How to set up Emergency SOS on iPhone

Smartphones have so many functions that some of them often go unnoticed even though they are very useful. Such is the case of Emergency SOS, a function available on all iPhones that will help you to be located or to ask for help from emergency services if you need them.

This feature was introduced in the iOS 11 version and is undoubtedly one of the most valuable functions for users. If you don’t know it yet, or have heard of it, but don’t know how to set it up or activate it, we tell you how to set it up so you can take advantage of the security features offered by your iPhone. 

How to activate Emergency SOS?

To use Emergency SOS, the first thing you need to do is set the function, since it is not activated by default. To do it follow these steps:

  1. Go to Phone Settings.
  2. Scroll down until you find the ‘Emergency SOS’ option and select it.
  3. Activate the ‘Automatic call’ option. 
  4. Deactivate the ‘Sound during countdown’ option.

This last step is recommended, because if you were to use the Emergency SOS feature without turning this option off, your iPhone would start a countdown combined as activation of a siren-like alert sound. Therefore, if you are in danger and want to go unnoticed, this sound will put you in evidence.

Optional: set up emergency contacts

Emergency SOS, in addition to automatically calling emergency services, can send a notification to some contacts. This way, through a text message, the system will notify those you have set as emergency contacts about your danger condition and your last known location.

To add these contacts you must go to the Apple Health app, although you can also access this option through the Emergency SOS section. If you want to setup the option from the app you must follow the steps that we will indicate from point 1. If you do it from Emergency SOS you must follow the steps from point 4.

  1. Open the Health App.
  2. In the upper right corner select your profile.
  3. Tap on Medical ID.
  4. Choose the ‘Edit’ option. 
  5. Select ‘Add emergency contact’.
  6. Choose the contact from your list and select the number in case you have more than one saved.
  7. Set the relationship that the selected contact has with you. 
  8. Select ‘Done’.

When you open the Emergency SOS option you will see the list of contacts you have set as emergency contacts.

How to set up Emergency SOS on iPhone

How to activate Emergency SOS?

Once you have set up Emergency SOS it is essential that you know how to activate the function in case you need it. This process can be done in two ways depending on the iPhone model you have.

iPhone 8 or later

  1. Continuously press the side button and one of the volume buttons.
  2. A screen will appear showing the Emergency SOS slider in the form of a switch.
  3. Drag it to call the emergency services.

If you cannot make this movement on the screen, you can keep pressing the button combination until the countdown starts. If you hold down the buttons until the countdown is over, the phone will automatically call the emergency services.

iPhone 7 or earlier

  1. Quickly press the side (or top) button five times in a row. 
  2. The Emergency SOS slider will appear on the screen. 

On all devices, when the call ends, the iPhone will send a text message with your current location to your emergency contacts. In case the location changes, the contacts will receive an update.

In addition to setting up the Emergency SOS option, it is also recommended that you set up your medical ID on iPhone. This way, anyone will be able to access this information from the lock screen of the device. So, if an accident should occur, emergency and health personnel will be able to verify if you have any medical condition or allergies. This option can be configured in the Health App, in the Medical ID section.

These iPhone features can be very useful in an emergency and can even save lives. Remember to enable them so that you feel more protected in case you need help.