How to Use Safety Check on iPhone

Use the Emergency Reset feature in Settings to remove location data and more

What to Know

  • Open Settings > Privacy > Safety Check > Emergency Reset to revoke all access to private info and location. 
  • Open Settings > Privacy > Safety Check > Manage Sharing & Access to perform an audit and decide which users and apps have access.  
  • Safety Check requires iOS 16.

This article explains how to use the Safety Check feature on your iPhone, including how to activate an emergency reset if you're in the process of escaping a dangerous situation. Safety Check is not available in iOS 15 and older. If your phone doesn’t have Safety Check, you can turn off location services manually.

How to Emergency Reset with Safety Check

Emergency Reset is an option within Safety Check that allows you to immediately reset all access to your personal information that you’ve previously provided to apps and other people. It doesn’t tell anyone that you have stopped sharing with them. It also forces you to change your Apple ID password, in case anyone else has been able to obtain that information.

While using Safety Check, you can tap Quick Exit at the top right of the screen at any time to immediately return to the desktop. 

Here’s how to perform an Emergency Reset with Safety Check:

  1. Open Settings, and scroll down.

  2. Tap Privacy & Security.

  3. Scroll down and tap Safety Check.

    iPhone with Settings, Privacy & Security, & Safety Check highlighted
  4. Tap Emergency Reset.

  5. Authenticate with Touch ID or your PIN.

  6. Tap Start Emergency Reset.

    iPhone Safety Check features with Emergency Reset, Touch ID confirmation, and Start Emergency Reset highlighted
  7. Tap Reset People & Apps.

  8. Tap Reset, then follow the on-screen prompts to change your Apple ID password, review account security, and add or remove emergency contacts.

    iPhone Settings with Reset People & Apps and Reset highlighted
  9. All access to your personal information will be immediately revoked. You can then change your Apple ID and password and review your account security.

How to Use Safety Check on iPhone

Where Emergency Reset is designed to help you immediately cut off access to your data if you find yourself in danger, Safety Check can also help you carefully monitor your privacy settings whether you’re currently in a bad situation or just want to take control of your personal information.

To customize access to your information with Safety Check, you can use the Manage Sharing & Access function:

  1. Open Settings, and tap Privacy & Security.

  2. Tap Safety Check.

    iPhone with Settings, Privacy & Security, & Safety Check highlighted
  3. Tap Manage Sharing & Access.

  4. Authenticate with Touch ID or your PIN.

  5. Tap Continue.

    iPhone Safety Check Settings with Manage Sharing &b Access, Touch ID, and Continue highlighted
  6. Follow the on-screen prompts to select who you want to share your location and information with, which apps you want to have your location data, and review your other privacy and security settings.

What Is Safety Check?

Apple describes Safety Check as a tool for users who are trying to escape abusive relationships, and it’s also useful to anyone who needs to take control over who has access to their private information and location data. Safety Check includes two primary tools: Emergency Reset, and Manage Sharing & Access. 

If you've ever shared your location on iPhone or iPad, the Emergency Reset feature revokes access to your information from anyone you’ve shared it with. It also resets access granted to any app you’ve provided it to in the past, logs you out of iCloud on every device other than the one you currently have in your hand ,and prompts you to create a new Apple ID and password in case you have shared those with people in the past. This feature is designed primarily to assist domestic abuse victims, prevent their partners from using their phones to track or harass, or make it more difficult for the victim to get help.

The Manage Sharing & Access feature provides fine control over the people and apps that have access to your data. Instead of instantly revoking anything, it allows you to audit the people you have shared your information and location with and the apps with access to that data. This tool can be useful to users trying to escape abusive situations, but it’s also a useful audit for anyone who wants to keep on top of their privacy and security.

Can Other People Tell When You Use Safety Check?

When you use Safety Check to revoke access to your location data, the people whose access you revoke aren’t notified. However, if someone has been using that data to track you, they will eventually notice their access has been revoked.

Does Safety Check Prevent Others From Seeing Your Messages?

Safety check helps you sign out of iCloud on every device other than the phone you’re currently using, which prevents anyone else from seeing anything that’s stored in your iCloud, and it prompts you to create a new password. It also prevents anyone from accessing Messages or FaceTime using your account on any device other than the one you’re currently using, so nobody can see your messages or activity there either.

  • How do I stop sharing my location on an iPhone?

    To stop sharing your location on an iPhone, go to Settings > your name > Find My, and then tap the slider to turn it from green to white. To turn off location sharing for all apps and services, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and turn off Location Services.

  • How do I stop sharing my location on an iPhone without them knowing?

    If you temporarily don't want anyone knowing your location, put your iPhone in Airplane Mode. Or, open Find My, tap the person's name, and tap Stop Sharing My Location. Another option: Use another iPhone or iPad to set your location, and turn off location-sharing on your main device.

  • Does iPhone notify when you stop sharing location?

    No. If you go Find My, tap the person's name, and tap Stop Sharing My Location, they won't be notified. However, they won't see your name in their Friends list any longer, which can be a tip-off that you've stopped sharing your location with them.

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