Why Does My Phone Say Emergency Calls Only

What could be more frustrating than reaching for your phone to make an important call or send a crucial text, only to find a glaring “Emergency Calls Only” message? Unfortunately, this is a common issue for many smartphone users across the globe. However, the mystery usually lies in uncovering what is causing this problem. Don’t worry. This piece will guide you through some of the most common culprits and proposed solutions, breaking down each challenge in layman’s terms.

Why Your Phone Shows ‘Emergency Calls Only’

Your phone will display an ‘Emergency Calls Only’ message when it can’t establish a regular network connection but can have emergency calls proceed. This occurrence could mean a myriad of things. Often it signifies that your phone can’t find or connect to your mobile network, so it falls back onto other networks for emergency connectivity.

Common Causes of This Issue

The ‘Emergency Calls Only’ message could stem from several factors, some may be attributed to faulty hardware or software while others might be down to external influences like signal coverage or issues with your service provider. To fully grasp the root of the issue, let’s delve deeper into each factor independently.

Incorrect SIM Card Issues

Incorrect SIM Card Issues

SIM card problems are one of the most common causes of this persistently annoying error. A loose SIM card or possible damage might prevent the smartphone from reading it correctly. In cases where a slight technical glitch occurs with the SIM card, the smartphone might not recognize it, which reverts your device to emergency mode only as explained in this great resource. You may not believe it, but according to GSMA, there were over 5.2 billion unique mobile subscribers worldwide by the end of 2020. If even a small fraction of these users experience SIM card issues, it could result in the phone displaying “Emergency Calls Only.”

Network Coverage Problems

Another significant contributor to the issue lies in your network coverage. You might find that you’re in an area with poor cell reception or no coverage at all, which can often trigger your phone to switch to ‘Emergency Calls Only’ mode. For instance, a report by OpenSignal on “The State of Mobile Network Experience 2020” indicated the global average 4G availability stood at around 80%. It means that there’s still 20% of users who might encounter areas lacking sufficient network for regular calls, potentially leading to emergency-only situations.

Account Status and Plan Issues

Phone contracts or pre-paid plans sometimes underpin the ‘Emergency Calls Only’ issue. If there are any issues with payments or if your plan hasn’t been renewed on time, your provider might restrict access to calls and data. In this case, only emergency calls are permitted. Therefore, always ensure you stay updated with your payments or renewing your plans on time to avoid such inconveniences from arising.

Problems with Phone Settings

Sometimes, it all boils down to errors in the settings of the phone itself. Believe it or not, a simple oversight in changing the network modes might lead to this confusing situation. Other relevant factors are things like turning on Airplane Mode, incorrect network settings, or WiFi calling issues. With smartphones now owned by about 81% of Americans according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2019, a little error with phone settings made by some users could easily contribute to the prevailing issue.

Difficulty with Software Updates

Last, software-related issues might cause your phone to go rogue. For example, an outdated operating system, misbehaved apps, glitches from a recent software update, or bug issues may all lead to ‘Emergency Calls Only.’ Therefore, always ensure your software and applications updates are current to avoid running into such problems.

Solutions for Incorrect SIM Card

Solutions for Incorrect SIM Card

If the ‘Emergency Calls Only’ message on your phone is due to a SIM card issue, you should try reinserting it or cleaning it with a soft cloth. A tiny microchip, the SIM card holds crucial information about your phone number and network, among other things. By simply reinstalling it into your phone, you can often fix the glitch that’s causing the problem.

You might further test if the SIM card is faulty or not by inserting it in another device. In case you’re still encountering issues, request for a new SIM card from your provider. Your telephone company can easily transfer your details into the new SIM card.

How To Improve Network Coverage

Areas with weak network coverage can hinder your regular calling capabilities. While you cannot entirely change this circumstance, there are ways you can adjust to improve your situation. One method is moving to an area with better signal coverage or higher ground. Physically changing positions means switching cell towers, which might provide a stronger signal.

