Have you ever had your iPhone suddenly go into ‘SOS only’ mode and not let you access anything else? It’s happened to me a couple of times and let me tell you, it’s frustrating. One minute you’re casually scrolling through Instagram and the next you see ‘SOS only’ on your screen and can’t do anything else with your phone. If this iPhone glitch has hit you, don’t worry, I’ve got the fix. As an avid iPhone user, I’ve had to figure out how to get out of SOS-only mode a few times. It’s usually an easy software fix, so you’ll be back to normal in no time. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to get your iPhone out of SOS-only mode and back in working order.
Table of contents
What does SOS mean on iPhone?
When I saw the message “SOS Only” on my iPhone screen, I panicked. What did it mean? Was my phone broken or had I accidentally triggered some emergency alert? Fortunately, “SOS Only” just means your iPhone has entered a special emergency call mode.
What is Emergency SOS mode?
Emergency SOS mode activates when you rapidly press the side or top button on your iPhone five times. It allows you to automatically call emergency services and notify emergency contacts of your location. While in Emergency SOS mode, your iPhone will display “SOS Only” to indicate it is ready to call emergency services.
To exit Emergency SOS mode, press and hold the side or top button until the “SOS Only” message disappears. Your iPhone will then return to normal functionality. Accidentally triggering Emergency SOS mode is usually nothing to worry about and easy to turn off. However, if emergency services do respond, be sure to let them know it was an accident to avoid false alarms.
Emergency SOS mode is an important safety feature on iPhones. I suggest familiarizing yourself with how it works in case of real emergencies. You can customize your emergency contacts and set a countdown sound to alert you before emergency services are called. While the “SOS Only” message may have given me a scare the first time I saw it, I’m glad to know my iPhone has this feature if I ever need to use it in a real crisis.
Why Does My iPhone Keep Going Into SOS Only Mode?
Have you noticed your iPhone keeps switching to ‘SOS Only’ mode? As the owner of an iPhone myself, I know how annoying this can be. Here are a few reasons why this may be happening and how to fix it:
The most common reason is a software glitch. iPhones are computers, and like any technology, they can experience little hiccups. Try restarting your iPhone by holding down the power and volume up or down buttons simultaneously until you see the Apple logo. This refreshes the operating system and usually resolves minor software issues.
If that doesn’t work, it could be a sign your iPhone needs a software update. Go to Settings → General → Software Update and install the latest iOS update. Updates often contain security patches and bug fixes that can prevent problems like the SOS only mode message.
In some cases, it may be a hardware problem with your iPhone’s antennas or SIM card. Try removing your SIM card for a few seconds and putting it back in, or clean the SIM card contacts with a soft, dry cloth. You can also try toggling airplane mode on and off which restarts your antennas.
As a last resort, you may need to reset your iPhone’s network settings. Go to Settings → General → Reset → Reset Network Settings. This will reset Wi-Fi networks, passwords, and cellular settings to default but won’t delete any of your content.
If your iPhone still goes into SOS only mode after trying the steps above, it’s best to contact Apple Support. They can run diagnostics to determine if there are any hardware issues with your iPhone that may need repair or replacement. I hope these tips help get your iPhone back to working order so you can get back to enjoying all it has to offer!
How to Exit SOS Only Mode on Your iPhone
Have you ever found your iPhone stuck in SOS only mode? It can be annoying, but don’t worry – it’s an easy fix. Here’s how I got my iPhone out of SOS only mode:
First, try restarting your iPhone. Hold down the power and volume up or down buttons at the same time until the “slide to power off” option appears. Slide to turn off your iPhone, wait 30 seconds, then turn it back on. This simple restart often does the trick to exit SOS only mode.
If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to reset your iPhone settings. Go to Settings → General → Reset → Reset All Settings. This will reset things like your wallpaper, ringtone, and Wi-Fi passwords, but it won’t delete any of your data or apps. Your iPhone should now restart in normal mode.
Another option is to force restart your iPhone. Quickly press and release the volume up button, then the volume down button, then hold the side button until the Apple logo appears. This hard reset will reboot your iPhone and likely fix the issue.
As a last resort, you may need to erase your iPhone and restore it from a backup. Connect your iPhone to iTunes or Finder and click Restore. Your iPhone will be erased and restored to its factory settings. You can then set it up as a new iPhone or restore it from a backup to get all your data and accounts back.
With a few simple steps, you’ll have your iPhone out of SOS only mode in no time. Let me know if any of these solutions work for you or if you have any other questions!
Disable Auto-Sos Feature to Prevent Future SOS Only Messages
When I first got my iPhone, I didn’t realize the Auto-SOS feature was enabled by default. This meant that if I accidentally pressed the side button five times quickly, my phone would automatically contact emergency services. While this feature is meant as a safety precaution, it caused my phone to go into ‘SOS Only’ mode a couple of times when the side button got bumped around in my pocket or bag.
