Why Do My Phone Say Emergency Calls Only?

Why Do My Phone Say Emergency Calls Only? Have you ever encountered a situation where your phone suddenly displays the message “Emergency Calls Only” instead of allowing you to make regular calls or access your mobile network? It can be quite frustrating and alarming, especially if you rely on your phone for communication and connectivity. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this issue and discuss potential solutions to help you resolve it.

Understanding the “Emergency Calls Only” Message

When your phone displays the message “Emergency Calls Only,” it means that your device is restricted to making emergency calls only and cannot connect to the regular mobile network for various reasons. This limitation is primarily implemented for security and safety purposes, ensuring that even without network coverage, you can still make emergency calls to essential services like emergency helplines.

Possible Causes for the Issue

Several factors can contribute to your phone displaying the “Emergency Calls Only” message. Let’s explore some of the common causes:

SIM Card Issues

SIM Card Insertion Problems

One possible reason is an improper insertion of your SIM card into the phone’s SIM card tray. Ensure that the SIM card is correctly placed, with the gold contacts facing downwards and the chip side inserted first. An incorrectly inserted SIM card may not establish a proper connection with the phone’s SIM card reader, leading to restricted network access.

SIM Card Damage or Deactivation

Physical damage to your SIM card or its deactivation by your service provider can also result in the “Emergency Calls Only” message. Examine the SIM card for any signs of damage or contact your service provider to verify if your SIM card is still active and properly registered.

Network Coverage Problems

Weak Signal Strength

Insufficient signal strength in your current location can restrict your phone from connecting to the mobile network. This issue commonly occurs in remote areas or places with limited network infrastructure. Check if your phone displays low signal bars or moves to a different location to ensure better network coverage.

Network Outages

Temporary network outages or maintenance activities in your area can also cause your phone to display the “Emergency Calls Only” message. In such cases, you may need to wait until the network services are restored to regain regular phone functionality.

Incorrect Network Settings

Airplane Mode Enabled

Accidentally enabling Airplane Mode on your phone can disable all wireless connections, including cellular networks. Check if Airplane Mode is enabled in your device settings and disable it to restore regular network access.

Incorrect Network Selection

Your phone may sometimes connect to a different network or roaming network that does not have a partnership with your service provider. Ensure that your phone is set to automatically select the correct network or manually choose the preferred network in the network settings.

Phone Software Issues

Outdated Software

Using outdated phone software can sometimes cause compatibility issues and disrupt network connectivity. Check for available software updates for your device and install them to ensure optimal performance and network compatibility.

Software Glitches or Bugs

Software glitches or bugs within your phone’s operating system can also lead to network-related problems, including the “Emergency Calls Only” message. Restarting your phone or performing a soft reset can often resolve these temporary software issues.

Troubleshooting Steps

If you encounter the “Emergency Calls Only” message on your phone, try the following troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue:

  1. Restart Your Phone: A simple restart can often fix minor software glitches and restore regular network access.
  2. Check SIM Card and Tray: Ensure that the SIM card is correctly inserted into the SIM card tray and that the tray is properly closed. Remove and reinsert the SIM card if necessary.
  3. Verify Network Coverage: Move to a different location or check if others around you are also experiencing network issues. If the problem persists, it may indicate a network coverage problem.
  4. Reset Network Settings: In your phone’s settings, navigate to the network or connectivity options and select the option to reset network settings. This action will revert network-related settings to their default values, potentially resolving any configuration issues.
  5. Update Phone Software: Check for available software updates in your phone’s settings or contact your device manufacturer for assistance. Keeping your phone’s software up to date can help resolve compatibility issues.
  6. Contact Your Service Provider: If all else fails, reach out to your service provider’s customer support for further assistance. They can troubleshoot network-related issues specific to your account and provide solutions tailored to your situation.


Why Do My Phone Say Emergency Calls Only? Encountering the “Emergency Calls Only” message on your phone can be a frustrating experience. However, by understanding the possible causes and following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can often resolve the issue and regain full network access. Remember to check your SIM card, verify network coverage, review network settings, and keep your phone’s software up to date. If the problem persists, contact your service provider for additional support.

Why Do My Phone Say Emergency Calls Only
Why Do My Phone Say Emergency Calls Only

FAQs About Why Do My Phone Say Emergency Calls Only

Why does my phone show “Emergency Calls Only”?

When your phone displays “Emergency Calls Only,” it means that your device is limited to making emergency calls due to network connectivity issues or other related problems.

Can I make regular calls in “Emergency Calls Only” mode?

No, the “Emergency Calls Only” mode restricts your phone to emergency calls only and disables regular call functionality.

What should I do if I see the “Emergency Calls Only” message?

Try restarting your phone, checking the SIM card and tray, verifying network coverage, resetting network settings, updating phone software, and contacting your service provider for assistance.

Why is my SIM card not working properly?

A SIM card may not work correctly due to improper insertion, physical damage, or deactivation by the service provider. Ensure the SIM card is properly inserted and contact your provider if needed.

Is “Emergency Calls Only” a sign of a serious problem?

Not necessarily. “Emergency Calls Only” can be caused by various factors, including temporary network issues or incorrect settings. Troubleshoot the problem using the steps provided in this article.

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