Can AirTags be shared? (Technique, Family, Tracking)


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Written By Dinu Sri

Dr. H. T. D. S. Madusanka is an electronic enthusiastic, involved in research and development.

Apple has been known to produce  some of the best and most accurate devices in the market. Most of their devices offers features like family-sharing which enables members of a family to use on device without inconveniences. That was until the release of Apple AirTag on April 2021.

Apple AirTags are very tiny yet very powerful. They are useful when it comes to tracking items that lack smart features. Examples of this items include; wallets, bags, bicycles, pets etc. Although they are this powerful, Apple will not permit you to share AirTags with your family members. You can have any numbers of AirTag you need, but you cannot share even one of them.

Is there any reason as to why Apple decided not to make AirTags not sharable? Keep reading this guide to find out why.

Is it possible to share AirTags ?

Although Apple has been known to create products that are sharable among family members, the new Apple AirTag does not permit the device sharing amongst your friends. Apple has not yet given an official statement as to why AirTags don’t have a sharable feature. However, thanks to the ever active community of Apple users, we have seen some speculation and how you can still make AirTags work for your family.

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Apple products have this feature known as family sharing. For products that have family-sharing feature, one member have to create a group and welcome others to join the group. If they do not wish to join the group, they can opt not to join the group.

There are some advantages of joining a family-sharing group;

  • You are able to enjoy premium products without having to pay multiple times
  •  Family-sharing feature allows your family to share some entertainment such as Apple TV, iTunes and others.
  • With Family-sharing feature you can be able to track devices that are connected to your Apple ID.
  • Family -sharing will help you keep track of your kids screen time. You can limit the sites they are visiting and the purchases they are making provided their devices are connected to your Apple ID.
  • You can make announcements in the group without the need to leave your room.

Since the main purpose of using AirTags is to keep track of your items, Apple might have seen no reason to include family-sharing features. However, this comes at a cost for the people who share some items that are connected to AirTags. It is for this reason people have been complaining about AirTags.

Take an example of a family pet that have to be tracked using an AirTag. Whose iPhone will the AirTag be connected to? What if someone else want to walk the pet, will they have to take the iPhone that is connected to the AirTag with them?

Apple only allows one person to connect an AirTag to their device. This means that if an AirTag is connected to one iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, no one else can connect it to their device.

In our example above, if your iPhone is what is connected to the AirTag, no one else in the family can connect their iPhone to AirTag. This poses a greater inconvenience when another person on a family wants to walk the pet.

So, if another person wants to walk the pet, they will have to battle disturbance from the sound made by the AirTag the moment it leaves the connected device. Also, the person whose device is used to connect the AirTag will have to battle the pop-ups of someone stalking them.

There are however some AirTag Family-sharing guide you can follow to make AirTag work for your family.

Disable the safety alert

If you know you are giving someone the AirTag that is attached to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, you can disable the safety alert feature. That way, you will not keep receiving notifications of a person stalking your AirTag.

  • Open find My app on your iPhone
  • At the bottom-right hand corner is a Me tab, Tap that to continue
  • Scroll and choose items safety alert
  • Tap disable.

Once the AirTag is back on your possession you can enable it again.

Register the most shared AirTag on a common device

It is not uncommon for people to own their personal iPhones and also own a Mac computer. If there is an AirTag to that is usually shared among the family members, it should be registered to a compatible device that can be accessed by anyone at all times.

  • Prep your AirTag for setup.
  • Enable Bluetooth, Find My app, and two-factor authentication.
  • Bring the AirTag closer to your iPhone.
  • Once it is connected you will get notifications on Find My app.
  • Rename the AirTag for easy identification if you have multiple AirTags.
  • Press save to continue

Registering AirTags to a common device means that if someone wants to use the AirTag, the can carry the connected device with them. Alternatively, you can disable the safety alert feature.

Transfer the AirTag to your family member

I’m case of very sensitive items that need to be tracked all the time, there is an option of transferring the ownership of the device from one person to another. Basically it is like registering a new AirTag. However, there is a part of removing the AirTag from the previously connected Apple ID.

If the AirTag is not removed from the connected AirTag, it will refuse to register on a new device. You might also remove the AirTag and it still refuse to connect.

How to fix cannot Set up this AirTag error?

