How to Use ‘Separation Alerts’ in iOS 15 so You Never Forget Your Phone Again

How to Use ‘Separation Alerts’ in iOS 15 so You Never Forget Your Phone Again
Photo: Cory Woodruff, Shutterstock

If you’re like me, leaving the house is consistently a last-minute, out-of-breath dash as you desperately try to avoid being late to wherever you’re going. As such, things like keys, bags, even MacBooks are often forgotten, remembered only when it’s too late. If that’s true for you, you’ll want to take advantage of iOS 15’s new separation alerts to never stray too far from your items again.

Of course, separation alerts aren’t just useful for leaving objects behind yourself. If someone nicks your device, they won’t be able to get too far without your iPhone letting you know. It’s a good first-warning system for any situation where you’re separated from your stuff. And, since it works with Find My, you’ll be able to see where the device was last connected to the network.

What devices support iOS 15 separation alerts?

Apple doesn’t have a full list of devices that work with this feature, but here’s a list of the ones it likely supports at this time:

  • iPhone running iOS 15 or later
  • iPads running iPadOS 15 or later
  • Macs running macOS Monterey or later
  • Apple Watch running watchOS 8 or later
  • AirTags (no specific firmware version known at this time)
  • Find My-supported accessories, such as VanMoof’s S3 and X3 e-bikes, Belkin’s SOUNDFORM Freedom True Wireless Earbuds, and the Chipolo ONE Spot item finder

How to set up separation alerts on your iPhone

Separation alerts are remarkably easy to set up once you know where to look. To start, open the Find My app, then tap “Devices” or “Items,” depending on the object you’re looking to set up separation alerts for. Tap on the device in question, then scroll up on the menu. If that device is compatible with the feature, you’ll see a “Notify When Left Behind” option. Tap it.

Screenshot: Jake Peterson Screenshot: Jake Peterson

On the following page, you’ll see “Notify When Left Behind.” Simply tap the slider next to this option and the feature will be enabled. Tap “Done” to lock in your settings. Now, whenever you leave the vicinity of that particular device, you’ll receive an alert on your iPhone warning you about it.

Screenshot: Jake Peterson Screenshot: Jake Peterson

You’ll also notice a “NOTIFY ME, EXCEPT AT” option on this page as well. This option allows you to set specific locations that Find My will not send separation alerts for. For example, you don’t want your iPhone yelling at you every time you leave your house without your Find My-enabled bike. That’s why you’ll likely see iOS recommend your home as a location to choose here.

To choose your own location, tap “New Location.” By default, Find My will pull up your current location. To choose a custom location, tap the search field at the top of this page, enter the address of your choice, then tap “Search.” When Find My pulls up your location, you can fine-tune it by long-pressing on the red pin and dragging it where you like.

Additionally, you can use the blue circle to expand the radius that this location covers; Find My will even let you know how many feet your radius is as you change it. If you’d rather Find My change the radius for you, you can choose Small, Medium, or Large from the menu bar below and watch your radius change accordingly.

Screenshot: Jake Peterson Screenshot: Jake Peterson

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