In watchOS 8+, Apple divides up the Find My app into a collection of three distinctive Find apps: Find Devices, Find Items, and Find People. With these Apple-Watch only Find My apps, you can find missing devices, items, or people without opening up and using your iPhone!
These three Apple Watch Find My apps help you:
- Locate your friends and family (Find People.)
- Identify where any misplaced Apple devices are, such as your Apple Watch, iPhone, or AirPods you signed in with the same Apple ID (Find Devices.)
- Discover the location of items with AirTags or accessories that support Works with Apple Find My Network that you signed in with the same Apple ID (Find Items.)
You won’t find these apps on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac–they are only for Apple Watch. If you use an iPhone (or Mac and iPad) only, you still use the single Find My app for locating people (friends), devices, and items.
This article shows you how to track a lost or missing item, such as an AirTagged set of keys or Works with Find My third-party device, using your Apple Watch and the Find Items app!
So let’s get to it!
- How to get a left behind notification when you forget your iPhone, Apple Watch, AirTagged item, or other(s)
- Notify when left behind notifications not working or showing up on iPhone or Apple Watch?
Set up your items in your iPhone’s Find My app
Okay, I did say you can use Find Items without your iPhone. However, you cannot add items into the watch app–at least not yet.
So, if you haven’t already done so, the first step is to add your AirTagged items or accessories that support Works with Apple Find My.
For AirTags, you should have added them into Find My when you set them up. If they aren’t showing up or you haven’t set them up yet, follow the steps below.
Register your AirTag or a Works with Apple Find My supported item directly in the Find My app
- Open the Find My app on your iPhone.
- Tap the Items tab at the bottom.
- Scroll down to the bottom of your list of items.
- Tap Add New Item, then tap Add AirTag or tap Other Supported Item.
- For new AirTags, remove the battery tab from the AirTag, then hold it near your iPhone.
- For third-party products that support Apple’s Find My network, review your product’s user guide for instructions on enabling the Find My functionality.
- Wait for Find My to locate the item. You see a message that it is searching for AirTag or Items.
- Follow the Find My pairing instructions for third-party items. These usually involve pressing a button on the device itself.
- When Find My discovers your AirTag or supported item, tap Connect and follow the remaining on-screen instructions.
Once you have all your items listed in your iPhone’s Find My app, you’re ready to track them on your Apple Watch!
Use the Find Items app on your Apple Watch
Apple’s Find My network uses secure Bluetooth technology to locate your missing items and notify you of their approximate location.
- On your Apple Watch, open the Find Items app.
- Scroll down the list using your finger or the digital crown and tap on the missing item’s name.
- Below the item name, scroll down to see a map of its current location and the nearest address.
- Scroll down to see additional features, including play sound or get directions, notification settings, lost mode, and additional details (shows the serial number and firmware version.)
- Find Items includes two notification settings:
- Notify When Found. When you toggle this on, you are notified when your AirTag or Works with Find My item is found by one of your devices.
- Notify When Left Behind. When you toggle this feature on, you are notified when you leave your item behind and separate it from your Apple Watch. If you often forget and leave items at home or wherever this is a feature you should turn on! Learn more in our article: How to get a left behind notification when you forget your iPhone, Apple Watch, AirTagged item, or other(s)
- Locate your missing item by tapping:
- Play Sound. If you think your item is nearby, tap this option, and the missing device beeps so you can locate it.
- Directions: If you cannot find it nearby or believe it went missing so time ago, tap on directions. This opens up Apple Maps and shows you route options to retrieve your missing item. Once in the vicinity, we recommend tapping play sound to locate it.
Can’t locate your missing item?
If you tried to find your item, but it’s still lost, there are a couple of things you should immediately turn on.
#1 Notify When Found
Toggle on this notification setting for the missing item in your watch’s Find Items app. If any of your devices signed in with the same Apple ID locate the item, you receive a notification.
#2 Lost Mode
If you lose an AirTagged item or third-party item, turn on Lost Mode to mark it as lost.
- Toggle on Lost Mode for the missing item in your watch’s Find Items app. Once you toggle it on, it immediately activates.
- Review the phone number to ensure it’s correct, or tap it to enter a different phone number where someone can reach you.
- Lost mode adds a message that the item is marked as lost. You cannot edit this message on the watch.
- If someone finds your missing item, they see a notification with a link for more information from Apple’s Find My network.
- Lost mode automatically turns on Notify When Found, so you receive a notification of its location if that information becomes available on any of your devices signed in with the same Apple ID.
When you mark an AirTag or third-party Find My app network item as lost, no one else can pair with it. It remains linked to your Apple ID.
Anyone that finds your missing item can press it to their iPhone, Android, or NFC-capable smartphone and see a notification with a link to see additional details about your lost item, including your contact information and the item’s serial number.
Don’t see the Find Items app on your Apple Watch?
If you updated to watchOS 8, but you don’t see the Find Items app, restart your watch.
If it’s still not there, open the App Store on your watch and search for Find Items to reinstall it.
It’s likely that the app was deleted or was never installed.
Find Items doesn’t show any items and is empty?
If you added items to Apple’s Find My app, but you aren’t seeing them on your watch’s Find Items app, try these troubleshooting steps:
- Wait for 10-20 seconds after opening Find Items for items and devices to update your watch.
- Place your Apple Watch on its charger and start charging. Then, try opening Find Items again.
- Restart your Apple Watch and/or paired iPhone.
- Toggle your iPhone’s Bluetooth off, wait 20 seconds, and toggle it back on.
- Force close the Find Items app on your watch and/or force close the Find My app on your paired iPhone.
What devices and products work with Apple’s Find My network?
With iOS15+ and watchOS 8+, you can Apple’s Find My app to locate and keep track of Apple’s own products as well as select third-party products, even when they aren’t connected to the internet!
To find compatible accessories and products, look for a label or badge that says Works with Apple Find My or Locate with Apple Find My.
Apple’s Find My network leverages the Bluetooth capabilities of other users’ Apple devices to detect any missing devices or items nearby and then reports their approximate location back to the owner of the missing item or device.
Once the owner opens the Apple Watch’s Find Items app or the Find My app, they can then locate their missing Apple products or Works with Apple Find My accessories using the map, directions, and sounds available within those apps.
It certainly is easy to track lost, misplaced, or missing items using your Apple Watch’s Find Items app, especially if you are on the go and can’t access your iPhone easily.
I especially like the play sound option when looking for my house and car keys at home! Using my Apple Watch with the Find Items app has saved me countless minutes locating those keys! Plus, I can do it all from my wrist.