How to opt-out of Apple's ‘Find My’ network for lost & found AirTags

AirTags: How to opt out of the ‘Find My’ network for lost & found items
Apple's Find My network recently became a hub for lost and found items with an AirTag or third-party tracker attached to them. And the company has sort of opened the network up to Android users as well, allowing them to find and return lost items by tapping the white side of an AirTag with an NFC-enabled phone. 

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The benefits of participating in Apple's Find My network are endless both if you’re an AirTag user or just someone who can help find an item — you could make a stranger's week by simply tapping your phone on an AirTag and helping them retrieve a lost item.

But, what if you decide you don’t want to participate? You might not need an AirTag yourself, or you might just be concerned about your privacy.

How do you opt-out of Apple’s Find My network?

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap your Apple ID
  3. Tap Find My
  4. Tap Find my iPhone
  5. Toggle ‘Find My network’ off.
It’s that simple! However, bear in mind that you lose all benefits of the Find My network. You won’t be able to locate devices that have been turned off or aren’t connected to cellular or Bluetooth.

Do note, though, that if you participate in the Find My network, you aren’t actually sharing your data with Apple or AirTag users. Even if you find an AirTag or receive an alert about a nearby AirTag and decide to help the owner, Apple says your identity won’t ever be shared without permission.

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You can arrange for the person to collect their item, or you can choose to ship it to them if you feel safer.

Don’t forget that your iPad, MacBook and Apple Watch also take advantage of the “Find My” app and network. In case one day you are on the other end of it, and you lose one of your devices or AirTaged items, you might wish you had opted in instead of out. Besides, why not help a stranger!

At the end of the day, you can use your devices the way you want to, not the way you’re “supposed” to. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your safety is a priority.

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