How to Disable AirPods Location: Ensuring Your Privacy
Disabling AirPods location is not directly possible as their location tracking is inherently linked to your iPhone via ‘Find My iPhone.’ However, you can effectively disable their location by unpairing them from your iPhone, staying out of its range, or letting their battery die.
If you’re concerned about your privacy and security, you are likely interested in disabling location services on all of you smart devices.
Believe it or not, AirPods do broadcast your location, although it may not be in the way that you think.
The location services on AirPods work a little different than other smart devices, so first it is important to understand how it works before you learn how to disable AirPods location.
Let’s get to it.
Reasons for Disabling AirPods Location
There are several justifications why some users prefer to disable the location tracking feature on their AirPods.
- To prevent potential breaches of privacy. Constant tracking may make some users uncomfortable, given the continuous access to personal data it entails.
To stop unwanted location sharing. When location is enabled, anyone with access to your Apple ID, or the network your paired iPhone is on, can potentially see where your AirPods are, posing a privacy risk.
- They are stolen. We do not condone this, but it is relevant to the post. Thieves will disable location services on stolen smart devices so they can’t be tracked back to them.
How to Disable AirPods Location
Turning off AirPods location isn’t a very straightforward process. Apple never built a feature specifically to turn off your AirPods location, which is odd. So, unfortunately, you can’t just disable the location.
But, it still can be done, kind of. Let’s check out a few of these unconventional methods:
Unpair and Reset
This method is not very practical, because the entire point of AirPods is to connect them to a device to listen to music, podcasts, phone calls, etc. But it will make them so they can’t be located.
It essentially makes them a new pair of AirPods. If they are not paired to your iPhone, there will be no location attached to them. Simply unpair, then reset your AirPods and you will be good to go!
Take out of range of paired iPhone
Your AirPods are only trackable when they’re paired to your iPhone. So, to make them not trackable, simply take them out of range of your iPhone.
At that point, your AirPods in the “Find My” app, will only show their last known location.
Let the battery die
This is not a very practical method, but I suppose none of these are.
Simply let the battery die and your AirPods will no longer be trackable. However, they will also be unusable, so what’s the point?
How to Disable AirPods Pro Location
If you want to turn off the location on your AirPods Pro, you’re out of luck. Like the standard AirPods, there is not way to simply turn off the location.
To jump back up to the previous section to learn the unconventional ways of disabling your AirPods location, click here.
Can the Police Track Stolen AirPods
While most police agencies have specialized equipment to track smart devices, they are likely not going to spend their resources on a pair of lost earbuds.
However, in certain cases, such as high profile crimes, police may use location data for finding victims, suspects, etc. AirPods will likely never be used for this reason because their location is derived from its paired iPhone/device. So, police would use the iPhone instead of the AirPods.
It is important to note, that if a pair of AirPods dies, you will only be able to see its last location. There is no way to track dead AirPods.
Can AirPods Be Tracked After Reset?
Resetting your AirPods will result in them being unpaired from your iPhone, and set back to factory settings.
Due to this, your AirPods won’t be able to be tracked after they are reset. It is unfortunate, but it’s just how it is. An unintended consequence of this is that it works in favor of thieves, who regularly pursue AirPods for this exact reason.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are AirPods trackable?
Yes, AirPods are trackable as long as they are connected to your iPhone and the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature is enabled. However, tracking capabilities cease when they’re out of the device’s range, their battery is depleted, or they are unpaired from your iPhone.
Can other people see my AirPods location?
No, other people can’t see your AirPods location unless they have access to your Apple ID credentials and ‘Find My iPhone’ is enabled on your device. It’s important to keep these details secure to maintain your privacy.
Can my family see my AirPods location?
If you’re part of a Family Sharing group, and you have ‘Share My Location’ enabled, your family members can see the location of your iPhone but not specifically your AirPods. Your AirPods’ location is private and directly tied to your Apple ID.
Can AirPods Pro be tracked?
Yes, just like the standard AirPods, AirPods Pro are also trackable via the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature. However, they can’t be tracked when out of your iPhone’s range, their battery dies, or they are unpaired from your iPhone.
If someone stole my AirPods can I find them?
If your AirPods are still paired to your iPhone, and ‘Find My iPhone’ is enabled, you might be able to locate them. However, if the thief takes the AirPods out of your iPhone’s range, lets their battery die, or unpairs them from your device, tracking becomes impossible.
Ken is a Data Analyst in the Healthcare industry and the owner and sole contributor to The Wearable Guy.