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How-to guide for setting up the Emergency SOS & fall detection on the Apple Watch

Apple has introduced the feature of Emergency SOS in its Apple Watch series which helps to notify the others when a user of the particular watch is in trouble. The feature works by letting others know of your location so that they can then come and rescue you. The feature titled “Show When Locked” is an option that allows for the medical conditions of the user to be seen on their home screen even if the phone happens to be locked. The user of an Apple Watch can also set up for emergency contact and then instruct their phone for detecting falls.

Below are is the how-to guide for setting the Emergency SOS and Fall Detection on the Apple Watch.

Setting up the feature “Show When Locked”

If a user of an Apple Watch suffers from conditions like allergy or diabetes, then the feature Show When Locked can be really helpful. This information will be made available to a person nearby without a need to unlock the phone. This medical information will be made available on a slider on the Apple Watch screen when the side button is pressed and then hold.

To set up this feature, follow the following steps.

  • Open the iPhone and look for the Health app and then open it.

  • Tap on the icon of a person located on the top right of the apps’ Summary Screen.

  • On the profile screen’s part for “Medical Details” tap on the option “Medical ID”. For first time users of the service, they will see a form that has a place to input information for Allergies, blood type, medication, etc. if someone is using it the second time, then they might have already filled in there details. In this case tap on the “Edit” option located on the top right part of the screen to see it in a full page.




  • On top of this screen there is option “Show When Locked”, tap on it to activate it.

Setting up the emergency contact

In order to set up an emergency contact for a specific individual to let the watch call automatically, you need to follow the following steps.

  • In the Health app’s same page of Medical ID, scroll down the screen to locate the section “Emergency Contacts” and tap on the option “add an emergency contact.” On that options page, the user will find a list of their contacts.
  • From there, the user can select the contacts that are going to receive the messages with the information like ‘Location’ to inform them that the user has called for emergency services. Tap on ‘Done’ then on ‘Back’ and then again on ‘Done’ to return back to the Summary Page of Health app.

Summoning help

To take advantage of the feature “Emergency SOS” user first needs to enable this feature on the Watch app on their iPhone.

  • Select for the Emergency SOS screen

  • Toggle the option “Hold Side Button” to on.

For starting the Emergency SOS call on the Watch, the user needs to hold down on Side Button until the slider for Emergency SOS appears. The user needs to either drag this slider or keep holding onto the side button which will then call the Emergency Services along with notifying the people listed in the contact list for emergencies.

For deactivating this feature, if activated by mistake, the user can tap on the screen a few times to cancel the emergency call as well as the notifications.

Fall detection

Apple Watch can also detect the incidents like a serious fall. If the watch thinks, user has taken a tumble and is not able to move, then the watch will send them an alert asking if the user is Ok or not. If the user does not respond, the watch will then tap the wrist and then send for an alarm and finally call the emergency services. This feature can also be toggled on in Watch app on the iPhone.

  • Select the screen for Emergency SOS.
  • Toggle the option “Fall Detection” to on. User will get a warning to ask if they are physically fit because fall detection can be turned on accidentally quite often. Tap confirm to activate this feature.

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