During the process of transferring AirTags from one person to another, you might get “Cannot Set up this AirTag error”. This means you cannot use the AirTag unless you fix the issue.

Normally, the problem arises when you are trying to connect an AirTag that has been already connected to another iPhone. However, there are other reasons why you might be getting this error. Below are some solutions to this issue;

  1. Remove the paper tab

If you are trying to set up a new AirTag, it will not connect directly unless you remove the paper tab that is put by Apple on your Battery. The paper prevents your battery from being drained when it is not in use.

  • Use find my app to connect the AirTag manually

You might remove the paper tab and the AirTag still refuses to connect. If this is the case, you should connect the AirTag manually from Find My app.

  • Go to your phone’s settings.
  • Select your profile
  • Then choose find my iPhone
  •  Select launch Find My app
  • Go to items tab
  • Select Add item. You will see an. AirTag.
  • Tap add  AirTag
  • Your phone will the start searching for AirTag
  • When the AirTag connects, press done.

Most of the times AirTags automatically connects to your iPhone provided it is not connected to another iPhone.

  • Do not use managed Apple ID

Your AirTag might be refusing to connect because you are using managed AirTag.

Managed Apple ID are created for educational purposes. So , if you have such an account, you can always create a new one for free.

  • Check if your device is compatible

For you to connect your AirTag to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, they must have an iOS of 14.50 or later versions. Devices with older versions will not connect to the AirTag.

  • Enable Two-factor authentication

Before you are able to are allowed to connect your AirTag, Apple will insist on you enabling Two-factor authentication. The is to ensure your device are safe and that no will stalk you.

  • Go to settings
  • Tap on Apple ID
  • Then go to passwords and security and select enable two-factor authentication.
  • Clean your AirTag

If there is some dust particles on the surface of your AirTag, it might refuse to pair with your iPhone. Use a lint free cloth to clean the AirTag.

  • Check your phone Bluetooth connection

An AirTag will only connect to your iPhone if the Bluetooth is turned on. Normally, most devices connect when there is an internet connection. However, for AirTags, Bluetooth connection is a must.

  • Go to the settings
  • Scroll down until you see Bluetooth
  • Tap on Bluetooth.
  • If it is not enable, you should enable it.
  • Check if location is turned on

Another setting that will determine if your AirTag is connecting to your iPhone is if location is turned on. Location is the key factor when tracing lost items using AirTags. For this reason, your AirTag might refuse to connect if the location is turned on.

  • Check for software update

Your AirTag might be refusing to connect with your iPhone if you have not updated your iPhone’s software lately. To check what software your iPhone is on;

  • Go to settings and then general
  • Select software update
  • If there is any new software update, your iPhone will give you a notification that you can tap to download and install.
  • Check the AirTag battery

Sometimes your AirTag might refuse to connect to your iPhone if the battery is drained.

To check for the battery charge;

  • Go to find my app
  • Open the items bar
  • Select the item you want to check the battery
  • You will see an battery icon on the screen.
  • Tap the battery icon and it will display the remaining charge.
  • If the battery is low, it will also indicate low battery

If the battery is low you can replace it with a new CR2032 cell battery. A pair of 6 batteries cost something between $8-$10.

  1. Try connecting it to another iPhone

If you have tried all the above solutions and your AirTag is still not connecting, you can try using another iPhone to connect the AirTag.  This will help you gauge if the problem is your AirTag or the iPhone.

If it connects to the other iPhone, then your iPhone is the problem. If it does not connect with the iPhone, then your AirTag might have an issue.

  1. Hard resetting

Hard resetting your AirTag will always be the last solution to any issue encountered by your AirTag. Once you hard reset the AirTag and it still does not connect. You can contact Apple.

If you have any issue with any Apple products or server, Apple will connect you to a live assistant at that moment. They will help you navigate through the issue step-by-step.

 Since this is not the last issue you are likely to face when using an AirTag, it would be better if you subscribed to this page for more information.

Conclusion

Despite of AirTags being very accurate and powerful, they lack the family-sharing feature. Apple has not yet given an official statement as to why they opted to ignore this feature. However, it might be speculated it’s because of how affordable AirTags are.

If you want to learn how you can make AirTags work for you, read the guide above. Also, for new information about AirTags that will be provided daily, subscribe to this page.