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Emergency Calls Only-Why Does my Phone Say That?

Does the screen on your phone display the message “Emergency Calls Only” and you’re wondering why? In this post, we will cover the common things that cause this message to display on your phone. And did not enable you to make normal calls.

One of the most common issues that Android users deal with is “Emergency calls only”. Which doesn’t allow you to make any calls or use any other network-based functionalities of the handset. Technically speaking, you’re not able to use some basic features and this can be very frustrating.

Emergency Calls Only

However, like any other common issue of an Android smartphone. There are a couple of fixes you can apply, no matter the phone you have.

We’ve also put together a complete guide with solutions you can apply if your phone says emergency calls only. However, this is suitable for any Android-running handset. Without much further ado, let’s see how you can get rid of this problem.

Did You Pay your Bill?

Has it been a while since you paid your wireless carrier? Some users completely forget about paying their bills sometimes. And the carrier disconnects them from the network. If so, your carrier may have turned your service off. Basically, in this case, it’s not a technical issue, as the phone is running smoothly. Ensure your wireless bill is paid and your phone should return to normal rather quickly. Before considering a potential fix, make sure that you’ve paid your subscription.

Sim Card is Inserted Properly or Not?

If your SIM Card is not inserted or is not seated properly. Then it may cause your phone to only allow calls to 911. Ensure your SIM Card is securely inserted into the slot. It may not hurt to remove it and re-seat it.

Emergency Calls Only

The SIM card is very small. It is usually about the size of a fingernail and located somewhere near the battery or in an eject-able slot on the side. If you don’t know where the SIM card is located on your device, look for documentation for your device.

You may also want to try a different SIM card in case it is defective. You should be able to get a replacement SIM card from your wireless carrier for no charge.


Not all devices use a SIM Card, but most these days do.

Have you Restarted your Phone?

If you haven’t tried to power down your phone yet, do so. Sometimes, a simple restart cand solve a lot of things. Power down the phone. Leave it for a few seconds. Then turn it back on.  And see if the network is working properly now.

Service Interruption?

Sometimes there may be a problem with the carrier’s network. That will cause your phone to not work properly. In most cases, the phone will display the “Emergency calls only” message by default.

Are you Receiving a Proper Signal:

Well, let’s not ignore this scenario, in which your phone may display the “Emergency Calls Only” because of the network-related problem. It shows this message when it can’t connect to a wireless tower on your network. It allows emergency calls. Because it is connected to a tower that is not a part of your wireless carrier’s network.

You may want to check to see if your phone has a setting. That allows you to make calls while “Roaming”. If you do this. Then your wireless carrier may charge more for calls.

Last: Factory Reset:

If you are unlucky enough and have tried all of the above items. And the “Emergency Calls Only” message still appears. Then you may want to try to factory reset your device. Make sure you have a full backup of your data before your factory resets your phone.

In case you don’t, go to Settings > Backup and Reset. You have to wait until it’s ready and synced to your Google account. After this, follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings and look for the System menu, then tap on it
  • Choose Reset option
  • From here, select Erase all data (factory reset)
  • Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for Reset phone, then select it
  • Enter your device’s PIN
  • Select Continue
  • Then select Erase everything
  • Wait until the process is over and the phone reboots

Again, like in other cases. These steps could be slightly different, depending on the phone.

We hope you find a solution to your phone. That was saying emergency calls only. Also if you have any questions related to this article just let us know in the comment section below. Have a Good Day!

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Windy Moore

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