My iPhone Called 911! Here’s What To Do.

You were going about your day when your iPhone started making a loud siren noise. You’re panicked and don’t know what to do. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone called 911, and what you should do when it happens.

Why Did My iPhone Call 911?

Your iPhone probably called 911 because Emergency SOS was accidentally activated. Emergency SOS is a feature that allows you to quickly call emergency services.

While Emergency SOS can be a very useful feature, it can cause a problem if you activate it unintentionally.

Emergency SOS can be activated three different ways:

  1. Emergency SOS Slider: Swipe the slider labeled Emergency SOS underneath the slide to power off slider.
  2. Call with Hold: Press and hold the side button and either volume button simultaneously until the Emergency SOS countdown begins (iPhone 8 or newer only).
  3. Call with 5 presses: Rapidly press the side or power button five times.

The Emergency SOS countdown includes a loud siren, just to make sure you don’t miss it.

Call with Hold and Call with 5 presses can be turned off in Settings -> Emergency SOS. However, you cannot turn off the Emergency SOS slider that appears under the slide to power off slider.

turn off emergency sos on iphone

Did You Try To Hard Reset Your iPhone?

We’ve received a lot of comments from users who accidentally called 911 while trying to complete a hard reset. While pressing and holding the side button and the volume down button will hard reset an iPhone 7, it’ll activate Emergency SOS on an iPhone 8 or newer if Call with Hold is on.

To hard reset an iPhone 8 or newer, quickly press and release the volume up button, then quickly press and release the volume down button, then press and hold the side button until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears.

What To Do If Your iPhone Calls 911

Calling 911 can make people panic. I’ve accidentally triggered Emergency SOS before, and it made me panic. If your iPhone is still counting down, you can stop the call.

However, if you don’t stop the call in time, do not hang up the phone. Calling 911 and hanging up could result in emergency services still being sent to you as a precaution.

Instead, tell the dispatcher that you accidentally called 911 and that you don’t need help.

Safely Using Emergency SOS On An iPhone

It’s important for parents with young children to be extra careful with the Call with Hold and Call with 5 Presses settings for Emergency SOS. Kids love to press buttons, so they may accidentally call emergency services, or scare themselves when the alarm goes off.

We all know how valuable our local first responders’ time is, so it’s important for us to be extra careful with Emergency SOS. The last thing we want is to accidentally call 911 when someone in a real emergency needs immediate help.

You may want to leave Call with Hold and Call with 5 Presses off. It only takes an extra second or two to swipe the Emergency SOS slider. Doing so could help to prevent accidental emergency calls.

emergency sos slider on iphone

Emergency Exit

You’re now an Emergency SOS expert! Make sure to share this article on social media to teach your friends and family what to do if their iPhone calls 911. Leave a comment down below if you have any other questions!

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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1 year ago

I was arguing with the guy I live with, he’s elderly and has dementia. We got into a huge argument and he thought my new phone was he deceased wife’s phone. So he grabbed it and i yelled stop it then he tried to grab my arm and I yelled don’t touch me. Next thing I know my phones got a loud siren going off. I had been using my ear buds so when the police called we couldn’t hear each other I had dropped my ear buds. They called 3x finally I turned off Bluetooth and told them it… Read more »

1 year ago

Hey just wanted to say thank you for this – accidentally swiped the bar and was SUPER PANICKED I called 911. But no alarm or countdown so we’re good!

1 year ago

my phone calls emergency service all the time when I try to reboot it. Emergency services don’t even bother to show up and I wonder if it is a real emergency what am I going to do? Clearly, it was not properly designed.

Annette T.
1 year ago

My issue is my iPhone dialled 911 without me touching it. It was placed on a table with screen saver on and randomly initiated the call. I cannot find any articles online that replicate this scenario.

1 year ago
Reply to  Annette T.

same thing happened to me!

1 year ago
Reply to  Annette T.

Where you arguing or yelling when it happened?

Danielle Poolton
1 year ago

Danielle emergency call ambulance