Use Emergency SOS on your iPhone

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

Here's how it works

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When you make a call with SOS, your iPhone will call the local emergency number automatically and share your location information with emergency services1. In some countries and regions, you may need to choose the service you need. For example, in China mainland, you can choose police, fire or ambulance. When SOS appears in your iPhone status bar, it means a mobile network is available for emergency calls.

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.

On iPhone 14 or later (all models), you can even use Emergency SOS via satellite to text emergency services when no cellular and Wi-Fi coverage is available.

Find out how to contact emergency services if you use Assistive Access

Call the emergency services

Make the call on iPhone 8 or later:

  1. Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears.

  2. Drag the Emergency Call 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 release the buttons after the countdown, your iPhone will call the emergency services automatically.

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Make the call on iPhone 7 or earlier:

  1. Rapidly press the side (or top) button five times. The Emergency Call slider will appear.

  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. If Location Services is turned off, it will temporarily turn on. If your location changes, your contacts will get an update and you'll receive a notification about 10 minutes later.

On iPhone 14 or later (all models), your phone can call the emergency services and send a message to your emergency contacts when a severe car crash is detected. Find out more about Crash Detection on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

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

Use Emergency SOS on your Apple Watch

Call the emergency services in India

In India, rapidly press the side button three times; your iPhone will then call the emergency services automatically.

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 release the buttons after the countdown, your iPhone will automatically call the emergency services.

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 (if available) and — for a period of time after you've entered SOS mode — your emergency contacts will receive updates when your location changes.

If you use accessibility features, you make an Emergency SOS call on iPhone differently:

  • If you have an iPhone with Face ID and Accessibility Shortcut turned on: Press and hold the side button and either volume button until the sliders appear, then drag the Emergency SOS slider.

  • If you have Assistive Access turned on: Triple-click the side button (iPhone with Face ID) or the Home button (other iPhone models), tap Emergency, then dial the local emergency number.

Stop sharing your location

When your location is being shared, you'll receive 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 you started accidentally

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

If the call has been made but you don't need the emergency services, don't hang up. Wait until a responder answers, then explain you don't need help.

Add emergency contacts

  1. Open the Health app and tap your profile pictureprofile picture .

  2. Tap Medical ID.

  3. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts.

  4. Tap the Add buttonAdd button to add an emergency contact.

  5. Tap a contact, then add their relationship.

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  6. Tap Done to save your changes.

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

Set up your Medical ID in the Health app

Remove emergency contacts

  1. Open the Health app and tap your profile pictureprofile picture.

  2. Tap Medical ID.

  3. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts.

  4. Tap the Delete buttonDelete button next to a contact, then tap Delete.

  5. Tap Done to save your changes.

Change how you call

On iPhone 8 or later, your iPhone can automatically call the emergency services. When Call with Hold and Release is turned on and you hold the side button and one of the volume buttons to make an emergency call, your iPhone will start a countdown and sound an alert. If you release the buttons after the countdown ends, your iPhone will call the emergency services automatically.

When Call with 5 Button 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.

Call Quietly is available in iOS 16.3 and later. When Call Quietly is turned on and you try to make an emergency call with one of these options, any warning alarms and flashes will be silenced.

To turn these settings on:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap Emergency SOS.

  3. Turn on Call with Hold and Release, Call with 5 Button Presses or Call Quietly.

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

1. Location sharing with emergency services varies by country and region and may not be available everywhere.

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