How To Get My Phone Off Emergency Calls Only

Mobile Phone

Are you having trouble with your phone constantly displaying the “Emergency Calls Only” message? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many cell phone users have encountered this issue, and it can be quite frustrating. Dealing with a phone that is restricted to emergency calls only can severely limit your ability to stay connected and use your device as intended.

In this article, we will explore the possible reasons for this problem and provide step-by-step solutions to get your phone off emergency calls only mode. Whether you’re experiencing this issue on an Android or iPhone, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and discover how to regain full functionality on your mobile phone.

Inside This Article

  1. Reasons for Emergency Calls Only
  2. Troubleshooting Steps to Fix Emergency Calls Only Issue
  3. Contacts and SIM Card Issues
  4. Network Connection Issues
  5. Restarting the Phone
  6. Checking Airplane Mode
  7. Updating the Phone Software
  8. Resetting Network Settings
  9. Verifying Call and Data Plan Status
  10. Contacting Service Provider for Assistance
  11. Conclusion
  12. FAQs

Reasons for Emergency Calls Only

When your phone displays the “Emergency Calls Only” message, it can be frustrating and worrisome. This issue restricts your phone to making only emergency calls, preventing you from using its full functionality. There are several potential reasons why your phone is in this mode, and understanding these reasons can help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

One common reason for the “Emergency Calls Only” message is that your phone may not be properly connected to a cellular network. This can occur if you are in an area with poor network coverage or if there is an issue with your SIM card. Your phone needs a strong network connection to register on the network and enable regular calling and data services.

Another possibility is that there may be a problem with your SIM card. The SIM card is the small, removable card that contains your phone number and allows your device to connect to the network. If the SIM card is damaged, not inserted correctly, or is not supported by your phone, it may cause the “Emergency Calls Only” message to appear.

Network connection issues can also be a culprit. Sometimes, there may be an network outage or maintenance in your area, which can temporarily disrupt regular phone services. In such cases, your phone may only be able to connect to emergency services, leading to the “Emergency Calls Only” message.

Additionally, software-related problems can contribute to the “Emergency Calls Only” issue. Outdated software or a firmware glitch can interfere with the normal functioning of the phone, including its ability to connect to the cellular network. Keeping your phone’s software up to date is crucial to avoid such compatibility issues.

It’s worth noting that if you have some outstanding payments on your phone bill or your cell service provider has suspended your account for any reason, your phone may be restrictive to emergency calls only mode until the issue is resolved.

In some cases, the “Emergency Calls Only” message may indicate a temporary problem that can be resolved by restarting your phone. A simple restart can help refresh the network connection and resolve any temporary software glitches.

Now that you know some of the common reasons behind the “Emergency Calls Only” message, it’s time to dive into troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue and regain the full functionality of your phone.

Troubleshooting Steps to Fix Emergency Calls Only Issue

If you’re facing the “Emergency Calls Only” issue on your phone, don’t worry! There are several troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve this problem and get your phone back to functioning properly. Here are some steps you can follow:

1. Check your SIM card: One of the possible reasons for this issue is a problem with your SIM card. Remove the SIM card from your phone and carefully clean the contacts with a soft cloth or tissue. Then, reinsert the SIM card properly and check if the issue is resolved.

2. Verify the network connection: Ensure that your phone is connected to a reliable network. Check the signal strength indicator on your phone and ensure it shows a strong signal. If the signal is weak or showing “No Service,” try moving to a different location or check if there are any temporary network outages in your area.

3. Restart your phone: Sometimes, a simple restart can fix many software-related issues. Turn off your phone, wait for a few seconds, and then turn it back on. This can help refresh the software and resolve any temporary glitches causing the “Emergency Calls Only” problem.

4. Check the Airplane mode: Ensure that your phone is not in Airplane mode. When enabled, Airplane mode disables all wireless connections, including cellular calls and data. Go to your phone’s settings and turn off the Airplane mode if it’s enabled.

