Apple Watch Accidentally Called 911? Here’s How to Turn Off SOS in 3 Steps

A question from Tony: My Apple Watch dialed 911 today and before I realized it was ringing, I hung up. Which they called right back to make sure everything was okay. How can I turn that feature off?

SOS is the name of the feature that allows you to call 911 for help. To activate this functionality, users must press and hold the side button until the emergency countdown appears. After the three seconds count, the Apple Watch will then call 911. When connected to Wi-Fi, the watch can also make the call directly.

In case you are in another country, instead of calling the U.S emergency services (911), your Apple Watch will call the equivalent emergency number of that particular country. Furthermore, if you assign someone to your emergency contact list, SOS will also send an alert to let the individual know about your situation.

Apple Watch accidentally called 911

This is a life-changing feature. It’s instrumental in every circumstance. But the activation method is “too easy” that sometimes your Apple Watch may accidentally call 911.

Here are some examples of Apple Watch users whose devices called 911 by accident.

Randy Mikkelsen

I have an Apple Watch. Last night by mistake, I called SOS 911. Now the emergency contacts I have listed are all getting my location. How do I make this stop?

Arzaam Bhatti

Reset the Apple Watch then go to settings in the Apple watch app on the phone and configure that SOS feature again.

Missy Coy Osborne

I’m fairly new to Apple Watch. Someone told me I shouldn’t sleep in mine because there’s a button you could hit that’s like a panic/emergency type button. Is that true?

Linzi Skilling

There is, I called the police once 😂😂 You just need to switch off automatic dialing and then you can sleep wearing it.

Bridgette Reed

My mom sent the SOS by accident. For the record my Apple Watch is fine! I just update to the new and improved Apple Watch whenever a new version of the Watch is released.

When I upgraded to the Apple Watch Series 4, I gave my series 3 to my 85 year old mom. This morning I received this text from her phone. Within 2 minutes, we got a call from the police department saying they received an emergency call from my mom’s location. We assured them everything was fine. They wanted to know who they were speaking to for their record.

This is why I keep upgrading my Apple Watches. Yes, I just ordered a series 6.

Bill EA

I’ve set it off accidentally, I do not have cell service. yet, with in 3 mins I get call from emergency services to see if I’m ok. I’m not unhappy with this. I am older, do loads of out door exercise. Good to know this works.

Belinda Mahoney

I’m not sure if many of you have ever required emergency services in your respective countries but I did learn something today.

My son accidentally triggered the SOS on his watch (series 6) at school today which automatically called 000 (Australia). His watch is not setup on a phone plan, nor was it connected to wifi at the time.

We stopped in at our phone providers store on the way home to find out how this was possible.

Seems the newer watches can now connect to satellite (like our phones do) for emergency calls and doesn’t require a connection to a phone or wifi to make emergency calls.

Janice Sternfeld

I accidentally triggered it one day. Stay on the line and let them know it was accidental.

How to Disable Emergency SOS on Apple Watch

  1. On your iPhone, tap to open the Watch app.
  2. Go to General > Emergency SOS.
  3. To disable SOS, toggle Press and Hold for SOS to Off.

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

preview-sos-in-apple-watch

You can always go back to the same Settings page and re-enable SOS. You may also find a similar feature to Emergency SOS on your iPhone as well.

Apple Watch Fall Detection: Does It Work?

Bridget Stubblefield

Well, I’m not sure how this happened but I fell yesterday in a parking lot on my way home from a business trip. It was a hard fall & I was stunned. Still not sure how it happened. Thinking of turning on the fall detection feature. Thankfully, a really nice lady & man came to my rescue & were so kind and helpful. I’d like to know your experiences with this feature & whether you recommend it. I travel alone a lot for work purposes.

Crystal Segura

I have mine turned on. Figure I would rather not need it and have it than not have it and need it. When you open the Watch app on your iPhone, go to Emergency SOS and scroll down click Fall Detection, so you see the green dot, then it’s on.

Cathy Modica

Mine is turned on. It’s only “activated” on me once – a false alert as I had moved very quickly with my dogs who were getting into trouble. It is very insistent. Prompting you have to say you are OK twice. It’s worth the bother – mine remains on. I could have used it in Feb when a cinder block crashed on my head and knocked me out. Thankfully I wasn’t out long.

