Use Emergency SOS on your iPhone

With Emergency SOS, you can quickly and easily call for help and alert your emergency contacts. 

iPhone displaying the power off slider, the Medical ID slider and the Emergency SOS slider. 

Here’s how it works

When you make a call with SOS, your iPhone will automatically call the local emergency number. In some countries and regions, you may need to choose the service that you need. For example, in China mainland you can choose the police, fire or ambulance service.

You can also add emergency contacts. After an emergency call has ended, your iPhone will alert your emergency contacts with a text message, unless you choose to cancel this option. Your iPhone will send your current location, and for a period of time after you’ve entered SOS mode, your emergency contacts will receive updates when your location changes. 

Call the emergency services

Make the call on iPhone 8 or later: 

iPhone showing the power off slider, the Medical ID slider and the Emergency SOS slider. The Emergency SOS slider is counting down. 

  1. Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears. 
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call the emergency services. If you continue to hold down the side button and volume button, instead of dragging the slider, a countdown will start and an alert will sound. If you hold down the buttons until the countdown ends, your iPhone will automatically call the emergency services.

Make the call on iPhone 7 or earlier: 

  1. Rapidly press the side (or top) button five times. The Emergency SOS slider will appear. (In India, you only need to press the button three times, then your iPhone will automatically call the emergency services.) 
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call the emergency services.

After the call has ended, your iPhone will send your emergency contacts a text message with your current location, unless you choose to cancel this option. If Location Services is turned off, it will temporarily be turned on. If your location changes, your contacts will get an update and you'll receive a notification about 10 minutes later.

If you use the Emergency SOS shortcut, you will need to enter your passcode to re-enable Touch ID, even if you don't complete a call to the emergency services. 

 

Stop sharing your location

When your location is being shared, you'll get a reminder to stop sharing your location every 4 hours for 24 hours. To stop the updates, tap the status bar and select "Stop Sharing Emergency Location". 

End a call

If you've started the countdown by accident, you can cancel it. On iPhone 8 or later, release the side button and volume button. On iPhone 7 or earlier, press the Stop button, then tap Stop Calling. 

If you accidentally call the emergency services, you can end the call. Tap the End Call button the red end call icon, then confirm that you want to end the call.

 

iPhone showing the Medical ID settings screen, where you can add emergency contacts. 

Add emergency contacts

  1. Open the Health app and tap your profile picture .
  2. Tap Medical ID. 
  3. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts.
  4. Tap the Add button  to add an emergency contact.
  5. Tap a contact, then add their relationship. 
  6. Tap Done to save your changes. 

You can't set the emergency services as an SOS contact. 

Remove emergency contacts

  1. Open the Health app and tap your profile picture .
  2. Tap Medical ID. 
  3. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts. 
  4. Tap the Delete button  next to a contact, then tap Delete.
  5. Tap Done to save your changes. 

iPhone showing the Emergency SOS screen, where you can allow your phone to automatically call the emergency services. 

Change how you call

On iPhone 8 or later, your iPhone can automatically call the emergency services. When Call with Hold or Call with 5 Presses is turned on and you try to make an emergency call, your iPhone will start a countdown and sound an alert. After the countdown has finished, your iPhone will automatically call the emergency services.

To turn these settings on:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS. 
  3. Turn Call with Hold or Call with 5 Presses on.

If you turn off Call with Hold or Call with 5 Presses, you can still use the Emergency SOS slider to make a call.

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