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If your iPhone home button is not working or has become unresponsive, we have some possible fixes to share with you. We have come across that some users do seem to have persistent issues with the home button on iPhone 5. And we all know the story behind the home buttons in older devices like the iPhone 4 and 3GS where it used to get clogged and unresponsive after a while.

You may also like to read: How to use iPhone & iPad with broken power button.

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Well, the thing is, it happens. May be due to a calibration defect or perhaps due to the dust and the moisture after prolonged use. While reasons aren't clear, the solutions can help you fix an unresponsive home button on your iPhone 5/4S/4 and other iOS devices.

iPhone Home Button Not Working

Recalibrating The Home Button

Recalibrating the home button appears to fix the issue for a majority of the users. It happened with our iPhones here. When the home button gets a bit tricky and unresponsive, this is what we usually do:

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  • Open an app. Any default iOS app. (Weather, Clock etc.)
  • Hold the Sleep/Wake button (Power) till the ‘Slide to power off' appears
  • Now press and hold the home button till the slide goes away and you get to the homescreen.
  • (You'll notice that the app is closed)

This should fix the calibration issues and make the home button work better. Of course, while the thing works well, the calibration appears to wane away after sometime. For some, this happens within a week or so. For some, this happens after several weeks or months.

Cleaning / Dusting

Sweat causes moisture. There's dust all around. And with the kind of little spaces that the home button's edge has, it is very much possible that the unresponsiveness is due to dust clogged in it. Usually, repair takes up a lot of time and money so you can try cleaning the thing yourself.

One of the best ways to clean the home button without having to play around with the screws is to just press the button and air dust it. This usually blows away some of the clog dust and helps you get back some good responsiveness with the home button.


Accessibility / AssistiveTouch

Assistive Touch Settings on iPhone

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Developer: Dhvanesh Adhiya
Price: Free+

Accessibility has an option called Assistive Touch. You can enable this to have a virtual home button on the screen. To enable this:

  • Open Settings
  • Go to General
  • Now, scroll down and tap on Accessibility
  • Scroll down again and tap on AssistiveTouch
  • Turn it ON

A small black button shows up on the bottom-left of the screen. Tap this, and you'll have the home button listed amongst three other options.

Below is a quick video showing how to use AssistiveTouch as replacement:

Reset / Repair / Replace

Reset All Settings on iPhone

If all else fails:

  • Reset: go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. Have a data backup just in case.
  • Repair: If you really need the home button back but none of the above methods work for you.
  • Replace: If it's a new iPhone within the replacement period, go ahead and get it replaced right away!
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Jignesh Padhiyar is the founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad.

  • patricia

    this works fine if it did not shut itself off.

  • Jeremy Styler

    Hi, I broke my phone, the home button fell out making it unusable and the screen was stuck in messages so I was unable to return to home screen. I finally realised I could reach home screen a very long way around by;
    – dragging the top “today/notifications” screen down
    – scrolling to bottom
    – tapping “weather” which opens internet
    – tapping the airdrop symbol
    – tapping “add to home screen”
    then the home screen opens.
    Very long way around but useful when no other way worked!

  • GingeeDoo

    I just don’t get it. Why sometimes the home button works just fine, other times it does not work at all….

  • ltamborrell

    I just have this problems and it happened right after I replaced the power and proximity flex of my iPhone 4S, I did not touched the dock assembly or nothing to do with the home button except the cable that goes from the dock assembly to the mother board.

    I’ve tried calibration and I also cleaned the home button with a bit of alcohol, any suggestions?