What Does “SOS Only” on An iPhone Mean, and How Can You Get Rid of It?

why does my phone say sos only

Do you see SOS in the top-right part of your iPhone? If so, you might be thinking, “Why does it say SOS on my iPhone?”

Take a deep breath and read this piece before you jump to the worst possible conclusions. Here, we’ll tell you what SOS means in the iPhone’s status bar and how to get rid of it. Let’s get started.

What Does My iPhone Mean When It Says SOS?

The SOS icon or SOS-only text means that there is a problem with your iPhone’s cellular network and that you can’t make or receive regular phone calls, send texts, or use cellular data.

But you can still use your iPhone to call for help in an emergency, which is why it’s called SOS. You can call emergency services like 911 in the United States or 112 in Europe.


In iOS 16, the SOS icon is generally in the top right corner of the iPhone. In earlier versions, it was in the top left corner.

Read More:

What Does SOS Mean on My iPhone?

If your iPhone says “SOS,” there are a lot of things that could be wrong. First, it could be because your iPhone is in an area with poor network service and isn’t getting the right cellular signal.

In the same way, it could mean that your SIM card doesn’t have international capabilities or that the network on your iPhone has been changed. Or, your SIM card isn’t in the right way.

Even worse, your SIM card might not work at all because you haven’t paid your bill, it got damaged, or something else. To get rid of SOS only from your iPhone, you must fix the cellular link. Only then will you be able to use cellular services?

Note: The SOS icon on your iPhone will only show up in Australia, Canada, and the U.S.

How to Remove SOS Only from an iPhone?

Follow the steps below to stop your iPhone from showing SOS in the status bar.

  • Turn On Your iPhone Again

Due to a bug, the SOS icon could sometimes show up. Just restart your iPhone to fix it. Press and hold the Power button until the Power slider appears. If you move the bar to the right, your iPhone will shut down. Wait a few seconds, and then press the Power button to turn your iPhone back on.

  •  Do a Network Check

The main reason your iPhone’s SOS button shows up is because of a bad network. So, try moving somewhere else. Move to a different room or, if that’s not possible, a different place with a good network service.

  • Re-insert SIM

Next, you’ll need to take the SIM card out of your iPhone. Then, use a soft cloth to clean it, and put it back in your iPhone. This fix is a good way to get rid of the SOS text on an iPhone.

  • Stop Using Cell Phone Data

Go to Settings > Cellular Data (or Mobile Data). To Turn Off Cellular Data or Mobile Data, Turn Off the Switch Next to It. Wait until It Makes a Few Noises, and Then Turn It Back On.

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  • Enable Data Roaming

Make sure that internet roaming is turned on on your iPhone if you are going somewhere other than the state or country where your SIM card was bought.

1. Go to Settings > Cellular data (Mobile data).


2. Tap “Cellular data” or “Mobile data” and turn on the switch next to “Data roaming.”

why does my phone say sos only

  • Select Right Network

You might have picked or switched your iPhone to the wrong network by chance. That might be why SOS is written in the progress bar. Setting network selection to “automatic” is the best way to fix the problem.

So, your iPhone will choose the right network for your SIM immediately. Go to Settings, then Cellular data (Mobile data), then Network option. Flip the switch next to Automatic on. If it’s already on, you should turn it off and then back on.

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  • Enable LTE

Some companies, like AT&T, are getting rid of their older networks, like 3G, over time. If you have Voice & data set to 3G, the SOS sign could show up in the status bar.

To turn it off, you just need to move to a newer network. Go to Settings > Cellular data > Cellular data choices > Voice & data. Choose a mode other than the one you’re in. LTE should also be turned on.

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  • Update Your iPhone and Carrier Settings

Getting the SOS symbol on your iPhone could be a sign that there is a problem with the network. This could be because you have old settings for your service. To turn it off, you have to directly change your carrier settings. In the same way, you should update iOS to the most recent version.

Go to Settings > General > About to see if there are any changes for either of them. Make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection. If there is an update for your iPhone, you should install it.

  • Reset Network Settings

Lastly, if nothing else works to get rid of the SOS in your iPhone’s status bar, you should restart the network settings on your iPhone. If you do this, all of the network settings, like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc., will go back to their original settings. They need to be set up again.

Go to Settings > General > Move or Reset to move or reset your iPhone. Then, click Reset and then click Reset network settings.

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Last chance: Talk to The Network Provider

I hope you know what the SOS sign in your iPhone’s status bar means. In the same way, you should know what the images in the iPhone’s Control Center mean. But if you can’t get rid of the SOS text message on your iPhone, you should talk to your network provider. There might be something wrong with your SIM.