iPhone Bugs: Home Button not working?

Several of our readers (and one of our editors...) are reporting a bug where the iPhone Home Button does not always respond to single-click or double-clicks. It might be software related as most people seem to have begun noticing this problem after installing iOS 4.1. It was hoped the bug would be fixed in iOS 4.2.1 but no such luck. Other causes that have been considered include a hardware short or dust or lint getting under the button. Ally also mentions that it may be caused by the home button not being properly centred. Possible symptoms and fixes, after the break.

Is your iPhone Home Button not working properly?

Issues (intermittent)

  • You single or double-click and nothing happens
  • You double-click and it only registers a single click

Fixes

Yes, it is as bleak as it is annoying. Have you had this bug yourself? Any other fixes you've tried?

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector, Review, and Isometric podcasts, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Dow.

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iPhone Bugs: Home Button not working?

1160 Comments

that actually works!! i can't believe it! thanks so much! i've been annoyed and frustrated with this stupid home button for so long! you're awesome! :)

if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

So I have in iTouch, not an iPhone. The Home button is completely unresponsive. I can't try the above steps because I have no 'Emergency Call' feature. Any ideas?

Hi Surdy,
It worked for me,Really brilliant tip,Even Apple did not help out on this home button problem they simply refused.Now iam able to access home screen smoothly.
Thanks a ton
Jasper David.India

Just saved me $299, was gonna go buy new iphone 5 when it comes out because I was tired of spraining my thumb every day ; )

Thank you so so so much! It has been annoying me having to click the home button a number of times to get it to work but plugging it into the computer and canceling the voice control seemed to work a treat!

This seems to have worked! Can't thank you enough!
Edit: false alarm, couldn't Home out of web browser just now.. Well, thanks anyway :)

Doesn't work for me. I've been having problems with the home button since I bought it almost a year ago. But my wife has never had a problem with her iPhone bought at the same time. It was just occassionally at first, but now it has gotten really obnoxious. I'm taking it in before my warranty is up.

Or get some canned air and air out the connection port (at bottom of phone for charging/connecting). If you look in there, get the air to go into the little holes on either side of the wall. May need to "re-air" multiple times get function back. If still not working with all these tips, take to an authorized Apple store where they can disassemble it and clean the contacts. Oils, lint and dirt can accumulate between the contacts of button and circuit board over time and amount of use.

Amazing! Thank you, I seriously did not expect that to work! Thought it was going to be time for a new iphone :)

Uptil now, your trick is working with awesome accuracy. Thanks aloot as I was very happy with my iPhone but this problem almost made me against having an iPhone. :-D

Excellent! You just saved me a trip to the Apple Store. You are the best man>>>>any more troubleshooting tips?

It worked for mine too! Amazing... saves me standing in line at apple in the am as i have been dealing with this damn button issue for over a month, thanks so much

Tried this many times and it wasn't working for me. The tip I have is persistence. First I held very lightly as suggested below. When the application returned I thought it had worked.
Silly me - you need to hold longer like the suggestion says until the icon screen returns. Takes a little but it works. Cool indeed - thanks.

This worked for me, but it only gave me a few uses of the button before stopping again.
However, to seal the deal, I tried a hard re-set (hold home + power till apple logo appears) and THAT WORKED! Not had any problems since! (touch wood!)
However, as an odd side affect, it turned the lock sounds on, when I've never had them on for like 3 years... strange... But who cares, it works now. Thanks man!

Wow that worked awesome. If only I had done this earlier, I was all ready to replace my phone.

I tried all of that and it did not work. Then i found something that did. plug in your phone to your computer as soon as u do so hold the home button down and the voice control will apear press cancel and bam it reset my home button and has been working great since.

Thanks mate, you saved my day!!!
The Prboricua818 method stopped working after 3 times reset-a-day.

The power button reset did not work for me - but this plug in / voice control process did. THANKS!!

Awsome Man you are Great saver I was thinking there is some Hardware as my Phone is 1.5 year old :-) it worked like charm.

WOOW, this ACTUALLY works !!!! I spent 65 bux to try & fix this, the guy couldnt do it, sed he replaced the home button, I got RIPPED off, I was about to go spend some MORE money to fix it and THIS is working, so far !! I hope it stays working, THANKS SOO MUCH !!!!!

