Understanding "SOS Only" on iPhone: How to Resolve the Issue
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Understanding “SOS Only” on iPhone 13: How to Resolve the Issue


Have you ever encountered the frustrating “SOS Only” message on your iPhone 12, or 13, leaving you unable to make calls or use mobile data? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you understand what this message means and provide effective solutions to resolve it. In this article, we’ll explain the possible causes behind the “SOS Only” error and guide you through troubleshooting steps to restore your iPhone’s network connectivity.

Possible Causes for “SOS Only” Error on Your iPhone:

  1. SIM Card Issues: Check if your SIM card is properly inserted into the SIM tray. A loose or improperly inserted SIM card can cause network connectivity problems.
  2. Network Outages or Maintenance: Temporary network issues, such as outages or ongoing maintenance work in your area, can lead to the “SOS Only” message. In such cases, the problem is usually resolved automatically once the network services are restored.
  3. Incompatible SIM Network: Ensure that your iPhone is compatible with the network provider you are using. Some iPhones are designed to work with specific carriers, and using an incompatible SIM card can result in limited or no network coverage.
  4. Carrier Settings Update Required: Occasionally, your iPhone may require carrier settings update to establish a stable connection with your network provider. Outdated carrier settings can lead to the “SOS Only” error.

Steps to Troubleshoot the “SOS Only” Error Message:

  1. Restart Your iPhone: A simple restart can often resolve temporary network glitches. Power off your iPhone, wait for a few seconds, and then turn it back on.
  2. Check for Carrier Settings Update: Go to “Settings,” tap on “General,” and select “About.” If a carrier settings update is available, you will be prompted to install it. Follow the on-screen instructions to update your carrier settings.
  3. Toggle Airplane Mode On/Off or Reset Network Settings: Enable Airplane mode for about 30 seconds and then disable it. Alternatively, you can reset your network settings by going to “Settings,” selecting “General,” choosing “Reset,” and tapping on “Reset Network Settings.” Note that resetting network settings will remove saved Wi-Fi passwords.
  4. Try Another SIM Card: If possible, insert a SIM card from a different carrier into your iPhone to determine if the issue lies with the SIM card or the device itself. If the “SOS Only” message disappears with the new SIM card, you may need to contact your current carrier for assistance.

If All Else Fails: Here’s What You Can Do If Your iPhone Still Shows “SOS Only” Status:

  1. Contact Your Cellular Service Provider: Reach out to your network carrier’s customer support to report the issue. They can provide specific troubleshooting steps or verify if there are any network-related problems in your area.
  2. Seek Apple Support: If the problem persists and none of the above steps resolve the issue, consider contacting Apple support for further assistance. They can guide you through advanced troubleshooting or recommend appropriate solutions.
  3. Hardware Considerations: In rare cases, a faulty SIM card tray can cause network connectivity problems. Contact Apple support or visit an authorized service center to have the SIM card tray inspected and potentially replaced. In extreme situations, a device replacement may be necessary.


Understanding the reasons behind the “SOS Only” message on your iPhone is crucial in resolving network connectivity issues. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can effectively tackle the problem and restore normal network functionality. Remember to contact your cellular service provider or Apple support if the issue persists, as they can provide further guidance tailored to your specific situation. Stay connected and enjoy uninterrupted communication with your iPhone!