5. Update your phone’s software: Outdated software can sometimes lead to unexpected issues. Check if there are any available software updates for your phone and install them. Updating the software can fix bugs and improve the overall performance of your device, potentially resolving the “Emergency Calls Only” problem.

6. Reset network settings: Resetting your network settings can help resolve network-related issues, including the “Emergency Calls Only” problem. Go to your phone’s settings, find the “Network Settings Reset” or “Reset Network” option, and confirm the action. Note that this may erase any saved Wi-Fi passwords, so be prepared to reconnect to Wi-Fi networks afterward.

7. Verify your call and data plan status: Ensure that your account is active and in good standing with your service provider. If there are any issues with your plan, such as payment errors or account suspension, it can lead to restricted access and display the “Emergency Calls Only” message. Contact your service provider to verify your account status and resolve any plan-related issues.

8. Contact your service provider for assistance: If none of the above steps resolve the issue, it’s recommended to reach out to your service provider for further assistance. They can troubleshoot the problem from their end, check for any network-related issues, or provide specific instructions based on your phone model and carrier.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you should be able to resolve the “Emergency Calls Only” issue on your phone. Remember to double-check all the settings and ensure proper connectivity before contacting your service provider for assistance. Enjoy using your phone without any limitations!

Contacts and SIM Card Issues

One of the most common causes of the “Emergency Calls Only” issue on a mobile phone is related to contacts and SIM card issues. Here are a few troubleshooting steps to resolve these problems:

Firstly, check if your SIM card is properly inserted into the phone. Sometimes, a loose or improperly inserted SIM card can lead to connectivity issues. Remove the SIM card, clean it gently with a soft cloth, and reinsert it firmly. Ensure that it is seated correctly in the SIM card slot.

Next, verify that the SIM card is functioning properly. Try inserting it into another compatible phone and see if you can make calls or access mobile data on that device. If the SIM card works fine on another phone, the issue might be with your cell phone itself.

Checking the contact list on your phone is also important. Sometimes, the “Emergency Calls Only” message can occur if there is an issue with the stored contacts. Try removing and re-adding the contacts associated with your SIM card. This can help refresh any corrupted data and fix any contact-related issues.

Additionally, ensure that the contact list on your phone is not full. If you have reached the maximum capacity of contacts, this can cause problems with your SIM card’s functionality. Delete any unused or duplicate contacts to free up space.

If none of these steps solve the “Emergency Calls Only” problem, it may be necessary to contact your service provider for further assistance. They can check the status of your SIM card, troubleshoot any network-related issues, and offer additional guidance to resolve the issue.

Network Connection Issues

One of the common causes of the “Emergency Calls Only” message on your phone is network connection issues. This means that your phone is unable to establish a strong connection to the cellular network, resulting in limited or no service. There are several factors that can contribute to network connection issues. Let’s explore some troubleshooting steps to help you resolve this problem.

1. Check Signal Strength: Begin by checking the signal strength indicator on your phone. If you notice that the signal is weak or fluctuating, it could be the reason behind the emergency call only status. Move to an area with better signal reception, such as near a window or outside to see if the issue persists.

2. Verify SIM Card: Ensure that your SIM card is inserted properly in the device. Power off your phone, remove the SIM card, and reinsert it carefully. Sometimes, a loose or improperly placed SIM card can lead to network connection issues.

3. Enable Roaming: If you are in an area where your network provider does not have coverage, you may need to enable roaming on your device. Roaming allows your phone to connect to another network in the absence of your home network. However, keep in mind that roaming charges may apply, so it’s important to check with your provider before enabling this option.

4. Toggle Airplane Mode: Turning Airplane Mode on and off can help reset the network connection. Swipe down from the top of your screen to access the Quick Settings menu and tap on the Airplane Mode icon. Wait for a few seconds, then turn it off again. This action can force your device to reconnect to the network.

