What Is Emergency SOS On An iPhone? Here’s The Truth!

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When Apple released iOS 10.2, they introduced Emergency SOS, a feature that allows iPhone users get help when they’re in an emergency situation. In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about Emergency SOS on an iPhone including what it is, how to set it up, and what you should do if you or someone you know automatically calls emergency services.

What Is Emergency SOS On An iPhone?

Emergency SOS on an iPhone is a feature that allows you to immediately call emergency services after you quickly click the power button (also known as the Sleep / Wake button) five times in a row.

After pressing the power button five times in a row, an emergency SOS slider appears. If you swipe the slider from left to right, emergency services are called.

call emergency sos swipe slider left to right

How To Set Up Auto Call For Emergency SOS On An iPhone

Turning on Auto Call for Emergency SOS on an iPhone means that emergency services will be called automatically when you quickly press the power button five times in a row, so the emergency SOS slider will not appear on your iPhone’s display.

How To Turn On Auto Call For Emergency SOS On An iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS. (Look for the red SOS icon).
  3. Tap the switch next to Auto Call to turn it on. You’ll know that Auto Call is on when the switch is green.

turn on auto for emergency sos

When you turn on Auto Call, a new option will appear called Countdown Sound. When Countdown Sound is on, your iPhone will play a warning sound when you use Emergency SOS, signaling to you that emergency services are about to be called.

By default, Countdown Sound is turned on and we recommend leaving it on, just in case you or someone you know accidentally triggers Emergency SOS.

A Big Misconception About Emergency SOS On iPhones

The biggest misconception about Emergency SOS on iPhones is that it can be turned off. This actually isn’t true!

Although you can turn off the ability to automatically call emergency services (Auto Call), your iPhone will always show you the emergency SOS slider when you rapidly tap the iPhone power button 5 times consecutively.

Safely Using Emergency SOS On An iPhone

It’s important for parents with young children to be extra careful with the Auto Call feature for Emergency SOS on your iPhone. 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 police department’s, fire department’s, and hospital’s time is, so it’s important for all of us to be extra careful with the new Emergency SOS feature. The last thing I want is to accidentally call 911 when someone in a real emergency needs help.

Unless you frequently find yourself in emergency situations, you may want to leave Auto Call off. It only takes an extra second or two to swipe the emergency SOS slider and could help to prevent accidental emergency calls.

Emergency SOS: Now You’re Prepared!

Emergency SOS is a great feature, and we all need to be careful about not accidentally calling emergency services. Now that you know all about Emergency SOS on an iPhone, we hope you’ll share this article on social media so your friends and family ever get into a dangerous situation. Thanks for reading!

Best wishes and stay safe,
David L.

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About Author

David Lynch

Hi, I'm David. I am a writer and editor. I enjoy creating content that helps readers learn information that will benefit them in their daily lives.