How to Turn Off SOS on iPhone – Ultimate Guide

by Moses
0 comment 9 minutes read

The iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature is designed to quickly call emergency services and notify your emergency contacts in the event of a crisis. While this can be a lifesaving tool in true emergencies, some users may find that it gets triggered accidentally or want to know how to turn Off SOS on iPhone for privacy reasons.

Fortunately, you can turn off SOS on your iPhone if needed. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to turn Off SOS on iPhone.

What Does “SOS Only” Mean on iPhone?

If you see an “SOS Only” or “Emergency Calls Only” message on your iPhone’s status bar, it means your iPhone currently lacks cellular service. The only calls you can make are emergency calls to numbers like 911.

There are a few potential ways to resolve the SOS Only issue:

  • Move to an area with better cellular reception.
  • Toggle airplane mode off and on – This resets the cellular connection.
  • Go to Settings > Cellular and toggle cellular data off and back on.
  • Restart your iPhone.
  • Remove and reinsert the SIM card if applicable.

Essentially, you’ll need to restore the cellular connection to get rid of the SOS Only status. As long as you see that message, you won’t have normal cell service.

What is the Emergency SOS Feature on iPhone?

The Emergency SOS feature on iPhones allows users to quickly call emergency services by pressing and holding the side button and volume button together (on models without a Home button) or rapidly clicking the side button 5 times (on models with a Home button).

When triggered, it will:

  • Call the local emergency number (like 911 in the US) after a brief countdown
  • Send your current location to responders
  • Notify your emergency contacts

This feature is enabled by default to allow quick access to emergency services. However, there are some reasons you may want to turn it off:

  • Accidental triggering – The SOS call can be activated accidentally by buttons being pressed in your pocket or bag.
  • Privacy concerns – Some users are uncomfortable sharing locations without consent.
  • Use by children – You may want to disable it to prevent kids from accidentally calling emergency services.
  • SOS mode getting stuck – Some users have reported issues with the phone getting stuck in Emergency SOS mode .

Overall, the Emergency SOS system aims to connect iPhone users to first responders as fast as possible in the event of an emergency. However, some users may wish to disable it.

So in many cases, it can be useful to know how to turn Off SOS on iPhone .

How to Turn Off SOS on iPhone

You can easily turn off SOS emergency call features in the Settings app on any iPhone running iOS 8 or later. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Emergency SOS.

how to turn off sos on iphone

3. Toggle the switch off for the following options:

    • Call with Hold (Hold side button and volume button together)
    • Call with 5 Presses (Quickly click side button 5 times)
    • Auto Call (Automatically calls after countdown)

How to Turn Off SOS on iPhone4. On iPhone 14 models and later, you can also toggle off Call After Severe Crash Detection.

How to Turn Off SOS on iPhone

5.  Double check that the switches are gray and moved to the left to ensure they are disabled.

Once you toggle these settings off, you will no longer be able to trigger an emergency call by pressing the side/volume buttons or having your iPhone automatically call after a severe crash (on supported models).

However, you can still make emergency calls by opening the phone app and dialing or by using the Emergency SOS slider in the power off screen.

Should You Disable Emergency SOS on iPhone?

The Emergency SOS feature on the iPhone can literally save lives in critical situations. Because of this, you generally do not want to disable it fully unless absolutely necessary.

Here are some things to consider before turning off SOS on your iPhone:

  • Accidental calls to emergency services can get you in legal trouble or become a costly nuisance. Pocket dials from Emergency SOS happen somewhat frequently and result in police being dispatched to your location. But repeated false alarms may make responders less likely to take real emergencies seriously.
  • The SOS feature only shares your location while on the call, so privacy concerns are minimal. Immediately terminating accidental calls can reduce disruption.
  • For households with kids, disabling Emergency SOS may reduce the risk of accidental calls. But having it available in a real crisis could also potentially protect your child.
  • If your phone frequently gets stuck in Emergency SOS mode and requires troubleshooting to disable it, you may need to turn the automatic triggering off. But leave manual access on if possible.

Take the time to weigh the pros and cons for your individual situation before disabling potentially life-saving emergency call capabilities. In many cases, there are alternatives that allow you to reduce accidental triggers without removing access to SOS entirely.

Troubleshooting Problems with iPhone Emergency SOS

In some cases, you may encounter issues using or disabling the Emergency SOS feature on your iPhone. Here are some potential problems and solutions:

iPhone is stuck in Emergency SOS mode

  • Try forcing a restart by holding the side and volume buttons.
  • Toggle airplane mode on and off to disrupt connections.
  • Disable Emergency SOS in Settings if possible.
  • Contact Apple support if it won’t exit Emergency SOS mode.

