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Emergency Calls Only on Android? Easy Fixes!

emergency calls only on Android

It’s frustrating when you’re trying to make a call only to find your Android phone saying Emergency calls only? There are a few reasons why this may happen. Don’t worry, most are easy to fix.

This message has something to do with the network, either your carrier is having issues or something is wrong on your end. 

Well, whatever the issue might be, the following guide will help you fix Emergency calls only on Android.

We’ve compiled proven fixes for this issue from the easiest to the most difficult. Go through them in order until you find the one that works for you.

How to Fix Emergency Calls Only on Android 

Here are all tips that will help you start making phone calls again on your Android phone.

  1. Restart Your Phone 
  2. Check Network Connection
  3. Airplane Mode 
  4. Re-Insert SIM Card 
  5. Manually Select Carrier 
  6. Change Network Mode 
  7. Check for Pending Updates 
  8. Reset Network Settings 
  9. Pay the Bill 
  10. Factory Reset

1. Restart Your Phone 

Starting off the list with something pretty basic, like rebooting the Android device. So, hold the Power button on the side. The Power Menu will appear on the screen, tap on the Restart option. 

Restart the Phone to Resolve Emergency Calls Only Issue
Restart the Android Smartphone. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

After the device reboots, the mobile network should be restored. So, go back to the Phone app and start calling.  

If this doesn’t fix the issue, don’t worry. We have several other solutions in our arsenal.  

2. Check Network Connection

One of the biggest reasons you are getting emergency calls only on Android is due to a bad network connection

On your mobile, check out the network bars at the top. If you see there are not enough bars or they are dropping at the moment, then you have a weak signal. In this situation, you will only be able to make emergency calls. 

Now, there are a lot of reasons why this is happening. This could be a temporary problem like your network service provider might be fixing something or doing some maintenance work. And because of that, you are getting a bad service.

This could also be due to your location, probably it is outside the coverage area. This can also happen if you are underground or surrounded by unusually thick walls. 

If these are not the case and you frequently face similar network issues; like at home or at work, you probably have a bad service provider. We’d suggest you change your carrier.   

3. Airplane Mode 

This is another trick like restarting the device. Airplane mode is available on all modern Android phones. You might see Flight mode on some Android devices, but it’s the same.

When you enable the Airplane Mode, it turns off your phone’s connection to Wi-Fi or cellular networks, or Bluetooth.

So, you won’t be able to make calls or receive them. If you disable the Airplane mode, your smartphone’s network connection will be restored. 

By turning on and off the Airplane mode, it essentially resets your network, fixing any and all network issues that your smartphone may have.

Use the Airplane Mode to Fix the Issue
Enable and Disable the Airplane Mode on Android. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

So, pull down the Android Quick Settings panel and look for the Airplane/Flight Mode. You can toggle the switch to enable and disable the mode.   

4. Re-Insert SIM Card 

Re-inserting the SIM card almost works all the time when facing emergency calls only issue. So, you need to find the SIM ejector tool. 

If you have lost the ejector tool, which is the case for most people. Ask your friends or family to lend you one. You can also use a pin or needle of a similar dimension and use it to remove the SIM card from the phone. 

Wait a few seconds, you can also clean the card in the meantime if it’s dirty. Then, insert the SIM card and hope for the best. 

5. Manually Select Carrier 

Manually selecting the smartphone’s carrier can resolve several network-related problems. So, when you are getting emergency calls only on your Android mobile, you should try this fix. 

  1. Launch the Settings app on Android. 
  2. Tap on Connections and select Mobile Operators.  
  3. On the following panel, select Network Operators
Choose Network Operator
Manually Select Network Operator. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

Now, you will only see one option which is Select Automatically and the button next to it will be toggled on. This means the device is set to detect carriers automatically. 

You need to disable the button and a list of available carriers in your country will appear. Tap on the carrier name that you are using.

Instead of a list, you may get the Search Networks option. Tap on it, and the list will appear after your smartphone completes the search. 

6. Change Network Mode 

This solution is a bit out there and you also need to be careful while executing this method. Otherwise, you can cause an even bigger network issue. 

Now, this is the age of 5G in most countries. It is fast for sure but at this moment, they are pretty unreliable. But you do have the option to change the network mode manually. Here’s what you need to do. 

  1. Launch the Settings app and tap on Connections
  2. Select Mobile Networks and tap on the Network Mode option.  
Select a Different Network Mode on Android
Change Network Mode on Android. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

Now, there will be several Network mode options. If you are using 5G at the moment, you need to select 4G or 3G. Internet will be slower for sure but they are very reliable for making calls. 

7. Check for Pending Updates 

An outdated Android system can also cause a lot of issues. So, if you have a lot of updates pending, this is the time to install them. 

It is pretty easy to update Android. Just go to the Android Settings and tap on the option called Software Update. There will be a Download & Install option, tap on it. 

Update Android for Fixing the Emergency Calls only Issue
Download and Install the Latest Android Update. Screenshot; Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

As soon as you tap that option, your phone will start checking for any available updates. If it finds one, download it then tap the Install button to install the Android update.  

8. Reset Network Settings 

If nothing works, you need to reset the network settings on your Android smartphone. The network on your smartphone will reset and you will lose all the customizations such as your saved Wi-Fi network. 

  1. Launch the Settings app and select General Management
  2. Tap on the Reset option. 
  3. Under the Reset menu, tap on Reset Network Settings
Reset Android Network for Fixing Emergency Calls Only Problem
Reset Network Settings on Android. Screenshot: Saurav Dey/Gotechtor

This should fix the emergency calls-only issue you were having on your Android smartphone.  

9. Pay the Bill

Lastly, the most obvious question is, have you paid your cell phone bill? Because if you haven’t, your mobile provider would cut your phone off so you’re unable to make or receive calls. That’s probably why you only have access to emergency calls.

10. Factory Reset

If you have tried all of the above fixes, and your Android phone still displaying the Emergency Calls Only, you may want to try to factory reset your phone.

A factory reset will erase all the data and settings on your phone. So make sure to back up your Android phone before proceeding with this option.

Wrapping It Up 

We hope you found this guide useful in helping you troubleshoot the Emergency Calls Only on your Android phone.

Let us know if this helped fix this problem. If you found success doing something else, feel free to let us know via the comment section below.