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How often do Apple AirTags update location?

Understand the basics of the AirTag before attaching it to a valuable item.

Published onMarch 5, 2024

Apple AirTag in hand
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

While the AirTag isn’t a big-ticket item, Apple’s handy little tracker is a big hit among consumers. Your AirTag can locate your lost wallet, keys, bike, pet, and more, but the accuracy depends on the AirTag’s last location update. That begs the question: how often does an AirTag update its location?


The AirTag is a Bluetooth tracker and relies on a network of nearby Apple devices to auto-update the location. If your AirTag is moving in a crowded area, the location update frequently remains high. On the flip side, if you place an AirTag in a remote area, the device doesn’t always update the location. You can still enable the Lost Mode and track the last seen location via the Find My app on iPhone or iPad.


How often do Apple AirTags update their location?

airtag wallet

Unlike a standard tracking device, AirTag doesn’t have a built-in GPS. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technologies to communicate with your iPhone and navigate you to the right spot.

When your AirTag is out in the wild, the smart tracker sends Bluetooth signals to all nearby devices—not just your iPhone. These nearby Apple devices detect and upload your AirTag location to the Find My Network to let the owner see its whereabouts.

The frequency of location updates changes based on the surroundings. If your AirTag is in a busy area, the system updates its location every minute or two. However, if it’s away from any nearby iPhones, the chances of getting an updated AirTag location are pretty slim. If you plan to track an object in real time, an AirTag isn’t ideal for you. It would be best if you instead got a proper GPS-based tracker.

What is the range of an AirTag?

Your AirTag works within the Bluetooth range of any iPhone or Apple device in the Find My network. It uses another person’s Apple device to establish communication with you.

An iPhone’s Bluetooth range is around 33 feet (10 meters). However, the distance may vary based on AirTag’s location. If a physical wall or object blocks the signal, the Bluetooth range may vary significantly.

How accurate is Apple AirTag location?

Apple AirTag uses a combination of GPS, Bluetooth, and a U1 chip to determine the whereabouts of the connected item. The GPS shows an approximate location, while Bluetooth and U1 enable precise tracking in the Find My app.

airtag location 02
Andy Walker / Android Authority

Your AirTag is detectable within a range of 800 feet outdoors and 100 feet indoors. The location accuracy works like a charm once you are within 20 to 30 feet. However, it may take a hit due to several factors.

It is worth noting that obstacles like walls and furniture can affect the Bluetooth and U1 signals and hamper the location accuracy. Other elements, such as distance from your Apple device, mountains, dense forests, and low battery life, can also reduce the location accuracy.

You should also have a device that supports UWB. iPhone 11 and newer models have a U1 chip inside. You can’t use the advanced Precision Finding feature if you have an iPhone XS or older model.

Can you see AirTag location history?

You can only see the current (or last known) location of your AirTag in the Find My app. For privacy reasons, Apple doesn’t keep the AirTag location history.

Why is my AirTag not updating location?

Do you often open the Find My app and notice the same AirTag location as before? Several factors can affect your AirTag when updating the location. Let’s quickly glance over them and take the required steps to start receiving accurate location data.

Low AirTag battery

Your AirTag battery lasts about a year. If your AirTag battery is low, it may not update the location in the Find My network. You can confirm the same with the low battery indication in the Find My app and replace the battery.

Disabled location services on iPhone

You need to turn on location services on your iPhone to get the latest AirTag location.

  1. Open Settings and go to Privacy & Security.
  2. Tap Location Services and enable the same from the following menu.

Outdated AirTag software

Apple frequently releases AirTag updates to fix bugs and add new features. Keep your iPhone near the AirTag so that the latest build gets installed.

Two-factor authentication is turned off

AirTag location tracking requires active two-factor authentication for your Apple account. You can set it up in Settings.

  1. Launch Settings and go to your profile.
  2. Select Sign-in & Security and tap Two-Factor Authentication.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.

Geographical restrictions

The technology behind the U1 chip is restricted in several regions, like Russia, Indonesia, Nepal, Armenia, and more. You can check the full list on an Apple support page. If you travel to one of these countries, location tracking may not work as expected.

Sketchy Bluetooth connection

Your AirTag may misbehave due to a sketchy Bluetooth connection on your phone. To try and fix the problem, try turning your Bluetooth connection off and then on again. You can also reset network settings and try again.

You also require a steady internet connection to refresh the AirTag location in the Find My app.

If the issues persist, it’s time to factory reset your Apple AirTag and set it up again.

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