Add an emergency contact to your locked Apple iPhone

May 7, 2021

If you needed urgent medical attention, would the emergency services be able to call your emergency contact? We show you how you can add an emergency contact to your locked Apple iPhone.

Emergency Contact Apple iPhone

While some people have a person in their contact list marked with ICE (in case of emergency), this important contact can only be found if your mobile phone is unlocked.

However Apple iPhones have a feature that enables a person to access your emergency contact and other important medical details (such as a medical condition or allergy) without the need for your passcode (so while you iPhone is locked). It could save your life!

On your iPhone this information is saved as a Medical ID. And this is accessed on your locked iPhone in an emergency from the Touch ID/Enter Passcode screen.

So how do you set your Medical ID with an emergency contact and important medical information?

All iPhone’s come with the Health App pre-installed.

If you’ve never used the Health App before, when you open it for the first time you’ll need to add in your personal details to the App, like name, birthdate, sex, etc. It’s up to you how much additional information you add here (you don’t have to list your birthdate if you don’t want to, but that type of info can help emergency services).

Once you’ve hit ‘Continue’ after entering your key personal information (as above), you will see the option to create your Medical ID.

Again, it is up to you how much information you want to include, but at a minimum it’s suggested that you add any medical conditions, allergies and of course your emergency contacts (you can add multiple emergency contacts). And as the whole purpose is for these details to be accessed in an emergency, make sure ‘Show When Locked’ is on.

If you have already used the Health App before, but you haven’t set the key details in your Medical ID, you can add details to your Medical ID by opening the Health App and clicking on the Medical ID icon in the bottom right corner. Do the same if you want to edit the information you have previously entered into your Medical ID previously.

Once you have key information in the Medical ID and you have ensured ‘Show When Locked’ is on, it will show up on the Emergency Call screen and will be accessible in the event it’s needed (hopefully it won’t ever be needed!).

Don’t forget to update your Medical ID with new information if circumstances change.

Not an iPhone person? It’s okay, we've got steps for how to add an emergency contact to your locked Samsung Galaxy