Seriously... I just couldn't imagine such a tip would ever fix a 'seem-to-be-hardware' issue with the iPhone... complete dead Home Button... but, it worked perfectly! Home Button back operational. Thanks Sdgods...

i tried this but it might sound obvious but my home button doesnt work therefore i cant start the voice contol in order to fix it

Doesn't work for me! Methinks this is a hardware issue. Welldone to all those that have succeeded, my frustration continues. And to top it all it started malfunctioning exactly on the day after warranty expired!!!
Coincidence??? hmm...

wow! this worked!! thank you sooooooooooooooooo much! especially for saving me $40.00 ....you are wonderful! thanks again

OMG! This worked for me! Thank you soooo much! I was sad that the short cut to playing music when my ipod touch is locked didn't worked! >< BUT NOW IT DOES!!! ♥

I didn't think this would work, but it did. Now my sore fingers can start to heal. Surprised the button works at all after how hard I had to push it.

Magic!!!! So easy, too! I <3 Apple cuz there's always a quirky trick like this that fixes the problem!!!

Magic!!! I love how Apple always has neat little ways to fix issues like this! Now I get to tell my Dad how easy it was for me to fix since he just had to get a new phone when his droid's buttons stopped working & they didn't carry his model anymore...

When I read this, I didn't believe it, but this definitely works. Thanks for the tip. I'm glad Apple gave us a way to do this - I thought my phone was broken.

I could not catch your point. can you explain further. we press home voice control appears then we press cancel and at the same time we press home?

Thank you, along with the physical connecter advise by Killer Woo above, did your suggestion and the button works like new now. Much thanks!

I'm not sure if any of this actually works but I found that there is a certain way you need to double tap the home button.
It seems like you have to hold the home button down a little longer (maybe a 1/2 a second) then you would expect before letting go and tapping the button again.
Play around with it. You'll get it eventually.

it worked only for about 5 minutes and then it went back onto not responsive. I know it is not the hardware. I still here the clicking and the feel of pressing the home button is normal. I truly believe it is the software of the home button. Any other solutions I could try?

OMG I LOVE YOU!!!! thank you so much.. I was getting so annoyed with my home button.. I thought it was not fixable with out sending it off.. I restored because of slow processing but it didnt fix it then I tried your trick and it worked.. your amazing!

I must have tried this a hundred times and it never worked once. What did work, was closing all of the apps running in the background, and restarting the phone.

Pure Awesomeness!! I tried thi producedure as well as the voice control calibration and my iPhone is BACK!! Thank You Much

For months I have been battling this issue, trying everything. I was about to have a repair shop replace the button until I read this and, it worked!

eveyone says the power button procedure didn't work and the home button did, but for me it was the other way around! maybe it's a matter of doing both...who knows...I tried the home button and I thought it worked for like 5 secs...so I did the power button one, and now it seems to work fine! muchas gracias boricua!

I just tried this after being frustrated for the last week about the home button issue. It worked like a charm for me. Passed this along to a couple of my friends who have the same issue. Thanks!!!

Amazing!!! My thumb and Home Button have been battling for months! This fix worked beautifully! Thanks for the tip

There is an easier way:
Plug in the cable to charge the iphone.
Press the home button until the voice commands activates.
Click on Cancel and go back out to home screen.
Your home button should now be working. I tried it last night and it miraculously works like new.

I updated to 4.3.4 a few days back, hoping the sticky home button would come out of its slumber. Nothing seem to work. Is anybody listening at APPLE ?

if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

the power button technique did not work i was mad but kept reading and as suggested blew in my phone and what do u kno it worked!!!

This has happened to me several times. I find that turning the phone completely off and waiting a moment before turning it back on is helpful.

I am having the same issue with the home button not responding to the first couple clicks. As long with that issue I'm also having a problem with my voice command coming up and calling random numbers on its own. I could be texting and the next thing you know, the message board closes out and the voice command comes up and then closes and turns the search for the phone on. I have restored the phone back to its original settings, but as it syncs it says that the iphone is in recovery mode and now I cannot use it. Please help!!!

if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

there is something i am missing here..
i have my passcode on, i will open an app, if i pressed the power button i will slide to turn off not to unlock..!!!

Just try not to hold the power button..
Click it just one, for a fraction of a second..
It will eventually go to sleep and then click it again..
After pressing the emergency call button and then back, enter ur passcode ..

Here is another solution I have discovered. If you plug your sync cable into the phone and press the Home Button, it will start working again. Then, just unplug the cable. You don't even have to be charging or have it connected to your computer to have this work. I think inserting the sync cable shifts or resets something that then allows the Home Button to function again.

Oh my God, thank you! I've tried everything on here-the restore, the slapping, the power button and this was the only one that worked!

i phone 4 keys [P L X { DELETE]] not working. its new phone & i sent to technician /agent also they saying display must change & there is no guarantee for display the coast around 25 KD [$75] ..
any solution pls...?
thanks..

