How to Turn Off Emergency Services (SOS) on your Apple Watch

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 help 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.


It does even more…

In case you are in another country, instead of calling U.S emergency services (911) your Apple Watch will call the equivalent emergency number of that particular country (based on detected location). Furthermore, if you set someone’s phone number as your emergency contacts, SOS will also send an alert to let the individual know.

Apple Watch accidentally called 911

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

  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.

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.


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. To learn more about it, click here.


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