With the new watchOS 3 on your Apple Watch, calling for emergency help has never been easier and faster than before.

You never know when you’re going to get into an accident, oh god I hope you never do, or just in any situations that require immediate medical attention or protection.

SOS is the name of the feature that allows you to call 911 or even international from any country. These numbers are built-in right into your Apple Watch. To activate this functionality, a user just has to press and hold the side button until the emergency countdown appear.


After the three seconds count, the Watch will then call 911 right away, of course it will be made through your iPhone. When connected to Wi-Fi, the watch can also make the call directly.

Here’s another selling-point:

In case a user is in another country, instead of calling U.S emergency services (911) their Apple Watch will call the equivalent number for the country they’re based in.

It’s not flawless

Look back and forth, right to left, we can’t really pick out a flaw in this feature. It’s absolutely useful in every situation. But its activation method made it easier to call even when we don’t need it to.

Here’s a real life example:

First day with WatchOS b2. Wore it while playing golf as I usually do as a round is a large percentage of my daily cals, exercise etc. Also called the police twice. By accident. That’s going to get really annoying for them and for me, really soon.

You read that correctly. It happens.

Some forum members from MacRumors also express their concerns.


Disable Emergency Call on Apple Watch

If you think the SOS feature is not suitable for you at the moment or needs to be turned off temporarily, then follow the instructions below.

  1. Turn on your iPhone and launch the Watch app (See this if you can’t find it)
  2. Go to General > Emergency SOS
  3. To disable SOS, toggle Press and Hold for SOS to Off.

Although you can no longer activate the Emergency Call through pressing and holding of the side button, this feature is still visible under the power-off slider.


You can always go back to the same Settings page and re-enable SOS.

  • Robert

    I don’t like having the sos on my watch as I find it annoying when i swipe off my watch and by accident
    It launches the sos and I have to quickly switch off my watch and mobile

    I’m so scared that the police will nock on my door

    Why did apple have to add this to the Apple Watch

    Can someone please help me to remove the silly sos

    Thank you

    • Tin

      Called on accident today. I thought I ended it in time. 5 seconds later I get a call back “this is the Phoenix police dept, we received a call and hangup”

      I apologized emennsly and it sound like it wasn’t the first time it’s happened I heard her giggle and it was done.

      • Brian

        Playing a round of golf today and my watch called emergency
        Services ,quickly hung up ,but a few minutes later police called to see if all ok .

        I said what had happened and apologised then took my
        Watch off so not to happen again ,not feeling comfortable
        Wearing watch in case happens again .

        Apple needs to sort this out .

  • Ben Westwood

    I’m still having trouble getting rid of the sos
    From my Apple Watch

    Apple need to add a feature to turn off the sos
    In the next update iOS 10.0.3

    • teeayeand

      Yup. For now, you can partially turn it off.

  • Robert

    This is the 2nd time that my Apple Watch has called the emergency services
    When switching off my watch

    I have had to apologise to the emergency operator witch hie was not happy
    And told me to hang up straight away

    How do I put on the old update on my Apple Watch from iOS 3 to
    iOS 2

    • teeayeand

      To downgrade back to watchOS 2, you will need to get in touch with Apple and send the device to them.