Unlock the mystery behind your iPhone 12's SOS display. Discover the potential reasons why your device is signaling SOS and find expert solutions to restore normal functionality.

Have you ever wondered why your iPhone 12 keeps saying SOS? It can be quite frustrating to see that message pop up on your screen, especially if you’re not in an emergency situation. In this blog post, we will share some strategies on why your iPhone 12 might be saying SOS and how to fix it.

I think it’s important to understand the potential causes of this issue in order to find the best solution. One of the most common reasons why an iPhone 12 might say SOS is because the Emergency SOS feature has been accidentally activated. This feature is designed to help you quickly call for help in an emergency by pressing and holding the side button and either volume button. However, it’s easy to accidentally activate this feature if you’re not careful.

In my opinion, it’s also important to consider other potential causes, such as hardware or software issues. If you’ve ruled out the possibility that the Emergency SOS feature was accidentally activated, then there may be something else going on. In this case, it’s best to contact Apple Support for assistance.

Why Does My iPhone 12 Say SOS?

I. Determine the Cause of the SOS Indication

Experiencing the dreaded “SOS” notification on your iPhone 12 can be a disconcerting moment, especially if you’re not actively seeking emergency assistance. Before jumping to conclusions, it’s crucial to identify the underlying cause of this alarming message.

  1. Verify the Presence of Emergency SOS Mode:
  2. Check if the Emergency SOS slider is enabled in your phone’s settings. It’s located under “Emergency SOS & Medical ID.”
  3. Ensure that the Emergency SOS countdown has not commenced. If the countdown is active, press the side button or volume buttons to cancel it.
  4. Check for Network Issues or Weak Signal:
  5. Poor network connectivity or a weak signal can trigger the SOS indication. Check if other apps on your phone are experiencing network issues or if your carrier is experiencing an outage.
  6. Move to an area with better network coverage and check if the SOS notification persists.
  7. Examine if the Power Button or Volume Buttons are Being Held Accidentally:
  8. Sustained pressure on the power button or volume buttons can inadvertently activate Emergency SOS. Inspect the buttons for any obstructions or damage that may be causing them to remain pressed.
  9. If necessary, clean the buttons with a soft cloth or consult an authorized repair center for a thorough inspection.
  10. Inspect the Device for Any Damage or Water Exposure:
  11. Physical damage or water exposure can compromise the functionality of your iPhone’s buttons or sensors, leading to accidental SOS activation.
  12. Examine the device for any cracks, dents, or water damage. If any damage is visible, seek professional repair immediately.

II. Disable Emergency SOS Mode

After identifying the cause of the SOS notification, it’s imperative to disable Emergency SOS mode promptly to prevent unintended consequences.

  1. Press the Side Button if the Emergency Call Has Not Been Sent:
  2. If the emergency call countdown has not yet commenced, firmly press the side button to cancel the process.
  3. Release the Side Button if the Emergency Call is in Progress:
  4. If the emergency call is already in progress, release the side button to stop the call.
  5. Enter the Passcode to Cancel the Call:
  6. If prompted, enter your iPhone passcode to confirm the cancellation of the emergency call.

III. Prevent Accidental Activation of Emergency SOS

To minimize the risk of accidental Emergency SOS activation, consider implementing the following preventative measures:

  1. Enable “Five Press” on the Side Button for Emergency SOS:
  2. Navigate to “Settings” → “Emergency SOS” and select “Five Press” for Emergency SOS. This requires five consecutive presses of the side button to trigger the SOS mode.
  3. Disable “Call with Side Button” Under Emergency SOS Settings:
  4. Disable the “Call with Side Button” option under “Settings” → “Emergency SOS.” This prevents the iPhone from placing an emergency call when the side button is pressed.
  5. Use the “Auto-Call” Feature After a Countdown:
  6. Activate the “Auto-Call” feature under “Settings” → “Emergency SOS.” This initiates an emergency call after a brief countdown, providing an opportunity to cancel the process if unintended.

