How to Set Up Emergency Contacts on iPhone

You can set up this feature using a combination of Contacts and the Health App

What to Know

  • In Health app: Set up Medical ID > profile > Medical ID > Edit > add emergency contact > choose contact.
  • Add on iPhone: Contacts > choose contact > Add to Emergency Contacts > set relationship to you > Done.
  • Access emergency contacts: Hold Side + Volume Up buttons > Medical ID > choose phone number.

This article explains how to set up the Emergency Contacts feature on your iPhone, and how to access those numbers when you need them.

How Do I Set Up Emergency Contacts on iPhone?

Among the many useful things that the pre-installed Health app offers is Emergency Contacts. By adding Emergency Contacts to your iPhone, you can quickly contact the most important people in your life. To add Emergency Contacts in Health, follow these steps:

  1. To add Emergency Contacts this way, you'll need to set up a Medical ID first (something we strongly recommend; it's very useful!).

  2. Open the Health app.

  3. Tap your profile photo in the top right.

  4. Tap Medical ID.

  5. Tap Edit.

    Steps to edit your Medical ID information in the Medical app on an iPhone.
  6. Tap add emergency contact.

  7. Browse or search your address book for the contact you want to add and tap them.

    Steps to add an Emergency contact in the health app on an iPhone.
  8. Tap their relationship to you.

  9. Tap Done to save the new emergency contact.

    Final steps of adding an emergency contact in the Health app on an iPhone.

Want to make sure that a call from your emergency contacts can get through to you even if you've got Do Not Disturb enabled? Go to the person in your Phone or Contacts app > Edit > Ringtone > move Emergency Bypass slider to on/green.

How Do I Add an Emergency Contact on My iPhone?

The Health app isn't the only place you can add emergency contacts. You can do it right from the Phone app where you manage contacts, too. Here's how:

  1. Tap the Phone app.

  2. Tap Contacts or Recents.

    • If you're in Contacts, tap the person's name.
    • If you're in Recents, tap the i next to their name.
    Adding an emergency contact from inside the Phone app on an iPhone.
  3. Tap Add to Emergency Contacts.

    If the person has more than one phone number stored, choose which phone number to use for the emergency contact.

  4. Tap the contact's relationship to you.

  5. This opens your Medical ID in the Health app. Review the addition and tap Done to save the change.

    Final steps to add an emergency contact in the Phone app on an iPhone.

To remove an Emergency Contact, go to Health > profile photo > Medical ID > Edit > tap the red icon next to the contact you want to remove > Delete.

How Do I Get Emergency Contacts on My Locked iPhone? 

Hopefully you won't need to use these instructions, but if there's an emergency and you need to access your—or someone else's—emergency contacts to make an emergency call on an iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons.

  2. Release the buttons when the slide to power off / Medical ID / Emergency SOS options appear.

  3. Slide Medical ID left to right.

  4. The user's Medical ID appears. Tap one of the phone numbers in the Emergency Contacts section to call that contact.

  • How do I turn off emergency alerts on iPhone?

    To turn off emergency alerts, open Settings > Notifications > scroll to the bottom of the screen. There you'll see options under Government Alerts heading that you can turn off. To deliver these notifications silently, select Emergency Alerts and turn off the switch next to Always Play Sound.

  • How do I make an emergency call on iPhone?

    Hold the Side button and a Volume button, or press the Side button five times. Swipe right on SOS, then the emergency call will go through after a short countdown.

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