How to Fix SOS Only on iPhone

How to Fix SOS Only on iPhone – Encountering the “SOS Only” network issue on your iPhone can be frustrating and concerning, especially when you need to stay connected.

This guide will walk you through various methods to address the problem and restore your iPhone’s full network functionality.

From checking your SIM card to resetting network settings, we’ve got you covered with actionable solutions to get your iPhone back online.

What does “SOS Only” mean?

“SOS Only” is your iPhone’s way of telling you it can’t connect to your regular cellular network. Instead, it’s searching for any available emergency network. Picture it as your phone’s white flag, signaling for help because it’s lost its connection.

Why Am I Seeing “SOS Only” on My iPhone?

Before we dive into the troubleshooting steps, let’s understand why you might be encountering the “SOS Only” message on your iPhone.

This message typically appears when your iPhone fails to establish a connection with your mobile network and can only make emergency calls. Several factors can contribute to this problem, including:

  • Poor network coverage in your area.
  • SIM card issues.
  • Software glitches or bugs.
  • Outdated carrier settings.
  • iOS software updates required.
  • Carrier-related problems.

Now that we have a better understanding of the potential causes, let’s explore the step-by-step troubleshooting process to resolve the issue.

How to Fix SOS Only on iPhone

Checking SIM Card

The first step in resolving the SOS-only issue is to check your SIM card. Sometimes, a loose or improperly inserted SIM card can lead to connectivity problems. Follow these steps:

  1. Power off your iPhone.
  2. Locate the SIM card tray and carefully eject it using a SIM card tool or a paperclip.
  3. Remove the SIM card, clean it gently, and reinsert it correctly.
  4. Put the tray back into your iPhone and power it on.

Verifying Airplane Mode

Airplane mode can inadvertently get activated, causing the SOS-only problem. Make sure it’s turned off by following these steps:

  1. Swipe down from the top-right corner to open the Control Center.
  2. Check if the airplane icon is highlighted. If it is, tap it to turn off airplane mode.

Checking Carrier Settings

Outdated carrier settings can also lead to network issues. To update them:

  1. Connect your iPhone to a stable Wi-Fi network.
  2. Go to Settings > General > About.
  3. If an update is available, you’ll receive a prompt to update your carrier settings. Follow the instructions to proceed.

Ensuring Cellular Data is Enabled

If cellular data is disabled, your iPhone will only be able to make emergency calls. Ensure that cellular data is enabled:

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular.
  2. Toggle on Cellular Data if it’s turned off.

Resetting Network Settings

Resetting network settings can often resolve complex network-related problems:

  1. Navigate to Settings > General > Reset.
  2. Select Reset Network Settings.
  3. Confirm the action and enter your passcode if prompted.

Updating iOS

An outdated iOS version can sometimes lead to network issues. Update your iPhone’s operating system by:

  1. Going to Settings > General > Software Update.
  2. If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to download and install it.

Contacting Carrier Support

If none of the above solutions work, it’s possible that there’s an issue on your carrier’s end. Contact their support for assistance. You can find their contact details on their official website.


How do I know if my SIM card is damaged?

If your SIM card is damaged, you might experience connectivity issues. Inspect the SIM card for visible damage and try it in another compatible device to see if the problem persists.

Can I fix the SOS-only issue without losing my data?

Yes, the troubleshooting steps mentioned above are unlikely to affect your data. However, it’s always a good practice to back up your important data before attempting any troubleshooting.

Why is my iPhone stuck in SOS-only mode?

Various factors, such as SIM card issues, carrier problems, or network settings, can lead to this situation. Following the troubleshooting steps in this guide should help you resolve the problem.

What should I do if the issue is not resolved?

If the SOS-only issue persists after trying all the troubleshooting steps, it’s recommended to visit an Apple Store or an authorized service center for further assistance.

Will a factory reset fix the problem?

A factory reset should be your last resort, as it will erase all data on your device. Try other solutions first, and if the problem persists, consult professional help before considering a factory reset.

How do I find my carrier’s contact information?

You can usually find your carrier’s contact information on their official website. Look for a “Contact Us” or “Support” section.

Read Also: How to Take Off Vibration on iPhone


Experiencing the SOS-only network issue on your iPhone can be worrisome, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve the problem and regain normal connectivity.

By following the methods outlined in this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the issue and stay connected with your loved ones and the digital world.

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