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How to use Safety Check in iOS 17 on iPhone

Apple has released a new security tool called Safety Check in WWDC 2022. The feature comes as a new section in the Settings app, where users can quickly review and reset the access granted to others. It’s a great help to those at risk of domestic abuse as it helps activate the emergency reset and manage sharing and access.

Here’s everything you need to know about Safety Check and how to use it on your iPhone!

What is Safety Check on iPhone?

What is Safety Check in iOS 16

Safety Check is a security tool that stops sharing your location in Find My Network, resets your privacy permission for all apps, and protects access to your messages by signing out of your iCloud account.

Many of us are comfortable sharing credentials with our partners. However, in some abusive relationships, this becomes a threat to privacy and can even prevent us from getting help.

While working with some US organizations supporting victims of domestic and intimate partner violence, like the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Center for Victims of Crime, and WESNET (The Women’s Services Network), Apple realized the problem and came up with Safety Check as a solution.

Basically, Safety Check consists of two main features:

  1. Emergency Reset – Quickly resets access to your device’s information for all people and apps.
  2. Manage Sharing and Access – Allows you to customize access you’ve given to apps and people.

What is Emergency Reset, and how to use it?

Emergency Reset, as the name suggests, is to be used in emergency situations when you don’t want anyone to access your location or iCloud data. This feature wipes all access permissions and redirects you to review your account security as well as reset your credentials. Moreover, Apple will not notify other users who had access to it.

Mainly, when you perform Emergency Reset, Apple will perform actions in these three areas.

  • People And Apps: It will immediately stop sharing your data with everyone and remove access from all apps.
  • Account Security: You will be asked to change the password of your Apple ID and review account security.
  • Emergency Contacts: We can edit existing or add a new emergency contact to the list.

How to Emergency Reset with Safety Check on iPhone

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Privacy & Security.
  3. Select Safety CheckEmergency Reset.

    Select Emergency Reset on iPhone in iOS 16
  4. Tap Start Emergency ResetReset People & Apps.
  5. Tap Reset.

    Tap on Reset from iPhone's Settings
  6. Select the device you want to remove access from.
  7. Tap Remove Selected DevicesNext.
  8. Now, add or remove the trusted phone number → tap Continue.
  9. Update Apple ID passwordContinue.

    Update Apple ID and password from Safety Check on iPhone
  10. Add or remove emergency contacts → tap Continue.
  11. Tap Done.

    How to Emergency Reset with Safety Check on iPhone

How to Manage Sharing and Access on iPhone

You can customize with whom you share your Information, which includes granting/revoking access to apps and people. It will save the changes on the spot. Moreover, it won’t even notify the users about the same. In sharing access management, you can manage People, Apps, and Account security.

  1. Go to the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Privacy & Security.
  3. Select Safety CheckManage Sharing and AccessContinue.
  4. Select the people you want to share data with → Continue.

    Tap Manage Sharing and Access on iPhone
  5. Next, select the apps you want to grant access to → Continue.
  6. Finally, choose the devices you want to revoke access → Remove Selected Devices.
  7. Add or remove Trusted Phone NumberContinue.

    How to Manage Sharing and Access in iOS 16 on iPhone
  8. Update your Apple ID Password.
  9. Add or remove Emergency contact.
  10. Update your iPhone Passcode.
  11. Now, tap Quick Exit at the top right.

The dark side of Safety Check

Nothing is 100% perfect, and it applies to Apple’s Safety Check as well. While Safety Check is excellent in situations such as domestic violence, the feature also has major disadvantages.

For instance, what if the partners use the same Apple ID on their devices, and there’s a rift between them; one partner (say abuser) revokes access of the other partner (the victim) before the latter and gets access to all their data, including the proof. In such a case, the victim will get locked out of their data.

I think that this major flaw can be prevented to an extent by implementing as simple a step as an OTP authentication via the registered phone number or email.


Q. Does Safety Check stop others from accessing your messages?

Yes, once you have revoked the access from the device, no one can access your iCloud account data or even messages and photos.

Q. Do other people know when you use Safety Check?

No, Apple will not notify other users. But, there’s a chance that they might find eventually that they no longer have access.

Q. Does iPhone have a safety feature?

Yes, there are many safety features available on iPhone. You can check our article on tips to make your iPhone secure.

I hope the above guide helped you understand more about Safety Check and how it works. What do you think about this feature, and how do you think Apple will overcome its misuses? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

These articles might also help you improve your privacy:

  • Jibin

    Jibin Joseph is an editor at iGeeksBlog and has excellent attention to detail. He is a voracious reader, with interests ranging from philosophy and history to geopolitics and tech. When not reading or correcting grammar, you’d find him engaging in discussions about football. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @4ibin.

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