Oliver Larweczka

I turned it on because I find it very helpful in case of an emergency.

I’m glad I didn’t need it in the past and I hope I never will, but it’s reassuring that you have it just in case.

And since you have insurance, you should definitely try to get it replaced. What else would you use your insurance for?

Margaret Gilmore

So I fell this morning and the first sensation I had after feeling the impact in the hard floor was my Apple watch series 4 telling me I’ve fallen and asking should it call 911. I declined. Someone else called and I’ll be fine It feels good that if had I been alone, help was available.

Thanks, Apple Watch!!

Raquel Baranow

Wonder if Apple could update the Watch app to detect if your heart stopped and/or you didn’t move for an hour or so, which would trigger the watch to call 911 or friend?

My mom lives alone, which is why I’m thinking about this. Was also thinking if she had the watch and she shared with me, could she share her heart rate and activity with me so I could see how many times she stood, steps taken?

Hannah Williams

It detects if you’ve got a low /high heart rate but I don’t know about stopped heart.

The new one can detect if you’ve taken a fall though, and if it doesn’t detect movement for a certain amount of time after a fall, it will ask if you’re ok and if it gets no answer, it will alert the authorities and your emergency contacts.

As for activity sharing, yes you can see how many steps she has taken, but the stand tracking works a bit differently. The stand count actually tracks if you’ve been active for over a minute every hour. This is the screen you’ll see for activity sharing.

Leave a Comment

  1. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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 .

        Reply
    • You can disable it on your watch and get an app that does the same thing, but is less likely to be triggered by accident. I use MySafetyNetworks.

      Reply
  2. 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

    Reply
  3. 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

    Reply
  4. Just had the same thing happen with my new watch Series 2, i was trying to take a screenshot and the iWatch just started counting down to call emergency services 3, 2, 1…..noooooo…. tried to push the cancel button it would not respond to multiple presses or forced pressing. I apologised to the emergency call lady profusely and ended the call. When that call ended my watch then started the countdown again… I then held both buttons down to reset the watch. Not sure what happened…

    Reply
  5. Same thing happened to me today. Accidentally called 911. Not even sure how it happened. Tried to cancell the call but watch wouldn’t respond. I got a call back from emergency services and explained what happened. I was told all was ok. But within a few minutes two police officers showed up at my work place. I explained the call was accidentally made from my watch. I was told they hear that all the time. This needs to be fixed.

    Reply
  6. How do I stop sending sos location sms messages to my contact person. It has been almost 24 hours since my SOS was accidentally set off and my wife is still getting location messages. very annoying. I have turned off the auto call feature but it still sent the messages. I couldn’t stop the call from going through at the time. I kept pushing the stop call button but it wouldn’t respond.

    Update: I just took my wife name of the emergency contact list. Hopefully that stops the messages for now

    Reply
  7. I can turn off the SOS. I am an adult I can ask for help when needed I do not need a need the SOS feature on the same screen with the Off button. I still have 14 days and thinking about returning the watch if I can’t move the SOS feature.

    Reply
  8. I accidentally hit SOS while changing the watch band and had no idea that ‘
    I was sending an emergency message to my list of names…it continued for hours….until someone notified me….
    My list of ER names got at least 6 emergency messages from me!! And all
    unbeknownst to me!! Couldn’t figure out how to stop that….
    I finally went to my iPhone, Settings, Privacy, Location Services,
    System Services. (unbelievable!! who would know to do all that!!!)
    and turned off Emergency SOS.

    Reply
  9. Accidentally called 911 from watch, now two days later everyone on my emergency contact list gets a text update with a map when my location changes, I cannot stop it.. I even turned off location services for the SOS App….

    How do you reset this or disable emergency SOS notifications?

    Reply
  10. Just had to make an embarrassing apology to an emergency dispatch because when I reset my watch and was testing the side button it accidentally triggered the sos button and before I could stop it called 911, Dear Apple, this is not a feature that should be so easy to activated by accident! Emergency numbers are tied up enough without accidental dialing!

    Reply
  11. Out of no where my watch started calling 911! The fix does not stop it from happening. I no longer want to wear this watch and will try to return it. Why can’t apple resolve this? I’m perfectly capable of dialing for help if needed; but the only help I need is from useless apple. Is there a number I can call.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Cydia Geeks