Is The iPhone Home Button Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It

home button 300   Is The iPhone Home Button Not Working? Heres How To Fix ItBefore I start, let me answer your most burning question – yes, these fixes work with all iOS devices, not just the iPhone. I tried them on the iPad, and they should work well on the iPod Touch as well. With that out of the way, let us get into the matter at hand – the unresponsive home button.

If you own an iOS device which you use frequently, you’ve probably encountered this problem. The home button is responsible for your device’s most important functions, so when it gets laggy or stops responding altogether, using your iOS device becomes exceedingly annoying.

This unresponsiveness can be caused by any number of reasons, and if your device is under warranty and it’s not too much of a hassle, taking it to the nearest Apple store is probably your best option. If this is not the case, and your home button is driving you crazy, here are two simple things you can do. The first might fix it, the second will work around it. Either way, your device will be usable again, and peace will be restored.

“Recalibrating” The Home Button

I say “recalibrating” because this is not in any way an official fix. I couldn’t find a definitive source for this trick, which has been floating around for quite a while, but it nonetheless seems to work quite well on unresponsive home buttons. This fix is safe to try on any device – the worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t fix your home button.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Launch any app that came pre-installed on your device. I tried it with Notes but you can also launch Calendar, Reminders, or anything else.
  • Press and hold your device’s power button for about 4 seconds, until the “Slide to power off” prompt appears.

home button 1   Is The iPhone Home Button Not Working? Heres How To Fix It

3. Once this happens, release the power button, and then press and hold the home button instead. This will take around 6-7 seconds, but at the end the prompt will disappear, and the app will force close.

That’s it. These actions should recalibrate your home button, and if you were having problems before, you should feel a significant improvement. My iPad’s home button wasn’t driving me nuts, but it wasn’t at its best either. Doing this definitely seems to have made it more quick to respond.

If doing this one time did not have any effect, try repeating the process several times. Some users reported that their home button finally improved after 3-4 repeats .

When All Else Fails – AssistiveTouch

iOS 5 includes many useful accessibility options, one of which can be used as a workaround for your unresponsive home button. The option is called AssistiveTouch, and is originally meant for those who have trouble using the touchscreen. You can enable it through Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> AssistiveTouch.

assistive touch   Is The iPhone Home Button Not Working? Heres How To Fix It

Once you do this, a new, semi-transparent button will appear on your screen, and will follow you anywhere you go and into any app you launch. The button can be moved around to any corner you wish, and is generally unobtrusive.

assistive touch 2   Is The iPhone Home Button Not Working? Heres How To Fix It

Now, when you want to use your home button and it chooses not to respond, simply touch this button to open the AssistiveTouch menu. In the menu, find the home button and use it instead of the hardware one.

assistivetouch 3   Is The iPhone Home Button Not Working? Heres How To Fix It

This method takes longer than simply using the home button, but it’s highly useful when your home button simply refuses to work. It’s a good solution for a completely broken home button, as well as for one that has mood swings. You can always have the option enabled, and choose to use it only when all hope is lost for the actual home button.

Did It Work?

I’ve told you about my experience with the recalibration method, but did it work for you? Have you managed to get your home button to work again, or did you choose to use the workaround? If you know of any other good ways to fix a rebellious home button, do share them in the comments as well.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

120 Comments -

0 votes

Tim

I’ve been looking for an alternative to the physical home button for a college who is a quadriplegic. She can move her fingers somewhat but doesn’t have the strength to push the home button. Does anyone know of a way where she can double tap or do a gesture or something to bring the phone out of sleep mode? AssistiveTouch does not work after the phone goes to sleep.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

I’m not familiar with a way to do this… except maybe somehow automate an incoming call or text message, or alternatively, preventing the phone from sleeping. The latter would be pretty bad for battery life, though.

0 votes

luke

Thanks for your tip with accessability. Got my phone working again.
Luke , Sydney

0 votes

Quinton Reeves

Could always use the power button, it is easier to press. There are other options too if the phone is jailbroken.

0 votes

LizzieCougz

Just tried this and it worked :D Thanks so much!!

0 votes

Graeme

This recalibration tip just did the trick, I was convinced my home button was faulty. Great tip, how did I not know about it!? Thank you so much!

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Glad it worked!

0 votes

Martin Etcheverri

Hi i have problems with my home button (is simply dead)
i use activator in my jailbroken iphone with ios 3.1.3 (whited00r) and replace the function of the home button with the presure of volume up…pretty handy.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Thanks, jailbroken devices do have more options. :)

0 votes

AMAN

PLS TELL ME MORE OPTION FOR JAILBREAk

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

I don’t own a jailbroken device, so I can’t help you there.

