I recently had my AirPods stolen from my bag at college. Soon after, I attempted to locate them using the Find My iPhone app but was unsuccessful in doing so. The AirPods appeared grey in the app and only showed the last location I know I opened them.

Since then, I have repeatedly checked the app, but the location has not been updated since. Unlike other Apple devices, it appears that there is no option to 'lock' the device as there is for iPhones within the app. It has been difficult to work around the problem.

After talking to other people, it has come to my attention that it may have been possible for the person to have reset the AirPods after taking them and this is why I am unable to locate them.

I would be extremely appreciative if someone could give me advice on a course of action recovering the AirPods using the Find My iPhone app. I have already talked to the staff at my college but there is very little they can do which is why I'm hoping I can locate the AirPods myself.

  • Rocco - do you want someone to give advice like "file a official police report with serial numbers / proof of purchase?" or is this more about the technical capabilities of the tracking and not about the process / staff issue you allude to getting organizations to help you out. – bmike Mar 1 '19 at 13:38
  • @bmike I onderstand there is only so much that can be answered on this forum in terms of solving a theft like this. However, like you hinted, I am not asking for advice on legal routes etc, I am asking about the potential for tracking the AirPods. To this extent, my question asks whether 'locking' is possible, when AirPods will report their location etc. Thanks :) – Rocco Mar 1 '19 at 18:57
  • Cool! I'll not complicate things then - the answer you have is accurate and technical. Should someone else have more details or we're wrong, that answer will show up, too. – bmike Mar 1 '19 at 18:58

AirPods only note their location in Find My iPhone when they pair with your device. They have no built in location tracker and no way to communicate to the internet except through your paired iPhone or iPad or Apple Watch.

The person may have reset them, but even if they didn't you wouldn't get any location updates unless the thief walked by and remained in range of your device long enough for the AirPods to pair.

The reset doesn't change the identity of the bluetooth module so that may have nothing to do with locating them, either.

  • 2
    Feel free to roll back my edits. I deleted my answer since I'd rather you get the rep and answer here. My answer was virtually the same and I liked your phrasing better. – bmike Mar 1 '19 at 13:33
  • I was gonna say jinx :D – dwightk Mar 1 '19 at 13:34
  • Thank you for your answer. In my question I also hinted at the idea of 'locking' the device. In this sense, is there away of marking the AirPods as 'stolen' so that if someone tries to pair them with their phone they will either simply not work or will alert me of their position? – Rocco Mar 1 '19 at 18:54
  • You can report them to the police as stolen. also: support.apple.com/en-us/HT207581... if the find my iphone dot turns green you can play a sound. That's all Find My iPhone offers. – dwightk Mar 2 '19 at 14:04

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