Can’t disable Emergency SOS

  • Make sure Settings > Emergency SOS switches are not grayed out.
  • Check for iOS updates and update software if available.
  • Try resetting network settings under General management.
  • Contact Apple support if settings toggles are inaccessible.

Emergency SOS keeps activating accidentally

  • Disable Auto Call and crash detection features if enabled.
  • Use a case that protects side buttons from accidental presses.
  • Adjust tight clothing/bags that could press buttons.
  • Check that power and volume buttons are not physically jammed.

Emergency contacts don’t receive SOS notifications

  • Confirm Emergency SOS is enabled in settings.
  • Check that valid emergency contacts are entered in Health app.
  • Ensure contacts have valid contact info entered in your iPhone.
  • Contact didn’t opt in to location sharing when added.

Addressing any issues through settings adjustments, hardware checks, or troubleshooting steps can help ensure Emergency SOS works properly when needed without false alarms.

Accessories to Improve Emergency SOS Performance

A few accessories can help make Emergency SOS more effective and reduce accidental triggering:

  • Protective case: A good iPhone case protects the side buttons from accidental presses in pockets/bags/purses that set off SOS.
  • Belt clip: Allows you to securely clip your iPhone to your belt or waistband to keep it away from other items that could press buttons.
  • Lanyard: Wearing your iPhone around your neck makes it readily accessible in an emergency and keeps it protected from bumps and accidental button presses.
  • Car mount: While driving, a dash or vent clip car mount keeps your iPhone in view without rattling around the seat where buttons could be pressed. Models with side grips minimize accidental button pushes.

Choosing the right accessories makes it less likely you’ll butt dial emergency services, while still allowing quick access in a true crisis.

Tips for Using Emergency SOS on iPhone

While disabling Emergency SOS may make sense in certain situations, it’s generally advisable to keep the feature active for safety. Here are some tips for using it effectively:

  • Make sure your Medical ID and emergency contacts are up-to-date in the Health app. This provides responders with vital info.
  • Disable Crash Detection if riding a rollercoaster or participating in other rapid shaking activities to avoid false alarms.
  • On iPhone 14 models, you can enable or disable crash detection triggers for Emergency SOS separately from button presses.
  • Teach children how and when to properly activate Emergency SOS in actual emergencies. Review safety practices.
  • Be mindful of Emergency SOS when lending your iPhone to others or placing it in bags/pockets. Accidental activation is possible.
  • Know that you can disable Auto Call while keeping Manual Emergency SOS active if desired. Adjust settings to fit your needs.
  • If experiencing frequent accidental triggers, consider getting a sturdy case, turning on wrist detection, adjusting touch settings, and other preventative measures before disabling SOS entirely.

Take some time to make sure Emergency SOS is configured the way you want so it causes minimal disruptions in everyday use but can still be available if really needed.

Frequently Asked Questions About how to turn Off SOS on iPhone

How do I get my iPhone out of SOS mode?

  • Try toggling airplane mode on and off to disrupt the connection.
  • Go to Settings > Emergency SOS and turn off “Call with Hold” and “Auto Call”.
  • For newer iPhones, disable “Call After Severe Crash Detection”.
  • Force restart your iPhone by holding power and volume buttons.

Why does my iPhone keep entering SOS mode?

  • Buttons may be accidentally pressed in tight pockets, bags or purses. Use a protective case.
  • On iPhone 14 models, inadvertent crash detection triggers may be activating it. Disable this feature in settings.
  • Hardware issue like a stuck power button. Take it to Apple Support for inspection.

What should I do if I butt dial emergency services from SOS by accident?

  • Stay on the line and explain the situation so responders know it is a false alarm. Provide your location and contact details if asked. Immediately apologize for accidentally calling when the dispatcher answers.

How can I make an emergency call if SOS is disabled?

  • You can open the phone app and manually dial the emergency number. This will work even with Emergency SOS disabled.

Does SOS notify emergency contacts without calling emergency services?

  • No, your emergency contacts are only notified after emergency services have already been contacted via SOS.


The iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature provides quick access to emergency responders in critical situations, which can be lifesaving. However, accidental SOS activations can cause unnecessary disruption, legal issues, and even delay responses to real emergencies.

Use the steps outlined in this guide to know how to turn Off SOS on iPhone if needed. But take time to thoughtfully weigh the risks and benefits first. With the right settings configured, Emergency SOS can provide vital assistance in true crisis events without false alarms.

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