How to Keep Your iPhone and Apple Watch from Accidentally Dialing Emergency SOS

Apple Watch Emergency SOS Credit: Hadrian / Shutterstock
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An Apple Watch or iPhone that keeps unintentionally dialing 9-1-1 isn’t just annoying, it could actually turn out to be a problem for local authorities.

In some extreme cases, accidental butt-dials to 9-1-1 can gum up emergency services in an area. We’ve seen that with devices accidentally triggering in a repair facility. But what if your own device is doing it at home?

That’s what happened to one Redditor who reports that their Apple Watch keeps sending Emergency SOS messages to their emergency contacts.

According to the user, the phone will send an Emergency SOS when it isn’t being handled — such as when it’s on a table or in the passenger seat of a vehicle.

The Redditor contacted Apple Support, who only said that they should remove the case from their iPhone to see if it resolves the issue. And so, if this is happening to you, we recommend removing it to see it resolves the issue.

But with that being said, you can also make Emergency SOS a bit harder to trigger accidentally.

Emergency SOS on iPhone

There are a couple of different ways to trigger Emergency SOS on iPhones, and you can tweak them to your liking. Just head to

  1. Settings
  2. Emergency SOS
  3. Disable the toggle next to Call with Side Button.

When this setting is enabled, five quick presses on the Side Button will trigger the feature — something that’s easy for an ill-fitting case to do.

If you’re having problems, we recommend turning it off. You’ll still be able to make Emergency SOS calls by holding down certain buttons.

Emergency SOS on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is also a notorious Emergency SOS butt-dialer because of its Hold Side Button setting.

Sometimes, depending on how you wear your watch, your wrist can accidentally trigger the setting.

  1. Just open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Head to Emergency SOS.
  3. Disable the toggle next to Hold Side Button.

If All Else Fails…

If none of these tweaks work for you, then it may be the result of a bug in recent versions of iOS (as the original Redditor theorized). In these cases, you may just have to deal with the problem until Apple issues a fix.

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