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How to Fix SOS Only on iPhone: Troubleshooting Guide

If you’re an iPhone user, you may have encountered the distressing situation where your device displays “SOS Only” instead of connecting to your mobile network. This issue can be frustrating and inconvenient, but fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the meaning behind “SOS Only” on iPhone, delve into the reasons why your phone may be displaying this message, and provide effective solutions to fix the problem. So, let’s dive in and learn how to resolve the “SOS Only” issue on your iPhone.

What Does SOS Only Mean on iPhone

When you see the “SOS Only” message on your iPhone, it means that your device is currently only able to connect to emergency services. In this mode, your iPhone is restricted to making emergency calls, preventing you from accessing regular cellular services such as making and receiving calls, sending text messages, or accessing the internet. This situation typically arises due to a lack of network coverage or issues with your SIM card or carrier.

Why Does My Phone Say “SOS Only”

  1. Insufficient Network Coverage: The most common reason for your iPhone to display “SOS Only” is a weak or nonexistent network signal. This can happen in areas with poor cellular coverage or when you’re in a location where your carrier doesn’t provide service.
  2. SIM Card Issues: Another factor that can lead to the “SOS Only” message is a problem with your SIM card. If the SIM card is damaged, not inserted correctly, or not compatible with your iPhone, it can result in limited connectivity.
  3. Carrier Restrictions: Certain carriers impose restrictions on their network access, especially for international roaming. If you are in a foreign country and haven’t enabled international roaming or have exceeded your data limit, your iPhone may be limited to emergency calls only.

SOS only on iPhone: How to Fix

Now that we understand the meaning and causes behind the “SOS Only” issue, let’s explore various troubleshooting steps to fix the problem:

  1. Check Network Coverage:
    • Ensure you are in an area with sufficient network coverage by moving to a different location.
    • If you are in a building, try going outside or to a higher floor where the signal might be stronger.
  2. Restart Your iPhone:
    • Restarting your device can often resolve temporary software glitches. Hold down the power button and slide to power off, then turn your iPhone back on after a few seconds.
  3. Check SIM Card:
    • Remove the SIM card from your iPhone and reinsert it, ensuring it is properly seated in the SIM card tray.
    • If you have access to another compatible iPhone, try inserting your SIM card into it to see if the issue persists.
  4. Update Carrier Settings:
    • Go to “Settings” on your iPhone, then select “General” and “About.”
    • If an update is available for your carrier settings, a prompt will appear. Follow the on-screen instructions to update them.
  5. Reset Network Settings:
    • Open the “Settings” app, go to “General,” and select “Reset.”
    • Tap on “Reset Network Settings” and confirm your action. Note that this will remove saved Wi-Fi passwords and VPN settings.
  6. Contact Your Carrier:
    • If the issue persists after trying the above steps, it’s advisable to reach out to your carrier’s customer support. They can provide specific guidance tailored to your network and account.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): How to Fix SOS Only on iPhone

  1. What should I do if my iPhone keeps showing “SOS Only” even after trying the troubleshooting steps?

    If the issue persists, it’s recommended to contact your carrier’s customer support. They can investigate the problem further and provide specific assistance based on your network and account details.

  2. Will resetting my network settings delete my personal data?

    No, resetting network settings will only remove saved Wi-Fi passwords and VPN settings. Your personal data, apps, and files will not be affected.

  3. Can a faulty SIM card cause the “SOS Only” issue?

    Yes, a damaged, improperly inserted, or incompatible SIM card can result in limited network connectivity, leading to the “SOS Only” message. Try reseating the SIM card or using a different SIM card to troubleshoot the problem.

  4. What if I’m in a foreign country and my iPhone displays “SOS Only”?

    Ensure that you have enabled international roaming on your device and have sufficient data or minutes left on your plan. If you’re experiencing difficulties, contact your carrier to verify your international roaming status and resolve any account-related issues.


Encountering the “SOS Only” message on your iPhone can be concerning, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can resolve the issue and regain full network functionality. Remember to start by checking the network coverage in your area and ensuring your SIM card is properly inserted. If the problem persists, try restarting your device, updating carrier settings, or resetting network settings. In case none of these steps work, don’t hesitate to reach out to your carrier’s customer support for personalized assistance. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to fixing the “SOS Only” issue and enjoying uninterrupted connectivity on your iPhone.

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