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

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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I'm here to help you with your iPhone!

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1 year ago

Sooooo……how is this faster or better than just dialing “911?” By the time you keep pressing the butt, then have to swipe…… if you are in an “emergency” I doubt you are going to even remember where the feature is or how to access it. Just put “911” in your favorites and be done with it!

r b
1 year ago
Reply to  Casey

face id or passwords. reception. backup contact. panic (easier to do one thing with an automatic pop up than getting into your phone pad etc) all come to mind. i appreciate the extra feature.

3 years ago

Its available in IOS 11

4 years ago

That feature was in the beta version of iOS 10.2, but never made it to the official release, except for one country: India.

At the moment, its one of the features in iOS 11 beta. Well see if it will be available with iOS 11 later this year.

4 years ago

IPhone 6s up to date 10.3.3. No sos! Well, what can we do?

4 years ago

I have a 7 and my software is 10.3.3 and I have neither an Emergency SOS option, nor do I have the medical info input option on my Health app. Do you have any further info or a fix for this?

4 years ago

iPhone 6s, running iOS 10.3.3…no Emergency SOS on my phone under settings. What might I be doing wrong?

4 years ago

I have a 7, just bought it a few months ago and can’t find this feature. Any help?

4 years ago

No such feature on IPhone 6S running iOS 10.3.2

4 years ago

I have an iPhone 6 but no Emergency SOS button. Any suggestions why not?