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If you find somebody else's AirTag, you can't just steal it, whip its memory and then use it as your own. That's because Apple baked each AirTag with security features that prevent exactly that. Each AirTag can only be associated with one person's Apple ID — which, unfortunately, is why you can't share AirTags with family members — and only that person can factory reset.
If you have an AirTag and you want to give it to a friend or sell it to somebody, you'll need to factory reset it. This is a pretty easy thing to do if your AirTag is right next to you within Bluetooth range. If so, all you have to do is remove it from your Apple ID.
How to remove AirTag from Apple ID:
- Open the Find My app.
- Select the AirTag.
- Scroll down and select Remove Item.
- Select the Remove button.
If somebody finds your AirTag and you don't want it back, they can factory reset it themselves and use it as their own — but only after you remove it from your Apple ID (following the above steps). After you've removed it from your Apple ID, the person will still need to perform the below factory resetting process because the AirTag isn't in Bluetooth range of its previous owner.
How to factory reset an AirTag that's out of Bluetooth range:
- Remove it from the previous owner's Apple ID (follow the above steps).
- Remove the AirTags's battery cover (press down and rotate clockwise).
- Remove the battery.
- Put the battery back in the AirTag and press down on it until it makes a sound.
- When the sound finishes, repeat the process four more times, removing and replacing the battery each time. The battery should make a total of five sounds.
- Put the battery cover securely back on the AirTag.
Once done, the AirTag will appear as new. It should be discoverable by placing next to your iPhone or iPad.