If you set a lock screen on your Android device, the PIN entry screen will then feature an Emergency call button toward the bottom of the screen. The button will enable anybody who grabs the phone to at least be able to dial 911 in the case of an emergency without needing to enter a PIN or lock pattern. This may concern some Android users because of the fear of accidentally dialing 911. This was a fear of mine. I thought I’d eventually end up accidentally hitting that button at three o’clock in the morning and wake up 30 minutes later find the police swarming my house. I decided to remove the lock screen just in case. But this is bad for the security of the device.
Note: This post is about the Emergency Call button on Android devices. If you want to know about a message on your phone that says, “Emergency Calls Only”, see our post about that here.
On most Android devices, the “Emergency call” button only brings up the dial pad and doesn’t automatically dial 911 when you press it. You have to press “Emergency call“, then press 9-1-1 for it to do anything.
However, on many older phones and in some older versions of the Android OS, this isn’t true. In some rare instances, some Android devices actually do dial 911 when you press the button, or at least populate the phone number with 911.
My child keeps dialing 911. How do I prevent this from happening?
Some phones like the Samsung Galaxy series has a kid mode that hides dialing behind a PIN. For other phones, there are apps like Kids Place you can use. There are ways of getting out of these apps though and still provide some risk that your kid might dial 911.
The best advice would be to keep your phone out of the reach of your child and perhaps consider buying them an iPod Touch, or other similar device that cannot make calls.
hi Brenda emergency call off the cellphone I have trouble getting this off of my cell phone can you help fix the thank you
Rachel Kwan says
My samsungs8plus was working before n all of a, sudden, I can’t even call out, it says emergency calls only, I changed sim cards n it s still the same, wat, can I do about, makes me frustrated
Do I have to key in my PW first or do I just press emergency to get help
Galina Avergun says
A couple of days ago I got new sell phone,but when I started to activate it,it said to make emergency call.What is the emergency number for that call?
Remove this from phones. It only slows down response time for true emergencies. Pressing it does not go Locally they have to figure out where you are then contact locally for help. Lost my house Completely to a fire because of ANDROID STUPIDITY
Gary Crawford says
Why can’t they design a phone with an emergency button on side of phone under a door like they do sim cards and as cards? You could color it red. I like my fingerprint lock screen with PIN but don’t want an emergency button. That way anyone can make a 911 call from any phone.
Buck Walker says
How do I get rid of the emergency call thing???
I have an LG Stylo 6 and my I have a pin and fingerprint to unlock my phone but my daughter has called 911 4 times in one month because all she has to do is hit the emergency services button. And now she does it because she knows it will call someone. ugh. so very frustrating
hi,I can not log into my huawei phone. I tried putting my password but its still not working.Now what be done?
Ramon Medina says
In my own cell I went to Settings. Tap on Security and lock screen. Tap on Emergency rescue, then tap on Emergency call trigger and finally selected the Disable option.
Jordan Anderson says
My phone runs Android 7.0 it has a wonky touchscreen and it just went to the emergency dialer and pressed the green call button on me. I immediately opened the back cover and took the battery out. Did it already dial out prior to this, and how long does it take after dialing before it actually sends a signal? I need to know if I took it out fast enough. I don’t want the cops at my house.
Is it possible to disable that Emergency Call button? It DOES pocket dial 911 and I’m over it.
Is there a way to program an android phone to call emergency service with a click of a button? Maybe clicking it repeatedly or something?
Sanjay Gupta says
Yes, this is good to know
GREGORY PHILLIPS says
yes it did thanks
My lg 20 keeps calling911 when i have it locked. In my pocket. At least 20 times 911 is getting up set with me. How can i stop it
my kid presses the button sometimes when he can’t figure out my lock screen and he’s activated it a couple times.
it doesnt pull up a dial pad on my android, instead it puts a little menu bar at the top of the screen with a little red siren icon and a timer. it appears to sent some type of alert signal where im guessing it broadcasts the phone’s location to emergency services. i’ve caught it as high as 45 seconds and turned it off without the police showing up thankfully.
christy alvarez says
My password pattern destroy because the baby playing my phone thats why when i use it.. it will never work because the pattern misentered at many times. =(
Here’s how it goes with a Galaxy lite Android 4.2.2 with screen locked and phone in front jeans pocket ‘hands off’:
-Home button gets pressed by pocket movement and screen activates.
-Emergency call (below pattern lock) gets pressed
-ICE Emergency contacts list appears and first name on list gets pressed and call is make. Not 911, thankfully,
All of this just while just walking.
After calling elderly Dad repeatedly, I finally figured it out. Now it’s my wife that gets the calls!
Wish it would take a long Swipe (between two points) to start an Emergency call, not just a press. Google/Android are you listening?
W. C. Marten says
Thanks Mitch. I live in Wisconsin, so your answer should apply to my situation.
Mitch Bartlett says
@W.C. Not sure where you live, but in the United States, any wireless phone, even ones not active, are able to reach emergency services. https://www.fcc.gov/guides/wireless-911-services
W. C. Marten says
I have an Android phone with an emergency call button at the bottom of the lock screen. Only one carrier has coverage in an area where my wife frequently travels and it is not my carrier. Will that emergency call button at least assure her that she can reach 911?
XTX Tactics says
If i was to press that in UK would it still dial 9-1-1 or dial 9-9-9 (i live in UK)