You can try asking on MakeUseOf Answers:
http://makeuseof.com/answers/ask/

0 votes

Sheri

the first trick worked!!! I might look into using the other as there are times I can’t push the home button to hard due to some issues with my hand…. THANKS!!!!!!!!

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Awesome, glad to hear it helped!

0 votes

Agent Smith

dude, it just worked for me. I was dreading to go to an apple store. It’s a store, Apple! No geniuses at all appear to work there.

0 votes

sonnylim

I’ve been having similar problems with my iPad1 home button as well. Just tried “recalibrating” it. It seems more responsive…hope it lasts! Thanks for the great tip.

0 votes

Emmanuel Asuncion

Didn’t work on my iTouch, most probably my unit’s home button is faulty. Well I think, I might going to do it the hard way and try fixing the home button. Anyway, thanks for the info.

0 votes

Bill McGovern

I’ve been using Assistive Touch for a while just to minimize home button use. It does slow one down a bit, but using it becomes second nature quickly. It’s a useful option.

0 votes

Mike

This has nothing to do with some secret calibration code (which isn’t there).

There are two problems that cause an unresponsive home button:
1. dust and dirt
2. small miss-alignment with the contact

Both are temporarily improved (decreased) by keeping the button pressed for a few seconds. It doesn’t matter whether you hit the power button before, you do it within a default App or on the lock screen.

Usually it’s a matter of ours, maybe a day before you are back to old.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Of course it doesn’t, that’s why I called it “calibration”. :)

Anyway, it still has good effect on my iPad after several weeks, so I’m happy with it. As long as it works!

Of course, cleaning is always the best option, if you feel like doing it.

0 votes

Christine Satchell

After years of frustration with my iPhone home button getting stuck on every one of my iphones i installed the virtual home button and created a ‘how to guide’ for other similarly afflicted users: http://youtu.be/VNwuKn3MrPs

Then, recently I brought a can of high pressurised air and blasted the home button and dock with it. Works perfectly now. Sweet!

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Cleaning it out is always a great option. Thanks!

0 votes

Darcy

whats the best ‘at home’ solution for cleaning it??

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

You can read around in the comments to this post, there are many suggestions. Seems that alcohol works well.

0 votes

Kelly Buchanan

I thought iDevices always just worked? ;) Seriously though, I have used an onscreen button alternative to the physical “screen off/power” button on my Galaxy Nexus….any physical button will eventually wear out under heavy use.

0 votes

jiggy

Hey Thanks, works fine!

0 votes

parvin Akter

The trick is so good. I will try it.Thank you for the information

0 votes

Rob Rand

This worked the first time- thanks!!

0 votes

Scott Fisher

Thank you! It worked the first time. I was about to throw my iphone out the window on the freeway!

0 votes

Drew B

great tip!

0 votes

Kyle Zhou

Just to let you guys know, the “calibration” trick doesn’t actually do anything other than free up memory. Chpwn reverse-engineered this trick a while ago and it does nothing other than force quit the current application. It will temporarily help with responsiveness in general, but it’s not a permanent solution.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Yes, I know it force-quits the app. And I don’t believe it really re-calibrates anything either, but it does seem to help, sometimes for quite a long time.

0 votes

Anil S

Actually if none of the above tricks don’t work (It didn’t for me) One fix you can try is connect your charger, push the charger upwards into the iphone and then press the home button. This will align the home button back with the sensor.

Here is the youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXlY-VcxbCU

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Interesting, thanks!

0 votes

pnginbb

Wow! That was quick and painless.
Worked great!
Thanks

0 votes

Vitaly

Just went with this problem to apple store last weekend. They did simple external clean with isopropyl alcohol. All problems disappear.
Take plastic stick like a pen, put paper napkin with alcohol on the top of the button and do round movements with stick on the border of button. It magically fixed problem.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Yes, cleaning is known to solve many problems. :)

0 votes

Jim

Yep. nail polish remover and a Q-tip. Fixed…. Thats it folks. yer done. Badda boom-badda bing!! :)

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Awesome, thanks for sharing that Jim!

0 votes

Jeff Branning

Thanks for the tip! I didn’t know about the “recalibration” technique or the option to turn on the assist. I probably saw it in one of the settings but since I didn’t need it didn’t try it to see what it would do for me. Thanks again!

0 votes

Stephanie Woods

Awesome to know! Thanks for educating me!

