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Resolving the SOS Only Issue on iPhone: 10 Effective Solutions

Imagine a day when we cannot use most basic functions of our iPhones, such as making calls or surfing the internet. No, I’m not talking about any apocalypse. This is something that can happen now with the SOS Only issue on iPhone. In this article, we'll delve into what SOS Only means on iPhone and provide you with ten practical solutions to resolve this frustrating problem.

Resolving the SOS Only Issue on iPhone

Understanding SOS Only on iPhone

When your iPhone displays "SOS Only," it means you're unable to make regular calls, send text messages, or use cellular data. This issue essentially blocks all your network services. The SOS Only message typically appears in the top-right corner of the control center in iOS 17/16 and the top left corner in previous iOS versions.

Reasons for SOS Only on iPhone

Several factors can trigger the SOS Only error on your iPhone. Understanding these reasons is crucial to effectively troubleshoot the issue:

  • Outside Carrier Coverage Area:** If you're outside your carrier's coverage area, your iPhone may display SOS Only.
  • Poor Network Reception:** A weak network signal can result in the SOS Only error.
  • Using an Old Device:** Older iPhones may struggle with network connectivity.
  • Inactive Cellular Plan:** If you don't have an active cellular plan, you won't be able to use regular network services.

Now that you know what SOS Only means on iPhone and the reasons behind it, let's explore ten effective solutions to resolve this issue.

10 Ways to Fix SOS Only Issue on iPhone

1. Enable Roaming on iPhone

Before traveling outside your local area, enable roaming on your iPhone. Here's how:

   - Launch the Settings app and go to Cellular/Mobile Data.
   - Tap Cellular/Mobile Data Options and toggle on Data Roaming.

While this allows your network provider to establish a connection, be aware that some cellular service providers may charge extra for roaming.

2. Update Carrier Settings on iPhone

Carriers provide updates to enhance cellular connectivity and network performance. Although updates usually occur automatically, you can manually check for carrier updates:

3. Turn On/Off Cellular Data

If your iPhone has a SIM card but no cellular service is available, try turning off Cellular Data and then turning it back on. Follow these steps:

   - Access the Control Center and tap the Cellular Data icon. Wait a few seconds and tap it again.
   - Alternatively, open Settings, tap Cellular/Mobile Data, toggle off Cellular/Mobile Data, wait a few seconds, and then toggle it back on.

4. Switch to 4G or LTE

Consider switching to 4G or LTE if your iPhone initially had 5G but now displays SOS Only. Given the ongoing optimization of 5G networks, sticking to 4G or Auto mode may be a more reliable choice.

Turn On/Off Airplane Mode

Toggling Airplane Mode on and off can quickly restart your wireless connection and help resolve the SOS Only issue:
   - Open the Control Center and tap the Airplane icon.
   - After some time, toggle it off and check if the issue persists.

6. Disable/Enable Automatic Network Selection

To ensure your SIM connects to the right network, you can disable and then enable Automatic Network Selection on your iPhone:

   - Open Settings, choose Cellular/Mobile Data.
   - Select Network Selection and toggle off Automatic. Wait a few seconds and toggle it back on.

7. Re-insert SIM Card

In rare cases, network connectivity problems may be caused by a physical SIM card. Try removing and re-inserting the SIM card to see if it helps.

8. Reset Network Settings on iPhone

If none of the previous methods work, you can reset your network settings. Keep in mind that this will erase all saved data related to connected Bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi passwords, VPN configurations, and network settings, including the SOS Only error:

   - Open Settings, tap General.
   - Scroll down and select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
   - Choose Reset, then select Reset Network Settings. Enter your passcode, and confirm the reset.

9. If You're on a 3G Network

As 5G and improved 4G networks are becoming more prevalent, some cellular service providers are discontinuing their 3G mobile services. If you own an older device, consider updating it to a more recent model to avoid the SOS Only issue.

10. Other Common Fixes

If you're still unable to resolve the SOS Only issue on your iPhone, consider the following options:

  • Update iPhone: Keeping your iPhone's operating system up to date can resolve various bugs and network issues. Check for iOS updates to address the problem.
  • Restart iPhone: A simple restart can work wonders. If your iPhone is unresponsive, try a force restart.
  • Reset iPhone: This is a last-resort option. Resetting your iPhone can help resolve persistent network problems, including SOS Only.
  • Contact Apple Support: If none of the above solutions work, reach out to Apple Support for assistance.

Contact Carrier

If you've exhausted all other options and the SOS Only issue persists, consider contacting your carrier provider. They may be able to help by replacing your SIM card or implementing other measures.

SOS Only issue on your iPhone

Living without cellular services can be a nightmare, but with the solutions provided in this guide, you should be well-equipped to tackle the SOS Only issue on your iPhone. If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments.

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