Can Stolen AirPods Be Used?

AirPods are more than a set of wireless earbuds. They have an extraordinary amount of technology built into them. This is the reason they are so expensive and what often makes them a target for thieves.

With all that technology, do they have any type of anti-theft protection? The answer is, no they do not!

Even though these wonderful little devices can do some amazing things, any thief can grab them and then easily pair them to their own device or sell them to someone else who can use them just as easily as you.

My name is Eric and I love to find out how tech devices work. With years of experience as an engineer, I am often able to solve problems and figure out how things work. When I do, I enjoy passing that information along to others.

If you would like to find out more about AirPod security, features you can use to find them when they are lost and how to replace them.

Keep reading and we will discuss this some more.

How Can Stolen AirPods Be Used?

Although AirPods are designed with an abundance of technology, there really are not any anti-theft type features to help protect them. Add this into their great value and diminutive size and they are an easy and popular item for thieves.

The ease with which they can use or sell them depends on what they get away with. If they swipe them in the charging case, then they can be disconnected from your device, connected to theirs, and up and running before they even leave your proximity.

All they have to do is hold the button down for 15 seconds to do a factory reset and they can then easily pair and connect them to their device and your device will no longer recognize them or be able to find them using a location app.

If they get them without the case. No problem. AirPods aren’t matched or required to work with a specific charging case. They can use their own case to reset them or another case that they may have stolen from someone else.

Stealing just one AirPod might not seem useful but it still can be. The one will still work and they can easily match it with another that they already have or plan to take from someone else.

How Can I Protect My AirPods

So in essence, stealing any part or all of your AirPod equipment can be useful and therefore makes each piece valuable to thieves. 

Since there is no deterrent, any type of protection, or way to lock them, the best thing to do is always keep them safely in your pocket, purse, backpack, or wherever you can store them out of sight. Never leave them lying around where they can easily be picked up.

Can I Locate Them If They Are Lost Or Stolen

AirPods do have location technology built into them and using the Find My app you can locate them. The only caveats are that they must be still turned on and they need to be connected to your device. Once out of range, powered down, or reset you won’t be able to find them.

One more thing is that you need to have turned the Find My app on before they went missing. If you had not turned it on, then the app will not know about them since they are no longer connected and it won’t be able to tell you where they are, or the last known location.

If they are still within range, connected, and turned on, the Find My app can show you where they are and they can even make them emit a loud sound to help you find them. If a thief has just taken them, is still nearby, and has not reset them, you may still have a chance.

If you quickly use the app to locate and create the sound you could identify them before they get away. Just be cautious whenever confronting someone. You don’t want to get into a dangerous situation or blame someone who is an innocent bystander.

If the AirPods have powered down, are out of range, or have been reset, you are out of luck. The app will show you the last known location of them which may help in determining what happened or help you to track them down if they are simply lost.

For more information on how to use the Find My app to locate Airpods, take a looks that the video below from Apple support.

Can I Replace Individual AirPods Or The Case?

You certainly can replace an individual Airpod and even the case. Obviously, if you have had both AirPods and the case lost or stolen, it is cheaper and easier to just purchase a whole new set.

I won’t list the prices of replacements here because they are likely to change. You will need to make sure to get the correct replacements to match, either AirPods or Airpod Pros. If you are getting a case you will also need to ensure you get the correct one.

If you would like to find out the cost of replacement or more about the process take a look at the link from Apple Support.

Can I Use Just One Airpod?

If you have lost one or a thief got away with just one of your AirPods, there is a bright side. As we said above you can purchase a replacement, but if you don’t want to shell out the cash for a new one, you can still use the one you have left as long as you still have a charging case.

They are smart enough to know when they connect, that there is just one and it will switch from stereo to mono so that all audio channels will still be heard in one single earbud and you won’t miss anything from your music or other audio.

Final Words

Stolen AirPods can easily be used by simply resetting them using any available and compatible charging case. Unfortunately, there are not any built-in theft deterrents. The best way to prevent theft is to keep them in a safe place where no one can get their hands on them.

There are ways to locate them if they are still connected and turned on. If you do lose any piece of your set, you can get those pieces replaced by contacting Apple support.

I hope the information provided above helps you with your AirPods. As usual, please let us know if you have any questions.

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