Here’s how to use Safety Check in iOS 16 to cut ties from an abusive partner

At WWDC 2022, Apple unveiled several much-appreciated iMessage improvements in the new iOS 16, a redesigned Home app, an improved lock screen and media player, and improvements to Mail. One of the new features that hasn’t garnered as much attention, and arguably one of the more useful and practical features, is the privacy-focused security check.

The feature allows users to instantly revoke and reset any access that someone else might have, including your location, passwords, and app privacy permissions. According to Apple, Privacy Check is primarily intended to help people in abusive relationships.

“If circumstances or trust levels change, Safety Check lets you disconnect from people, apps, and devices you no longer want to be connected to,” the feature’s description for iOS 16 reads.

While revoking all permissions was possible before the introduction of iOS 16, users had to go through various steps in Settings. The new feature is a sort of kill switch, or emergency button, that instantly revokes all access, a feature that will likely come in handy for those trying to escape abusive relationships.

Safety Check will roll out around September when Apple officially launches iOS 16. However, the feature is also available in all iOS 16 beta versions, and when running beta builds you can use Safety Check like this:

  • Open settings
  • Tap on “Privacy and security”.
  • Scroll all the way down and tap on “Security Check”.

From there you have two options: “Emergency reset” and “Manage sharing and access,” both of which require Face ID or your PIN to access. The latter allows you to review and revoke access from specific apps and people at your own discretion, and allows you to sign out your Apple ID from other devices, as seen in the images below.

Emergency reset, on the other hand, will instantly revoke and reset any access that other people, apps, and devices may have, and sign you out of other devices.

It’s worth noting that when using the feature, there is always a “Quick Exit” button (as seen in the images above) that you can press to exit the functionality in case the person you want to revoke access leaves in.

After quick exit, there will be no trace of you using the feature. It doesn’t even show up in your multitasking screen, which shows all the currently open apps/pages, so you won’t get caught with the setting.

Learn about other new features coming to iPhone with iOS 16 here.

Photo credit: Apple

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