Losing an AirPod sucks. Try this hidden trick to locate your lost earphone


Those little headphones are too easy to lose.

Sarah Tew / CNET

It doesn’t matter which pair of AirPods you have – a second generation device, the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max, headphones can be lost, misplaced, or even carried away by the family pet. Small headphones, especially, can fall between sofa cushions, fly under furniture, or slip deep into a pocket.

I’m thankful for Apple’s Find My app that’s built into all iPhone, iPad and Mac. I use it most often to play a sound and locate my iPhone around my house, but occasionally I use the same tool to find a lost or misplaced AirPod earphone.

It’s not immediately obvious that you can use the Find My app to track more than just your phone or tablet, but it is possible and, in the right circumstances, helpful.

Next, I’ll show you how to use the Find My app to locate a lost AirPod.

find-my-airpods

It’s just a few taps to find your AirPods, with a few caveats.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Make sure Find My is set up

Before you can use the Find My app to locate anything you’ve lost, make sure it’s set up. Verify that Find My is activated by opening the Settings app, tap its name at the top of the screen, then select find me. Then tap Find my iphone and move the switch to the on position. As long as Find My is enabled, your Apple Watch and AirPods will automatically be added to the app. You can’t activate and use Find My for your AirPods after you’ve lost them, so do this step right now. I will wait.

Done? All right.

How to find your lost AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max

After realizing that your AirPod is nowhere to be found, take a deep breath, grab your iPhone, and open Find My app. Tap on the Devices tab, then find and select your AirPods from the list. Alternatively, you can use your computer to visit iCloud.com/find to help you find your lost devices.

If your AirPods are within Bluetooth range of your iPhone, you will see your current location on a map and have the option to play a sound on one or both earbuds. Tap Play sound and start hearing chirping from each earbud. If there’s an AirPod in the charging case, it won’t play any sound.

The sound will gradually increase as it is played for two minutes. If you can hear it but can’t find it before the sound stops, touch Play sound again.

You can change which AirPod the sound plays on by tapping the L or R in the Find My app. When you have found both AirPods, tap Stop.

find-my-eyelashes

Find My is exactly what you need to use to locate lost devices.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

There are some situations where Find My does not work

Finding a lost AirPod is easy as long as it’s out of the case, still charged, and close enough to your iPhone. In a situation where the AirPods are not in range for your phone to fire a sound, you should still see the last location where your phone had a connection. You can get directions to your last known location, where hopefully your phone can find them, and then play a sound.

If you lost your AirPods while they were in the case, your chances of finding them drop significantly. You probably won’t see your last location on a map, and you won’t have the option to play a sound. However, there is still a chance that another Apple device user will find them, open the case, and the Find My app can inform you that they were found.

It’s a long shot, sure, but it’s better than nothing.

For those with AirPods Max, the caveats are a bit different. If your AirPods Max are in their case, your iPhone can find them for up to 18 hours. If they are out of the smart case, you will have 72 hours to connect to them and unmute.

After finding your AirPods, take a few minutes to make sure you can find your iPhone in case you lose it. Need some AirPods tips? We got you. Are here some general advice, some tricks for him AirPods Pro and some for him AirPods Max.

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