How to Turn Off SOS on iPhone

Turn off sos

In the digital age, our smartphones are equipped with advanced safety features, and the Emergency SOS function on an iPhone is a notable example. While this feature is invaluable during emergencies, accidental activations can lead to unwarranted calls to emergency services. To prevent such occurrences and regain control over your device, learning how to turn off SOS on your iPhone is essential.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to disable Emergency SOS shortcuts, ensuring a safer and more controlled smartphone experience. From toggling specific options to troubleshooting the “SOS Only” status, let’s explore the comprehensive process to manage and customize these critical safety features on your iPhone.

What Does SOS Mean on iPhone?

Contrary to popular belief, the term “SOS” on an iPhone does not stand for “Save Our Souls” or “Save Our Ship.” Instead, it is derived from Morse Code, serving as a distress signal. Activating the Emergency SOS feature triggers a recognized Morse Code distress signal, allowing users to swiftly connect with emergency services. This feature is integral for urgent situations, utilizing a system of dots, dashes, and spaces to communicate the need for assistance.

Understanding that “SOS” on an iPhone is rooted in Morse Code emphasizes its role as a standardized distress signal, separate from common misconceptions about its acronymic meaning.

What Happens If You Accidentally Call Emergency SOS on iPhone

Accidentally triggering Emergency SOS can lead to unintended consequences. In scenarios where the feature is activated inadvertently, users may find themselves in a situation where emergency services are notified without an actual emergency. This can be not only inconvenient but also potentially disruptive.

How to Turn Off SOS on iPhone – Step by Step Guide

Here are the steps to disable Emergency SOS shortcuts on an iPhone:

Disable “Call with Hold” Shortcut

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Scroll down and tap on “Emergency SOS.”
  • Under “Call with Hold,” toggle the switch off to disable the “Hold and Release” shortcut.

Disable “Call with 5 Presses” Shortcut

  • Under “Call with 5 Presses,” toggle the switch off to disable the “Press Home or Side Button 5 Times” shortcut.
  • Disable “Call After Severe Crash” on iPhone 14 or Later
  • If you have an iPhone 14 or later, scroll down further in the Emergency SOS settings.
  • Toggle off the “Call After Severe Crash Detection” feature to prevent automatic emergency calls in the event of a severe crash.

Disable “Hold Side Button” on Apple Watch

  • If you also own an Apple Watch paired to your iPhone, open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  • Tap on “Emergency SOS.”
  • Under “Hold Side Button,” toggle off the “Hold Side Button to Dial” option. This will disable the feature on your Apple Watch to avoid accidental calls.
apple watch

Confirm Shortcuts are Disabled

Double-check that all the SOS shortcuts are disabled as intended on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

What Does SOS Only Mean on iPhone

Seeing “SOS Only” in the status bar indicates a lack of cellular service. While this may limit regular phone functionalities, the iPhone remains capable of making emergency calls. Troubleshooting steps include toggling off and on cellular data, enabling roaming if abroad, checking for carrier updates, inspecting the physical SIM card for damage, and restarting the iPhone.

How to Fix SOS Only on Iphone

If your iPhone is displaying the “SOS Only” message, indicating it can only make emergency calls due to being out of the carrier’s network range, consider the following steps to resolve the issue:

Move to a Better Location

Ensure your iPhone is within an area with strong cellular network coverage to improve signal reception.

Restart Your Phone

Perform a force restart by pressing the Volume Up button, followed by the Volume Down button, and then hold the Power/Lock button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Toggle Airplane Mode On and Off

Access the Settings on your iPhone, toggle on Airplane Mode, wait for a few seconds, and then toggle it off.

Re-Insert Your SIM Card

If your SIM card shows signs of wear or is not properly seated, replace it with a new one and ensure it is securely inserted.

Check Cellular Line

Navigate to Settings > Cellular and confirm that your cellular line is turned on. If it is off, toggle it back on.

Turn Off Emergency SOS Options

In your iPhone’s Settings, go to Emergency SOS, and disable the relevant options to prevent accidental triggering.

Off sos on iphone

If the “SOS Only” status persists, other potential reasons such as jailbreak failure, software bugs, water damage, or hardware issues could be causing the problem. In such cases, seeking professional assistance or contacting Apple Support may be necessary for further diagnosis and resolution.


In wrapping up, understanding your iPhone’s safety features is essential in today’s digital age. We’ve covered how to disable Emergency SOS, preventing accidental calls. We explored the step-by-step process, learned about the Morse Code origin of “SOS,” and tackled the “SOS Only” issue. With this knowledge, you’re not just using your phone; you’re using it wisely. If you encounter challenges, remember, Apple Support is there to assist. Stay secure, stay connected, and continue exploring your phone’s capabilities with confidence. Here’s to a smart and informed smartphone experience!

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