Thwart Apple AirTag stalkers with Unknown Tracker Alerts on Android

Thwart Apple AirTag stalkers with Unknown Tracker Alerts on Android

Last updated: October 2, 2023 

Sorry, Apple AirTag stalkers, but Google foiled your plans. The jig is up, the news is out. Those green text message bubbles will sure come in handy now, eh? If you discover your stalkee rides the green bubble, chances are now very good that your clandestine mission to track them ended before it began. That’s because Google has introduced a way to thwart Apple AirTag stalkers with Unknown Tracker Alerts on Android, a new method to protect Android users from those who seek to plant a tracking device. The anti-tracking feature is rolling out to Android users now.

Apple AirTags are small Bluetooth trackers their owners attach to belongings to help them find them if lost. However, one might also use AirTags for nefarious purposes like stalking. Unknown Tracker Alerts allow Android devices to scan for nearby AirTags and notify the user if the feature detects an unknown AirTag in their vicinity. The Unknown Tracker Alerts feature supports a manual and automatic scan for Apple AirTags (support for other tracking devices is coming soon). Here’s how to use it.

Turn on Automatic Unknown Tracker Alerts

The good news is Android enables Unknown Tracker Alerts by default. Follow the steps below to turn unknown tracker alerts on or off as needed (Android 12 and newer).

1. On your Android device, tapĀ Settings, then tapĀ Safety & emergency.

Safety & emergency

2. Tap Unknown tracker alerts.

Unknown tracker alerts

3. Use the toggle to turn Allow alerts on or off.

Allow alerts

Please note that if you have unknown tracker alerts enabled, an automatic notification displays if an unknown tracker is traveling with you. It is also important to note that if you turn the feature off, your device deletes any stored information about previously located trackers with no method to recover it.

Manually Scan for Unknown Trackers

1. On your Android device, tap Settings, then tap Safety & emergency, as above.

2. Tap Unknown tracker alerts, also as above.

3. Tap Scan now.

Scan now

Google says it takes around 10 seconds to complete a manual scan, and manual scan results are NOT saved. Don’t freak out if a manual scan yields a positive result. It is possible that a tracker found using a manual scan is just misplaced or out of Bluetooth range from the owner’s device. However, it is possible that a stalker planted a tracker on you, so do not ignore tracker alerts either.

Tracker detected. Now what?

1. Tap the tracker notification to open a map.

Tracker traveling with you
Image credit: Google

2. Tap the Play sound button and follow the sound to the tracker’s hidden location (the tracker’s owner will NOT receive a notification).

Unknown tracker detected
Image credit: Google

3. Tap the Next steps button and follow the instructions.

What to do after finding a tracker
Image credit: Google

First and foremost, if you feel your safety is at risk, contact the police right away. Next, if you located a tracker, check its serial number (located on the back of the AirTag). You can use this serial number to track down the owner of the AirTag if they have registered it with Apple. Finally, disable the tracker to stop it from tracking you by removing its battery.

Thank you for visiting Tech Help Knowledgebase to learn how to thwart Apple AirTag stalkers with Unknown Tracker Alerts on Android.