Cars & Tech

This iPhone Hack Could Save Your Life in an Emergency

Cheers, Apple

If you've ever been in an emergency situation, you'll be thankful for this helpful iPhone tip that is making its way around the internet.

Turns out, there is a feature on iOS11 that allows you to quickly call for help and alert your emergency contacts with the push of a button when you are in harm's way.

Here's how the "Emergency SOS" feature works:

For iPhone 7 or earlier:

  1. Make sure you have updated your system to iOS11.
  2. Rapidly press the side button five times.
  3. An "Emergency SOS" slider will appear, which you can then drag across to call emergency services.

For iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus:

  1. Press and hold the side button and the volume button at the same time until the "Emergency SOS" slider appears.
  2. Drag across to call emergency services.
  3. If you continue to hold down the buttons, a countdown will begin and an alarm will sound.
  4. Keeping holding down the buttons and your iPhone will automatically call emergency services.


If you don't want an alarm to go off before the automatic call, you can toggle off the "Countdown Sound" by going into "Settings" then "Emergency SOS." This may be useful in an emergency situation where you need to discretely alert authorities.

Regardless of your phone model, after the call ends your iPhone will send your emergency contacts a text message with your current location, unless you choose to cancel. If you have your "Location Services" turned off, the setting will temporarily turn back on.

If the location of your phone changes, your contacts will get an update. You'll get a notification after 10 minutes then ever four hours for 24 hours after that reminding you that you are still sharing your emergency location. You can stop sharing updates by tapping the status bar and selecting "Stop Sharing Emergency Location."

If you haven't added emergency contacts, you can do so in the Health app on your iPhone:


  1. Open the Health app, then tap "Medical ID" in the lower right corner.
  2. From there you can manually choose one of your contacts to add.
  3. Once you are finished, tap "Done" in the top right corner to save your changes.

    Accessing this feature is easy and could save a life in an emergency situation. Be sure to bookmark this page to share this important knowledge that will keep your loved ones safe.

    This story originally appeared on

    * Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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