No matter how good you are to your iPhone, there is a chance that eventually your home button will stop working properly. Apple did redesign their home button for the iPhone 5 and completely removed it on the iPhone X to prevent this from happening.
But, if you have an older iPhone that’s out of warranty, here are a few things you can do to fix that defunct button.
The most common reason why your iPhone home button won’t work is due to debris around the home button.
You clean this by taking pure alcohol > pour alcohol on the cotton bud > clean the perimeter of the home button by moving in a circular motion. Down below are more ways you can fix your iPhones or iPads home button.
Why isn’t Your Home Button Working?
There are two different things that can cause your home button to stop working and this can either be a hardware or a software issue.
A hardware issue means that there is something physically wrong with your iPhone or iPad and you can only solve this issue using hardware techniques such as manually trying to fix your iPhone.
This can involve some sort of cleaning.
An example of a hardware issue that may have caused your home button to break, is your home button being disconnected from the logic board.
If you find this to be the case, you need to get your home button repaired. Scroll down to find out how.
A software issue would mean that there is something wrong with the software of your iPhone or iPad and you can only solve this issue by using the buttons on your phone, using the settings app, and using iTunes for example.
An example of a software issue that may be causing your home button not to work properly is that your home button isn’t calibrated properly.
Calibrate your Home Button
The first thing you want to try is to calibrate your home button. This is something that Apple does recommend doing especially if your home button does click, but it’s just slow to respond.
Here’s how you do it:
- Open a stock app (an app that you’ve downloaded)
- Hold down the sleep button until ‘slide to power off’ shows up
- As soon as it does, hold down the home button
The app will close and your home button will be calibrated. Check to see if that fixed it. If your home button still doesn’t work, try the next step.
Restore your iPhone
If the home button is not working due to a software issue, then the best thing for your device is to back up and restore it.
Backing up your device will allow you to get all your data back after you finished restoring it.
Here’s how to back up your iPhone. A restore is going to take all the data off your device, update your software, and then reload the data back onto the phone. This can be done with a DFU restore. This stands for Device Firmware Update and it affects the way the hardware of your iPhone interacts with your software.
A DFU restore will involve you putting your device into DFU mode then going into iTunes and restoring your iPhone or iPad.
This process is quite long but after your phone has finished restoring, test your home button and see if it’s working. If this didn’t fix your iPhone, go to the next step.
Realign your Charging Port
There is a chance that through normal usage wear-and-tear, the charging port got misaligned moving the home button along with it.
Before I continue, beware that if you’re too feisty with your iPhone/iPad, you can damage the charging port.
Here’s what to do:
- Get an iPhone USB cable and plug it in
- Push down on the top of your iPhone just a little so that the pin connector pushes up behind the home button
- Tap the home button and remove the cable
For many people, this little hack will do the trick, but if your home button is still not responding well enough, give this next tip a try.
Clean Debris Around Home Button
Considering this is a physical button, you must remember that there’s space around it where dirt can get stuck.
For this fix, you’ll need pure isopropyl alcohol which you can find at a hardware store.
Do not use rubbing alcohol because that has water in it and will further damage your phone.
- Grab a cotton ball tissue or eyedropper
- Apply a few drops of the alcohol directly on and around the home button avoiding the screen
- Once you do, grab the end of a pencil or other narrow object and tap the home button at least 3x to allow the alcohol to get in and around the button
Give it about ten minutes to completely dry before checking to see if the alcohol solved the problem. The reason you need to use pure alcohol is that it doesn’t contain any water.
Enable Assistive Touch
I’m sorry that it had to come to this, but if the previous tips didn’t fix your home button, your final option is to enable the on-screen home button.
This will put a small button on your screen that’ll do everything your home button would normally do.
Here’s how you enable this:
- Go to Settings
- Go to General
- head on over to Accessibility
- Scroll down to Assistive touch turn it on
You’ll see a new button show up on your screen. When you tap it, you’ll get a choice of actions. For example, the home button will take you to your home screen and you can even activate Siri from this button.
If the button ever gets in the way, you can just drag it somewhere else. This solution is hardly ideal, but it could hold you over until you’re ready to buy a new phone or get it repaired.
Try Different Areas of the Button
Another thing you can try is to use different areas of the home button. If your home button hasn’t been working, this may be due to a specific location on your home button that may have failed.
To test this, keep circulating around your home button in case it’s only one spot that works. If you find one spot that works, you can continue to use this spot to access your iPhone or ipads home button or you could just get your device repaired so all parts of your home button are functional.