Hard to identify AirTag?

How easy/hard should it be to identify an AirTag?

Which devices should be able to find an AirTag?

While my iPhone shows the correct location for my AirTag, I can’t identify it using the iPhone SE (2020) or iPad Air 2 from family members. Only an iPhone 11 was able to identify it and this took minutes… (All devices running iOS 14.5.x)

Is my AirTag broken or are they this hard to identify?

They shouldn’t. All mine are reacting always very quickly.

I think that there are a couple of issues here, if I remember correctly.

The iPhone 11 and 12 range, Apple Watch Series 6, HomePod mini and, of course, AirTag are the only devices currently to have the U1 chip to enable the directional location part to work.

I also believe that the AirTag location only works for the Apple ID that they are linked/registered to and not family sharing devices (unlike iPhones etc which show for all family sharing devices).

Any device with an NFC reader can read the AirTag if it is in lost mode and display the information supplied by the owner when lost mode was activated.


This is correct, which is a bit annoying actually. If I lose the thing my AirTag is attached to, my family can’t help me find it.

Sorry, I should have phrased the second question differently.

Instead of

Which devices should be able to find an AirTag?

it should have been

Which devices should be able to identify an AirTag?

So I’m trying to identify my AirTag with my family members devices (not locate them), but that fails with most devices and is very hard with the one that does (eventually) identify it.