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How to quickly call emergency services on iPhone

This iPhone trick could come in clutch one day.

iphone 14 in both sizes on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Quick Answer: To quickly call emergency services on iPhone, press the side button five times rapidly. After that, you’ll need to confirm the call with the slider that pops up. You can also set this up for auto-call, which we detail below.

Your iPhone can always call emergency services if needed, but knowing the best way to quickly call could save you valuable time in an emergency.

Thankfully, your iPhone is equipped with a shortcut that makes calling for help a two-step process.

This means you can call for help even while your phone is in your pocket. You don’t have to lift it to your face to unlock it or fumble with the touchscreen and hope you tapped the correct digits.

Below, we’ll show you how to quickly call emergency services on your iPhone.

How to quickly call emergency services using your iPhone

Press the side button on your iPhone five times rapidlyiphone with arrow pointed to side button
Now you’ll be on a modified version of the “slide to power off” screen
Put your finger on the Emergency SOS slider and slide it to the rightiphone emergency services screen
Your iPhone will call emergency services for the country you’re in

If you prefer to set it up so that the five-button press automatically calls emergency services, that’s an option, as well. We’ll show you how below.

How to set up emergency auto-call on iPhone

You can set your iPhone to auto-call with the five-press feature, as well. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings and tap on Emergency SOS
emergency sos feature on iphone
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Toggle Call with 5 Presses to On
emergency sos feature on iphone
Image: KnowTechie

READ MORE: How to change iPhone alert sounds and ringtones

When this setting is on, tapping the side button five times will start a countdown. After five seconds, the iPhone will automatically dial for emergency services unless you cancel the countdown.

Emergency calling can come in very hand

That’s it. Now you know how to quickly call emergency services from your iPhone. You can either do the normal five-button press and slide or set it up to dial automatically after the five-button press.

READ MORE: How to fix an iPhone not receiving texts from Android phones

Having the option to toggle between the two modes is also nice, as you can set up the shortcut only when needed and you are worried that your next high-octane vacation might require it.

streaming platforms on tv

Want more tips and tricks for your iPhone?

Apple’s iOS 16 is stuffed with features you probably aren’t using.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

READ MORE: How to turn on WiFi calling on Android and iOS

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at

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