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How to Use Check In Safety Feature on iPhone: Guide

by Gaurav Bidasaria
How to Use Check In Safety Feature on iPhone: Guide

iOS 17 Developer Beta version is here and with it comes with a number of features like StandBy and Check In. So what is Check In and how does it work on your iPhone? Should you even care? Turns out, Check In is a new twist on an old iPhone feature that makes it even more useful and easier to use. Here’s how to use Check In on your iPhone.

What Is Check In

There is a feature in the Find My app under the People tab where you can share your location live with your family members and loved ones.

share location using find my on iphone

Apple has now found a way to make sharing location even better with some additional thoughtful inputs. So instead of opening the Find My app, you can now share live location with Check In directly from the Messages app, something that we all use all the time. Check In brings a few additional tricks with it and we tested the app so you don’t have to.

check in welcome message on iphone

You can also control what kind of data is shared with your confidant and when so privacy and security is taken care of.

How to Use Check In on iPhone Messages

Check In not only allows you to share your live location but also use a timer and allows you check in to let your friend or family member know you have reached.

1. Open Message app and select the contact that you want to check in with. Tap on the plus + icon and then choose More button.

advanced sharing options in message app on iphone

2. Select Check In from the menu. A Check In widget will be added to the chat but it is not sent yet. Tap on the Edit button to set the details.

add check in to message on iphone

3. There are two tabs. When I arrive which is location and GPS based. You set a location here and when you reach that location, your contact will be notified automatically so they know you have reached safely. Tap on Change button to search and set a location. You can increase or decrease the area covered by selecting Small, Medium, Large options that will increase/decrease the radius of the area selected. Tap on Done to save.

select location to check in on iphone message app

4. Second tab is After a timer where you can set a time after which your contact will be notified whether or not you have checked in or reached your destination. However, you will have to check in manually here by opening the Messages app.

set a timer for check in on iphone message app

5. When you choose a location, based on the way of your transit, Maps app will calculate the time it will take you to reach your destination. You can choose your way of transit too.

set location based check in on iphone message

6. If you feel the transit time is wrong or want to add more time, simply tap on Add Extra Time to add more time. Again, your contact will be notified automatically when you reach your destination. No need to check in manually.

7. When the timer ends, you will be prompted to check in. You can either check in if you have reached the destination or you can tap on Details to Add Extra Time if you think there is traffic and more time is needed. You can also Cancel Check In. In either case, your contact will be notified.

add extra time or cancel check in on iphone message

8. You can add 15, 30, or 60 minutes as extra time. There is no way to set the timer manually when adding extra time. You will have to check in manually. A reminder will be sent when the time ends.

What Happens When You Don’t Reach Destination

We saw how you can set a check in based on both timer and location. We also noted what happens when you reach your destination. But what happens when you don’t reach your home in time after a check in is set and sent?

When the timer ends, your contact receives a notification and an option to call. They can also check your location in case they need to search for you because you are not answering the call.

what happens when check in timer ends

This is what you see on the lock screen when the check in is enabled and set. And this is what you see when you don’t reach your destination in time.

what you see when check in is not check

A critical message is displayed on the screen tapping on which will let your contact make a call to you or view your location in real-time.

How to Choose What Data to Share in Check In

Remember, we mentioned that Apple has added a few new tricks and one of them is the amount of data you share with your contacts. There are two options – Full and Half.

When you are setting up a Check In based on either location or time, you will see Data option. Tap on Message Settings below it to change it. That will open Settings > Messages. Tap on Shared Data.

change data sharing settings in check in on iphone

Inside, you can share Current location only (Limited) or All locations visited. The options are self-explanatory and what you choose here will depend on how much you trust your contact and what you are upto.

change check in data sharing settings

Now you know everything you need to know to use check in on iPhone Messages app.


1. What happens in case of a delay or when a prompt is sent to check in when the time ends but you fail to check in?

When the timer ends, either in time or location based check in, you will be prompted to check in. You can either check in or add extra time as we saw above. If you fail to do either or if you make an Emergency SOS call from your iPhone, you will receive a prompt. If you do not respond, your contact will be notified as an Emergency Contact.

2. Apart from location, what other data is shared with my contact?

Apple says that the contact will receive additional data in case there is emergency such as your iPhone’s signal strength and battery percentage. However, we couldn’t find a way to control these settings in the iOS 17 developer beta version.

3. What about data privacy and security?

Apple notes that all the data is encrypted and only you and your trusted contact will have access to it.

Check In, Check Out

Based on our testing, we would recommend the location based check in because it is automated and takes the guessing out of the game. However, if you don’t want to share where you are going, use the timer and simply check in when you reach wherever it is that you were going.

Another iOS 17 feature is the ability to set a fullscreen poster that will appear on receivers iPhone screen when you make them a call. Here is how to set up posters on iPhone.

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