Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How to enable Emergency SOS on an iPhone

Here is how you can enable Emergency SOS on the iPhone in just a few simple steps.

While we all hope that we won’t ever need to use the safety features included on the iPhone, it’s wise to ensure that they are already set up.

Emergency SOS is a great example of this, as while you hopefully will never need to use the feature you will want to make sure that it is turned on and that you know how to access it.

Having Emergency SOS on means that you quickly alert emergency services if you need help, as well as alert your emergency contacts if you have them set up. This can be critical and potentially lifesaving, which is why we’re going to walk you through the simple process of setting up Emergency SOS in this article.

What you’ll need: 

The Short Version 

  • Open up Settings
  • Click on Emergency SOS
  • Choose which method you want to use
  • Click the button
  1. Step

    Open up Settings

    Unlock your device and find the Settings app.The Settings tab on iPhone

  2. Step

    Click on Emergency SOS

    Once in the Settings app, scroll down and find Emergency SOS, it has a red logo with the letters SOS in white. Click on it when you have found it. Emergency SOS button in iPhone Settings

  3. Step

    Choose which method you want to use

    There are two different ways you can set up Emergency SOS on iPhone. You can choose to simply hold down the power and volume buttons to bring up the SOS notification, and continue holding if you want it to automatically call emergency services. You can also choose to click the side button five times quickly, which will start a countdown. Once the countdown has ended, your iPhone will call emergency services.
    We recommend testing out both of these methods before picking one to test if one is more comfortable and easier to do than the other, to ensure that you are able to access this feature if you need it.
    You can also choose to have both of these methods turned on at the same time if you would prefer.Choose which SOS method on iPhone

  4. Step

    Click the button

    When you have chosen the method you prefer, click on the buttons to turn them on. You can come back and turn them back off or on at any stage. Click and hold for SOS iPhone


Can I use both Emergency SOS methods?

Yes, you can choose to have both methods turned on if you want to. We do recommend that you test out both methods to see if one is easier for you, however, you can have both on if you would prefer.

Will Emergency SOS call my emergency contacts?

If you have set up Emergency contacts on your device then your iPhone will notify them, as well as emergency services, when you use the Emergency SOS feature.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words