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How to track down a lost Apple AirPod

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 to them. And while that's cool, it means they're always at risk of being lost.

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To help you find a lost AirPod, Apple added the earbuds to Find My iPhone app with the release of iOS 10.3 last year. 

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

  • AirPods can only be found when outside the charging 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.

Find a lost pod

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After the panic of losing an AirPod goes away, open the Find My iPhone app on an iOS device. Your AirPods will show up under the list of devices linked to your iCloud account. Tap the AirPods listing to see their last known or current location. At the bottom of the screen is a button titled Actions.

Tap 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. Your AirPods will need to either be in the case with the lid open, or outside the case to play any sound.

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 earbuds.

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 iCloud.com/find from your computer to find any lost AirPods. 

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Editors' note: This post was originally published on Jan. 26, 2017, and has since been updated with new information.