How to Fix Cannot Set Up This AirTag Error on iPhone

Are you facing the cannot set up this AirTag error on iPhone?

The most recent addition to Apple’s Find My ecosystem is the AirTag. It is a tiny gadget that operates on Bluetooth technology to help you locate your valuable assets at any time. But what if the AirTags are showing an error while trying to connect it to your iPhone?

Apple claims that it allows up to 16 AirTags to be associated with each Apple ID. So, if your device is displaying the “Cannot Set Up This AirTag” error, it could be due to a system bug or issues related to network connectivity, Apple ID, Find My feature, and more.

But don’t worry. Similar to all other iOS 15 issues, such as Live Location Not Working or Failed Verification Issue, this too can be fixed. This is why we’ve brought you this step-by-step and in-depth guide to help you battle the problem.

Read on to find out how!

1. Ensure AirTag Is Turned On.

It’s important to know that new AirTags are disabled by default to avoid accidental registration and save battery. Apple puts a plastic tab between the AirTag and its battery.

To pair it with your iPhone, you need to pull off the plastic tab after taking the AirTag out of its packaging. Then, bring this tiny device closer to receive a pop-up. Then, begin the setup process.

Cannot Set Up This AirTag Error on iPhone

2. Use Find My To Set Up AirTag.

A popup will appear on the screen whenever you remove the plastic tab and switch on the AirTag. If it doesn’t, it means your iPhone cannot detect the nearby AirTag. As a result, you’ll need to set it up using the Find My app manually.

But before you proceed, make sure that Find My is enabled on your device. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, open Settings and go to your profile.
  2. Then, tap on Find My.
  3. Select Find My iPhone and ensure the Find My iPhone toggle is enabled.
Enable Find My iPhone
  1. Now, to set up the AirTag, launch the Find My app.
  2. Go to the Items tab and tap on Add Item.
  3. Next, a popup window will open. Simply tap on the Add AirTag button.
Add AirTag on iPhone
  1. Your iPhone will then show you a screen displaying Searching For AirTag.
Cannot Set Up This AirTag Error on iPhone
  1. Once done, tap on Connect.

If your iPhone doesn’t move past the searching screen, try out other methods explained in this guide.

3. Do Not Use Managed Apple ID.

The Managed Apple IDs, specifically created for the educational environment, do not support AirTags. So, if your iPhone is set up using one of such IDs, you won’t be able to use Apple’s latest accessory.

To use the Apple AirTags, you can always create a personal Apple ID. Then, sign in to your iPhone to track your valuables using AirTags. 

4. Clean Your AirTag.

Although Apple AirTags are designed to withstand various external and internal factors, you may not want to rule out the possibility that the accumulation of dirt on its surface is preventing it from being paired up.

For this reason, you should clean it thoroughly and then check if the issue has been resolved.

6. Check iPhone’s Connectivity.

The Cannot Set Up This AirTag Error on iPhone could be due to poor connectivity. This demands you to recheck Location and Bluetooth. Location Services play a significant role when it comes to precise tracking of your AirTags. Bluetooth is also important as that helps them stay connected to Apple’s Find My services.

So, if you notice any problems, do not hesitate to turn these features off and then back on again. Here’s how to do it:

  1. For Location Services, open Settings and go to Privacy.
  2. Turn the toggle off next to Location Services.
iPhone Location Services
  1. Turn it back on after restarting your device.
  2. Similarly, for Bluetooth connectivity, open Settings and tap on Bluetooth. Tap on the toggle to turn it on/off.
Cannot Set Up This AirTag Error on iPhone

Hopefully, this will resolve the issue. In case it doesn’t, move to the following method.

7. Enable Two Factor Authentication.

Apple is very concerned about the security of users. For this reason, it has made it mandatory for users to turn on Two-Factor Authentication. If you don’t have it enabled on your device, this could be a reason why you’re unable to set up an AirTag.

These are the steps you need to follow:

  1. First, launch Settings.
  2. Then, tap on your Apple ID at the top.
  3. Next, go to Passwords & Security and tap on Two-Factor Authentication to turn it on.
Turn On Two-Factor Authentication

After that, you’ll need to answer a few questions and/or enter your phone number to verify yourself.

8. Check For iOS Updates.

As the latest iOS brings new features and improves bugs, immediately update your iPhone if you have it available. This will remove the Cannot Set Up This AirTag error on iPhone if it was a result of a system glitch.

Below are the instructions to check for an iOS update:

  1. On your Settings app, go to General.
  2. Then, tap on Software Update.
  3. Your iPhone will then automatically check for any updates available. If there is one, tap on Download and Install.
Download and Install iOS 15

Once the installation finishes, your iPhone will reboot on its own. Wait for it, then check to see if the error is gone.

9. Check AirTag’s Battery.

When Apple released the AirTags with a replaceable battery, it was nothing less than a shock for all of us. But more than that, it is a relief for all users as any battery error can be fixed by simply getting a replacement.

Although Apple ships the AirTags with proper plastic packing, its battery may still get damaged during transit. If you face the “Cannot set up this AirTag” error on iPhone, try reinserting the battery first. If that doesn’t work, consider replacing it to see if that works.

To take out the AirTag’s battery, follow these steps:

  1. To begin, press down the AirTag’s stainless steel back with your fingers.
  2. While doing so, rotate it in the counterclockwise direction until it comes off.
  3. Next, pull apart the AirTag and remove the battery.
  4. Place the new or same AirTag battery back in gently.
  5. Finally, put the cover back in its place, and this time rotate it clockwise to tighten it.

10. Use Another iPhone.

If you have another iPhone at hand, try connecting it to the AirTag. This will help you determine whether the fault is in the AirTag or your device. Also, remember to log in to another Apple ID on the second iPhone when following this method.

11. Reset Apple AirTag.

Suppose you realize that your iPhone is failing to set up the tracking gadget due to the AirTag Precision Finding Error or connectivity issue. In that case, you can resolve it with a simple reset. Follow the instructions below to do so:

  1. Start by launching the Find My app on your device.
  2. Tap on the Items tab and select the AirTag you wish to reset.
  3. Then, swipe up to reveal the AirTag settings and tap on Remove item.
Cannot Set Up This AirTag Error on iPhone
  1. Again, tap on Remove to confirm your action.

Once done, try reconnecting the AirTag to your iPhone the usual way.

12. Reset iPhone’s Network Settings

At times, turning connectivity features on/off may not be very effective. You can then opt to reset your iPhone’s network settings entirely to any network-related glitches in the system.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Go to General in your Settings app.
  2. Then, scroll to the bottom and tap on Reset.
  3. From there, select Reset Network Settings.
Cannot Set Up This AirTag Error on iPhone
  1. When prompted, enter your passcode.
  2. Again, tap on Reset Network Settings to begin the process.

When done, restart your device before connecting to Wi-Fi or Mobile Data.

13. Contact Apple Support.

The last resort to any Apple-related issue is to contact the Customer Support Center. As of now, the company only caters to users who contact them through phone calls or in-person. Apple email support isn’t available yet.

This ends our guide. Hopefully, by now, you’ve learned how to fix cannot set up this AirTag error on iPhone. If the methods explained were helpful, let us know in the comment section below and share this guide with your friends and family facing the same problem.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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