Here’s how to replace the battery in your AirTag, and how you’ll know when you need to do it.

An AirTag battery will last for about a year, and your iPhone will warn you when that battery is low. But if that notification is all you rely on, you can see there might be problems.

Maybe you get the low battery warning in the first hour of your two-week ocean cruise, for instance. And then your luggage gets lost coming off the boat at the end of the trip.

You can be sure that Apple won’t wait until the last moment to give you a low battery notification. But the reason Apple can only give a rough estimate that an AirTag battery will last a year is that it depends on usage.

And the time you’re going be using it is when you’ve lost something. So here’s a suggestion for how to maximize the battery life in your AirTag before you have to replace it.

How to maximize AirTag battery life

  1. Don’t activate the AirTag until you need it.
  2. Once you activate it, add “Replace AirTag battery” to your To Do app
  3. Set that task to reoccur every 11 months
  4. Add a tag like “vacation” to that task

There are going to be AirTags that you activated the instant you got them, such as the one you’re putting on your keyring. But ones you get for your luggage can wait until you’re leaving.

The To Do app will prod you to at least be on the lookout for Apple’s low battery notification. But if that app will also let you tag or mark your tasks, then before you go away on a trip, you can get it to show you all To Dos tagged “vacation.”

So whenever your trip is, you’ll see “Replace AirTag battery” and can make an informed decision about whether you’re close to the 12 months or not.

Still, whether you do it early, wait for the notification, or do it after the battery has completely died, you’re going to have to replace it at some point.

How to replace the battery in an AirTag

  1. Turn the AirTag over so that the silver side is facing you
  2. Press down with your thumbs on opposite edges of the silver casing
  3. Keep pressing down and rotate counterclockwise
  4. When the silver top is loose, remove it
  5. Take out the battery that’s now exposed
  6. Insert a new CR2032 battery with the positive + sign up
  7. Replace the silver top cover
  8. Press down with your thumbs and rotate the cover clockwise

You’ll hear the AirTag give a little chime, very similar to the ones you hear if you ever need to reset one. And then you’re done.

For about another year, anyway.

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