How to Fix iPhone Stuck in SOS Mode

From the looks of things, you have gotten your iPhone stuck in SOS mode, and you are looking to figure out what to do in order to fix it. It’s possible that you might have tried different troubleshooting tips but none work to take your iPhone out of the emergency mode.

Well, that isn’t entirely abnormal, it happens to everyone. Since the SOS mode [on iPhone or Android] is not a mode that signifies any sign that your iPhone needs a major repair, then, you should limit your worries.

It only means your iPhone cannot get Cellular Network at the moment and it is placed in an Emergency mode.

In this mode, the contacts that were saved under emergency mode can still be accessed when you are in SOS mode.

Unlike an Android device, if you don’t know the password to a person’s phone, you might not be able to access it. But you will still be able to call the emergency contact. without unlocking the phone.

However, the problem you are currently facing is that your iPhone is stuck in SOS mode and you want to exit the mode to be able to use your iPhone to make a regular call. 

If you are experiencing SOS mode on your iPhone for the first time it might sound scary but trust me there is nothing to worry about. And it doesn’t matter whether you are using iOS 16 or iOS 15. All iPhones have the SOS mode feature.

What is iPhone SOS Mode?

SOS mode on your iPhone means a mobile network is available to make an emergency call. You can add a contact to your emergency list so that when your iPhone is in SOS mode you will be able to put a call through your emergency contact.

Why is my iPhone Stuck in SOS Mode?

The iPhone Emergency SOS mode is a great safety feature that can send a text message with your current location to a designated contact list and dial emergency services at the same time.

With this, you can save yourself some time in case of an emergency when your device cannot be unlocked.

However, there are scenarios where your iPhone might get stuck in the SOS mode, and when it does, there are various reasons that are behind it. Therefore, below are the common symptoms when your iPhone is stuck in SOS mode.

  • If the iOS update you have installed is still in the developmental phase, you might encounter the issue.
  • If your iPhone screen is having some difficulties that have caused the Emergency SOS to remain stuck on your display,
  • Jailbreaking an iOS device to troubleshoot any iOS problems may be the source of the ”iPhone stuck on Emergency SOS” dilemma.
  • You simultaneously push the power and volume buttons on your iPhone.
  • You hit the Sleep/Wake button on your iPhone five times in succession.
  • Faulty or weak network coverage.
  • Carrier issues

How to Fix iPhone Stuck in SOS Mode

Now that we’ve gone through some of the reasons why your iPhone is stuck in SOS emergency mode and you know where to troubleshoot your iPhone and here we will go through the different troubleshooting on how to fix your iPhone stuck in SOS mode.

1. Force Restart your iPhone.

iphone stuck in sos mode force restsrt

Performing a force restart is one of the basic troubleshooting steps you should always consider when your iPhone is stuck in emergency mode whenever you cannot get access to the device.

It consists of 2–3 steps, but the process might vary slightly due to the model of the iPhone you are using.

While that shouldn’t be an issue, here is how to go about it for different iPhone models.

For the iPhone 6s and earlier:

  • Press and hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time.
  • Don’t release it until you see the Apple logo again.

For the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus:

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button along with the Volume Down button.
  • Don’t release them until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

For the iPhone 8 and later:

  • Press and release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and release the Volume Down button.
  • Now, press and keep holding the side button until you see the Apple logo.

2. Turn Off and Charge your iPhone

iphone stuck in sos mode

Another interesting way to remove your iPhone from emergency SOS mode is to turn it off. After doing that, charge it for an hour and turn it back on to see if the issue has been resolved.

This step will work if it’s a minor hanging issue. However, if it isn’t, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

3. Restore your iPhone through iTunes

iphone stuck in sos mode restore with iTunes

This is one of the steps you should only try if you’ve exhausted other options. With these steps, you might have to restore your iPhone to the default via iTunes, and that alone will clear all your files if you’ve not backed them up. 

