Understanding SOS on iPhone And What It Means and How to Use SOS on iPhone

You must have seen the SOS feature on your iPhone. Moreover sometimes our iPhone shows the “SOS only” Status. You must be wondering what it actually means. Forget all your worries! this article will answer all your queries.

Basically SOS on your iPhone is like a hero button. We use this button for emergency situations. The SOS button helps you get help quickly when you really need it. This article will explain why SOS is important and how it works. Additionally we will also show you a step-by-step guide on how to use it. Even though we will also talk about how to fix the “SOS only” status from your iPhone’s top bar. So by the end of this article you will know exactly what to do if you are ever in trouble or seeing “SOS Only” on your iPhone. Let's jump in and find out more about SOS on the iPhone!

What is SOS on An iPhone?

What is SOS on an iPhone?

Specifically SOS on the iPhone is like a special button that is likely to use in case of emergencies. It is like a life-saving call when you are in trouble and need help fast. However SOS stands for "Save Our Souls" or "Save Our Ship." It is a built-in feature of iPhones that is created to help you when you are in trouble.

What Does SOS Stand for and Why Do We Use It?

What does SOS stand for And Why Do We Use It?

However SOS stands for "Save Our Souls." Although SOS is a signal that means "Help me now!" This signal is known all over the world.

In simple wording it is a calling button on your iPhone's screen. When you slide the SOS button your iPhone automatically calls the local emergency number. It also sends your location to tell them where you are. However in some places like China you can pick options like police, fire, or ambulance if you need. When you see SOS on your iPhone it simply means you can call for help using the phone signal.

Furthermore you can also add people you trust as emergency contacts. After you call for SOS your iPhone sends them a text message with your location. Thus your emergency contacts will keep getting updates about where you are for a while after you call for help.

What Does “SOS Only” On iPhone Mean?

Specifically the SOS icon or “SOS Only” on your iPhone’s top bar means you don't have a good phone signal. It shows up when you can only call or text emergency services. However if you have an iPhone 13 or earlier model and lose even the SOS signal it changes to "No service." But with iPhone 14 you get a new feature called satellite SOS so you will not see that message unless you are deep underground or underwater.

Even if you are an iPhone 14 or newer iPhone user you can send texts to emergency services without a phone or Wi-Fi signal. Because your phone uses a satellite.

How to Fix “SOS Only” On Your iPhone

How to Fix “SOS Only” on Your iPhone

However if your iPhone is showing the SOS icon or “SOS Only” status on the top bar it means you are having trouble with your phone signal. So here are some steps that can fix the “SOS Only" issue.

Turning Off and On Cellular Data

  • Firstly swipe down from the upper-right corner of your iPhone screen. This will open the Control Center.
  • Tap on the green Cellular Data icon to turn it off. Wait for a few seconds.
  • Tap on the green Cellular Data icon again to turn it back on. This might help your iPhone reconnect to the network correctly.

Soft Resetting Your iPhone

  • Press and hold down the side button and the lower volume button at the same time.
  • Hold them for about 3 seconds.
  • Wait for a new screen to appear with two sliders and a cancel icon.
  • You should see a power icon at the top.
  • Slide the top power icon to the right to power off your phone.
  • Wait for your iPhone to shut down completely.
  • After a few seconds hold down the side button again to power it back up.
  • Your iPhone should restart and hopefully the signal issue will be resolved.

Furthermore we can not deny that the SOS feature on the iPhone is truly useful and for your protection. You should learn how to set and activate SOS on your iPhone. So miss out on reading this article further.

How to Activate SOS on iPhone

How to activate SOS on iPhone

Indeed activating SOS on your iPhone is easy but it might work differently depending on which iPhone you have. Let's go ahead to learn the steps for each type.

How to Activate Emergency SOS on iPhone 11, 12 and Older Models

How to Activate Emergency SOS on iPhone 12, 11, and Older Models

That is to say if you have an iPhone 12, 11, or an older model here is how you can call for help quickly. So let's start learning how to make emergency SOS calls with your earlier iPhone.

Using the Side Button and Volume Buttons

  • Hold down the side button and one of the volume buttons together.
  • Keep holding until theEmergency SOS sliders appear.
  • Wait for the countdown to finish then let go of the buttons.