Both my husband and me had it, mine seemed to correct itself after a few days buy my husband's still temperamental. He is just trying to restore factory settings.

if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

Tried this and the first time it worked but when I went to take the passcode off it stopped working! I've tried everything and it still won't work...

I've tried restoring, updates and even a hard reset three times! And I'm still having this problem..
I'm leaving town for 3 days and hate having to think about the frustration this is going to cause!

if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

1) Connect with USB cable to charge your iPhone4
2) Hold Home button till Voice Control show up
3) Now press Cancel and your Home button should be reactivate.

1) Connect with USB cable to charge your iPhone4
2) Hold Home button till Voice Control show up
3) Now press Cancel and your Home button should be reactivate.

Should we really have to blow, slap, restore, etc a $200-$500 phone?! I'm sorry, but I'm super irritated with Apple for this hardware glitch, and the fact that I have to drive 2 hours to an Apple store to get it replaced. How long is the warranty?? I've only have phone for about 5 months and so far today I've restored, blew into charger slot, recalibrated the home button and none of them seem to be long-term solutions, as I keep having to do them over and over. I certainly don't want to have to do the thigh slap for the next year and a half of my contract, ya know?!

if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

Slapping: didn't work.
Blowing: didn't work.
Pinching: didn't work.
Holding down the power button until the power slide popped up then holding down the home button: didn't work.
NOTHING worked! :(
Power button does NOT work at all. Help
Me :'(

if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

hi
thanks for the smacking advice damn phone blew in it nothing vacumed it nothing slapped against my thigh a good few times hey presto the home button worked like a charm

I tried resetting network settings, blowing the charging slot with air can, and the holding power button then home button but the Two slaps across my thigh worked for me. Thanks! Hopefully I don't have to keep doing this after time.

if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CentHub.com

NO MORE SLAPPING !!
if u have a problem with ur homescreen button..
then here's a trick..

  1. turn ur "passcode on" with any combination.
  2. open any application.(ur homescreen button is not working, but power button would help).
  3. press the power button and slide to unlock.
  4. before entering ur combination/lock code, press "emergency call" and then click "back".
  5. and now enter ur combination code.
  6. BINGO!!! there's ur homescreen.

Tried turning in and off - didn't work. Tried blowing - didn't work.
Pressed hard just to left and right of home button- works now.

My phone is brand-stinking-new, just out of the box a few hours ago, and it is doing this. Beyond frustrating.

Crazy. I can't believe I just slapped such a "delicate, expensive" device... and it worked. Makes me ill, actually. Should never have to resort to that!

I just recently had my iphone replaced last week. Not only did my home button work but my lock button wouldnt either. When i went to the apple store, they said that my phones entire structure was loose. Thats the case for most of you. All of these tips are just quick fixes. Just go to apple and tell them your problem. They will replace it for free if you got your phone with in a year.
*make sure you back up your phone first(:

I have the same problem...but Its working when I use the charger...Its strange and I hope they fix it!

my home button has just completly stopped working. every time i want to go to a different app, i have to shut the whole phone down. i don't really see why it's doing this, it hasn't been exposed to a damp environment, and it is in a case..so really there isn't a explanation i can think of. i'm going to try sync it with the computer when i get home, but if this does not work, i'm going to have to get it replaced. meaning i will loose all my music i've brought on my phone (over £200 worth!) and all my apps too. not happy at all.

If anyone has run out of ideas flick the home button with your finger and dirt should come up from under the button. flick hard until stuff stops coming out.
Bit brutal but worked like a charm for me

My iPhone 4 home button is not responding and being really slow. I restored my fone And it didn't help . Really aggravated . Never had these problems with the 3gs

i had to restart my ipod atleast 4times. it worked. but whenever i plug my ipod to the cpu and when i get a notification to slide thing freezes. whenever i plug headphones it messes up one side. a week or 2 later it messes up the whole thing. im going to apple to get it fixed or just replace it.

Wow!
The power button/home button trick worked for me! I took my iPhone 4 to the genius bar and they wanted me to do a fresh install, not a restore. He said I was low on memory. I have tried to keep my free memory to 300+ Mb and home button was still goofy. I didn't do the restore. A real PITA to put everything
back etc. I thought I was going to be locked out of my phone as the home button was getting worse. Thanks all for your posts and advice here. My home button works perfectly!

