How to use Check In on your iPhone

Use Check In on iPhone to let your friends know you've arrived

By Abigail Shilets - Staff Writer
2 Min Read

Check In is a new iMessage app for iPhone that can automatically notify contacts when you reach a destination. This is especially useful for keeping tabs on teenagers, or keeping loved ones up to date when taking a long or potentially dangerous trip. Here’s how to use it in the Messages app.

How to Check In with Contacts in iOS 17

To use Check In, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open the Messages app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Open an iMessage conversation where you want to use Check In.

Step 3: Tap the plus ( ) button.

Step 4: swipe up, and tap Check In.
The first time you open Check In, you’re given a walkthrough of how it works, and you’re asked whether you want to default to Limited or Full data.

  • Limited shows your current location, signal strength, and the charge level of your iPhone and Apple Watch.

  • Full adds your full travel route, the last time your iPhone was unlocked, and whether your Apple Watch was removed.

Full is probably the wiser choice because you’re already trusting this person with your location and destination information, and if you do get lost, rescuers can more easily retrace your steps.

Step 5: When you use Check In, a widget appears in your iMessage composer.

Tap Edit to alter your settings. You can offer a check-in based on either:

  • When you arrive at your destination: Search for a destination on the map, and then iOS estimates your ETA based on your travel method—driving, transit, or walking. You can tap Add Time to add additional time to the estimate.

  • After a timer: You set a time, like one hour. When the timer goes off, you’re prompted to check back in. If you don’t check in within 15 minutes of the timer, the other party is notified.

Step 6: After you have everything set up, send the message to start Check In. The other party is notified when:

  • You first send the Check In

  • You arrive at your destination

  • You don’t respond when prompted

  • Your iPhone places an SOS call

  • Your iPhone is offline for an extended period of time

Benefits of Check In

One of the primary benefits of "Check In" is the safety assurance it provides. Personal safety is paramount, whether navigating the streets late at night, venturing into unfamiliar territory, or heading home, "Check In" serves as a digital guardian. It offers security, letting your contacts know you’ve safely arrived at your intended destination.

The feature can trace your route in real-time and send alerts to your contacts if there are any deviations or delays. It ensures that your loved ones are always informed, even if your journey doesn’t go as planned.

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By Abigail Shilets Staff Writer
Abigail is a staff writer for GeeksChalk based in Pennsylvania. She covers news, how-tos, and user guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. Before becoming a writer Abigail studied computer science at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. When not creating masterpiece for GeeksChalk, you can usually find Abigail hiking, climbing, or otherwise unplugged.
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