IV. Troubleshoot Network and Signal Issues

Weak or unstable network connectivity can contribute to the SOS indication. Implement the following steps to resolve network-related issues:

  1. Reset Network Settings on the iPhone:
  2. Navigate to “Settings” → “General” → “Reset” and select “Reset Network Settings.” This will erase all Wi-Fi passwords and network configurations.
  3. Check if the Carrier is Experiencing Outages:
  4. Contact your carrier to inquire about any network outages in your area. Service disruptions can affect call and data connectivity.
  5. Move to an Area with Better Network Coverage:
  6. If possible, relocate to an area with stronger network coverage, such as a metropolitan or urban center. Signal strength can fluctuate depending on geographical location.

V. Fix Hardware-Related Issues

If you suspect a hardware issue is causing the SOS activation, consider these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Clean the Buttons with a Soft Cloth:
  2. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently clean the side button and volume buttons. Dirt or debris can accumulate and interfere with proper button functionality.
  3. Contact Apple Support or an Authorized Repair Center for Damaged Devices:
  4. If the SOS notification persists despite implementing the above troubleshooting steps, contact Apple Support or an authorized repair center for further diagnosis and potential repairs. Hardware damage may require professional attention.

VI. Additional Considerations

In addition to the troubleshooting steps outlined, keep these points in mind to minimize the likelihood of future SOS notifications:

  1. Check for Software Updates:
  2. Regularly check for software updates on your iPhone. Software updates often include bug fixes and performance improvements that can address issues related to Emergency SOS.
  3. Back Up the Device Regularly to Prevent Data Loss:
  4. Creating regular backups of your iPhone through iCloud or iTunes ensures that your data is safeguarded in the event of accidental activation of Emergency SOS.
  5. Use Find My to Locate a Lost Device in an Emergency:
  6. Activate the “Find My” feature on your iPhone to enable tracking and locate your device in case it’s lost or stolen. This can facilitate a quick recovery in the event of an emergency.


Understanding the “SOS” indication on your iPhone 12 empowers you to quickly address the situation. By following the steps discussed in this guide, you can effectively diagnose and resolve any underlying issues related to Emergency SOS mode, network connectivity, hardware malfunctions, or accidental activation. Remember, prompt action is crucial to ensure your device functions optimally and remains reliable in emergency situations. If you encounter persistent issues, don’t hesitate to contact Apple Support or an authorized repair center for professional assistance. By proactively maintaining your iPhone 12, you can prevent unwarranted SOS activations and safeguard your device’s functionality for when it matters most.

FAQs about why does my iphone 12 say sos

Why does my iPhone 12 say SOS when I tap the power button?

Your iPhone 12 may say SOS when you tap the power button because the Emergency SOS feature is enabled. This feature is designed to quickly call emergency services or send a message to your emergency contacts in case of an emergency.

Can I turn off the Emergency SOS feature?

Yes, you can turn off the Emergency SOS feature by going to Settings > Emergency SOS and turning off the Auto Call option.

What if I accidentally trigger the Emergency SOS feature?

If you accidentally trigger the Emergency SOS feature, you can stop it by pressing the side button or the volume up button. You can also drag the Emergency SOS slider to the left to cancel the call or message.

Why does my iPhone 12 sometimes say SOS even when I’m not in an emergency?

Your iPhone 12 may say SOS even when you’re not in an emergency if the Emergency SOS feature is set to call emergency services automatically. You can change this setting by going to Settings > Emergency SOS and turning off the Auto Call option.

What should I do if my iPhone 12 says SOS and I’m not in an emergency?

If your iPhone 12 says SOS and you’re not in an emergency, you can stop it by pressing the side button or the volume up button. You can also drag the Emergency SOS slider to the left to cancel the call or message. If you’re still having trouble, you can contact Apple Support for help.

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