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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple announced earlier this year that, with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, the Find My Network will be able to locate AirPods Pro and AirPods Max. Now, it has emerged that this will be achieved by tethering the AirPods to a specific Apple ID, with an unusual system of covering the AirPods Pro's speaker holes to remove the linked account.


First spotted by 9to5Mac, iOS 15 developer beta five code has confirmed that, to work with Apple's Find My Network, AirPods Pro and AirPods Max will need to be tethered to an Apple ID. This means that even if a user connects someone else's AirPods to their device, they will remain tethered to the owner's Apple ID.

To remove the configured Apple ID and disable connection to the Find My Network, such as when passing the AirPods to a new user, owners will have to follow a number of manual steps similar to the process for untethering an AirTag.

For AirPods Max, users need to hold down the Active Noise Cancelation button at the same time as the Digital Crown for 12 seconds. For AirPods Pro, users have to cover the interior and exterior grilles with their fingers while pressing the button on the stem three times in sequence.

Support for the Find My Network will likely come via an AirPods Pro and AirPods Max firmware update alongside iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 later in the fall. First and second-generation AirPods will not support the Find My Network.

Previously, all AirPods devices appeared in the Find My app, but were not remotely locatable using the Find My Network like an AirTag, which uses low-energy Bluetooth to feed a device's location back to the owner via nearby iPhone or iPad.

Article Link: AirPods Find My Network Support Includes Tethering to Apple ID and New Manual Unpairing Process
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macrumors 68000
Jan 4, 2008
Haven’t you always been able to locate AirPods with Find My? I don’t understand why this is billed as a new feature.


macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2013
Still it would be nice if AirPods had Precision Finding like AirTags have.
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macrumors 68040
Jul 10, 2012
To reboot iPhone: hold down two buttons.

Reboot Watch: hold the two buttons.

Reboot AirPods Max: wait DONT hold down two buttons.

People are conditioned to think two buttons is a reboot command. I predict they will carry this expectation into the pods max and be irritated when they don’t get the response they were expecting.

Apple should have had a different sequence to do the unlink thing in AirPods Max. Something more akin to what is done on the Pods Pro, cover a mic opening and click the ANC button 3x
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macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
Wow, such convoluted way, but I guess so that a random person won't be able to just unpair your Airpods easily.

Still, now thieves would know how to do it as well... :D
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macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2013
The old method only told you where you last used the airpods. The new method has Bluetooth LE pinging to the find my network much like an AirTag does now. It doesn’t have precision finding but will use Bluetooth to get you close.

Right now none of that is possible unless you attach an AirTag to your airpods case.


macrumors member
Mar 13, 2015
Los Angeles
Haven’t you always been able to locate AirPods with Find My? I don’t understand why this is billed as a new feature.
To my understanding (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong) currently the AirPods location in Find My is only based on when it was last connected to your own phone - in iOS 15 it will work more similar to airtags in that it will update the location if other idevices are nearby.


macrumors 65816
Jun 20, 2011
Lake Michigan
I got some Google Pixel Buds A-Series and put an Air Tag on the case. At $99 the Google Pixel Buds A-Series sound great and have no problem pairing with the iPhone. I like how they are flat and don't have the little stem hanging down. My old Apple air pods first gen finally went bad. they lasted a long time, so I needed to replace them.


macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2008
Where did you read that? Nothing in the article says you can locate your lost AirPods until someone physically picks them up and opens the lid, or maybe for the 45 minutes that the battery lasts if one of them is outside the case.
The article links to the announcement right at the start...

This is a great new addition. The ability to track it since it was last connected to my phone has never been useful for me. Especially if I go through the day with them, but not necessarily using them. I live in New York. So, I never leave the house without them in case I end up on a lengthy walk or on the subway. Even if I never open them, I like to carry them with me. But that also means that if I lose them while out, the last place it was located was at home. This has literally happened to me, but thankfully I remember where I left them.


macrumors member
Oct 7, 2014
Chicago, IL
Haven’t you always been able to locate AirPods with Find My? I don’t understand why this is billed as a new feature.
Only when the individual AirPod is out of the case and within range of your device. Otherwise you’re SOL.

I love this. This can hopefully prevent or at least deter theft, as re-pairing stolen AirPods isn’t hard to do. IIRC this also lets them update their location if they are moved from where you were last connected to them.
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macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2021
Yeah this seems rather odd - if anybody can do that without 'permission' from the original Apple ID then this is a very useless feature. Especially in the eyes of thieves who will just do this by default now...


macrumors newbie
Aug 19, 2020
Excellent improvements. I'm wondering why the regular AirPods won't get them, since it's a current-gen product just like the AirPods Pro and Max.

Anyway :p. I'm using my 3th pair of AirPods Pro. The mic and noice cancellation seems to break after X months. Hopefully that will be fixed too :p :p


macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2009
Tokyo, Japan
It's a shame you STILL can't use "Find my AirPods" if both buds are in the case. You can even try the "Make a sound" feature, but they're completely untraceable if they're in the case.

That's the problem! If I misplace my AirPods Pro case with the AirPods inside, they're untraceable with technology.


macrumors member
Jan 11, 2017
How about “find my“ support for beats solo 3?! It’s the same chip!!!
No, they don’t. Solo 3 has an W1 chip. AirPods Pro and Max have an H1 chip.
The Solo Pro runs an H1 though. So for that one it’s a good question. And one I’d like to have answered as well.
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