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Fixing an unresponsive home button on iPhone or iPad.

iPhone Home Button

From time to time, the iPhone Home button can become less responsive to clicks, and pressing the button will either result in a delay, lag, or sometimes complete unresponsiveness requiring multiple clicks. While this could be symptomatic of a hardware issue caused by moisture damage or dropping the phone, sometimes you can fix the response problem with the following sequence:

  • Open a default iOS application, such as Stocks, Calculator, or Weather
  • Press and hold down the Power button until the “Slide to Power Off” dialog appears, then release
  • Now press and hold the Home button until the “Slide to Power Off” screen disappears, force quitting the application

Why this works to fix the buttons responsiveness isn’t entirely clear, because the procedure actually just force quits the application you launched in the first step. This procedure supposedly recalibrates the Home button. Whatever is going on behind the scenes, it does seem to work and definitely has made mine seem to respond quicker.

This should also help the iPad and iPod touch home buttons as well. If you try this and still have problems with the home button being unresponsive, you may just need to get it repaired.

You can sometimes fix an unresponsive Home button by force quitting apps, but that doesn’t always work. If your iOS devices home button is completely broken then you can use an accessibility feature called Assistive Touch to enable a virtual home button instead, this lets you use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod even if the button is physically incapable of being pressed due to damage or whatever else. Here is how to turn this feature on:

    1. Open “Settings” and go to “General”, then tap on “Accessibility”
    2. Under “Physical & Motor” tap on “Assistive Touch” and then flip the switch to ON

Workaround for a broken home button

  1. Look for the new assistive touch button to appear in the lower right corner, tap that to access the virtual home button

Enable a Software Home Button in iOS if the Home button is broken

This is the only way to continue using an iOS device with a broken home button without repairing the home button itself.

If you’re stuck in an app you can’t get to the home screen because the button is broken, just turn the device off and on again and you’ll boot directly to the home screen where you can then launch Settings.


By Paul Horowitzi
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This entry was posted on July 3, 2012 by in ipad, osxdaily, Tablets, tip and tagged , , , , , , , .
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