Alternatively, you could invest in a device known as a signal booster. This electronic gadget boosts weak signals into your home or office, thereby improving mobile reception significantly. Additionally, consider enabling Wi-Fi calling if your service provider supports it – this uses your internet connection rather than cellular networks to place calls.

Dealing with Account and Plan Issues

If ‘Emergency Calls Only’ is showing because of problems linked with your account or plan, get in touch with your service provider swiftly to sort out any issues. Pay up missed bills promptly and renew expired plans in good time to restore normalcy.

If deemed necessary, consider adjusting your arrangement with your service provider. For instance, a more reliable plan may provide better coverage wherever you are and prevent such predicaments in the future. Remember, your smartphone should be a tool that aids your life, not an additional headache.

Adjusting Phone Settings Correctly

If your phone settings are to blame for the ‘Emergency Calls Only’ issue, a few tweaks can bring things back to normal. For instance, you can check if Airplane Mode was accidentally turned on and if so, switch it off.

In Android phones, go to ‘Settings, then select ‘Network and Internet’, tap on ‘Mobile Network’, and ensure the right network mode is selected. Also, turn off Wi-Fi calling if it’s causing conflict with regular mobile network calling. It’s also a good practice to reboot your phone at this point as it enables the system software to refresh.

Dealing with Software Update Issues

Software-related issues are common culprits behind the ‘Emergency Calls Only’ message on your phone. To deal with these, start by identifying if there are any pending updates for your operating system or applications. An outdated application might hinder the regular functioning of the calling feature on your phone.

If you had recently updated your software or an app, you might need to roll back to a previous version if the new one has bugs causing connectivity issues. Ensure that spin-offs from glitches don’t mess up communication by taking the right actions promptly.

Maintenance and Communication

Staying signal-strong involves putting in proper maintenance efforts and double-checking minor areas like account credibility and software updates. By abiding by these simple practices, you minimize network-lation problems and boost seamless communication modes on your device. Keep these checks regular and prompt for maintaining long-term problem-free usage of your telecommunication devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does ‘Emergency Calls Only’ mean on my phone?Your phone displays ‘Emergency Calls Only’ when it can’t establish a regular network connection but allows emergency calls. Usually, this indicates that your phone can’t find or connect to your mobile network.
  • Why does my phone say ‘Emergency Calls Only’?This alert on your phone could be because of several factors; ranging from incorrect SIM card issues, poor network coverage, account status or plan issues, problems with phone settings to difficulty with software updates.
  • How do I get my phone out of ‘Emergency Calls Only’?The solution largely depends on the cause. If it’s due to a loose SIM card, consider reinserting it. For weak network coverage, you might need to move to a better location or use a signal booster. Issues with account status or plans will require communicating with your service provider while problems with phone settings will require appropriate adjustments. Software-related issues should be sorted by updating your software promptly.
  • Could a faulty SIM card cause ‘Emergency Calls only’?Yes, a loose or damaged SIM card can prevent the smartphone from reading it correctly and sometimes lead to this annoying error.
  • How does network coverage contribute to this issue?If you’re in an area with poor cell reception or no coverage at all, this could often trigger your phone to switch to ‘Emergency Calls Only’ mode.
  • What role does my account status and plan play in this situation?If there are any issues with your payments, late plan renewals, or expired plans, your provider might restrict access to calls and data, permitting only emergency calls. This could cause your phone to display the ‘Emergency Calls Only’
  • Can phone settings cause this issue?Yes. Simple errors in changing the network modes, turning on Airplane Mode, incorrect network settings, or WiFi calling issues might lead to your phone displaying ‘Emergency Calls Only’
  • Can software updates trigger ‘Emergency Calls Only’ on my phone?Yes, if you have an outdated operating system, problematic apps, glitches from a recent software update or bug issues. These can lead to your phone displaying ‘Emergency Calls Only’.
  • How regularly should I update my software to avoid running into such problems?Always ensure that your operating system and applications are up-to-date and install any new updates as soon as they become available.