How to find the serial number of an unknown AirTag

Whether you’ve stumbled upon someone else’s AirTag that you’d like to return to its owner or discovered an unknown AirTag planted on you that you’d like to identify, you’ll need its serial number. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to find the serial number of an unknown AirTag.

Tips for when an unknown AirTag is with you

Your iPhone will alert you with an “AirTag Detected” message when it finds a nearby AirTag that’s not registered to your Apple ID. Similarly, an “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification will pop up on your iPhone if an unknown AirTag is seen moving with you over time.

In case of the former, contacting an AirTag’s owner may be easier said than done unless they have put the device in Lost Mode and left a custom message, like their phone number, that you could reveal by holding your iPhone or NFC-capable Android handset next to it.

Steps to take if an unknown AirTag is found moving with you

In the latter’s case, however, you should act swiftly because your safety could be at risk. The right course of action would be to tell law enforcement that you are being tracked by bad actors. The police can in turn work with Apple to identify an AirTag’s serial number, according to a support document on Apple’s website.

How to find an unknown AirTag’s serial number

You have two ways to reveal the serial number of an unknown AirTag.

You can use Apple’s Find My app to reveal information like the serial number. Or, you can get your iPhone to read an AirTag and reveal its serial number without using the Find My app.

How to find an unknown AirTag’s serial number with Find My

To find the serial number of an unknown AirTag that’s not near its owner without the Find My app, simply hold the device near your iPhone or NFC-capable Android handset and tap a notification that appears to reveal the serial number on Apple’s Found site in Safari.

  1. Tap and hold an unknown AirTag’s white side to the top of your smartphone.
  2. Hit a notification that pops up on your phone.
  3. You’ll be taken to found.apple.com in Safari, showing the serial number.

This is how that looks like.

AirTag serial number tutorial: An image showing an iPhone 12 Pro with Apples' Found website open in Safari and sapling the serial number of an unknown AirTag
The serial number is printed right below the “About This AirTag” heading.

How to find an unknown AirTag’s serial number without Find My

Holding an AirTag near your iPhone or Android phone and tapping the notification that appears will open a webpage with the serial number shown.

  • Open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
  • Select the “Items” tab.
  • Choose the option labeled “Identify Found Item” from the bottom of the list.
  • Tap and hold the top of your phone to an unknown AirTag’s white side.
  • Hit the notification that appears on your phone to go to found.apple.com in Safari.
  • Find the serial number listed near the top of the page.

If this AirTag was planted on your or was registered on someone else’s Apple ID account, you may want to report it to your local law enforcement.

An image showing the white side of an Apple AirTag held to the top of an iPhone 12 with Safari's Found notification displayed on the screen

Apple responds to any requests by police to identify these serial numbers.

The “About This AirTag” page also displays other AirTag information. For instance, you can see there if the original owner has left a Lost Mode message, like their phone number.