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How to turn off Emergency SOS on an iPhone

Things like rollercoasters can trip the iPhone 14's Crash Detection technology.
February 10, 2023

Apple’s Emergency SOS feature is meant to save critical time reaching emergency services and contacts — devices in the iPhone 14 lineup can even send alerts via satellite. But if it’s being triggered accidentally, say by Crash Detection, children, or your pocket, you can disable the feature entirely. Here’s how.


To disable Emergency SOS completely, go to Settings > Emergency SOS and turn off Call with Hold and Release, Call with 5 Button Presses, and (if you have an iPhone 14) Call After Severe Crash. You can leave one or more of those options on if it's just a particular thing causing you trouble.


How to turn off Emergency SOS on an iPhone

Emergency SOS settings on iPhone

While there’s no universal switch, you can accomplish the same ends by toggling off all of the feature’s activation options in the Settings app.

  • Go to Settings > Emergency SOS.
  • If you want to disable manual triggers, turn off Call with Hold and Release and Call with 5 Button Presses.
  • If you want to disable automatic Crash Detection calling, turn off Call After Severe Crash. Only the iPhone 14 and later offer this choice.

What “SOS only” means on an iPhone, and how to get rid of it

If you’re seeing “SOS” or “SOS only” in your iPhone’s status bar, that means regular cellular service is unavailable. You may however be able to make calls to emergency numbers like 911, or — if you have an iPhone 14 — send satellite alerts. If nearby Wi-Fi is working, you can use that too.

Typically the only way to fix the situation is by walking, riding, or driving to a place with better cellular coverage. If you’re in a spot that should have decent signal, however, there are a few other things you can try (in no particular order):

  • Go to Settings > Cellular and toggle Cellular Data off for 10 seconds, then back on again.
  • If you’re traveling, go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options and make sure Data Roaming is enabled, at least if you’re not worried about roaming fees.
  • If you’re still using a physical SIM card instead of an eSIM, try popping it out, checking for damage, and putting it back in if it’s okay.
  • Restart your iPhone.