I understand I can't get make regular calls if it breaks (if I have enabled a passcode). This seems like a safety issue if even the emergency call feature is impossible to access if the button is broken.

Am I missing a different way to access the emergency call feature?

  • Are you looking for all the ways to dial 911 (or whatever)? I suppose you have "hey Siri" and Apple Watch if you are worried about a hardware failure, but why not fix the hardware if you depend on it for safety? – bmike Oct 1 '16 at 17:41
  • I don't have a broken phone. Up until iOS 10 I could pick up any person's iPhone in the US and as long as it powered up (and one of the main buttons worked), I could make an emergency call with it. I think that is a benefit to society worth retaining. It looks like it is gone. Now they need to be individually enabled with assistive touch. – user4396386 Oct 1 '16 at 17:59
  • Perhaps if you edit the broken out of the title and post, it will make more sense? – bmike Oct 1 '16 at 20:57
  • @user4396386 I have an answer that does not require assistive touch being pre-enabled. – owlswipe Oct 2 '16 at 13:26

You will need to turn on AssistiveTouch prior to needing to call Emergency.

Go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> AssistiveTouch and turn it On. This will show a screen overlay of several options, including the home button. (You can also just tell Siri to turn on AssistiveTouch)

Whenever you need to call Emergency, wake the iPhone the usual way and then tap the AssistiveTouch screen overlay and swipe to bring-up the ability to call Emergency.

  • Doesn't this result in AssistiveTouch being on constantly, though? – tubedogg Oct 1 '16 at 22:16
  • Yes, AssistiveTouch must be on prior to needing to use it. – fsb Oct 1 '16 at 22:19

It depends on how the user has things set up as to what requires a passcode, but almost* anything that requires the user to unlock their device will result in an Emergency button being present on the screen. Generally swiping to the Today/widget screen and tapping on something that causes an app to try and open would result in a passcode screen.

You're correct in that it's not quite as intuitive as it was prior to iOS 10.

* I did notice if you swipe right, to the Today/widget screen, tapping the Edit button at the bottom results in a passcode entry screen that does not have an Emergency button.


On iOS 10, you can trigger a passcode request screen that has the Emergency button without using the home button by sliding over to the Widgets screen on the lock screen and tapping on any of Siri's app suggestions.

This method does not require assistive touch being set up, useful if your home button usually works but spontaneously breaks at the exact moment you need to make an emergency call (or if your hands are wet and the iPhone 7 home button can't determine your tap).

Here's how to do it:

  1. Press Edit at the bottom of the Today Widgets screen and make sure Siri App Suggestions is enabled as a widget.
  2. From the lock screen, swipe in the direction that used to unlock the phone (on iOS 9), find the Siri App Suggestions widget, and hit any of the apps. A passcode request screen will pop up with the Emergency button.

(Tested to work on an iPhone 6 running iOS 10.0.2)

  • In fact, interacting with several other widgets besides Siri App Suggestions like Weather and News will produce the keypad with the Emergency button too. – user4396386 Oct 5 '16 at 5:09
  • @user4396386 Gee that almost sounds like my answer. :P – tubedogg Oct 6 '16 at 18:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .