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Apple AirPods: How to use Find My iPhone to find your lost earphones

Misplace one or both of your AirPods? Use the Find My iPhone app.

Apple's wireless earbuds are tiny and have zero strings or cables attached. And while that's cool, it means they're constantly at risk of being lost. Shortly after the AirPods launched, Apple added them to the Find My iPhone app, which is exactly where you need to go if you find yourself looking for a lost AirPod or two.

Before we cover how to find a lost Pod, there are a few caveats you need to be aware of:

  • Find My iPhone only interacts with your AirPods when the charging case is open, or the AirPods are outside the case.
  • They must be within Bluetooth range of an iOS device tied to your iCloud account in order for the current location and play sound features to work.
  • If an iOS device isn't within range of a lost AirPod, Find My iPhone will display the last known location.
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Find a lost pod

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After the panic of losing an AirPod subsides, open the Find My iPhone app on an iPhone or iPad. Your AirPods will show up under the list of devices linked to your iCloud account. Next to each device in the Find My iPhone app will be a colored dot. Here's what each color means:

Apple/Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Tap the AirPods listing to see their last known or current location. At the bottom of the screen is a button labeled Actions.

Select Play Sound, and then wait while the app processes your request. A few seconds later, both AirPods will begin playing a sound that gets progressively louder. Again, your AirPods will need to either be in the case with the lid open or outside the case to play any sound. If you lost your case, with both AirPods inside it, you'll be able to view the last known location, but the sound feature will not work.

You can then mute either AirPod, should you find one but need to continue looking for the other. Tap Stop Playing once you've found both AirPods.

Should you lose one AirPod while using the other, do yourself a favor and remove the AirPod from your ear. Both AirPods will beep, even if they're in your ear. The sound is quite loud and can hurt. Alternatively, visit from your computer to find any lost AirPods. 

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What to do when you can't find your AirPod

If you can't find an AirPod, don't throw away your case and last remaining earbud. You can purchase a single AirPod from Apple for $69. It's not cheap, by any means, but it is more affordable than having to pay full price. Apple lays out the details of the replacement cost and process on this support page

Originally published Jan. 26, 2017.
Update, Jan. 8, 2019: Updated with new information.

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