Apple cautions that AirTag batteries with a bitter coating might not work

Bitterant coatings might stop kids from swallowing a battery, but they may not work properly in an AirTag.

Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
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Patrick Holland

When replacing the battery in your AirTag, make sure you don't buy one with a bitterant coating.

Patrick Holland/CNET

One of the features that surprised me the most about Apple AirTags is the fact that you can easily remove and replace the battery. Apple says battery life is about a year. Since AirTags launched in April, it will be some time before most of us need to worry about replacing the battery, But when we do, Apple cautions AirTag owners not to use replacement batteries with a bitter coating.

The battery in an AirTag is easily accessible and simple to replace.


Batteries and other small products sometimes use a bitterant coating to discourage kids from swallowing them. Nintendo Switch game cartridges have a similar bitter coating to dissuade people from licking them or putting them in their mouth.

A July 9 support document on Apple's website, which was first spotted by Twitter user Jack Brewster, states, "CR2032 batteries with bitterant coatings might not work with AirTag or other battery-powered products, depending on the alignment of the coating in relation to the battery contacts."

To avoid any possible problems, Apple suggests using CR2032 batteries without the coating.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

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