Use Emergency SOS on your Apple Watch

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

Here's how it works

When you make a call with Emergency SOS, your Apple Watch automatically calls the local emergency services and shares your location with them. In some countries and regions, you might need to choose the service that you need. For example, in China mainland you can choose police, fire, or ambulance. And if you have Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular), your watch can also call local emergency services when you're traveling in other countries or regions.

After an emergency call ends, your Apple Watch alerts your emergency contacts with a text message, unless you choose to cancel. Your Apple Watch sends them your current location, and, for a period of time after you enter Emergency SOS mode, it sends your emergency contacts updates when your location changes.* Learn how to add emergency contacts

* Your watch doesn't text your emergency contacts or share your location when you're roaming outside your home country or region.

Call emergency services

To use Emergency SOS on an Apple Watch that doesn't have cellular, your iPhone needs to be nearby. If your iPhone isn't nearby, your Apple Watch needs to be connected to a known Wi-Fi network and you must set up Wi-Fi Calling.

Here's how to make a call: 

  1. Press and hold the side button on your watch until the Emergency SOS slider appears.
    Emergency SOS slider on Apple Watch.
  2. Continue to hold down the side button. Wait for a countdown to begin and an alert to sound. You can also drag the Emergency SOS slider.
  3. When the countdown ends, your watch automatically calls emergency services.

After the call ends, your Apple Watch sends your emergency contacts a text message with your current location, unless you choose to cancel. If Location Services is off, it will temporarily turn on. If your location changes, your contacts will get an update, and you'll get a notification about 10 minutes later. 

Stop sharing your location

When your location is being shared, you'll get a reminder to stop every four hours for 24 hours. To stop the updates, tap Stop Sharing in the notification. 

End a call

If you start the countdown by accident, release the side button.

If you start an emergency call by accident, firmly press the display, then tap End Call.

End Call option on Apple Watch.

Add emergency contacts

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

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

Remove emergency contacts

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

Turn off automatic dialing

You can change your settings so that holding the side button won't call emergency services automatically: 

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the My Watch tab.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS.
  3. Turn off Hold Side Button. 

If you turn off this setting, you can still use the Emergency SOS slider to make a call.

International emergency calling

Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) can call local emergency services when you're in another country or region. When you start an Emergency SOS call while abroad, your watch connects to local emergency services, but it doesn't send your location or a text message to your emergency contacts. In some countries and regions, international emergency calling works even if you haven't set up cellular service on the watch. Learn which countries and regions are supported.

Just like when you use Emergency SOS in your home country or region, your iPhone needs to be nearby if your Apple Watch Series 5 isn't a cellular model.

Set up other emergency features

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