5. Check for Network Outages: Sometimes, the “Emergency Calls Only” message can be the result of a network outage in your area. Contact your network provider or visit their website to check for any reported outages. If there is an outage, you may need to wait until the issue is resolved before gaining full network connectivity again.

6. Update Carrier Settings: Your phone’s carrier settings, which control how your device connects to your network provider, may require an update. Go to the Settings menu, select General, then tap on About. If an update is available, you will be prompted to install it. Updating the carrier settings can potentially fix network connection issues.

7. Reset Network Settings: If none of the above steps work, you can try resetting your phone’s network settings. This will remove any saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, and VPN settings, so make sure to note them down before proceeding. To reset network settings, go to the Settings menu, select General, then tap on Reset. Choose “Reset Network Settings” and enter your passcode if prompted.

Remember, if you’re unsure about any of these steps or encounter difficulties, it’s always beneficial to reach out to your network provider’s customer support. They can provide specific instructions and further assistance to help you resolve the “Emergency Calls Only” issue and restore normal network connectivity to your phone.

Restarting the Phone

If you’re experiencing the frustrating “Emergency Calls Only” issue on your mobile phone, one of the first steps you should take to try and resolve it is to restart your phone. Many times, simple software glitches can cause this problem, and a restart can help clear them out.

Restarting your phone is a straightforward process. Just press and hold the power button on your device until a menu appears on the screen. Then, select the “Restart” or “Reboot” option. The phone will shut down and turn back on again.

When the phone powers back up, it will go through its startup sequence, which can help resolve any temporary issues that were causing the “Emergency Calls Only” problem. After the restart, check to see if you have regained normal network connectivity.

In some cases, a simple restart may not be enough to fix the issue. If you’re still seeing the “Emergency Calls Only” message, you may need to try some additional troubleshooting steps.

Checking Airplane Mode

If your phone is stuck on “Emergency Calls Only” mode, one of the quick and easy troubleshooting steps to try is checking the Airplane Mode setting on your device. Airplane Mode is a feature that disables all wireless connections on your phone, including cellular network, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. In some cases, activating Airplane Mode can inadvertently disrupt the cellular network connection, leading to the “Emergency Calls Only” message.

To check if Airplane Mode is enabled, follow these steps:

  1. Swipe down from the top of your phone’s screen to open the notification panel.
  2. Look for the Airplane Mode icon, which usually looks like an airplane or a radio tower. It may be located in the quick settings area or among the other icons.
  3. If the Airplane Mode icon is highlighted or turned on, tap it once to disable Airplane Mode.

After disabling Airplane Mode, wait for a few seconds and check if your phone now connects to the cellular network. If the “Emergency Calls Only” message disappears and you regain normal network coverage, then Airplane Mode was the culprit.

If Airplane Mode was already disabled, but you’re still facing the “Emergency Calls Only” issue, move on to the next troubleshooting steps.

Updating the Phone Software

Updating the software on your phone is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and resolving various issues, including the “Emergency Calls Only” problem. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to update your phone’s software:

  1. Open the settings menu on your phone. It is usually represented by a gear icon.

  2. Scroll down and look for the “Software Update” or “System Update” option. Tap on it.

  3. If an update is available, you will see a notification. Click on “Download” or “Install” to initiate the software update.

  4. Make sure your phone is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network to avoid using up your mobile data.

  5. The update process may take a few minutes or longer, depending on the size of the update and your internet speed. Be patient and avoid interrupting the process.

  6. Once the update is complete, your phone will restart. Follow any on-screen prompts if necessary.

Updating the software can fix software bugs and compatibility issues that may be causing the “Emergency Calls Only” problem. It also ensures that your phone has the latest features and security enhancements.

If your phone does not automatically check for updates or you’re unable to find the software update option in the settings menu, you may need to check with your phone manufacturer or service provider for specific instructions on how to update your device.