Crikey thank you SO much! I was about to use an old Nokia as iPhone home button wouldn't work. I did have to do a combination of slap, blowing, emergency call..........but it works now! Thanks

Thanks for saving me a trip to the Apple Store! The home button has been making me batty.

Another happy slapper. My granddaughter was driving me crazy because her home button stopped working. Tried any and every gimmick I could find on the web. You name it - I tried it. I'll be, the slapping technique worked. Go figure. Besides, it felt really really good giving her phone a few good slaps!

Yep, been trying everything so far, nothing worked. I just read "slap", did it, and it's now working. I feel stupid now.

I have a question actually. What happens to all of the apps you have bought if you restore your phone? I have them backed up on my iTunes but will I create the same problem again? Help!

I didn't try any of the fixes below, I just had mine replaced. Thank goodness, because it was two weeks before the 1yr warrenty expired. No questions asked at the apple store. they just said there is no way to fix it so they gave me a new one. I would have tried the below if I had seen this earlier, but happy apple replaced it. Should last me another year, I hope.

Not iphone, but ipod touch 4g having problems with button essentially dying! Bought it in Dec 10 and dust had it replaced under warranty

My home button stopped working at all a few days ago after getting less responsive over the last few weeks. then miraculously, it started working again a few days ago. It just stopped working about an hour ago. I'm off to the Apple store in a bit to try and talk them into replacing it as it is only a few months old. Fingers crossed.

Jailbreak ur iPhone/iPad/itouch and try downloading the app from Cydia named "ACTIVATOR"..
Its the best app for homescreen buttons' solution i've seen until now..

Wow, this is total bullcrap and I can't believe all you people fell for this.
Step 4, how exactly do you press and hold the home button "lightly"? You either press and hold it or you don't, there's no "lightly" way. Or at least the phone has no way to register if the press&hold is light or hard.
Next, to prove this is total BS, you don't even have to do anything during step4 and you'll see the phone eventually returns to home screen by itself, after about 20 seconds. Yeah, that's some home button calibration!
Gotta love placebo!

I updated all my apps and it has working well. Imagine I'm going "home" by pressing the home Button like it's gonna break the button! Now, all better after updating all apps

A colleague mentioned a fix for this problem and it has worked so far. His theory is it is a problem with background apps.
Double click the home button repeatedly until you get the set of running apps St the bottom. Press and hold until they start jiggling then press the minus against them all one by one. This shuts down the apps running in the background.
Then click home again and you should find everything is back to normal.
Hth

Just make sure that you restart the phone after you shut down all running apps, but other than that, this worked for me.

I faced the same issue. I had to push my home button very hard to make it work.
Went to genius bar @ the apple store in Paris and they changed my Iphone 4 for a brand new one.
Apple rocks!!!

After trying Prboricua818's suggestion it looked like it had worked, but it wasn't long before the problem reappeared and it wouldn't go away this time. So, I setup an appointment with the Genius Bar and, even though I couldn't replicate the problem in the store (as is always the case), they replaced the phone on the spot! Very impressed!

When mine does it I just restart it 2 or 3 times. Make sure your service and 3G turns back on before you slide to unlock.

I tried both of these tricks and they worked... Temporarily. Everyone is probably going to think I'm absolutely retarded for mentioning this, but for me it turned out to be a simple thing: I hadn't manually closed out of my apps and had been using the "Home" button instead. After I manually closed out of a year's worth of apps, my home button was working like new! Yes, I'm embarrassed for not knowing this sooner, but hey, I might not be alone!
1) Double tap the home button to get to the shortcut bar @ the bottom of your screen (my somewhat-broken home button needed to be tapped a FEW times, but eventually I got there)
2) Once the shortcuts (4 at a time) are displayed, tap and hold your finger over one of them until a red circle with a minus sign appears on the top left corner.
3) From there, tap the minus sign to manually exit out of the app! You will have to do this for each app that's open.
And, no, exiting out of the "clock" app will not mean that your alarm won't go off. It will still work!

Just plugging the charger into the phone when connected to the computer did it for me. Not a definitive fix but one that seems to work for me.

Seems odd, my wife and I both have had our iPhone 4 for just over a year, warranty up and now home button is sticking (completely rules out the option that it is based on lint, potentially an OS but my suspicion is that it is a hack)
Whether it is an apple employee or other I can't presume to know.
So how many are having this problem with new phones - or are you just past your year warranty?

I noticed sometimes after I update my phone the home button stops working. I either have to plug in and unplug again or restart. Some apps may also cause it to seem less responsive... memory issue? I close all my apps except the essential ones and it seems better.

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