Disable the Auto-SOS Feature
To prevent any future accidental SOS messages and disable the ‘SOS Only’ mode, I turned off the Auto-SOS feature. Here’s how I did it:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap ‘Emergency SOS’. This option may also be labelled ‘SOS Emergency’ or something similar on your device.
- Toggle the ‘Auto Call’ switch to the off position. This will disable the feature that automatically calls emergency services when the side button is pressed five times.
With the Auto-SOS feature disabled, your iPhone will no longer automatically contact emergency services or go into ‘SOS Only’ mode when the side button is accidentally pressed. You can still manually activate Emergency SOS by pressing and holding the side button and one of the volume buttons until the emergency call countdown begins. I found disabling this feature gave me peace of mind that emergency responders wouldn’t be contacted unnecessarily in the future.
If your iPhone does enter ‘SOS Only’ mode again, you may need to perform a hard reset to exit the mode, depending on your device model. A hard reset involves pressing and holding the side button and volume buttons simultaneously until the screen goes black, then restarting your iPhone. This reset will not erase any data or settings from your device.
Disabling the Auto-SOS feature and knowing how to perform a hard reset gave me the knowledge and control I needed to ensure my iPhone’s safety features worked as intended to get me to help in a real emergency situation, not by accident. I hope these steps help you gain more control over your iPhone’s Emergency SOS settings as well. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Check for Hardware Damage or Software Issues Causing SOS Mode
When my iPhone goes into “SOS only” mode, it means something is preventing the normal functions from working properly. This can often be fixed by checking for any hardware damage or software issues.
Check for Physical Damage
First, I inspect my iPhone for any visible damage like a cracked screen or water damage. If there’s physical harm, SOS mode activates as a safety precaution. In this case, I’ll need to get the hardware repaired or replaced before normal functionality returns.
Force Restart the iPhone
If there’s no physical damage, a force restart may do the trick. I press and hold the volume up or down button and the side button simultaneously until the Apple logo appears. This hard reset reboots the iPhone’s operating system and may resolve any minor software glitches causing SOS mode.
Check for Software Updates
Next, I go into my iPhone’s Settings, select General, and then Software Update to check for any available iOS updates. Outdated software can sometimes trigger SOS mode, so updating to the latest version may fix the issue.
Reset All Settings
If force restarting and updating iOS doesn’t work, I try resetting all settings. Go to Settings → General → Reset → Reset All Settings. This resets things like Wi-Fi passwords, wallpaper, and more but won’t delete data or apps. Often, resetting settings resolve software-related problems that activate SOS mode.
As a last resort, I may need to do a hard reset to factory settings using iTunes or Finder on my Mac or PC. This will wipe my iPhone clean and reinstall the latest iOS software. Make sure to back up my iPhone first before restoring it! Usually, a restore will fix even the most stubborn software issues causing the SOS only message.
With some patience and troubleshooting, I’m often able to get my iPhone out of SOS mode by checking for damage, restarting, updating software or resetting settings. If all else fails, a restore to factory settings typically does the trick. My iPhone is back in working order in no time!
Update iPhone Software to Latest iOS Version
If your iPhone is stuck in ‘SOS Only’ mode, the most likely fix is updating to the latest version of iOS. I know, I know—updating software is annoying and you’d rather put it off. But in this case, it’s really important. An out-of-date iOS is often the culprit behind issues like this.
Update iOS through iTunes or Finder
The easiest way for me to update iOS is by connecting my iPhone to my computer and using iTunes (on Windows) or Finder (on Mac). Just open iTunes/Finder, select your iPhone, and then click “Update” or “Restore iPhone.” This will install the latest iOS update and should get your iPhone out of SOS only mode.
Update Over the Air
If you don’t have access to a computer, you can update iOS directly on your iPhone through the Settings app. Go to Settings → General → Software Update. Tap “Download and Install” to get the latest iOS update. Your iPhone will download the update, and then reboot to install it. This typically takes 15-30 minutes to complete. Once the update is installed, your iPhone should restart normally without the ‘SOS Only’ message.
Still Stuck in SOS Only Mode?
If updating iOS doesn’t fix the issue, you may need to do a hard reset of your iPhone or restore it to factory settings. To hard reset, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons (or Volume Down and Side buttons on iPhone X or later) until the Apple logo appears. To restore factory settings, connect to iTunes/Finder and click “Restore iPhone.” This will erase your iPhone data, so only do this as a last resort.
Updating iOS is one of the first things I try when my iPhone is acting up. More often than not, software glitches are the culprit and a quick update gets my device back to normal. Give the update a shot—with any luck, your iPhone will be out of ‘SOS Only’ mode and working great again in no time. Let me know if you have any other questions!