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I had parked my follower at an inn with a bunch of valuable items that I didn't want to carry. I guess I have been out a bit too long as this message appears:

Your follower tires of waiting and leaves.

There have been other situations where my follower has mysteriously disappeared as well.

How can I find my follower when they get up and leave or disappear into thin air?

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This question is a good starting point for a general question about followers leaving, especially since we're getting dupes: revised it to be that. –  user3389 Nov 16 '11 at 22:07
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I found my love at sky heaven temple's entrance. –  user17224 Dec 27 '11 at 22:10
    
My follower disapeared on me too but he doesnt reapear when I fast travel and he didn't die. One minute he was in solitude with me and then I talked to the jarl and I noticed he was missing. –  user18427 Jan 16 '12 at 19:41
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7 Answers

up vote 39 down vote accepted

When a follower mysteriously disappears, there are one of three things that have happened:

  • They're dead. Sorry. If you want your stuff, you'll want to find where they died. If she was with you up to just recently, backtracking shouldn't be too difficult.

  • They bugged out. This one's pretty easy to resolve: enter a new area or fast travel somewhere. They'll be right behind you.

  • They went home. This is what the message refers to. Return to where you picked them up originally: in the case of Lydia, that means Breezehome (if you've purchased it) or Dragonsreach in Whiterun.

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For PC, you can enter console commands (get to the console by pressing the tilde key, which is ` or ~ on your keyboard, usually under the Esc key and to the left of the 1 key):

prid <RefID>
moveto player

They get lost a lot so I do this a lot. I just memorize the RefID. Like for example, Lydia's RefID is a2c94 and Iona is a2c93

So for example, to move Iona to me, I put in:

prid a2c93
moveto player

Sometimes, you have to enter it twice. Like this:

prid a2c93
moveto player
prid a2c93
moveto player

Sometimes, they might have died. then you need to resurrect them. So do this:

resurrect
prid a2c93
moveto player

NOTE: if you resurrect them it will remove all their inventory! If they had items, it's better to go to a previous save where they have not died!

NOTE: If you press the up-arrow on your keyboard it goes to commands you typed previously. However, when you close the game then your command history is erased.

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It is silly to re-enter the RefID. The first moveto moves the reference to the closest warp to the player (so I believe), and the second one places at the player. –  Hello71 Feb 20 '12 at 4:07
    
RefID is the reference. How else do you expect to define who you are referring to to move? It's not magic or a mind-reader. –  gameaddict Mar 6 '12 at 23:11
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@gameaddict No need to enter prid multiple times. Once you locked in to a RefID with, prid, the console remembers this. Just use the moveto, resurrect 1, etc. commands as usual. –  galacticninja Apr 5 '12 at 2:38
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Just going to add this link here which list all the followers. Visit the individuals page for the refid uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Followers –  Zoredache Nov 20 '13 at 0:10
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Followers will wait for you up to 3 days at the location you instructed them to.

Once your 3 days are up, you'll get the "Your follower tires of waiting and leaves" message, they will return to the location you initially "hired" them from.

In case of Housecarls, like Lydia, they will either return to the keep in their respective cities, or your home in said city (assuming you purchased one).

In case of mercenaries, they'll just return to the bar/inn/where-ever you hired them from.

Friends that become your companions return to their hometown and continue their daily NPC cycle.

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Nevermind. It seems that the follower simply goes home where you can recruit them again. The follower still has all items.

In case of Lydia:

Lydia will simply go back to Dragonsreach. or Breezehome

If you use mods, it seems possible for the follower to end up in other places. After searching for hours I once found Lydia in jail by finally using console command to teleport to her. I believe that this was an effect of Ultimate Follower Overhaul mod for PC.

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Is there a penalty to the attempt to re-recruit, along the lines of "The last time I went with you, you left me hanging in xxxxx, how do you intend to convince me you're not going to pull something like that again?" –  Shadur Nov 12 '11 at 15:34
    
no, there is no penalty. at least not with Lydia. could vary based on the follower. –  Patrick Klug Nov 13 '11 at 0:13
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If you bought a house, she'll be there instead. –  Kaz Dragon Nov 18 '11 at 15:40
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I had an issue with this on PC version. I told Lydia to wait. Previously, she had spawned back in Dragonsreach but for some reason this time she did not. So... I used a console command to move myself to her. Oddly enough, it ported me right to the keep in Dragonsreach (where I was already when I used the command... and where I expected her to be) and everything seemed fine afterwards. Seems to me like there is some kind of bug relating to this considering she had not died and she suddenly appeared only after I used the command to move to her. The command is: player.moveto

I suggest you save your game prior to using this command... also... don't use it while mounted... I did... and I think because it ported me inside... it then proceeded to crash not just my game but my computer and had to reboot. You can find the RefID for NPCs here:

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Category:Skyrim-NPCs

If you are not on the PC version I would suggest what Mark Trapp mentioned.

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I tried to 'player.moveto 000A2C94', which is Lydia's code, to find her, and ended up in Northwatch Keep. I turned the whole place upside down but can't find her or her body anywhere... Guess she's bugged and will never come back. –  François Cassin Nov 18 '11 at 23:11
    
@François Cassin, that method won't always work. It's better to use my method in my answer below. –  gameaddict Feb 20 '12 at 2:40
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@FrançoisCassin You might need to 'enable' or resurrect Lydia. Also, try teleporting Lydia to your location, instead of you to hers. –  galacticninja Nov 8 '12 at 9:46
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If you're playing on the PC, try teleporting your follower to your location through console commands. This is easier and faster (no loading screens) than going to your follower's location and getting him or her to follow you again.

Console commands to teleport your follower to the player's current location:
prid <RefID>
moveto player

prid targets an entity - your follower in this case. Search for your follower's RefID at the UESP wiki's "Followers" article.

(Another method to target instead of using prid <refID> is to open up the console and then click on an entity, this will automatically do prid <RefID> for the clicked entity. However, this method won't be useful in your situation as the follower is not near your vicinity, and can't be clicked on.)

moveto player moves the targeted entity near the vicinity of the player.

Your follower should now be near you after doing this. If for some weird reason, he/she is dead (happens sometimes), use the console command resurrect 1. Your follower should go back to life.

If for another weird reason, your follower is still not near your vicinity after doing this, he/she may have been 'disabled' from the game (might happen with NPCs that are long dead), making him/her not appear in the game. Type enable in the console to remedy this. If he/she still isn't up, type resurrect 1 again.

More info on console commands at the UESP wiki's "Console" article

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They go back to where they came from, or sometimes if you go there too fast, they are still on their way back (really doubtful they almost teleport) or if you haven't received the message saying they got tired, and you go where you left them, they died.

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protected by Community Jan 16 '12 at 23:14

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