Remember, regular software updates are essential for keeping your phone running smoothly and resolving any potential issues that may arise. Make it a habit to check for updates periodically or enable automatic updates for hassle-free software maintenance.

Resetting Network Settings

When your phone is stuck on “Emergency Calls Only” mode, one effective solution is to reset the network settings. This process will refresh and reconfigure the network settings on your phone, potentially resolving any issues causing the emergency calls only problem.

To reset network settings on an Android device, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the “Settings” menu on your phone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “System” or “System and Updates,” depending on your device.
  3. Look for “Reset” or “Reset options.”
  4. Tap on “Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth” or a similar option.
  5. Read the warning message and confirm the reset. Keep in mind that this will delete Wi-Fi passwords and Bluetooth connections.
  6. Your phone will restart, and the network settings will be reset to their default values.

If you have an iPhone, the steps to reset network settings are slightly different:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on “General.”
  3. Scroll down and tap on “Reset.”
  4. Select “Reset Network Settings.”
  5. Confirm the action by entering your passcode if prompted.
  6. Your iPhone will restart, and the network settings will be reset.

Remember, resetting network settings may also erase saved Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections. However, your personal data and apps will not be affected.

If resetting the network settings doesn’t resolve the “Emergency Calls Only” issue, it’s recommended to try other troubleshooting methods or contact your service provider for assistance.

Verifying Call and Data Plan Status

When facing the issue of “Emergency Calls Only” on your phone, one of the potential causes could be related to your call and data plan status. This means that your network provider might have deactivated your outgoing calls and data usage due to various reasons.

To verify the status of your call and data plan, there are a few steps you can follow:

  1. Check your account balance: Ensure that you have sufficient funds or credit on your account to make outgoing calls and use data services. Sometimes, a depleted balance can restrict access to these services.
  2. Confirm your plan subscription: Make sure that your call and data plan is active and hasn’t expired. Call your network provider or check your account online to confirm the status of your current plan.
  3. Check for plan restrictions: Some call and data plans have restrictions on specific services or numbers. For example, international calls or premium SMS might be disabled. Verify if any such restrictions are in place and ensure they are not causing your “Emergency Calls Only” issue.
  4. Ensure your account is in good standing: It’s essential to make sure that you don’t have any overdue payments or outstanding bills with your network provider. An unsettled balance can lead to service disruptions, including the “Emergency Calls Only” problem.

If you encounter any discrepancies or issues with your call and data plan, contacting your network provider’s customer support is the best course of action. They will be able to provide you with specific details about your account, troubleshoot any problems, and assist you in resolving the “Emergency Calls Only” issue.

Remember, it’s crucial to have a valid and active call and data plan to ensure uninterrupted access to cellular services on your phone. Verifying your plan status can help eliminate this potential cause of the “Emergency Calls Only” problem.

Contacting Service Provider for Assistance

If you’ve exhausted all troubleshooting steps and still find your phone stuck in “Emergency Calls Only” mode, it may be time to reach out to your service provider for assistance. They have the knowledge and resources to help resolve the issue and get your phone back to normal functioning. Here are a few steps to follow when contacting your service provider:

  1. Gather your information: Before contacting your service provider, make sure you have all the necessary information at hand. This includes your account details, phone number, and any relevant information regarding the issue you’re facing.
  2. Visit the website: Most service providers have a dedicated support section on their website where you can find valuable information and possible solutions to common problems. It’s worth checking this resource before proceeding with contacting them directly.
  3. Call support: If the website doesn’t provide a suitable solution, it’s time to initiate contact with your service provider’s customer support. Locate their customer support number and give them a call. Be prepared to provide the necessary details for identification and explain the issue you’re facing with your phone.
  4. Follow their instructions: The customer support representative will guide you through the troubleshooting process. They may ask you to perform additional steps or provide specific settings to configure on your phone. Follow their instructions carefully and provide feedback on the results.
  5. Be patient and persistent: In some cases, resolving the “Emergency Calls Only” issue may require escalation to higher-level support or specialized technical teams. It’s important to remain patient and persistent throughout the process. If the initial representative is unable to resolve your issue, ask to be escalated to a higher level of support.
  6. Document the case: Keep track of the reference or case number provided by the service provider. This will be helpful if you need to follow up on the issue later or require any further assistance. Take note of the date and time of the interaction as well.
  7. Follow up if needed: If your issue isn’t resolved within the expected timeframe, don’t hesitate to follow up with your service provider for an update. Keeping open lines of communication will ensure that your issue receives the attention it deserves.
  8. Consider alternative solutions: If your service provider is unable to resolve the “Emergency Calls Only” issue, you may need to explore alternative options such as switching to a different carrier or seeking professional help from a phone technician.

