How to set up and use Emergency SOS on your iPhone in iOS 11

How to set up and use Emergency SOS on your iPhone in iOS 11

Wherever you are in the world, there is likely access to some sort of emergency service for police, medical, or fire help. Different locations around the world have different call numbers for emergency services. Instead of having to know the local emergency service number, or waiting to be redirected from the number you’ve just called (like 911), you can be directly connected to the emergency number wherever you are using a shortcut on your iPhone.

This feature is called Emergency SOS, and we hope you never have to use it, but in case you ever do, here’s how to use it.

How to use Emergency SOS

By default, Emergency SOS require is set up so you have to press both the side button and one of the volume buttons to activate.

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either volume button on the sides of your iPhone. You should only have to hold it for a couple seconds.
  2. Swipe right on the Emergency SOS switch.

Your phone will now automatically start a countdown and then call emergencies services.

How to use Emergency SOS with only one button

If you’d prefer to only have to use one button to use the Emergency SOS feature you can change the settings to allow it.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS.
  3. Tap the Call with Side Button On/Off switch. When the switch is green the feature has been turned on.

When this feature is enabled, you can activate the Emergency SOS feature by pressing the Side Button five times in quick succession. It’s much easier to do inside a pocket. It’s important to know, you will still be able to activate Emergency SOS by pressing and holding the Side Button and volume buttons.

How to disable the countdown sound for Emergency SOS

If you don’t want your iPhone to sound off loudly when it’s about to call emergency services, you can turn off the countdown sound in the settings.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS.
  3. Tap the Countdown Sound On/Off switch. When the switch is gray the feature has been turned off.

The countdown sound can be a good or bad thing, depending on your situation. It can let you know when you’ve accidentally called emergency services so you can cancel the call before it’s too late, but it can also make criminals aware of you’re location if you’re trying to hide.

You have to decide whether it’s more important to know when you’ve accidentally called emergency services or be able to keep your iPhone silent if you need to.

Any questions about Emergency SOS in iOS 11?

Do you have any questions about how Emergency SOS works, who it calls, and how to use it? Put them in the comments and we’ll help you out.

Updated January 2018: Added steps on how to use Emergency SOS with only one button and how to disable the countdown sound for Emergency SOS.

How to set up and use Emergency SOS on your iPhone in iOS 11

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