What Does SOS Mean on iPhone: A Simple Setting That Save Your Life When You Need Help

In this comprehensive guide, we, at digital news19, aim to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the term “SOS”, so what does SOS mean on iPhone. Many users have encountered the “SOS” feature on their devices, but its purpose and functionality remain unclear to some. We are here to shed light on this emergency feature and how to use it efficiently, ensuring you have the knowledge you need in any critical situation.

What Does SOS Mean on iPhone?

“SOS,” an internationally recognized distress signal, carries the heartfelt meaning of “Save Our Souls” or “Save Our Ship,” symbolizing the urgent call for help in critical situations. Historically, it has been used in maritime and aviation contexts to request immediate help. However, in modern times, Apple has integrated this emergency feature into their iPhone line up to assist users during emergencies or when they need urgent help.


Activating “SOS” on Your iPhone

How to Trigger “SOS” Manually

 Follow these simple steps to manually activate the “SOS” feature on your iPhone: Rapidly press the side button, also known as the power button, five (5) times in rapid sequence.

After pressing the button five times, an emergency slider will appear on the screen.

Slide the emergency slider to make an emergency call.

SOS feature

Using “SOS” with Auto Call

Auto Call is a valuable feature that automatically initiates a call to emergency services when you trigger “SOS” on your iPhone. To enable this feature, do the following  steps without mistake:

Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Tap on “Emergency SOS.”

Toggle on the “Auto Call” feature.

With Auto Call enabled, your iPhone  will automatically dial emergency services after a three-second countdown, ensuring you get immediate assistance when needed.

SOS settings

When to Use “SOS” on Your iPhone?

The “SOS” feature on your iPhone should be used in situations where urgent help is required. Here are some scenarios where triggering “SOS” can be crucial:

Medical Emergencies

If you or someone nearby requires quickly medical attention, don’t hesitate to use “SOS” to contact emergency medical services. Every second counts in a medical emergency, and your iPhone can help you get the necessary help promptly.

Personal Safety Threats

In situations where you feel threatened or unsafe, “SOS” can be your lifeline. By using this feature, you can immediately reach law enforcement and ensure your safety.

Accidents and Disasters

During accidents or natural disasters, “SOS” can connect you with emergency services, providing the necessary aid and rescue.

Emergency Call

How “SOS” Works: Understanding the Process?

When you trigger “SOS” on your iPhone, it not only calls emergency services but also notifies your emergency contacts and shares your location with them. Understanding this process is very important to making the most out of this life-restoring feature.

Emergency Call: You immediately slide the emergency slider, your iPhone will begin a call to emergency services, such as 911 or local authorities, based on your location.

Emergency Contacts: If you have set up emergency contacts in the Health app on your iPhone, they will receive a text message notifying them that you triggered “SOS.” They will also be alerted of your current location.

Location Sharing: Your iPhone uses GPS and other location services to determine your exact location when “SOS” is activated. This information is shared with emergency services and your emergency contacts, ensuring help reaches you swiftly.

iPhone feature

Frequently Asked Questions about What does SOS mean on iPhone?

Q1: Can “SOS” be triggered accidentally?

A1: While it is unlikely, accidental triggers of “SOS” are possible, especially if you keep your iPhone in a pocket or bag. However, the “SOS” feature requires the user to slide the emergency slider to confirm the call, reducing the chances of unintentional activation.

Q2: What if I can’t slide the emergency slider?

A2: If you are unable to slide the emergency slider, your iPhone will automatically call emergency services after a three-second countdown, provided you have enabled the Auto Call feature in the settings.

Q3: Can “SOS” be used in all countries?

A3: Yes, “SOS” is a global feature and works in almost all countries. It automatically connects to the local emergency services based on your location.

iPhone settings


In conclusion, you get the answer of the question “what does SOS mean on iPhone. The “SOS” feature on your iPhone is a vital tool in emergencies that can potentially save lives. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you now have a comprehensive understanding of how to trigger “SOS” manually and how Auto Call can make the process even more efficient.

Remember to use “SOS” responsibly and only in genuine emergencies. Accidental triggers can tie up emergency services and hinder genuine rescue efforts. Keep your iPhone updated and ensure your emergency contacts are set up in the Health app for added safety.

 Please note that this article is deliberate only for information purposes only and does not, in itself, constitute a replacement for expert medical or emergency assistance. In case of any urgent situations, always reach out to your local medical services or emergency contacts.

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