Sometimes when carrying my iPhone X in my pocket, it starts making calls on its own. It calls the same person every time (my father).

The phone is configured as such:

  1. Phone locked
  2. Face ID activated
  3. Emergency contacts are set up in Health app - my father is one of them, but there are a few others, both before and after him on the list
  4. In Settings → Emergency SOS I have:
    Call with side button: Off and
    Call automatically: Off
  5. "Today" screen: I do not have the Favorites widget or any other widget for making calls.

I have tried reproducing the problem by holding the right and top left side buttons pressed, but this only gives me the screen with a Swipe to turn off, Emergency info and Emergency SOS. No matter what I do, it does not just set up a call.

I read a Reddit post, where a user experiencing this problem when walking up stairs, describes how the problem is triggered:

After doing some experimentation, I think I figured it out.

If your iPhone is in your pocket and the screen is facing your body, the motion that your legs make when walking up a set of stairs "taps" the bottom left corner of the screen (at least for me).

the first tap registers as a swipe up, which, because FaceID is not recognizing a face (because it's in your pocket), goes to the passcode entry screen

2) the second tap clicks the Emergency text in the bottom left of the unlock screen

3) the third tap clicks the Medical ID text in the bottom left of the Emergency screen

4) the fourth tap clicks the phone number of the second emergency contact at the very bottom

These symptoms match pretty well with what I'm seeing. I have experimented with adding/removing/sorting emergency contacts, and it does seem like it is the second emergency contact, sometimes the first, that gets called.

Another user in the Reddit thread suggests a solution:

Go to Settings > Accessibility and turn off Tap to Wake

However, in my case, I've already disabled Tap to Wake.

What makes my phone want to call my father seemingly randomly, and what can I do to make it stop?

  • 1
    Do you have Favorites on your Today screen? – fsb Jun 12 '18 at 0:44
  • @fsb No, I don't have Favorites on the Today screen. But thanks. – Vidar S. Ramdal Jun 12 '18 at 6:18
  • Do you have "Hey Siri" enabled? – jksoegaard Jun 14 '18 at 20:12
  • @jksoegaard I do, yes. I also have Press side button for Siri and Allow Siri on locked screen enabled ... hmmmm. I can imagine the side button being pressed while carrying my phone in the pocket sometimes, but I'm not sure how Siri would think I'm saying "call my father". But maybe that is the most probable explanation. – Vidar S. Ramdal Jun 14 '18 at 20:27
  • 1
    Mine does the same thing and I’ve done all the same steps as you. Today was the first time it called someone other than my mom, it called 4 different people in a row. All on my favorites and not in any particular order. – Sean256 Mar 2 '19 at 0:52

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