There are two-way things:  Since your iPhone is stuck in SOS mode, you can either:

  • Restore to default or factory settings
  • Update to the latest iOS [if available]

To carry out this step, we will be updating it first before trying out the restore process.

Here is how:

  • Connect your iPhone to a computer with iTunes using a USB cable.
  • Based on your iPhone model and the instructions above, perform a force restart until the recovery screen appears.
  • Now, a pop-up appears in the iTunes app to update or restore the iPhone.
  • Select Update to fix it.
  • If the error comes back, select Restore to complete it.

4. Disable Location Sharing

Since your iPhone is stuck on SOS mode you won’t be able to turn off or disable the phone location sharing via the phone settings. Therefore, with the steps below you will be able to disable sharing your location manually.

  • You first need to wait to make the emergency call.
  • If your emergency medical information is set up it will appear after the emergency call.
  • Click on the “Done” button at the emergency screen window at the top right.
  • Unlock your iPhone either with [passcode or fingerprint or FaceID].
  • Select “Device Time.”
  • You will be taken to the “Emergency SOS screen.”
  • Locate and click ” Stop Sharing Emergency Location.”
  • Click on “ Stop Sharing Emergency Location” from the popup to confirm this.

With the steps above your iPhone real-time location sharing will be disabled and at the same the SOS mode on your iPhone screen.

5. Disable SOS Mode on your iPhone

You’d quickly need to disable the SOS mode on your iPhone via the settings once you have been able to unlock the iPhone with your lock option. So, by following the steps below you will learn how to disable Emergency SOS mode on your iOS settings.

  • Go to your iPhone settings.
  • Click on “Emergency SOS.”
  • Toggle off the following SOS features in the settings
    • Call with hold and release.
    • Call with 5 button presses.
  • With those options turned off your iPhone time display will change to normal.

Once that is done you may choose to ignore the emergency SOS settings or leave it as it is.

6. Restore your iPhone using Recovery Mode

If you’ve tried all the steps I have highlighted above and still your iPhone is stuck in SOS emergency mode, then you have to perform a factory reset.

You can’t do this through your iPhone, so you will have to connect your iPhone to a Windows PC or Mac to do this.

NB: This step will clear out all your files, so ensure you have them backed up before proceeding with this step.

  • Connect your iPhone to a computer that has iTunes or Finder on it.
  • Now, use a USB-to-Lightning cable to connect your iPhone to the computer.
  • Based on the method described in the first troubleshooting step, perform a force restart of the iPhone.
  • Keep holding the buttons until the recovery screen appears.
  • Once it does, a pop-up will appear on the iTunes or Finder app offering to update or restore the iPhone.
  • Finally, select Restore.

You will have an empty iPhone after the steps above. However, if you have your iPhone backup you can restore the backup via iTunes.

7. Consider Apple Support

If all the options above do not seem to resolve the issue, you might have no other chance than to take your iPhone to the nearest Apple store for professional repair.

You should take it to an Apple repair store if you have one nearby. And even better, if you are still within your warranty period, you can get it replaced for little to nothing.

However, the terms and conditions regarding that will come into play as these determine how they go about complaints from customers that will have a warranty.

You can visit the Apple support website to find more details on warranty coverage.

iPhone Stuck in SOS Mode with no Service

Your iPhone normally activates the SOS mode when your cellular network is very poor or you don’t insert your SIM correctly or you manually put your iPhone in the SOS mode.

This is an emergency mode that allows you to contact SOS contacts without unlocking your iPhone.

If you feel the service might be the issue behind your iPhone being stuck in SOS mode, then you might want to move to a place where there is service before you proceed with the troubleshooting steps listed above.


Now that you’ve been able to go through this article on how to fix your iPhone stuck in Sos Mode, it should give you some knowledge on what caused it, what to do about it, and how to fix it. If all these have been helpful, feel free to share this website with others.

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