You may have seen this post going around on social media. It states that if you find yourself in an emergency situation, you can push the lock button on your iPhone 5 times and send a message to the closest police station.  First, don’t ever accept something like this as fact without checking to see if it is true. Someone might accept a false post as truth and end up believing they’ve sent for help when they have not.


I went straight to the Apple support site to check this one out. It’s partially true. If you’re running iOS 11, you can do this. But only if you’re running iOS 11. So, this won’t work if you’re still using an iPhone 5. Also, there are different methods of accessing it depending on your phone.

Here’s how to use it on an iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus:

Hold the side button and one of the volume sliders down until the Emergency SOS appears on the screen.  Drag the SOS slider to the right to call for help or just continue to hold the buttons down. A countdown will appear. Hold the buttons down until it gets to 1, then it will call the closest emergency services.


For iPhone 7 and earlier, press the side button 5 times in rapid succession (in India, it’s only three times).  Then drag the emergency SOS slider to call local authorities.

This doesn’t mean that help is going to be automatically dispatched to your location. Many emergency services will send someone out if they get a call and no one answers.  The phone will automatically turn on location services if you have them turned off.