Apple will warn you if you have an unknown AirTag when you get home, work, etc

AirTag Keychain
AirTag Keychain (Image credit: Joe Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple will alert users if they return home with an unknown AirTag.
  • Similar alerts will trigger when arriving at a frequently-visited location, like an office.

Apple's AirTag tracker is now available to buy and people are already raising concerns about the potential for the tracker's use in stalking cases. AirTags are small enough to be placed in a bag or pocket without someone knowing, but Apple says it's already thought of that – it'll alert users when they have an unknown tag on their person when they arrive home.

In a statement to Fast Company, Apple noted that it will alert people when they arrive at home or another location that they frequently visit, like an office or gym.

Apple has built some protections into this system. If you are an ‌iPhone‌ user, for instance, and someone has placed an AirTag on your person, your phone will eventually alert you that an AirTag that isn't yours has been found "moving with you." Apple didn't clarify how quickly or often this alert will arrive, but it did share that it will occur when you arrive at your home (the address stored in your Apple "Me" card) or at certain other locations that your phone has learned you frequent over time. Apple declined to disclose further specifics, citing the interest of public safety.

AirTags will also alert people if they have an unknown tracker on them after a given length of time, too. That will come in handy if you are on a trip, for example, but Apple isn't saying how long that time period is. With AirTags now in the hands of people worldwide, it's only a matter of time before we find out.

Regardless of this issue, AirTags are already set to be one of the best Bluetooth trackers you can buy.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.