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How to Ping Airpods

Have you ever desperately searched everywhere for a missing AirPod only to come up empty? We‘ve all been there – scanning under couch cushions, retracing steps, hoping they‘ll magically reappear. Fortunately, Apple has a secret weapon to help you locate lost AirPods – the ability to "ping" them from your iPhone.

In this guide, I‘ll explain exactly how pinging works and walk you step-by-step through pinging your AirPods from your iPhone, Mac, and iCloud account. I‘ll also provide some pro tips to maximize your chances of finding your lost buds. Read on and learn how this invaluable feature can save you time, frustration, and a costly AirPod replacement.

What Does "Ping" Mean and How Does It Help Find AirPods?

When you "ping" a device, you‘re sending a signal that makes it emit a sound, vibration or visual cue to reveal its location. For AirPods, it means forcing them to play a chirping noise so you can follow the sound to their hiding spot.

Apple uses wireless Bluetooth technology to enable pinging AirPods via the Find My app. As long as your AirPods are within Bluetooth range of your iPhone or iPad, you can make them start chirping loudly, even if they‘re buried under a couch cushion or fallen behind some furniture.

According to Apple, Find My can ring your AirPods at their maximum volume of about 75 decibels – the equivalent of an average vacuum cleaner. This should be loud enough to hear them, as long as you‘re within Bluetooth‘s typical range of about 30 feet.

Being able to ping lost AirPods is extremely valuable, especially considering how tiny and portable they are. A Prosper Insights & Analytics survey found that 28% of AirPod owners have lost them at some point. With a $200 replacement cost, locating misplaced AirPods quickly is a major priority for most users.

Pre-Requisites for Pinging Your AirPods

Before pinging your AirPods, a few requirements must be met:

  • The AirPods need to have Bluetooth connectivity and enough battery charge. If the battery is completely dead, pinging won‘t work.

  • Your iPhone or iPad must be within Bluetooth range, which is up to about 30 feet.

  • The Find My app needs to be installed on your device. This comes preloaded on iOS devices.

  • Your AirPods must be paired and connected to a device signed into your iCloud account.

  • Location Services and Find My need to be enabled on your devices and iCloud account.

As long as those conditions are fulfilled, you should be able to successfully ping your AirPods via Find My when they go missing. The louder and busier the environment, the closer you‘ll need to be for the ping to be audible.

Now let‘s look at the step-by-step process for pinging from different devices…

How to Ping AirPods from Your iPhone

If you have your iPhone handy when you lose an AirPod, here are the exact steps to make it ring:

  1. Launch the Find My app from your iPhone‘s home screen. You can also ask Siri to "open Find My".

  2. At the bottom of the Find My app screen, tap "Devices". This shows a list of all your devices linked to your iCloud account.

  3. Find your AirPods in the list and tap on them. Your AirPods might have a custom name if you‘ve renamed them.

  4. On the next screen, tap the "Play Sound" button.

This will send a signal to your AirPods over Bluetooth to start playing a loud ringing sound. As the name implies, you want to listen closely and move around to follow the sound. The pinging lasts for a few seconds, then stops. If you still can‘t find them, just tap "Play Sound" again.

Success! By using Find My on your iPhone, you were able to instantly make your lost AirPod ring and reveal its hiding spot.

How to Ping AirPods from a Mac Computer

Don‘t have your iPhone with you? No problem. You can also ping missing AirPods from a Mac computer using the Find My app.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Find My app on your Mac. It should be in your Applications folder. If not, search for it via Spotlight.

  2. At the top left corner, click "All Devices". This will show a list of your iCloud-connected devices.

  3. Select your AirPods from the list. Make sure it‘s the actual AirPods, not just the case.

  4. Click the blue "Play Sound" button.

This will instantly send a ping command to your AirPods over iCloud and make them ring loudly. Follow the chirping sound and check all around the area until you locate them. Just keep clicking the Play Sound button if needed.

With Find My on your Mac, you have another way to force your missing AirPods to emit a noise so you can zero in on their location.

How to Ping AirPods from

Find My also gives you a way to ping your AirPods even if you don‘t have immediate access to any of your Apple devices. Just log into your iCloud account from any web browser.

Here are the steps for pinging from iCloud:

  1. Go to and sign in to your account. Make sure to complete two-factor authentication if prompted.

  2. On the main iCloud page, click the icon for Find My. It‘s located on the left side down the page.

  3. Up at the top left, click "All Devices" to see a list of your connected devices.

  4. Select your AirPods from the list. Again, choose the actual AirPods, not the charging case.

  5. Click the circular blue "Play Sound" button.

This will instantly send a ping to your AirPods over the internet, triggering them to play a loud ringing sound. As long as they‘re in Bluetooth range with enough battery charge, you‘ll be able to hear the chirping and find their location.

As you can see, whether from your iPhone, Mac, or iCloud account, pinging your lost AirPods is a simple process. As long is Find My is enabled, you can make your buds ring from anywhere.

Pro Tips for Locating Your Ping AirPods Faster

To maximize your chances of finding pinged AirPods quickly, keep these pro tips in mind:

  • Get the environment as quiet as possible so you can isolate the pinging sound. Turn off music, TVs, fans, etc.

  • If you have pets or kids, put them in another room before pinging to reduce distracting noises.

  • Start pinging while standing still in one spot to identify the direction of the sound, then walk toward it while continuing to ping.

  • If you own a second device signed into your iCloud account, use it to ping from a different location while someone else pings from the first device.

  • Visually search the area where you think you lost them, looking under objects and inside crevices. The pinging will get louder the closer you get.

  • If your AirPods were last seen on the Find My map in a certain location, thoroughly search that area first.

  • For maximum volume, ping your AirPods while they‘re out of the case rather than inside it.

  • Set your iPhone‘s volume to maximum so you can hear the ping as loudly as possible.

By optimizing conditions before pinging, you‘ll cut down the time it takes to locate your AirPods. And every second counts when trying to find them before the battery runs out!

What To Do If You Still Can‘t Find Your AirPods After Pinging

Hopefully using Find My to ping your AirPods will quickly lead you to their location. But what if you still can‘t locate them even after trying all the steps and tips above? Here are some last resort actions to take:

  • Carefully search the location shown in Find My for your AirPods‘ last seen position. This is your best bet for finding them if they were recently in Bluetooth range.

  • Have someone else ping your AirPods from a different device while you listen and search. The change in Bluetooth signal origin may help.

  • Check Find My frequently to see if your AirPods come back into Bluetooth range and reveal their position. For instance, if they fell out in an Uber, they may display on the map once in range again.

  • Place just one AirPod back in the case to trigger your phone to display a "Left AirPod behind" message which may reveal more context.

  • Enable Lost Mode on your AirPods which locks them and displays your phone number. This way if someone finds them, they can contact you.

  • As a last ditch effort, you can Factory Reset your AirPods to potentially disrupt any connectivity issues preventing pinging. But this should be a final step since it will wipe their pairing info.

  • If your AirPods are completely lost or damaged, you‘ll need to contact Apple Support and pay a replacement fee. For AppleCare+ subscribers, this is $29 per AirPod.

Losing an AirPod can be frustrating, but Find My gives you a powerful tool to track them down in most cases. Just stay calm, follow this guide, and happy listening when you‘re reunited with your wandering AirPods!