How to change your iPhone’s emergency SOS settings

Your iPhone is not only a phone, camera, calculator, music player, GPS device and casual gaming device, it is also something that can help you save your life in an emergency situation. iPhone has an SOS call feature that dials emergency services in your area and can also notify emergency contacts of your predicament and location.

Therefore, it is important to know how to use SOS calls and how to keep your emergency contacts up to date. Here’s our guide.

Apple iPhone emergency SOS functionality

iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature calls the local emergency number no matter where you are.


Credit: apple

For example, in the United States, your iPhone dials 911. In the United Kingdom, it calls 999.

How to use iPhone Emergency SOS on iPhone 7 or earlier

Quickly press the side or top button five times. The Emergency SOS slider will appear on your iPhone screen. Simply drag the SOS emergency call slider to call emergency services.

How to use iPhone Emergency SOS on iPhone 8 or later

If you have an iPhone 8 or newer, you’ll need to press and hold the side button and either volume button until you see the Emergency SOS slider. Again, just drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services.

If you are unable to drag the slider, if you continue to hold the side button and volume button, a countdown will begin.

The iPhone SOS countdown screen


Credit: apple

If you hold the buttons until the countdown ends, your iPhone will automatically call 911.

iPhone emergency SOS contact notifications

After you use Emergency SOS via any of the methods above and your call to emergency services is over, your iPhone can text your emergency contacts with your current location.

This works even if your iPhone’s location services are disabled as they will be temporarily enabled. If your location changes, your contacts will be updated.

How to Add and Edit iPhone Emergency SOS Contacts

Your emergency SOS contacts are added and edited in the Health app. Open the app and tap on your profile icon which you can see on the top right of your screen.

Arrow pointing to profile icon to access emergency contact information in iPhone Health app


Credit: apple

On the next page, tap Medical ID.

Arrow points up


Credit: apple

You must now tap Get Started if you haven’t entered any information yet, or Edit if you’ve already entered some.

Now scroll down to the Emergency Contacts section. Tap the green plus icon to add an emergency contact.

Arrow pointing to green plus icon for adding emergency contacts


Credit: apple

This will open your iPhone’s contacts. Tap on the contact you want to add and you will then be prompted to add how they are related to you from a long list.

Tap Done to save your changes.

How to Edit and Delete iPhone Emergency Call SOS Contacts

If you want to add, edit, or delete your emergency contacts, follow the steps above, then click Edit at the top right of your screen.

Arrow points up


Credit: apple

You can now make changes by scrolling down to the Emergency contacts section and tapping the plus or minus icons to add or delete contacts.

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