Enable Call with 5 Presses

  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Tap onEmergency SOS.
  • Turn on "Call with 5 Presses."

iPhone Texts Your Emergency Contacts

  • Therefore after you call forSOS help your iPhone texts your emergency contacts unless you stop it.
  • It also sends your location to your emergency contacts.
  • Your emergency contacts keep getting updates about where you are for a while after you call for help.

Undoubtedly Emergency SOS via satellite is a special feature on newer iPhones that helps when there is no phone signal. Here is how it works.

How Emergency Sos Via Satellite Works

How Emergency Sos Via Satellite Works

However before you go to places with no phone signal it is good to know how Emergency SOS via satellite works.

Text Emergency Services Via Satellite

For example if you are somewhere with no phone signal you can still text for help using satellites. Let's get to know how you can do it.

  • Try calling first but if it doesn't work tap "Emergency Text via Satellite" on your iPhone.
  • Answer the questions and share your location.
  • Follow the instructions to connect to a satellite.
  • Your iPhone sends important details to emergency responders like where you are and how much battery you have left.

Share Information With Your Emergency Contacts

Conversely if you have emergency contacts set up they will also receive messages. Let's learn how it works.

  • Your emergency contacts get a text message about your emergency.
  • They can say "YES" to get more messages with updates.
  • These messages tell them what is happening, where you are, and when you called for help.

Emergency SOS Via Satellite Availability

To use Emergency SOS via satellite you need the following things.

  • A newer iPhone with the right software.
  • No phone signal.
  • A clear view of the sky to connect to a satellite.
  • Emergency SOS via satelliteworks in many countries, including the U.S., Canada, France, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany and so on.

So we can not deny that Knowing how Emergency SOS via satellite works can help you stay safe. Especially when you are far from home or in trouble with no phone signal.

Extra Tips For Using Emergency SOS on iPhone

  • It is recommended to make sure your iPhone settings allow you to use Emergency SOS without unlocking your phone.
  • You should be in practice and know very well where the side and volume buttons are on your iPhone. So that you can reach them quickly in an emergency situation.

Use All Emergency SOS features

Use All Emergency SOS features

On the other hand when you use Emergency SOS on your iPhone there are some extra things it can do to help you. Let's look at these features.

Automatic Call To Emergency Services

However when you activate Emergency SOS, your iPhone calls for help by itself. You don't have to dial the number. This means if your mind is busy because of an emergency your phone can do everything quickly.

Emergency Contacts

As you have learned before that after you call for help your iPhone sends a message to the people you trust. So this message tells them where you are so they know you need help and where to find you.

Countdown Feature

Although this is one useful feature the countdown begins and gives you time to cancel the call if you press the buttons by mistake. This stops accidental calls to emergency services so they only come when you really need them.

Why is SOS Important?

Why is SOS important?

Anyhow above we have learnt a lot about SOS emergency calls on your iPhone. So it is true that SOS on iPhone is really important because it helps you when bad things happen. It is like a helpline button that gets help fast. Let's talk about why SOS is so crucial and how it can save lives.

Quick Access To Emergency Services

Thus when something bad happens you need help right away. SOS makes it easy to call for help quickly. You just press a button and help is on its way.

Help In Critical Situations

Undoubtedly SOS can be a lifesaver when things get really bad. If you are hurt or in any sort of danger SOS can bring help to you quickly.

Peace Of Mind

Although you know that SOS is there and it can help you make you feel safer. It is like having a guardian angel watching over you and ready to help when you need it most.

Assistance For Others

It is to say that SOS is not just for you—it can help others too. Like if you see someone in trouble you can use SOS to get them the help they need.

Accessibility For Everyone

In fact SOS is easy to use for everyone. Like no matter how old you are or how much you know about phones. It is there for anyone with an iPhone. And it is making sure help is always nearby.


Finally in conclusion we must say SOS on the iPhone is super important because it helps save lives in emergencies. So it is really smart and helpful to learn about it and use it when needed. We hope that this article helps you in understanding emergency SOS Calls and its setting. This is a complete guide for not only learning SOS meaning or how to set SOS Button and using it's features but also how to get rid of “SOS Only” Status on your iPhone's top bar.

However by knowing such lots of helpful information you can stay safe and get help fast when things go wrong. So take a moment to learn about SOS on your iPhone—it could make all the difference in an emergency. Stay safe out there!

Emergency assistanceHow to useIphoneSos on iphoneUnderstanding sos