The Emergency SOS Mode Stuck feature on iPhones allows users to quickly call emergency services by pressing and holding the side button and either volume button. This can be a lifesaver in dangerous situations. However, sometimes iPhones may get stuck in SOS mode, continuously displaying the Emergency SOS slider even when not activated.
Having an iPhone stuck in SOS mode can be disruptive and concerning. You may be unable to use your iPhone properly or make normal calls. Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps you can try to exit SOS mode and get your iPhone working normally again.
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What Causes an iPhone to Get Stuck in SOS Mode?
There are a few potential causes for an iPhone getting stuck in SOS mode:
- Software glitch – A bug or error in the iOS software may cause the SOS slider to get “stuck” on the screen. Rebooting the iPhone or updating iOS can often resolve a software glitch.
- Accessibility settings – The “Auto Call” SOS setting under Accessibility accidentally got enabled. This will automatically trigger Emergency SOS when the sleep/wake button is rapidly clicked 5 times.
- Physical damage – Damage to the iPhone’s hardware buttons, logic board, or connectors could cause the SOS slider to appear permanently. This requires physical repair.
- Jailbreaking – Jailbroken iPhones may have faulty or incompatible tweaks that cause system errors like getting stuck in SOS mode.
- Unauthorized modifications – Unauthorized repairs or modifications to an iPhone could also lead to glitches like this. Only Apple and authorized service providers should work on an iPhone.
So in most cases, a software issue is likely the culprit for an iPhone displaying the SOS slider indefinitely. Thankfully, that can often be fixed with some troubleshooting steps.
7 Ways to Fix an iPhone Stuck in SOS Mode
Here are the top 7 methods to try when your iPhone is stuck in Emergency SOS mode and won’t exit:
1. Restart Your iPhone
The first step is always to restart your iPhone. A simple reboot will clear out any temporary glitches and refresh the whole system.
To restart an iPhone 8 or later:
- Press and release the Volume Up button.
- Press and release the Volume Down button.
- Press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.
For an iPhone 7 or earlier:
- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the “slide to power off” prompt.
- Slide the power off slider.
- After the iPhone turns off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again to turn it back on.
Restarting your iPhone will force quit all apps and processes and reload the operating system. This can resolve many issues like an interface freeze.
2. Update Carrier Settings
Outdated carrier settings could potentially cause connectivity issues that may contribute to getting stuck in SOS mode.
You can check for and install the latest carrier settings update on your iPhone:
- Go to Settings > General > About.
- Wait on this screen for at least one minute. If a carrier settings update is available, you’ll see an option to update.
- Tap Download and Install.
This will update your carrier profile with the latest configurations required for cellular service. It could help resolve network-related causes for the SOS issue.
3. Turn Cellular Data Off and On
As a connectivity troubleshooting step, you can try cycling the cellular data off and back on. This may refresh the cellular connection and resolve any network-level errors.
To do this:
- Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options.
- Turn the Cellular Data switch off.
- Wait for around 30 seconds.
- Turn Cellular Data back on.
If the issue stems from the cellular network registration or authentication, this could potentially fix an iPhone stuck in Emergency SOS mode.
4. Reset Network Settings
For a more robust network settings refresh, you can reset all network settings on the iPhone. This will erase all Wi-Fi passwords, VPN configurations, and other wireless settings – so you’ll need to re-enter them afterwards.
To reset network settings:
- Go to Settings > General > Reset.
- Tap Reset Network Settings.
- Enter your passcode if prompted.
- Confirm that you want to reset all network settings.
Resetting network settings can eliminate any problematic network settings that may be causing the SOS slider issue. It’s worth trying especially if you’ve made any recent changes to Wi-Fi or cellular data.
5. Update iOS Software
An outdated version of iOS could also be the reason for glitches like an iPhone stuck in Emergency SOS mode. Always keep your iPhone updated with the latest iOS version.
To update iOS:
- Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
- If an update is available, tap Download and Install.
- Enter your Passcode when prompted.
- Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
- Tap Agree again to confirm the update.
Updating iOS will install the newest bug fixes, security patches, and stability improvements. This can resolve many system issues caused by an outdated operating system.
6. Force Restart iPhone
If a standard restart didn’t help, you can try force restarting your iPhone. This is a more forceful reboot that may jolt your iPhone out of any frozen state.
To force restart:
- Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
- Immediately press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
- Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.
A force restart will forcibly quit all running processes and restart the kernel. It essentially simulated removing and reinserting the battery. Force restarting when the iPhone is frozen can resolve many different issues.
7. Update with Recovery Mode
The nuclear option is to update or restore your iPhone using Recovery Mode. This will completely reinstall the iOS firmware and factory reset your device.
Note that this will erase all data on your iPhone, so backup your device first.
To enter Recovery Mode:
- Connect your iPhone to a computer with iTunes installed.
- Press and hold the Side button and either volume button until you see the Recovery Mode screen.
- An option to Update or Restore will show in iTunes. Select Update to reinstall iOS.
- If you run Restore, it will do a clean installation of the operating system.
Updating in Recovery Mode can fix many serious software issues by fully reinitializing the firmware. It’s an intensive option, but may be necessary if all else fails.
When to Contact Apple Support
If you’ve tried all of the troubleshooting steps here but your iPhone remains stuck in Emergency SOS mode, it’s best to contact Apple Support for personalized help.
An Apple Support advisor can run diagnostics, offer specialized troubleshooting tips, and arrange a repair or replacement if needed.
You can contact online or by phone. Be ready to provide your iPhone model, iOS version, and details of any troubleshooting you’ve already attempted.
Preventing the SOS Mode Issue
To avoid your iPhone getting stuck in SOS mode again, here are some tips:
- Keep your iPhone updated with the latest iOS version. Install updates immediately when available.
- Avoid unauthorized repairs or tampering with internal components. Only certified technicians should service an iPhone.
- Use a protective case and screen protector. Damage from drops or impacts could potentially cause technical issues.
- Disable Auto Call SOS unless needed. This prevents accidental Emergency SOS activations.
- Restart your iPhone once a week. Regular restarts prevent freezing issues and clear out junk files.
Following best practices for using and maintaining your iPhone properly can help prevent technical hiccups like getting stuck in Emergency SOS mode. But if it does happen, run through the troubleshooting steps outlined here to get your iPhone back working normally again.
Summary of Fixes for an iPhone Stuck in SOS Mode
- Restart your iPhone
- Check for carrier update
- Toggle cellular data off and on
- Reset network settings
- Update to latest iOS version
- Force restart
- Update in Recovery mode
- Contact Apple Support
With some patience and working through these solutions, you should be able to exit SOS mode and resume using your iPhone. Just remember to backup your data first before attempting any advanced troubleshooting steps.
Troubleshooting Tips for an iPhone Stuck in SOS Mode
|SOS slider displayed constantly
|Unable to make calls
|Cellular network issue
|Reset network settings
|SOS activated accidentally
|Auto Call enabled
|Disable Auto Call
This summarizes the common issues, causes, and fixes when dealing with an iPhone stuck in Emergency SOS mode. With the right troubleshooting, you can resolve the problem and get your iPhone working properly again.