0 votes

John B Lontz

Thank you, it worked for me!

0 votes

A.

I’ve been using a trick that works for me: Using your fingers, click on any side of the home button, and circle around it like how a clock’s hand circles around the face. It should work.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Sounds like it would clean it out a little bit. Cool!

0 votes

Verylatenight

$15 and a good jewelers screwdriver kit, Internet search and replaced the button in under an hour. No more frustrating “fixes” or voodoo. Take your time with a clean and organized space and it is rather fun.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Thanks, sounds exciting!

0 votes

echantrea

nice ideas for a broken home button idevices.

0 votes

Steven Kim

Dont have an iphone yet,but its good to learn new stuff :)

0 votes

Evan Spangler

This is perfect, thanks!

0 votes

Jon Smith

cool fixed mine!

0 votes

natalie blundell

omg that was amazing it worked like straight away ive only had my iphone a couple of weeks and it allready has pms with the home button :L

0 votes

K

Only problem with assistive touch is you can’t take screenshots. well you can but the menu is in the way really a disappointment for me as my home button is completely jammed :(

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Hmmm. You could try cleaning it out with some rubbing alcohol and something small that would go in the crack. That might help things.

0 votes

Karl Joseph Ku

My mom and my friends use the assistive touch to preserve their home button.

0 votes

Alex Livingstone

Very useful, thanks for the tip.

0 votes

Zoe

If everything else fails, you can take it to the apple store, and they should replace it for free if it was the fault of the device or the software. If you dropped your device or something and the home button broke at your fault, there is still a chance they might replace it. Just talk to the people at the genius bar and tell them your problem. It worked for me when I dropped my phone. :)

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Great tip, thanks!

0 votes

Vanessa Johnson

-YES. I DO HAVE A PROBLEM!,.. df’ !<…………

0 votes

Nabil A Swileh

Thanks a lot.
Helpful.

0 votes

zachiko

it doesn’t work :(

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Sorry! As I said, these tricks can’t fix everything. Maybe a thorough cleaning will help.

0 votes

Michele Price

Thanks!! It worked great after the 4th try :)

0 votes

garrett shows

um my i pod touch is not working well i tried holding the home butten and the power off butten at the same time. that did not work what should i do?

0 votes

sesef

or u can just do it with activator
now i just shake the phone and it’s on the home screen !! :)

0 votes

Sara

That is very helpful, thank you!! I didn’t know about the assistive touch and was about to have a phone panic attack. I enabled it just in case, but the reset seems to have made my home button work better, at least for the time being.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

That’s great, glad it helped you with your phone!

0 votes

tammy

it did not work for me and I don’t want to upgrade to 5 because then the gevey might not work. I’m at a loss. It started acting up yesterday and now I can’t get it to work at all. Any more suggestions?

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Well, some people suggested you can clean around the button with a little bit of alcohol, maybe on a Q-tip. Sometimes dirt makes the button stop working. If that doesn’t work either, you might have to ask for help at the Apple store.

0 votes

Rodd

Dear Yaara Lancet, a big thanks to you for this post. I have read all the replies an suggestions but regardless of why the original idea works or not (it has for me so far) you have opened up a discussion on the subject. I thought my phone was on the way out and was dreading the cost of replacement. Now I know what the problem probably is I have a couple of strategies to try.
A big thanks for your first post. Obviously some people are a bit hung up on semantics.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

You’re welcome, Rodd, glad you found it useful!

0 votes

Chrismor

Worked on my iPad (3) like a charm. Thanks so much!

0 votes

Deborah Black

I have been more and more frustrated by my unresponsive home button over the past few months. This worked! Thank you thank you thank you!

0 votes

Jap

Thanks much, it worked for me :))

0 votes

Emma

Thanks for this! The recalibration worked straight away on my iPad! Brilliant!!

0 votes

STEVE B

Hi, many thanks for the tips. 1st did not work. 2nd did the trick and works, thus saving my sanity and the phone from bouncing off the wall ….(had enough!!)

0 votes

Bruce

Just wanted to let you know the recalibration method has worked out great for me. I was about to give up on a solution and have been having intermittent problems for the last year.

It didn’t work until I used your method for appoximately 4 or more times. The display would go to the home page but not force close. I almost was getting ready to give up and just kept trying and low and behold… bam!! As soon as it force closed my iPod (4 gen) now works like new!!

Thanks again for sharing this quick fix :)

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Thanks Bruce, I’m glad it worked so well for you. Thank you for the email as well!

