallowing it. Apple says this coating can interfere if it aligns with battery contacts. Any brand will do, such as AmazonBasics.

Once you’re good to go, follow these steps:

  • Press down on the steel battery cover and rotate counterclockwise until the cover stops turning.
  • Remove the cover and the old battery.
  • Install the new battery with the positive (plus) side facing upwards (towards you). If you’ve done this right, you’ll hear a tone indicating the battery is connected. You may need to press down to get the sound to trigger.
  • Replace the cover, reversing the steps you used to take it off.

Read more: How to factory reset your Apple AirTag