8 Fixes for iOS 17 Check In Not Working or Unavailable on iPhone

Ensuring your safety is essential. Especially so if you’re traveling solo or at odd hours. To help, Apple has rolled out the Check In feature in the Messages app with iOS 17. However, what if you’re trying to use it, but the iOS 17 Check In feature is not working or unavailable? Read along to fix this issue.

How to Fix iOS 17 Check in Feature Not Working or Unavailable on iPhone

Using iPhone’s new Check In feature, you can keep your friends and family informed about whether you’ve reached your set location and other route details.

So, if you frequently see the iOS 17 Check In feature not working or unavailable error, you must ensure that the necessary settings, like location sharing, iMessage, etc., are enabled on your iPhone. Keep reading to know more.

1. Ensure You and Your Contact’s iPhone Are Running iOS 17

Because the Check In feature is exclusive to iOS 17, to use it, both you and your contact must have iOS 17 installed on your devices. If not, you might see the “Check In is not available to send to this recipient” error when using it on your iPhone. If you’re due an update, here’s how to check for it.

Note: Check and see if your device can receive the iOS 17 update on Apple’s support page before proceeding.

Step 1: Open Settings and tap on General.

Step 2: Here, tap on Software Update.

Check for iPhone Software Update

If an update for iOS 17 is available, connect your device to a charger and install it. Your friends or family can also do this to download and install the iOS 17 update.

Once done on both devices, open the Messages app again and use the Check In feature. If you get ‘Check In not available’ even after the iOS 17 update, move on to the below fixes.

2. Enable Location Services and Significant Locations

The Check In feature on your iPhone uses your location data to notify your friends and family about the progress of your journey to the designated location. So, if Check In is suddenly unavailable or not working properly, check and see if all the necessary location-sharing permissions have been granted.

To do this, first, check if Location services are enabled. Then, proceed to check if the Significant Locations is on. This will help your iPhone utilize your frequently visited location data to update your Check In location. Follow the below steps to do it.

Tip: You can also check our explainer to learn more about managing Significant Locations on your iPhone.

Step 1: Open Settings and tap on ‘Privacy & Security’.

Step 2: Here, tap on Location Services.

Open Location Settings

Step 3: Then, ensure the Location Services toggle is turned on.

Step 4: Once done, scroll down and tap on System Services.

Check Location Services

Step 5: Here, tap on Significant Locations.

Step 6: Ensure the Significant Locations toggle is turned on.

Enable Significant Locations

This will ensure your device has access to all the latest location data, including locations that might be significant.

3. Change Check in Data Settings

When using Check In, you can choose how much data you would like to share. But if you select the Limited option, it might limit the amount of information that can be shared, especially if you’re in a location with connectivity issues. This can also make the feature unavailable.

To fix this, you can set the Check In to fully access your location data. Here’s how to do it.

Note: This setting will only be available if you’ve previously used the Check In feature on your iPhone.

Step 1: Open Settings and tap on Messages.

Open Messages Settings

Step 2: Scroll down to the Check In section and tap on Data.

Step 3: Here, select Full.

Tap on Full

This will ensure Check In has full access to your location data, including details about your device’s battery, network signal, etc.

4. Check iMessage System Status

Because the Check In feature can be accessed through iMessage, the iMessage app must be working as expected. This means that if there are currently any server issues or iMessage is experiencing downtime, Check In might also not work properly.

To check if this is the case, you can open Apple’s System Status page using the link below and see if any issues are visible.

Check iMessage System Status 1

If iMessage has an orange diamond or red rectangle in front of it, it might be experiencing some issue or outage. You can click on it for more information. When this happens, wait a while before using iMessage again. However, if there is a green dot in front of iMessage, there are currently no issues on Apple’s part.

5. Check Your Internet Connection

The Check In feature uses your device’s internet connection to send updates regarding your location. So, if you frequently get issues when using this feature, ensure your mobile data is working properly.

If available, try switching to 5G and check again. Or, use the Control Center on your iPhone to enable and disable Airplane Mode. Once mobile data is enabled, check again.

6. Force Close and Restart Messages App

If the issue of Check In not working is due to a temporary app glitch, force close and restart the Messages app. This will close all app functions and start them again, fixing any such issues. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Or, if available, double-press the Home button.

Step 2: Here, hold and swipe up to clear the Messages app.

Force Close Messages App

Then, tap on the Messages app icon again to restart the app. Once done, check and see if you can access Check In. If not, move to the next method.

7. Disable and Enable iMessage

Apple also gives you the option to disable iMessage from the settings menu. This will help you turn off the iMessage features within the Messages app. Then, turn it back on again. Do this if you still see the “Check In is not available to send to this recipient” when accessing the feature. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Here, tap on Messages.

Step 3: Then, turn off the toggle for iMessage.

Disable iMessage

Wait a few minutes and turn the iMessage toggle back on. Then, try using Check In again in the Messages app.

8. Reboot Your iPhone

While force closing the Messages app only closes the features and functions of the app, force closing your iPhone closes all system features and functions. Then, restart your device and load it afresh. Do this if you still have issues using Check In. Here’s how.

Step 1: Depending on your device model, turn off your device by following these steps:

  • For iPhone SE 1st gen, 5s, 5c, and 5: Long-press the top button.
  • For iPhone SE 2nd gen onwards, 7, and 8: Long-press the side button.
  • For iPhone X and above: Long-press the power and any volume button simultaneously.

Step 2: Hold and drag the slider till the end.

Turn off iPhone

Then, long-press the Power button until Apple’s logo appears. Once your device restarts, open the Messages app and see if you can access the Check In details on your iPhone.

Use Check In on Your iPhone

The recent iOS 17 update certainly has useful features, and the Check In feature is one of them. So, it becomes a little frustrating when you get the iOS 17 Check In feature not working or unavailable error while using it. We hope this article helped you resolve this issue.

Last updated on 28 September, 2023

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