Why does my Phone say SOS only? How to fix it?

Are you puzzled and anxious because your phone only shows the “SOS” message? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. This issue has become more prevalent, and it can be triggered by multiple reasons. Here, we’ll explore the potential causes and provide solutions to help you resolve this problem and use your phone without stress.

Software Glitch:

When you see the “SOS only” message on your phone, it’s often caused by a malfunction in the software. This could be due to a coding error in the operating system or an app, which stops your phone from working as it should.

Network Issues:

When your phone shows “SOS,” it could mean that there’s a problem with your network. This could comprise a weak signal or an problem with your service provider. In such situations, your phone may have trouble connecting to the network, limiting your ability to make calls and send messages.

Water Damage:

When a phone gets wet, it can harm the inside parts, causing it to only display the “SOS only” message. If you think your phone has gotten wet, it’s important to take action right away to prevent lasting damage and losing data.

Battery Issues:

When your phone shows an SOS message, it could be because the battery is almost empty or losing power quickly. Sometimes, the battery may be faulty and need to be replaced.

Hardware Problems:

Problems with the phone’s physical components, like a broken screen or a charging port that doesn’t work, can also make the “SOS only” message show up on the phone.

Also Read: iPhone Turns Itself Off? Try These Quick 5 Ways to Fix [2024]

Solutions for SOS Only on Your Phone:

Restart Your Phone:

If you encounter the “SOS only” message, restarting your device can resolve the issue. Long-press the power button to power down your phone, and then press the same button to restart it.

Check for Software Updates:

Ensure your phone has the newest software. Regularly check for updates in the settings menu and install them promptly after they are available.

Reset Your Phone:

If none of the other troubleshooting steps resolve the issue, consider resetting your phone to its original factory settings. However, be aware that this action will erase all data from your phone. Therefore, create a backup before proceeding.

Contact Your Carrier:

If you’re having issue with your internet or phone, reach out to your service provider. They can check if it’s a network problem and help fix it by running diagnostics or providing troubleshooting advice.

Visit a Repair Shop:

If you’ve tried everything and your phone is still malfunctioning, consider seeking professional assistance. A repair technician can identify and remedy both hardware and software problems, restoring your phone to its optimal functionality.


The “SOS only” message can occur due to several reasons, such as software errors, network problems, or hardware issues. Follow the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article to identify and address the issue effectively. It’s crucial to address this issue promptly to avoid potential hardware damage or data loss. If the listed solutions don’t resolve the issue, consider seeking help from a repair professional or contacting the phone’s manufacturer for more assistance. By taking the necessary steps, you can fix the “SOS only” message and restore your phone to normal operation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why does my phone display ‘SOS only’?

Phones typically display “SOS only” when they are not receiving a regular signal from your usual network but can still make emergency calls. This might be due to being in an area with low network coverage or an issue with your network provider.

How can I fix the ‘SOS only’ message on my phone?

To rectify this issue, try:

Turning your phone off and then turn on again.

Re-seating your SIM card.

Searching for networks manually through your phone settings and reconnecting to your carrier.

Checking for any carrier updates or contacting your service provider for assistance.

Is ‘SOS only’ a sign of a damaged SIM card?

It can be. If reinserting or replacing your SIM card solves the problem, it was likely due to a faulty or improperly seated SIM card.

Does ‘SOS only’ mean there is a problem with my phone’s hardware?

Not necessarily. While hardware issues can lead to network problems, ‘SOS only’ is most commonly related to network or SIM card issues. If basic troubleshooting doesn’t resolve it, consider having your phone checked by a professional.

How can I prevent my phone from going into ‘SOS only’ mode in the future?

Ensure that your phone and SIM card are always in good condition, avoid network-restricted areas, and keep your phone operating system and carrier settings updated.

Can weather conditions affect my phone’s ability to connect to the network and show ‘SOS only’?

Yes, extreme weather conditions can affect signal strength temporarily leading to such issues.

Will resetting network settings help if my phone says ‘SOS only’?

Resetting network settings can sometimes resolve underlying network configuration issues that might cause your phone to display ‘SOS only’.

Could an unpaid bill lead to an ‘SOS only’ message even if the phone seems active?

Yes, carriers can restrict your connection due to unpaid bills, which may result in your phone being limited to emergency calls only.

Are there specific phone models that are more susceptible to the ‘SOS only’ message?

Generally, the message is tied more to network issues than specific phone models. However, older models may struggle more with connectivity issues in weak signal areas.

If traveling internationally, how can I avoid seeing ‘SOS only’ on my phone?

Before traveling, ensure your roaming is activated, or consider purchasing a local SIM card to avoid potential network compatibility issues.

David Jeans

David Jeans is the senior writer and Editor-in-Chief at TechHBS.com, where he covers the intersection of AI, defense, and national security. For any inquiries or to get in touch with David, please email him at djeans@techhbs.com

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