0 votes

Adam

Another work around the malfunctioning HOME button on iPad: using Multitasking Gestures. Go to Settings>General and turn on Multitasking Gestures.
Pinching with four or five fingers will bring up the HOME screen.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

That’s true, thanks! Usually, though, I find that these multitouch gestures always work when I don’t need them, so they’re usually disabled for me.

0 votes

Jarrod

My button was only working about 50% of the time. I put several drops of isopropyl alcohol on the button which formed a little pool that spilled ~1/2 inch over onto the adjacent glass. Then I held the button down with my fingernail a couple dozen times, working the alcohol toward the edges of the button with my fingertip while it was depressed. After the alcohol was mostly gone, I made another pool and repeated the process. Then I dried it off with tissue and blew a bit of air around the button. When I turned the phone back on my home button worked like new.

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Thanks for describing your process Jarrod, I’m sure it will come in handy for people who are still stuck with their home buttons.

0 votes

Bruce

I think people have to realize that Yaara’s method works on home buttons that freely click and are NOT mechanically sticky. In other words you easily feel the click occur everytime you press the button. My iPods button always clicked and never was physically sticky. In this case all the alcohol in the world isn’t going to change things.

I’m thinking her method is more of a software fix issue and was the only method that worked for me. My iPod was to the point of not responding nine out of ten tries.

By the way, it’s still working perfectly with every click of the button! Not one single click has been missed since recalibrating the iPod!

Thanks again Yaara for such a simple and effective fix!

0 votes

Jarrod

Yes there appear to be many causes for an unresponsive home button. For the record, my button didn’t feel sticky. It was very tactile on every press, but about half the time it didn’t register. I tried every method mentioned here. Yaara’s recalibration method wouldn’t even register on my phone because the phone could never understand that I was holding the button down. There was probably just some dust on my contacts that needed to be cleared away. There are a lot of great ideas here. This is turning out to be a great resource for people who have all the different permutations of this problem!

0 votes

john

Thanks!! The calibration way is very helpful and i finally got my home button working :)

0 votes

ella

thank you for the help i really do hope it works cause im very worried some thing happened that can never be fixed

0 votes

Carter LeCraw

Wow, that fix seems to do the trick. Thanks SO much. My last Iphone I finally just exchanged with apple at an apple store. I don’t know why they just did not suggest this trick. Great fix!!

0 votes

Bob

Wish I had looked for this sooner. I was looking on Amazon for a new home button and tools to fix. Thanks, Bob

0 votes

Harry Tan

I tried your first solution for my iPad2 (non upgraded iOS due to concerns about WIFI drops) and it solved my HOME button issue. The Home button for some reason had lost it sensitivity and I had to keep pressing it several times to make it work. The solution you provided seemed to have resolved it. I am VERY Grateful for the solution you published. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Harry

0 votes

wesly

it is my first time to search for the solutions for my home button problem.
your advise really works. thank you for sharing this.

0 votes

Percival Mchunu

Magic, absolute magic. Thanx :-)

0 votes

Ramesh

Thanks So Much It Worked !!

0 votes

karen

Thankyou your info helped me fix the annoying problem of my home button sticking, had to do it several times but now it works like a dream and is much faster.

thankyou once again

0 votes

Mauritz

OMW! It worked. Such a strange “trick” could fix this problem. Why can’t they just fix it in an iOS update?

0 votes

Andrew Williams

Re-calibration worked! I was suffering from the sometimes responsive, sometimes not responsive home button (which convinced me it was faulty).

The question is, why hadn’t i heard of this before. But a big thank you for posting this – really has made my day.

0 votes

heather

“Recalibrating” The Home Button instructions worked…thanks so much!

0 votes

Jessie

The recalibration method works for me, but only for a short amount of time. Once my iPod touch (4th gen) goes back to sleep and I wake it back up, my home button is back to being unresponsive. Anyone else have this same problem?

0 votes

emily

This for some reason also worked on my husbands sound. His iphone sound would work with the ringtones but in Apps it wouldnt. We tried everything.. then my home button stopped working and tried this. SInce his had problems with the home button for awhile now I tried it on his too.. His sound and home button both work!!

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

That’s interesting! The ways of the iPhone are truly mysterious. :)

0 votes

Meesh

Re-calibrating worked, my home key on my iphone is now working much better. I did it 3 times, in notes, calendar, clock and then turned the phone off and back on. Now it is working great. Thanks

0 votes

Renee

I have been so frustrated because my home button was hardly working. I was ready to get a new phone! I did the recalibration trick, and now my phone is as good as new. Thank you so much for this!!!!

