How to use Check In to Keep Seniors Safe

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to use the new iOS 17 Check In feature that allows you to let your family or friends know you’ve arrived at your location. Check In is a great way to keep seniors safe!

Compatible iPhones

This feature is available on all iPhones updated to iOS 17 or newer.

  • not available on the Mac or iPad.

When are Notifications Sent to the Recipient

Your Check In recipient will receive message alerts when:

  • You Send the Check In. This will alert them to your Check In destination time or timer duration.
  • You end the Check In
  • You don’t respond to the Check In timer
  • You don’t respond to the Emergency SOS call prompt.
  • Your iPhone has been offline for some time.

How To Use Check In

Open the Messages app and choose a conversation or create a new one.

Tap the + button, now swipe up, or tap More. 

Now tap Check In

Where to find Check In

Review the initial information screens, and when ready, tap Continue.

Check In Information

Next, choose what you would like to share with this individual. Tap Show Example.

Limited Data: Includes your current or most recent location, your iPhone’s network signal details, and your iPhone or Apple Watch battery charge.

Full Data: Includes all the details of Limited Data, plus the route you traveled, the location where you unlocked your iPhone, and the location where you removed your Apple Watch.

After choosing your option, tap Continue.

Note: You can find the Limited or Full options inside the Settings app>Messages>Data once the Check In is active.

Check In Options

Follow through the details screen and tap Send  A Check In.

The Check In card will be added to your message. Tap Edit


Now you can send the Check In when you arrive at your location or after a specific time has passed. Here’s how to do that:

When I arrive: Tap the tab on the top. Next, tap Change, search for the location you’ll be traveling to, and tap Done. Now, choose Driving, Public Transport, or Walking to specify how you are traveling. This estimated arrival time lets your family member or friend know when you’ll arrive and automatically updates based on traffic and driving conditions. You can Add Time if you make a few extra stops. Choose 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. After adjusting your options, tap Done.

After a Timer: Use the slider to adjust the time, and your iPhone will prompt you at that time to respond. If you don’t respond within 15 minutes, Check In will automatically notify your family member or friend. After setting the timer, tap Done.

Finally, tap the blue arrow button and send the Check In.

Now, What Happens

The recipient will receive an alert:

Check In Notification

If you don’t reach your location or you don’t cancel the Check In, your iPhone will send you a Check In prompt. This is how it looks, and it will play a periodic short sound to get your attention.

If you don’t respond to the prompt within 15 minutes and tap end, your iPhone will send the details you selected, such as your current location, the route you traveled, battery status, and more, to the Check In recipient. You can also end the Check In from the Messages app. After you end it, the recipient will be notified.

If you’re okay but need more time, you can tap Add Time. You can add more time to the message by tapping Details> Add Time.

How the Recipient Sees Your Details

If you’ve not responded to the Check In alert or have not reached your destination, your Check In recipient or family member will receive a critical alert on their iPhone. Tapping it shows your location and other details.

Tapping the Check In alert on your iPhone will inform you that your contact has been notified and your location is being shared.

End Check In Before Time

To end the Check In before the time:

  • Open Messages
  • Locate the conversations where you sent the Check In
  • Tap Details
  • Cancel Check In

Cancel Check In

What Happens if the iPhone has no signal or Battery

If your location has no internet or your iPhone has no battery charge or is switched off, your family or friend may get a delayed Check In or early Check in notification.

How Many Check Ins can Be Active 

You can’t send another Check In to the same person if one is already active. This means you can’t simultaneously notify two people with Check In.


This new feature in iOS 17 could be of great use to seniors who travel and want to remain safe. You can quickly set up Check In and notify your family member or friend of your arrival. No more forgetting to make that phone call when you arrive, which I often do. Let me know in the comments if you want to try Check In.

Need help with your device? I’m always available for a  Free Consult.

Like Video instead? Head to my YouTube channel for more great tips.

Hi, I'm Ellen!

I help mature adults master their iPhone and iPads, even if they aren’t  techie! 

Learn more about me and how I can help you.

Click Here

Let's Connect!

Get My Top 7 Settings For Seniors in iOS