Contacting your service provider for assistance should be your next step if you’ve exhausted all other troubleshooting options. Their expertise and resources can help resolve the “Emergency Calls Only” issue and get your phone back to full functionality. Remember to be patient, provide all necessary information, and follow their instructions carefully.


Getting your phone stuck in “Emergency Calls Only” mode can be a frustrating situation, but there are various solutions you can try to resolve the issue. Start by checking your network connection, SIM card, and settings. If everything appears to be in order, try restarting your phone or resetting network settings. If none of these solutions work, it may be best to contact your mobile service provider for further assistance.

Remember that each phone and network provider may have different troubleshooting steps, so it’s essential to consult their specific guidelines and support resources. By following the necessary troubleshooting methods, you can free your phone from the confines of “Emergency Calls Only” mode and regain access to full functionality.

By understanding the common causes and solutions for this issue, you can be better prepared to handle the situation should it ever arise. Keeping your phone updated and regularly checking your network connection can go a long way in preventing such emergencies. Remember, staying connected is essential in our modern world, and with the right knowledge, you can keep your phone functioning optimally.


1. Why is my phone showing “Emergency Calls Only”?
If your phone displays “Emergency Calls Only,” it means that your cellular network connection is limited and you can only make emergency calls. This could be due to various reasons, such as being in an area with weak signal coverage, issues with your SIM card, or problems with your carrier’s network.

2. How can I fix my phone if it is stuck on “Emergency Calls Only”?
To resolve this issue, try the following steps:

  • Make sure you are in an area with a strong network signal. Check if the issue persists in different locations.
  • Restart your phone. Sometimes, a simple restart can resolve network-related glitches.
  • Check your SIM card. Ensure that it is properly inserted and hasn’t been damaged. You can try removing and re-inserting the SIM card.
  • Verify that your account with your carrier is active and in good standing.
  • If none of the above steps work, contact your mobile carrier for further assistance.

3. Can a software update fix the “Emergency Calls Only” issue?
In some cases, a software update can address network connection issues and resolve the “Emergency Calls Only” problem. It is recommended to keep your phone’s software up to date to benefit from bug fixes and improvements. Check for any available software updates in your phone’s settings menu and install them if necessary.

4. Are there any alternative methods to make calls when my phone is on “Emergency Calls Only” mode?
When your phone is in “Emergency Calls Only” mode, your options for making calls are limited. However, you can try the following alternatives:

  • Use a different SIM card: If possible, try using a SIM card from another carrier to see if the issue is specific to your current carrier.
  • Wi-Fi calling: Some smartphones support Wi-Fi calling, which allows you to make calls using a Wi-Fi network instead of relying solely on cellular signals. Check if your device and carrier support this feature.
  • Use a landline or another phone: If you have access to a landline or another phone, you can make calls from there while troubleshooting the “Emergency Calls Only” issue on your mobile phone.

5. Do I need to contact my mobile carrier if my phone is stuck on “Emergency Calls Only” for an extended period?
If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps and your phone remains stuck on “Emergency Calls Only” for an extended period, it is advisable to contact your mobile carrier for assistance. They will be able to provide specific guidance based on their network and help you resolve the issue.