0 votes

nicole

The assistive touch worked great!!! You just saved me hundreds of dollars

0 votes

nomi

I’ve been looking for an alternativeSurf Movies to the physical home button for a college who is a quadriplegic

0 votes

Asaf Ali Ahammad

Thank you very much. I was in tension that to give my iphone for repair. I tried these steps and the result was excellant for me. Thanks again…

0 votes

Alison

The workaround is working for me. I’ll take it to the Apple store to see if they have any ideas, but if not, you’ve saved my iPad from becoming a pricey cutting board.

0 votes

MJ

THANK YOU FOR THIS!! It worked and I didn’t have to resort to a tantrum at work. You’ve saved my job and my sanity.

0 votes

Rosalie

The home button on my iPod 4th gen started giving me troubles a few weeks ago. It would not respond consistently, then it would be fine for a while. Then it happened again. When it happened yesterday, the power button wouldn’t work either. I was stuck. I called Apple support and was directed to reinstall my OS and restore the iPod. That worked for the power button but not for the home button. I was then sent to my local Apple store, where the technician set up Accessibility for me. That works okay, better than spending $99 for a replacement. None of the suggestions on this page are working for me – the home button remains unresponsive.

0 votes

Rosalie

Hey! I slapped it against my thigh a few times and now it works. Go figure.

0 votes

Jaco

Fantastic!
My New iPhone 5 home button worked about half the time. I was about to ask apple care to give me a new one. The reset trick worked like a charm!
Thank you!!!!

0 votes

diego

NICE im was so pissed off with it and finally fixed it but i still got that feeling that it might lag stop at times even tho it doesnt

0 votes

Khan

Thanks Yaara. I woke up today with an unresponsive home button. After going through the standard parental procedure of blaming the kids, I tried to call the Apple premium reseller which unfortunately would not answer.
I came across your article and tried it . Initially for two times, didn’t work, on the third time the app did shut down but the button was still unresponsive. I tried it again and the button got a bit better. I decided to clean the ipad and button and on a scale of 1 to 10 , it’s an 8 now. Thanks a lot. You saved me a lot of headache and the trip to the store. My thoughts though are that it’s necessary to keep the screen clean or all the dirt tracks down to the button causing an electromechanical reset. More like your iPads way of telling you it’s time you quit your sloppy habits and start paying a bit on my attention on me as well.
Thanks a million again.

0 votes

Robin

Hi,
I have same problem but only thing is VOICE CONTROL keeps coming on and then it makes calls to other people and after removing all contacts still it will call a random number and voice control still comes on every 5 seconds ….it seems like home key is being pressed automatically …any help please
thanks

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

I didn’t really understand what’s happening, exactly, but since I don’t own an iPhone myself, only an iPad, I won’t be much help.

I suggest that you try asking on MakeUseOf Answers, someone there might know what’s going on.

0 votes

phoebe

You are AWESOME thank you! You saved me and my phone! I totally can’t afford a new phone at the moment… thank you!

0 votes

jowie

tried this one but didnt work, but there’s one unusual thing that i do to fix it, my friend suggest this one and it works, Hold ur iphone facing down and flick the home button, but not to hard, youll notice that dust comes out, repeat process if necessary, now my iphone has a soft touch home button

0 votes

Yaara Lancet

Interesting way to clean the home button, I’m amazed it works!

0 votes

Unizombie

You are a goddess, for some reason my phones home button hadn’t been working and assistive touch didn’t either. I’ve been hitting the home button then holding the power button down which may or may not work for closing an app, and after closing it turns off (to home screen) the force quit worked, thanks. I don’t know how I would live without being able to quickly transfer between apps. ;*

0 votes

Maura

I tried the first option using the power & the home button. It took 3 attempts but on the 3rd try both the “slide to power off” screen and Notes closed for me. I reopened it and it closed fine. I also tried it with Calendar and it worked too. Thank you for posting this tip.

0 votes

Debbie

Thank you so much, home button on my almost new replacement iPad was not responding right away and decided to try this before taking it into the apple store and it seems this did the trick! Thanks!!

0 votes

Laura

The first fix (“recalibrating”) worked wonders, thank you sooo much!!

0 votes

Simone

Wow, this worked!!!!!! I thought something was physically wrong, but recalibrating it did the trick. Amazing, thank you!!!!! What a funny way to make that work!

0 votes

Mohsin

Great Tip, it is more responsive than earlier.