How to reset an AirTag before giving it away

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How to reset an AirTag
Resetting an AirTag allows it to be registered to another Apple ID.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

AirTag, like many Apple devices, is automatically linked to your Apple ID when you set it up for the first time. If you plan to sell one or give it away, you will first need to remove it from your account with a factory reset.

We’ll show you how.

There are two ways to reset an AirTag: One uses the Find My app on iPhone or iPad and requires that your AirTag be within Bluetooth range; the other uses AirTag itself and doesn’t require additional devices.

Option one is the quickest and easiest, so use that one if you can. Option two is a little more complicated, but it can be used to reset an AirTag you’ve been given that’s registered to someone else.

We’ll cover both methods in this guide.

Reset an AirTag using the Find My app

To reset an AirTag registered to you, that’s within Bluetooth range of your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Find My app on your device.
  2. In your list of tracked devices, tap on the AirTag you want to reset.
  3. Swipe up on the panel at the bottom of the screen to reveal the full list of options.
  4. Tap Remove Item.
  5. Tap the Remove button, and then Remove again to confirm.

The AirTag should now be removed from your account and ready to pair with another Apple ID. If the AirTag did not reset, but no longer appears in the Find My app, use method two below.

Reset an AirTag without iPhone or iPad

To manually reset an AirTag without an iPhone or iPad, including one you have been given that’s still registered to another person’s Apple ID, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the steel cover from the back of the AirTag. You can do this by pressing down on it, rotating it counter-clockwise until it stops, and then pulling the two sides apart.
  2. Remove the battery inside the device.
  3. Reinsert the battery and press down on it until the AirTag makes a sound.
  4. Repeat steps two and three four more times (for a total of five times).
  5. Replace the AirTag’s steel cover by aligning the three tabs and then press down on it until AirTag makes a sound again.
  6. Lock the cover in place by rotating it clockwise until it stops turning.

The AirTag is now reset and ready to be registered to an Apple ID.