Apple's Personal Safety Guide now covers unwanted AirTag tracking

Apple has quietly updated its Personal Safety User Guide to include information on how to deal with potential AirTag tracking, including how to locate an AirTag that doesn't belong to you and what to do with one if you find it.

Since the product's initial release, there have been questions and concerns about AirTags being used to track others without their knowledge, prompting Apple to provide Android users with a way to check for any unwanted devices. While the Safety Guide already offered recommendations for individuals who suspect they're being tracked through various Apple devices, it wasn't focused on the potential threat from random strangers.

A June 2021 update for AirTags reduced the amount of time that passes before these devices emit sounds to warn of potential tracking (or a lost AirTag), shortening the window from three days to between eight and 24 hours. Stalking hasn't been the only concern, however, as AirTags have also been used by car thieves to target and keep tabs on high-end vehicles they intend to steal.

Apple's AirTag safety recommendations

The actual information on dealing with AirTag tracking can be found in the guide's Stay Safe with AirTags section, which explains that when you find an AirTag that isn't yours and isn't supposed to be there, you can either disable it outright, look up the serial number, or return it to the person it's registered to.

´╗┐´╗┐According to Apple, so long as your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch are running iOS 14.5 and later or iPadOS 14.5 or later, you'll receive an "Item Detected Near You" message if your device detects an AirTag or other Find My device nearby for an extended period of time.

Once detected, you can tap "Play Sound" to make the AirTag emit a tone to help you locate it. Alternatively, due to the previously-mentioned update, the AirTag may start making noise on its own after a few hours. When aware of its presence, you'll be able to disable it by following your device's on-screen instructions.

Android users will have to download the Tracker Detect app from Google Play to search for suspected AirTags, however, the app won't automatically check on its own. Once installed on your device, you'll need to start the Tracker Detect app and manually scan for devices. If an AirTag or similar device is detected, you can also use the Android app to make it play a sound to help you locate it.