How to Write NFC Tags with iPhone Using iOS 13

How to Write NFC Tags with iPhone Using iOS 13

Apple's introduction of iOS 13 allows iPhone 7 and newer to write NFC tags. Get step-by-step instructions to write NFC tags with iPhone here.

December 5, 2019

Apple’s rollout of NFC functionality on the iPhone has traditionally been conservative. With a focus on user-facing features like Apple Pay, iPhones couldn’t scan NFC tags until iPhone 7, and even then users needed to install a 3rd party app to use it. Since that time Apple has slowly been adding NFC functionality to its latest devices.

With iOS 13, Apple has taken a major step forward by introducing the ability for iPhone 7 and newer to write NFC tags. Writing NFC tags is useful because NFC tags store short strings of information, like a URL, that can then be read and opened by the device—often a phone—scanning the tag.

For more information see our iPhone NFC Compatibility breakdown.

How to Write an NFC tag with iPhone

Note: only iPhone 7 and newer will be able to write NFC tags.

1 - Get NFC Tags

You will need blank NFC tags before you can start writing information to them. Double check to make sure they are blank and not locked, as you can never re-write an NFC tag once it has been write locked. For more information, see our article on the technical details of NFC chips.

2 - Install an NFC Tag Writing App

We recommend "TagWriter" by NXP and will be using it for this guide.

NFC Writer on iPhone and iOS 13

3 - Write the Tag

Once NXP TagWriter is installed launch the app and click "New" at the bottom right of the screen:

NFC Writer on iPhone and iOS 13

You will be presented with a few different options of what to write to your tags. Select the "Link" option to enter a URL.

NFC Message Type on iPhone and iOS 13

Make sure to select either http:// or https:// as the URI type and then enter your domain under the URI Data field.

Note: Do NOT put anything in the "Description" field. Adding a description will cause the tag to be unreadable for iOS devices.

NFC URL on iPhone and iOS 13

Finally, click “Save & Write” and tap the top of your iPhone to a blank NFC tag as if you were going to read it. This writes the URL to the NFC tag.

Write NFC success on iPhone and iOS 13

Congratulations, you’ve just encoded your first NFC tag!

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