iPhone Stuck in Sos Mode How To Fix

The Emergency SOS feature on iPhones is designed to quickly call emergency services and notify your emergency contacts if you’re in a dangerous or life-threatening situation. While this can be a literal lifesaver in some cases, it can also be triggered accidentally and leave your iPhone stuck in SOS mode.

If your iPhone is stuck displaying an SOS warning and you can’t seem to exit the mode, don’t panic. Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take to try and restore your iPhone to normal operation.

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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 emergency SOS mode:

  • Accidental trigger – The iPhone Emergency SOS feature is activated by pressing and holding the side button and either volume button for 5 seconds. If pressed accidentally, this can trigger it.
  • Software glitch – A bug or glitch in the iOS software may cause it to mistakenly display the SOS screen.
  • Hardware issue – Faulty hardware buttons could also be triggering the SOS alert.
  • Network outage – Loss of cellular service can sometimes cause an iPhone to display the SOS alert.

So in most cases, it’s not an actual emergency that’s causing the SOS screen to appear, just an inadvertent trigger or technical malfunction.

6 Ways to Fix an iPhone Stuck in SOS Mode

If you find yourself with an iPhone stuck in emergency mode, don’t stress. Here are some troubleshooting tips to exit SOS mode and return to normal operation:

1. Force Restart the iPhone

The simplest fix is often to force restart the iPhone. This will restart the device and close any glitched apps or processes.

To force restart an iPhone 8 or later:

  • Press and quickly release the Volume Up button
  • Press and quickly release the Volume Down button
  • Then press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo appear

For earlier iPhone models, press and hold the Home button and Side button together until the Apple logo appears.

Once your phone has restarted, it should no longer be stuck in SOS mode.

2. Update iOS Software

An outdated version of iOS could be the culprit behind an iPhone stuck in SOS. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates. This will upgrade iOS to the latest version which may resolve any software bugs causing the issue.

3. Put iPhone in Recovery Mode

If a force restart doesn’t work, the next step is to put the iPhone into Recovery Mode. This will load a recovery image and give you the option to restore or update the device.

To enter Recovery Mode:

  • Connect the iPhone to your computer via a Lightning cable
  • Open iTunes or Finder on your computer
  • While holding the Side button, also hold down either Volume button
  • Keep holding the buttons until you see the Recovery Mode screen

This should kick the iPhone out of any glitched states. You can then update, restore or exit Recovery Mode to continue using your device normally.

4. Reset Network Settings

Cellular network issues are another possible cause for errant SOS alerts. To reset all network settings:

  • Go to Settings > General > Reset
  • Tap Reset Network Settings
  • Enter your passcode if prompted
  • Tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm

This will wipe any stored Wi-Fi passwords, cellular settings, and other network preferences. Resetting the connections could resolve any conflicts triggering the SOS screen.

5. Check for Hardware Damage

Faulty physical buttons could also be the culprit. Examine the iPhone for any damage to the side or volume buttons. If the buttons seem broken or stuck, this may be continuously triggering the SOS alert.

You’ll likely need to contact Apple Support for a hardware repair or replacement if a button issue is causing the problem. Don’t attempt to repair it yourself as this can void any warranty.

6. Contact Apple Support

If all else fails, get in touch with Apple Support for further troubleshooting. Be prepared to explain exactly when the issue started and what steps you’ve tried already.

Apple Support can run diagnostics, suggest additional solutions, or set up a repair if needed. In some cases they may need to replace the iPhone if the issue can’t be resolved.

Avoiding Accidental SOS Triggers

While handy in real emergencies, no one wants their iPhone’s Emergency SOS system triggering accidentally. Here are some tips to avoid false alarms:

  • Be careful not to press and hold the Side and Volume buttons together for too long. Use a light, brief press when adjusting volume.
  • Consider disabling Emergency SOS if you don’t need it and are worried about accidental triggers, especially for kids’ devices. Go to Settings > Emergency SOS to switch it off.
  • Update to the latest iOS version so you have any bug fixes that resolve SOS triggering issues.
  • Use a case that protects the iPhone buttons from accidental presses.
  • Turn on Call with Side Button so you don’t press Side + Volume buttons together frequently.

With a little care, you can avoid iPhone SOS mode mishaps! But if it does happen, run through the troubleshooting steps above to regain normal operation quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions About iPhone SOS Mode

Here are answers to some common questions about iPhone Emergency SOS mode and how to fix issues:

What does the SOS warning screen on iPhone look like?

The Emergency SOS alert displays a red background with a white SOS prompt explaining that the feature has been activated. It will make a loud alarm sound until you dismiss the screen.

Why does my iPhone say SOS Only in the status bar?

The “SOS Only” status indicator means your iPhone has very weak or no cellular signal. It’s displaying SOS only vs the carrier name or signal bars. Try resetting network settings to restore a normal signal.

Can you disable or turn off Emergency SOS on iPhone?

Yes, you can disable Emergency SOS by going to Settings > Emergency SOS and toggling the switch off. However, this will remove an important safety feature so only turn it off if absolutely needed.

Why does my iPhone keep going into SOS mode by itself?

If your iPhone keeps triggering SOS randomly, it’s likely due to accidental button presses, a hardware issue like a sticky power button, or software bugs. Try the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article to stop automatic SOS alerts.

What should I do if SOS mode won’t exit on my iPhone?

First force restart your iPhone and try updating iOS. If it’s still stuck in SOS, put the device into Recovery Mode or reset network settings. Faulty hardware may require an Apple Support repair. But the steps in this guide should help resolve most SOS stuck issues.

Don’t Panic! Fixing a Stuck iPhone SOS

Having your iPhone stuck endlessly in Emergency SOS mode can certainly be a stressful predicament. But in most cases, it’s an easy fix – just follow the troubleshooting techniques listed here like force restarting, software updates, recovery mode, and hardware repairs if needed. With a few simple steps, you’ll have your iPhone safely back to normal operations.

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