What Does SOS Only Mean on iPhone and 10 Ways to Fix It


There’s no denying that many of us rely heavily on our iPhones for communication, work, and leisure. However, there are times when issues arise, and one such problem is when your iPhone displays an “SOS Only” notification. Panic often sets in when we encounter such problems but fear not; this article will explore what “SOS Only” means on iPhones and provide ten solutions for addressing the issue.

What Does SOS Only Mean on iPhone?

The “SOS Only” notification on an iPhone indicates that your device can only make emergency calls through its built-in Emergency SOS feature. This usually occurs when your iPhone loses connection to your carrier’s network or has a hardware issue with its cellular radio functions.

10 Ways to Fix SOS Only Issue:

1. Verify Network Coverage: Ensure that you are in an area covered by your carrier’s network. A weak signal could cause the “SOS Only” notification.

2. Toggle Airplane Mode: Turn on Airplane Mode from the Control Center for a few seconds and then turn it off again. This resets your device’s connection to the cellular network.

3. Restart Your iPhone: Power off your device, wait about 30 seconds before turning it back on. Sometimes a simple reboot can resolve this issue.

4. Check For Carrier Settings Updates: Go to Settings > General > About on your iPhone, wait for any updates available for your carrier settings, and install them accordingly.

5. Remove and Reinsert Your SIM Card: Power down your iPhone, remove the SIM card using a SIM ejector tool or paperclip, check it for damage, then reinsert it properly into the device before turning it back on.

6. Reset Network Settings: Go to Settings > General > Reset, select “Reset Network
Settings.” This will erase all saved Wi-Fi passwords and cellular settings but may resolve the issue.

7. Contact Your Carrier: If the issue persists, contact your carrier for assistance as it could be due to an account-related problem or network outage.

8. Update iOS: Ensure you are running the latest iOS version by checking Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates.

9. Factory Reset Your iPhone: A last resort is to factory reset your device by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Keep in mind this will erase all data, so backup your iPhone before proceeding.

10. Visit an Apple Store or Authorized Service Provider: If none of the solutions work, having a professional assess potential hardware issues might be necessary. Schedule a visit to an Apple Store or authorized service provider for further assistance.


Encountering the “SOS Only” issue on your iPhone can be nerve-racking, but understanding what it means, and knowing how to fix it will make troubleshooting the problem a more manageable experience. Try out the solutions provided above, and hopefully, your device will be back to functioning as expected in no time.