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?


8 Answers 8


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.

  • 6
    I should add that the followers from any of the guilds or the companions will go back to the guild home.
    – Oreo
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 11:56

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:

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! Or, moveto player first and pick up the items before resurrecting them.

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.

  • 3
    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
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 4:07
  • 2
    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.
    – gamecoder
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 23:11
  • 9
    @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. Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 2:38
  • 4
    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
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 0:10
  • 4
    if you use moveto first you can pick up the items from them, then resurrect
    – Mateo
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 2:17

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.


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.

  • 4
    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?" Commented Nov 12, 2011 at 15:34
  • 1
    no, there is no penalty. at least not with Lydia. could vary based on the follower. Commented Nov 13, 2011 at 0:13
  • 9
    If you bought a house, she'll be there instead.
    – Kaz Dragon
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 15:40

Console commands

If you’re on a platform that supports console commands, use them to teleport your follower to you. This is easier and saves time (avoids loading screens), unlike going back to your follower's location and making them 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, they are dead (which 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, they may have been "disabled" from the game (might happen with NPCs that are long dead), making them not appear in the game. Type enable in the console to remedy this. If your follower still isn't up, type resurrect 1 again.

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

Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S players can use the following mod to run the same console commands: Multi-Utility 6.1 by Selyb (XB1 port). Make sure to read the description on the mod page first and the post about the original Xbox 360 mod, as the instructions for running these console commands may differ for the Xbox.

Platforms that do not support console commands

Look for your followers in their default locations, like where you initially hired them, or their homes, following their default NPC schedules. See their respective articles in the UESP wiki for info on their locations and schedules.

With the Hearthfire DLC, if you've made your follower the personal steward of one of your houses, then look for your follower at that house.

If you've recruited your follower to join the Blades, then look for them at Sky Haven Temple.

If you can't find them in their default locations, check the jails of the various cities or holds. These posts: "Lydia goes to jail", "Where's my follower? In jail, of course...", "follower somehow ended up in jail...", suggest that followers can be arrested and jailed. If arrested, they will make the jail their new "home."

Specific followers


If married or recruited for the Blades, he will attempt to return to Darkwater Crossing every day, thus making him very hard to get hold of, since all purchasable homes and Sky Haven Temple are quite a long distance away from Darkwater Crossing. This bug is fixed by version 1.1 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.

Source: "Derkeethus", UESP Wiki


  • If you hire her and enter Jorrvaskr, she may disappear. If this happens, check the Dragonsreach Dungeon.

  • Sometimes Jenassa may disappear from the Drunken Huntsman and will instead be found standing stationary a short way off the main road just west of Broken Fang Cave. Hiring her as a follower then dismissing her will cause her to walk back to her normal location at the Drunken Huntsman.

Source: "Jenassa", UESP Wiki


If she is not following you, she resides in the main hall of Dragonsreach, although if you purchase Breezehome, she will move there.

Source: "Lydia", UESP Wiki

  • 2
    A heads-up on the placeatme console command: Using that command will instantly summon an instance (a copy) of an object or NPC at your position. Not recommended for named objects or NPCs. That command creates a new copy of an object/actor in the world; using it with named objects/NPCs can result in duplicates, which could cause glitches and other unwanted game behavior. Use the prid <RefID> and moveto player commands instead. Commented May 8, 2014 at 5:39

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.

  • 1
    This is a good point that I don't think anyone else mentioned -- it takes time for them to travel, so you may beat them back to wherever they were going. If you arrive an they aren't there, wait some number of hours to see if they show up. I did this a lot with fast travel - they don't have the fast travel ability. :)
    – Tim S.
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 17:12

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:


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

  • 4
    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. Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 23:11
  • @François Cassin, that method won't always work. It's better to use my method in my answer below.
    – gamecoder
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 2:40
  • 3
    @FrançoisCassin You might need to 'enable' or resurrect Lydia. Also, try teleporting Lydia to your location, instead of you to hers. Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 9:46

Amazing Follower Tweaks - MCM version - English

On the page called NPC List, there's options to teleport: Them to you. You to them. You and your entire party to them. Or all followers to you that you've ever recruited, regardless of whether they're dismissed or not.

  • There doesn't seem to be a Companion Whistle mod for Skyrim like there is for Fallout. But playing Skyrim w/o AFT is silly anyway so it doesn't matter. But having it bound to #2 sure is nice though (which AFT can't do) because it's 'trade' when speaking, and they like to walk away, so I spam '2' and 'e' until their inventory opens. But again that's Fallout, because I have another Skyrim mod for opening follower's inventory (so that I can re-equip bugged-out HDT hair every two minutes)..
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 1:46
  • "Guess she's bugged and will never come back." - no, she's just invisible (HDT anything can and will do that). OpenActorContainer 1; or prid them .... then unequipall
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 1:46
  • "Follower Hotkeys will register with MCM, at which point you can set two different keys; a 'trade' key and a 'command' key."
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 1:52

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