About SOS on Apple Watch

With SOS in watchOS 3, you can quickly and easily call for help and alert your SOS contacts. 

     emergency services call

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

You can also add SOS contacts. After an emergency call ends, your Apple Watch alerts your SOS 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 SOS mode, it sends your SOS contacts updates when your location changes. 

Make sure that you can use SOS

To use SOS, 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

Emergency SOS slider     

Call emergency services with SOS

Here's how to make a call: 

  1. Press and hold the side button on your watch until the Emergency SOS slider appears.
  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 SOS 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. To stop the updates, select Stop Sharing in the notification. If you keep sharing, you'll get a reminder to stop every 4 hours for 24 hours.

     End Call screen

End a call

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

Medical ID screen     

Add or remove contacts

You can add SOS contacts from the Health app on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Medical ID tab. 
  2. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts.
  3. Tap green plus icon to add an emergency contact.
  4. Tap a contact, then add their relationship. 
  5. Tap Done to save your changes. 

Here's how to remove SOS contacts: 

  1. Open the Health app and tap the Medical ID tab. 
  2. Tap Edit, then scroll to Emergency Contacts. 
  3. Tap red minus icon next to a contact, then tap Delete.
  4. Tap Done to save your changes. 

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

      Emergency SOS screen

Turn off Hold to Auto Call

You can change the setting 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 General > Emergency SOS.
  3. Turn off Hold to Auto Call. 

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


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