How to Call 911 on iPad: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today's digital age, our iPads have become essential tools in our daily lives. We use them for communication, entertainment, and even emergencies. But do you know how to call 911 on your iPad in case of an urgent situation? This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to use the built-in Emergency Call feature on your iPad, ensuring that you can reach help quickly and efficiently when needed.

Step-by-Step Guide: Calling 911 on iPad

Step 1: Unlocking the iPad and accessing the home screen

To begin, unlock your iPad by either entering your passcode or using Touch ID or Face ID. Once unlocked, you'll find yourself on the home screen, ready to navigate to the necessary app.

Step 2: Locating and opening the “Phone” app

On your home screen, locate the “Phone” app, which is typically represented by a green icon with a white telephone receiver. Tap on the app to open it.

Step 3: Navigating to the “Emergency” tab within the Phone app

Within the Phone app, you'll notice several tabs at the bottom of the screen. Swipe left until you find the “Emergency” tab, which is often identified by a red icon with a white cross. Tap on the “Emergency” tab to proceed.

Step 4: Dialing 911 using the on-screen keypad

Once you're on the “Emergency” tab, you'll see a dial pad on your screen. Simply tap the numbers “9-1-1” using the on-screen keypad. Take your time to ensure accuracy, as any mistakes may delay the emergency response.

Step 5: Initiating the call and communicating with the emergency operator

After entering the numbers, tap the green phone icon to initiate the call to 911. Remain calm and wait for the emergency operator to answer. When they do, clearly and concisely provide them with the necessary information about the emergency, your location, and any other relevant details they may require.

Ensuring Proper Setup for Emergency Calls on iPad

Before an emergency occurs, it's crucial to ensure that your iPad is properly set up for emergency calls. Here are a few important steps to follow:

1. Check the iPad's compatibility with emergency calling

Ensure that your iPad model supports cellular connectivity, as emergency calls require a network connection. iPads with only Wi-Fi capabilities will not be able to make emergency calls unless connected to a working internet connection.

2. Verify network connectivity and signal strength

Make sure that your iPad has a stable network connection. Check the signal strength indicator on your device's status bar and ensure you have at least one or two bars of signal. If the signal is weak or non-existent, move to an area with better reception or consider using a different device.

3. Enable the “Emergency SOS” feature for quick access

To make it even easier to call 911, enable the “Emergency SOS” feature on your iPad. This feature allows you to quickly initiate an emergency call by pressing the power button multiple times or by using a specific sequence of buttons. To enable this feature, go to your iPad's settings, select “Emergency SOS,” and follow the prompts to set it up.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Emergency Calls on iPad

While knowing how to call 911 on your iPad is crucial, it's essential to be aware of potential obstacles or errors that may arise. Here are some common issues you might encounter and tips for troubleshooting them:

1. Network-related issues or call failures

If you experience difficulties connecting to the network or encounter call failures when trying to reach 911, check your network settings and ensure that your iPad has a stable and reliable internet connection. Restarting your device or moving to an area with better signal reception may also help resolve network-related issues.

Other Emergency Communication Options on iPad

While calling 911 is typically the most direct way to seek emergency assistance, there are alternative methods available on your iPad that can provide additional support during emergencies. Consider exploring the following options:

1. Emergency alert apps

There are various apps available that offer emergency assistance and allow you to quickly alert authorities or designated contacts in case of an emergency. Research and install reputable emergency alert apps that suit your needs and preferences.

2. Medical ID

The Medical ID feature on your iPad allows you to store important medical information, emergency contacts, and other relevant details that can be accessed even when your device is locked. Set up your Medical ID by opening the Health app on your iPad, selecting the “Medical ID” tab, and filling in the necessary information.

Remember, while these alternative options can be useful, it's important to prioritize calling 911 for immediate and professional assistance in life-threatening situations.


In times of crisis, knowing how to call 911 on your iPad can be a lifesaver. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can quickly and efficiently reach emergency services when needed. Additionally, ensuring proper setup, troubleshooting common issues, and exploring other emergency communication options on your iPad will further enhance your preparedness for emergencies. Stay safe, stay informed, and be ready to take action when it matters most.