Let’s say that after reading tons of articles online about the old “Android vs. iPhone” subject, you’ve finally decided to buy yourself your first iPhone. Whether it’s the latest and the greatest iPhone 15, last year’s iPhone 14, or some older model, you might find yourself a bit frightened by the SOS text that appears in the top-right corner of the device. You’ve never dealt with such a situation before, which means that you clearly need some guidance.
We’re here to tell you what the SOS text displaying on an iPhone means and how you can get rid of it. Luckily, there’s more than one single way to remove the SOS text, so keep reading to find out!
What does “SOS Only” mean on an iPhone
If your iPhone displays the SOS icon or the SOS-only text, it means that your cellular network is going through some issues. Therefore, it’s impossible to make or receive usual phone calls, send messages, or even use cellular data. Instead, the iPhone can be used in case you need to make an emergency call (calling your girlfriend to find out where she’s been all night doesn’t count as an emergency in this case). Instead, it’s possible to call emergency numbers such as 911, 112, or similar ones.
Although iPhones usually display the SOS message because there’s no proper cellular network available, it could also mean that your SIM doesn’t have roaming privileges or the SIM card might not have been inserted in the correct way. If you haven’t paid your bills, on the other hand, you also shouldn’t be surprised if the SOS message appears, as it indicates that the SIM card doesn’t work anymore. The message could also indicate that the network has been changed to a different one in the settings menu.
How to remove the “SOS Only” message on your iPhone
Considering that there could be several causes for the emergence of the “SOS Only” message on your iPhone, it automatically means that there is more than just one possible fix. In other words, feel free to try out each of the methods at the time and see if the problem has gone away or not:
Re-insert the SIM card
Simply removing the SIM card from your iPhone, cleaning it, and then inserting it back into the device could solve your problem and get you rid of the “SOS Only” message. Before thinking that it sounds too good to be true, feel free to give it a try!
Check the network
If the network is poor, don’t be surprised if the SOS icon shows up on your iPhone’s display. Therefore, changing your location in the room or going to another area where you can get a good network signal might also save the day for you.
Restart your iPhone
Believe it or not, a lot of errors and problems can be solved by just restarting your device, and iPhones are no exception. A temporary bug might be what’s causing the SOS icon to show up on the display, which means that restarting the device can help a lot. You can do that by simply pressing and holding the power button until the Power slider shows up. From that point, you will have to drag the slider towards the right side. Wait a few seconds after your iPhone has turned off and press the Power button for the device to start again. Check if the pesky message has disappeared or not. If the issue still hasn’t gone away, it’s time to move on to the next possible fix!
Activate Data Roaming
In case you’re traveling to a different country than the original area where you received your SIM, it’s time to make sure that the data roaming on your phone is enabled. Here’s what you need to do:
- Head over to the Settings menu.
- Select Cellular data (Mobile data).
- Select Cellular data (Mobile data) options
- Activate the toggle that’s positioned next to Data Roaming.
Restart the cellular data
Consider restarting the cellular data or even turning it off completely to move on to a WiFi connection, if there is any. Pretty much anyone has a WiFi router at home nowadays or a good friend who has one and is willing to share the password.
But if you’re willing to keep clinging to the cellular data, you can just restart it and see if the problem with the SOS text message goes away or not. For that, head over to the Settings menu and then to Cellular Data. Be patient for a few seconds and turn it back on.
Reset the network settings
As one of the last resorts, resetting the network settings could also help you get rid of the SOS text appearing on your iPhone’s display. However, you need to keep in mind that this measure will erase all the network settings, such as WiFi and Bluetooth, and make them go back to their default statuses.
To reset the network settings, head over to the Settings menu, then go to General, hit the Transfer or reset iPhone, and ultimately hit Reset and Reset network settings.
Surely, it’s a bit difficult for anyone to figure out how to handle an iPhone after using only Android phones until that moment, but let’s not forget that it’s in the best interest of any tech company out there to make things as easy as possible for their customers. Apple is no exception, and it’s known for making a great combination of both the hardware and software parts for iPhones, making those two realms collaborate with one another in a very efficient way.
I’m Francis E. Hagopian, and I’m the voice and vision behind Billionaire365.com. For the last 15 years, I’ve lived and breathed Silicon Valley culture, arming myself with insights and know-how that I can’t wait to share with you. Think of me as your personal guide in the intricate maze of technology. I specialize in translating the complex into the understandable, so you can turn knowledge into power. This isn’t just about staying in the loop; it’s about giving you the tools you need to excel in a digital age. When you’re looking for reliable tech insights, know that I’ve got your back.