Question

How to disable Emergency SOS call feature

  • 16 July 2023
  • 9 replies
  • 10421 views

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Samsung Note 20 5G (SM-N981U) with Andmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm m,roid 13.

How do I turn off and disable the Emergency S.O.S. calling feature?dfffffffffffffffffffffc

In my State as of July 15th, it is now a crime to make a false automated 911/SOS call.

1st offense gets you a warning.

2nd offense in five year running period gets you $1,000 fine, and 6 months in jail if a physical response is dispatched because of the call.

3rd offense in a five running period gets a $3,500 fine, then if physical response happens its 18-24 month sentence.

4th time it becomes a Felony with $10,000 fine and/or 60 month sentence regardless of physical response or not.

 

So?  How does a person turn OFF the Emergency S.O.S. calling feature to avoid the possible consequences above?


9 replies

Hello Hikw-Qedxw

I have your answer.  First, don’t worry. I thought the same thing about my phone.  If you haven’t set this up, then the default is OFF.

2nd, If you hit the power button 5 times, the SOS message goes to the person you have set up to receive the SOS, NOT the 911 emergency police folks.

I know this for a fact because I set it all up and the SOS would go to my brother and he got VERY tired of getting my SOS message because I accidentally pushed the power button 5 times in a row. It would send a short voice message, a photo and a text...every time.  He got pissed so I turned it off.

Good Luck!

P.S. I just went and looked at the SOS settings and I’ve given you bad info.  It’s completely different from when I was erroneously sending SOS messages to my 5 family members!  It also tried calling 911! 

I am, however, leaving this info up since someone may be able to gain something from it.

Userlevel 7
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Have you tried this?

https://www.androidauthority.com/how-to-turn-off-emergency-sos-android-3328002/

Userlevel 4
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Unfortunately, the June 2023 Samsung updates for Android 13 appear to have removed the ability to turn that off as described in that Android Authority article. Happens on my A42 5G after that update; my wife’s A42 5G still has the ability since she hasn’t updated. Same thing happened on my S21 5G after that update. I’m following  a couple Samsung subreddit threads to see if anyone discovers a workaround or fix.

What state has that law? Just want to know where not to move 😐

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Yes, I keep getting pointed to that article, but as you can see there is no ON/OFF button available.

 

 

Userlevel 7
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It's available on my Pixel 6 and the default is set to off.

 

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There has another Samsung update that has modified the unwanted behavior again.  I set countdown option to disabled. Now my devices immediately call 911 and cannot be stopped. The call cannot be disconnected until 911 operator terminates the call.  Holding power button does nothing, opening the settings tray you'll find that the power button is gone. Holding power & vol down for hard reset gets disabled as well. The emergency number is now set by carrier and cannot be modified.

The problem has become so widespread the local call center is reporting 99 out of 100 911 calls are falsely triggered SOS calls. What a unnecessary waste of resources.

According to FCC it's a regulation they enacted to help prevent sexual abuse and rape, instead it has had a disastrous affect on 911 reliability.

Until the October update I had set the emergency number it dialed to a non-working number.

Since then I modified my otterbox case by shaving off the power button leaving the actual button indented requiring me to use a fingernail to operate the power button.

Userlevel 7
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Under System Apps, disable the app, Emergency SOS.  The app has a package name of: com.samsung.android.emergency  You can also use ADB to disable or remove it but it might be against local or state laws to do so.  Always check your local laws first.  

Userlevel 4
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It appears that turning count down off may now disable automatic initiation of emergency SOS calls while keeping other emergency features. Although specific to S23 users experiencing this problem, see the following and as it appears to be rolling out to other models:

https://www.androidheadlines.com/2023/06/emergency-sos-always-active-galaxy-s23-june-update.html

I’ll let you know after trying it (hopefully my state doesn’t have the same law as the OP’s).

FWIW, it does appear to work. At least it didn’t dial in my case. Pressing 5 times on the lock screen did bring up the Emergency call screen and sound that alarm, but required swiping to initiate the call and had the ability to cancel the emergency with no countdown showing.

Guess I’ll really see if the police show up in another half hour or more, I live way out and when I need emergency services they are only an hour away! I assume they aren’t coming since I haven’t gotten a call back.

Appears Google’s Pixel got the intuitive implementation right with Samsung making it no so obvious - par for the course with Samsung. You can also turn off the blaring alarm but at least it gives a clue as to what’s happened.

Userlevel 4
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With the June 2023 Samsung update (just recently released) the landscape has changed as carriers and law enforcement struggle with a surge in false SOS calls that impact real emergency services. As noted above (as well as in the Android Headlines link), those who have applied the Samsung update should ensure that Countdown (as shown in the OP’s screen shot) is off to disable automatic initiation of emergency SOS while keeping the benefits of other emergency functionality.

Just verified again with my wife’s A42 5g after applying the June 2023 update - I defer her updates until I’ve vetted them. That update definitely changed the emergency SOS settings. Samsung’s implementation is good but Pixel’s is intuitively better based on gramps28’s screen shot.

When I tested using the 5 presses on the  lock screen, it became immediately obvious I’d done so and need to take an added step to actually initiate the call with Countdown off. Still appers a butt dial is still possible just less likely.

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