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What To Do if your iPhone Home Button Stops Working

What To Do if your iPhone Home Button Stops Working

If you have an iPhone 6 or older with a hardware Home button you will likely have experienced it not working at least once since you got it. While iPhones are usually bulletproof in their reliability, this issue seems to have plagued users across the world. We here at TechJunkie have heard from quite a few iPhone owners with this very problem. So here is what to do if your iPhone Home button stops working.

There are two main reasons for a iPhone Home button not working, software or hardware issues. If it is software, we can work around it or fix it. If it is hardware, there are two workarounds but one includes a bit of work by replacing the button. There are guides that help you replace the Home button but having never done it myself, I will list a source for instructions rather than talk you through it.

One piece of good news, or not so good depending on your preference is that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7S don’t have a Home button. Instead, they utilize the screen which seems to be working quite well.

How to tell a software issue from hardware

There is one useful trick to tell whether your Home button problem is hardware or software. Press the button in all different positions to see what happens. To press it at the very top, the far left, far right and very bottom. Then press it in the center. If the button works in some positions and not others, it is likely a hardware issue.

The second way to tell if the problem is hardware or software is to fully reboot your phone. This resets the app, iOS and the Home button sensor. Test the Home button as soon as the phone boots. If the symptoms are exactly the same, it is likely hardware.

If the button works intermittently, or won’t work at all regardless of where you press, it could be software.

What to do if your iPhone Home button stops working2

Fix software issues with the iPhone Home button

If it is a software problem causing your iPhone Home button to stop working, there are a few things we can do to address it.

A buddy of mine suggested that calibrating the iPhone can fix a faulty Home button. As it takes only a couple of seconds, it is definitely worth a try.

  1. Open the Apple clock app.
  2. Hold down the sleep button until you see the power off slider then release.
  3. Hold down the Home button until it returns to the home screen.

This may work for you, it may not. As it only takes a few seconds and the alternative is a restore, it is definitely worth trying.

Backup and restore is the other way to fix a faulty Home button caused by a software issue. It takes a little longer but is more effective more often so is definitely one to consider. We will use DFU mode to do a full restore. DFU mode forces an update of all firmware and iOS.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer and back up through iTunes. Leave it connected.
  2. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and Home button together for 10 seconds.
  3. Release the Sleep/Wake button but continue holding the Home button. You should see a message in iTunes that says something like ‘iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode’.
  4. Release the Home button. The iPhone screen should be completely black. If not, repeat the entire process again.
  5. Restore your iPhone through iTunes.
  6. Reboot and retest.

Using DFU mode has risks so should be regarded as a last resort. It reloads all firmware and has the potential to brick your iPhone if it has hardware issues, damage or minor problems. Perform it at your own risk!

Software workaround. There is a simple workaround that emulates a Home button on the screen if you cannot get yours working again. If your iPhone is out of warranty or you are just waiting for a good deal on the iPhone 7, this might get you through.

  1. Navigate to Settings and General on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to Accessibility and Assistive Touch.
  3. Toggle Assistive Touch to on and software controls should appear on your screen. One of which will be the Home button.

What to do if your iPhone Home button stops working3

Fix hardware issues with the iPhone Home button

There are a couple of ways to see if your Home button can be fixed it if is a hardware issue. The first is simple and checks to see if the charging port underneath the Home button has dislodged it while the second is a complete replacement of the Home button.

First, let us check that the charging port hasn’t knocked the Home button.

  1. Plug your charger into the port on your iPhone.
  2. Hold the iPhone in one hand or lay it flat on a surface.
  3. Press down gently on the edge of the connector where it meets the cable. The intent is to push the other end of the connector upwards inside the phone.
  4. Press the Home button while pushing on the connector to see if it works.

This is a simple but very effective test. If you have owned your iPhone for a while, the connector port will have gone through a lot. It may have become loose, or ever so slightly dislodged. This test will prove or disprove that. If your Home button begins working again, repeat this process every time it begins not responding. It isn’t a permanent fix but it can keep you going for a while.

The only other way I know to fix a hardware fault with the iPhone Home button is to replace it. If your phone is still under warranty, get Apple to do it. If it isn’t, you can either do it yourself or take it to a phone store and have them do it.

If you want to replace your own Home button, this guide is supposed to be very good. A level of confidence is definitely needed to replace it yourself but would be immensely satisfying to do if you have the skills. It would be much cheaper too!

So now you have a few options if your iPhone Home button stops working. Got any other solutions? Tell us about them below if you do!

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Jun 5, 2017

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