Rogue AirTags Will Emit a Noise After Three Days
AirTags have built-in privacy features to help prevent stalking, including the ability to play a sound when it’s been separated from its owner for an extended period of time. This is designed to let you know that an AirTag may have been planted on your person for nefarious purposes.
Apple’s AirTag page doesn’t specify how long “after a while” means, but John Gruber of Daring Fireball reached out to his contacts at Apple and found out that it’s currently three days. However, he notes that’s not baked into the AirTags themselves, but rather a server-side setting that Apple could change in the future.
At this point, the delay for the audible alert seems to be designed to balance usefulness and safety. Three days is long enough that you could have an AirTag on your kid’s backpack without worrying about it making a lot of noise, and since it only kicks in when the AirTag is moving, you also don’t need to worry about your bike chirping away if you leave it outside the house and don’t ride it for a few days.
Just keep in mind that this is how long it will take an AirTag to emit its own audible sound; your iPhone will alert you much sooner if it detects an unknown AirTag that’s moving around with you without its owner nearby. This will only apply to AirTags that are moving with you, however, so you won’t need to worry about alerts from AirTags left behind by family members or co-workers.