Did You Know You Can Text 911 with Your Apple Watch or Siri? Here’s How

Man Using Apple Watch Credit: Sergei Stemprok / Shutterstock
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Most people know to call 911 when there is an emergency, but there are times when texting 911 might be a better idea. You may not realize it, but it is possible to use your iPhone to text 911 and ask for help.

Read on to find out how to text 911 using your iPhone or your Apple Watch.

✔️ Text 911 via Siri

To text 911 using voice commands, you first need to activate Siri using your Apple Watch or your iPhone. Once activated, you can tell the digital assistant to text 911.

After you send a text message to 911, your iPhone or watch initiates an emergency mode for 30 minutes. To get out of this emergency mode, you need to restart your iPhone or Apple Watch.

  • Hey Siri: You can text 911 by saying, “Hey Siri, text 911” and your phone or Apple Watch will respond.
  • iPhone: Press the side button or the Home button for a few seconds to activate Siri and then say, “Text 911.”
  • Apple Watch: Press and hold the Digital Crown or use Raise to Speak if you have it enabled. Once Siri is summoned, you can say, “Text 911.”

✔️ Text 911 with Your Apple Watch

If you have an Apple Watch and want to write a message manually, you’ll need to open the messages app and send a scribble to alert 911.

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Scroll to the top and tap New Message.
  3. Tap Add Contact, press the keypad icon, and enter 911 as the recipient.
  4. Tap Create Message.
  5. Tap the Scribble button to write a brief message with your finger.
  6. Tap Send to forward it to 911.

✔️ Text 911 with Your iPhone

If you prefer not to use Siri, you can send a text message using the Messages app as follows:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Enter 911 as the recipient in the To field
  3. Type your emergency in the message field.
  4. Press the send button to contact 911.

Requirements You Need to Know

Texting 911 uses Siri and requires an iPhone running iOS 13 or newer or an Apple Watch with watchOS 6 or later – and it only works in areas where text emergency services are supported. If you text 911 in a place where it is not supported, you will receive a bounce-back message informing you that the text was not delivered.

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