How to Call 911 or Activate Emergency SOS on a Locked iPhone

How to Call 911 on a Locked iPhone

Apple prides itself on making everything on its devices intuitive. So you could probably figure out how to make an emergency call on a locked iPhone pretty quickly. But do you want to take even those precious moments to do so in a real emergency? Why not learn how ahead of time? Read on to learn how to make an emergency call and how to activate emergency SOS on your model iPhone.

Related: Apple Watch Emergency SOS: How to Set Up, Use & Turn It Off

How to Send Out an SOS On Your Model iPhone 

All iPhones running iOS 11 or later come with Emergency SOS enabled. To activate SOS in an emergency on any model iPhone, follow these steps:

iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus

  • Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons simultaneously until the Emergency SOS slider appears.
  • Drag the slider to call emergency services. Or, continue holding down the side and volume buttons to send the call automatically.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

iPhone 7 and Earlier Models

  • Rapidly press the side button five times. The SOS screen will appear. Depending on their settings, the person's iPhone may automatically dial emergency services. However, you might have to slide the SOS Slider to connect to emergency services. For more information on how to adjust your own emergency settings, check out Conner Carey's in depth article on the Emergency SOS feature.

How to Call 911 On a Locked iPhone

To call for help on your own or someone else's locked iPhone, bring up the passcode entry screen on all model iPhones (even ones not running the latest version of iOS). Tap Emergency to open the iPhone Emergency Call screen and use the dial pad to call 911. Readers outside the U.S. can find their local emergency number HERE.

How to Call 911 on a Locked iPhoneHow to Call 911 on a Locked iPhone

This is also where you will find the Emergency Medical ID Card of the iPhone's owner.

Now that you know how to call 911 from a locked iPhone, learn how to call emergency services on an Apple Watch!

Top image credit: koya979 /

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Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury

Sarah Kingsbury is the Editorial Director at iPhone Life. She manages the web editorial team and oversees all web and newsletter content. A long-time iPhone and Mac enthusiast, Sarah loves teaching people how to use their Apple devices.