What does iPhone SOS Only mean and how to fix it?

Eray Eliaçik
Mar 10, 2023
Updated • Mar 10, 2023
Apple, Mobile Computing, Tutorials

iPhone SOS Only meaning and possible fixes are explained in this article. Sometimes your iPhone will not allow you to make a call or send a text message. You look at the status bar, and then suddenly, you see there's an SOS or SOS only (top-right corner of your iPhone screen) warning.

Nothing you've done has activated this feature by accident, and yes, the iPhone SOS Only warning in the status bar can be removed.

iPhone SOS Only meaning

What does SOS Only on iPhone mean? Your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) is not connected to a mobile network if the status bar displays No Service or Searching. The ability to make emergency calls is preserved if the SOS or "SOS Only" icon is present in the status bar.

In this situation, the only calls that can be made from your iPhone are 911 (in the United States), 112 (in Europe), 999 (in the United Kingdom), or 000 (in Australia) emergency calls.

The iPhone SOS Only warning may also appear when your cell phone service is down.

This feature is available in Australia, Canada, and the United States.

iPhone stuck in SOS mode: How to fix it?

According to Apple, there are several solutions to fix iPhone SOS Only error:

Test coverage

Be sure to be in a place with access to a mobile network. Turning on and off mobile data may fix your problem:

  • Visit Settings
  • Choose Cellular or Mobile Data.

Are you abroad? Your device needs to enable roaming data before you leave the country. To enable it, follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Click Cellular Data.
  • Tap Cellular Data Options.
iPhone stuck in SOS mode: What to do?
  • Select Data Roaming.

Restart your device

The go-to, often-referenced approach to fixing a problem. Fortunately, it also generally benefits us. In most cases, clearing the caches will address the problem by getting rid of any lingering bugs or incorrect settings and restoring a consistent connection to the internet.

Enable LTE

The widespread lack of 5G infrastructure could compromise the quality of your connection and signals. If this issue persists, turning off 5G on the iPhone and staying with 4G is the best option.

Update Service Provider Settings

Before we go in, make sure your gadget has a solid Wi-Fi connection and that Cellular Data is enabled. It is possible to manually check for and implement a service provider settings change by doing the following:

  • Visit Settings
  • Choose General
  • Select About
  • A prompt will display if an update is available; select Update to begin the process.

Re-Insert SIM

Network outages caused by the SIM card itself are rare but do occur. Thankfully, the iPhone SOS Only warning can be disabled with a simple reset. Thus, remove the SIM card, restart your iPhone, and then insert it back into your smartphone.

Reset your Network Settings

This will also clear any previously saved VPN or APN configurations and any wireless networks and passwords. Save your passwords and continue:

  • Go to Settings.
  • Select General.
  • Find ‘Transfer or Reset iPhone’ and choose it
  • Tap Reset.
  • If prompted, enter the password and then tap Reset Network Settings.
  • For final confirmation, tap Reset Network Settings once again.

Update your device

The iPhone SOS Only signal may be appearing because of a glitch in the software. Thankfully, this is a simple issue to fix with the latest OS version.

Find out whether there is an update and apply it if there is.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Choose General.
  • Select Software Update.
  • Choose "Download and Install" if the option is there.

Contact your service provider

In the event that you continue to see SOS or iPhone SOS Only warning next to the Wi-Fi symbol, your carrier can assist you in resolving the issue.

Contact Apple

Contact Apple Help if you have already checked with your service provider and they say there's nothing wrong with your account or their network but you still can't connect to a mobile network.


Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


There are no comments on this post yet, be the first one to share your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.