What to do if you can't successfully write to tags anymore?

If you were able to successfully write to tags, but it doesn't seem to work anymore, this troubleshooting article could help you resolve the issue.

Since the app goes through the exact same steps each time you're trying to write to a tag, any sudden inability to successfully write tags is caused by circumstances beyond the scope of the app. The steps below aim to address most common causes for this issue. 

  • Understand that writing to a tag and scanning a tag or using Apple Pay with your iPhone are not comparable. To be able to successfully write to a tag your phone needs to maintain a good connection with the NFC tag for a longer duration of time so the iPhone can write the data to the tag uninterruptedly. iOS doesn't indicate anything during writing and instead will repeat the animation that shows to hold the tag to the phone, so it is important to hold the tag in place until a couple of seconds after you see the checkmark. The entire writing process can take up to 60 seconds.
  • Try placing the NFC tag on a flat surface, like a table, and placing the iPhone's top edge on top of the NFC tag during the writing attempt. Leaving it untouched for up to 60 seconds, even after the iPhone shows that the process was successful.
  • Keep the NFC tag in place for a couple of seconds after the iPhone reports the writing process has completed successfully, iOS can sometimes report a successful write a bit prematurely before the entire writing process is wrapped up
  • Remove any protective case you might be using on your phone
  • Make sure you don't have a batch of NFC tags with inconsistent quality by trying to write to an NFC tag from a different batch or supplier
  • Make sure you're using high quality NFC tags that have a big antenna built in for optimal connectivity
  • Some iPhone models have an NFC antenna that sends a very narrow signal. Try to find out where in the iPhone the NFC antenna is placed. Once you found out where your phone's antenna is placed, reposition your tag around that area to try and find your specific phone's sweet spot by trial and error. Most common positions that lead to successfully are on the top edge of your iPhone, against the top on the back of the iPhone and against the top-left on the back of the iPhone. It can be helpful to Google for "placiibo" and your phone model to find out what other users have found out about the ideal positioning of the tag
  • Make sure you're not near any sources that can cause interference (e.g. running microwave, other NFC tags that you're holding, etc.).

The good:

The fact that you were able to successfully write to tags before means that it's unlikely that your NFC antenna is defective. It also means that you can get it working again. Also important to know: the tags you used in your unsuccessful attempts can be reused because they haven't been locked at the last step of the writing process. 

The bad:

Trying to figure out the conditions that are causing issues and the conditions that lead to prior success can be time consuming. 

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