airTag not working with new battery: How To Fix

I recently changed the battery on my year-old Airtag, and what I got in return was a dead AirTag!

Upon further inspection and quite a good time spent researching for the same, I was able to deduce the issue and fix it.

If your AirTag is not working on a new battery, ensure you’re using a supported battery. CR2032 batteries with a bitterant coating might hinder contact with the battery terminals. Remove and reinsert the battery in the correct orientation. Factory Resetting the AirTag would also help.

Here’s are the many instances by which an AirTag fails to work with a new battery:

ScenarioCauses and Fixes
AirTag not turning ON after battery changeFaulty battery; use CR2032 batteries without a bitter coating
AirTag not connecting to Find My app after battery changeConnectivity issue; remove and re-add AirTag from the app
AirTag not working even while using suitable batteryBattery inserted in the wrong orientation; insert the battery positive side up
Other ScenariosFactory Reset AirTag; check and update the firmware
Why AirTag does not work with new battery

Let’s now discuss in detail the fixes to resolve the AirTag not working with a new battery issue:

AirTag with Battery

Check the Battery on AirTag

AirTags boasts an impressive battery life long enough to last a good part of a year.

And so, you don’t have to worry about the battery running out on you for the most part.

On the rare occasion, the battery does run out on you, change them as needed.

You can do it yourself or visit an Apple Store to get it done by a trained professional.

But you won’t have to do so since changing the battery on your Airtag is such a breeze.

And that’s precisely where the issue lies.

If you have undertaken this task all by yourself, there are a couple of things you need to get around before you do so.

Let’s take a look at them now:

Avoid CR2032 Batteries with a Bitterant Coating

The type of battery you choose to replace being the most crucial prerequisite.

Apple uses CR2032 3V batteries by Panasonic on AirTags.

Now, not all CR2032 might work with an AirTag.

Battery manufacturers tend to coat their CR2032 battery terminals with a bitterant coating.

Bitterant coated CR2032 Battery

Usually, the presence of such a coating is indicated as a Child Safety feature on the battery package.

Using a CR2032 battery with such a coating may hinder the terminal contact on the Airtag, rendering it unusable.

So, if you’ve encountered this issue after a battery change, ensure to employ a battery without any such coating.

It’s best to stick with the proprietary brand itself when it comes to batteries for your Airtag. The Panasonic CR2032 8-pack should suffice.

You could also use alcohol wipes or swab a Q-tip with some rubbing alcohol to wipe off the coating on the battery, but it isn’t very effective.

Let’s now move on to the next crucial aspect of the batteries:

Insert the Battery in the Correct Orientation

Airtag Battery being inserted

Quite an obvious necessity – always insert the battery in the correct orientation.

A CR2023 battery, like any other battery, has two terminals – a positive and a negative.

The flat half is the positive, and the obverse rounder half is the negative.

When changing the battery on your Airtag, insert the negative half into the battery compartment.

Screw back the metal cap to complete the connection.

Let’s now look at how to change the battery on your AirTag:

How to Change the Battery on an AirTag

Changing the battery on your AirTag isn’t a demanding task at all.

In fact, you can carry out a battery change in a matter of seconds if you know what you’re getting into.

And so, now that you know what batteries work best for an AirTag, here’s how to change the battery on your AirTag:

1. Press down the metal half of AirTag and unscrew it in a counter-clockwise manner,

How to remove Airtag metal cover

2. Once the metal cap comes loose, pluck it out.

3. Remove the drained battery from the battery compartment.

Airtag batteries removed

4. Insert and hold down the new battery (positive half up) until the AirTag plays an audible chime.

5. Screw back the metal cap.

Check for the issue now.

Check and Update the Firmware

Next, let’s check and update the firmware on your iOS device.

Running iOS devices on beta firmware versions is known to cause software hiccups, especially with AirTags. AirTag not reachable being a prime example.

Not to mention the perils associated with running a device on outdated firmware versions. AirTag not working after battery change may just be another victim of such the same.

Hence, when met with AirTag issues, it is imperative to check and update the iOS firmware.

Here’s how to do so:

1. Open the Settings menu on your iOS device.

2. Navigate to General Settings.

iOS software update tile

3. Select System Update.

4. The device will now run a search for any pending updates. Execute them, if any.

iOS checking for update

Check for the issue now.

You can also turn ON Automatic Updates from the System Update section, which will enable the device to download pending updates automatically once they become available.

Remove and Re-add AirTag on Find My App

Following suit on eradicating bugs and errors stemming from software anomalies, let’s now remove the AirTag from the Find My app.

And as with the AirTag not updating location issue, it will also clear up any anomalies associated with the connection and sync of the AirTag with the host device.

Here’s how to do so:

1. Open the Find My app and tap open the Items tab.

Items tab - Find My

2. Select the errant AirTag from the list of devices.

3. Scroll down and select Remove Item.

Find My - Remove Airtag

4. Confirm your selection to remove the AirTag from the app.

Once you have successfully removed the AirTag from the app, bring the AirTag close to your device to re-add it to the app.

Factory Reset AirTag

Lastly, let’s factory reset the AirTag.

Factory Resetting the Airtag is, by all means, one of the most effective fixes for most issues on the device.

Doing so not only resets almost all aspects of the device but also gives you a clean slate to toy with again.

And it just me the way to go if your AirTag doesn’t settle down even after going through all the fixes mentioned above.

Here’s how to factory reset and AirTag:

1. First, remove the AirTag from the Find My app.

2. Then, unscrew the metal cap of your AirTag to uncover the battery compartment.

3. Unplug the battery and insert it back. Press down on the battery until you hear a chime.

4. Repeat step 3 four more times (five in total), upon which you can hear a distinct chime.

5. The reset is now complete.

Pair the AirTag to your device and check for the issue now.

Final Thoughts

It is indeed a long day when the very device responsible for keeping your valuables safe turns out to be unusable. AirTag not working after battery change is a prime example.

But equipped with the right fixes, which we have gone through above, you can resolve any such issues in a jiffy.

You may also check and refresh the connectivity side of things – namely WiFi and Bluetooth – as an added step of precaution.

If you still can’t get over the issue, consider contacting the customer services of Apple for further assistance.

Visiting a nearby Apple Store could also prove to be worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is my iPhone not detecting AirTag?

If your iPhone is not detecting an AirTag, chances are, the battery on the AirTag may have run out. You should also check and refresh Bluetooth and WiFi on your iOS device. Then, ensure location services are enabled.

Do AirTags expire?

AirTags, in terms of battery life, lasts for about a year, after which you’ll have to replace the battery either by yourself or through an Apple store.

Why can’t I see the AirTag battery?

With the advent of iOS 16, Apple has moved on to delegate the battery status indication only when the battery on your AirTag is about to run out. You’ll get a notification when the battery expires on your AirTag.

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