Put Emergency Contact Information On Your iPhone’s Lock Screen

Do you have emergency contact information entered in your iPhone’s address book? If so, you might want to add this information to your iPhone’s lock screen so first responders can get this info easily. About 10 years ago, first responders, like paramedics and fire fighters started to encourage everybody to add a record to their cell phone’s address book titled ICE. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. Your ICE record should list contact information your next of kin so first responders can contact them. If your iPhone is locked with a passcode then your address book would likely be inaccessible by first responders. Thus, it’s recommended that you put your ICE info on your iPhone’s lock screen. 

I recently explored ways to add ICE info to an iPhone’s lock screen. I found a few ways but, I think the easiest way is to buy the full version of ICE by Minute Apps. It currently costs $1.99. There is a free version, but it lacks the ability to put ICE information on your lock screen.

When you open the full version of ICE you’ll be prompted to fill in personal information and one or more emergency contacts. Do this, and then tap on the Extras button. Then tap Launch Wallpaper Maker and fumble your way through the less than obvious choices to create a wallpaper with the desired ICE information on it. Once you create your custom wallpaper picture, do this:

  • Tap on the Settings app on your iPhone
  • Tap on Wallpaper
  • Tap Choose a New Wallpaper
  • Tap All Photos and select the ICE photo created by the ICE app.

At this point, you should be all set. Lock your iPhone and then press the Home button to wake it up. You should see the ICE photo that you just created.

A less effective, but free way is to use Apple’s Health app. The Health app was introduced with iOS 8 in the fall of 2014. If you want to use this option, open the Health app and tap on Medical ID. Fill in your information. This information can then be accessed on a locked iPhone if one knows to do the following. Swipe from left to right on the Lock screen. Tap the Emergency button. Tap the Medical ID button to view all of your information

The Backup Plan web site lists information about how to use Siri to access an ICE record in your address book even if the iPhone is locked. Of course, this does require that Siri be enabled which may not be true on all iPhones.

Consequently, I’ve done all 3. I use the full ICE app to create a photo with some ICE info on it. I’ve also filled in my Medical ID info in the Health app and I have a record named ICE in my Contacts app.

One Comment

  1. Thanks Tim for citing our blog The Backup Plan in your post. We love helping people ICE their phones and appreciate your helping us get the word out. BTW we’re fresh out of tea, but we do have a tulips and teacups blog… That’s a story for another time.

    Have a wonderful holiday season! Laura and Jan Greenwald

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