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


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

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!


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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Reader comments

iPhone Bugs: Home Button not working?



I have had this issue too. It’ll work for a while and then stop working and then work for a while and then stop working. It finally seemed to stop working at all and I had to turn the phone off any time I wanted to exit an app. I went online and saw several suggestions, such as tap the back of the phone right behind the home button or turn off the phone and put rubbing alcohol on my thumb and rub the home button in an effort to remove any oil or dirt that had gotten inside. But then I saw something that made sense and it worked. Go to Settings, General, Accessibility, Assistive Touch and turn it on. A transparent menu will appear on your screen and one of the features is a Home Button. This Home Button will stay on your screen, transparent, and can be used in place of the home button at the bottom of the phone. If it seems to be in the way of a game or an icon you wish to use, you can drag it somewhere else on your screen. I have found it very useful and helpful, especially when I was at a point where I felt I could no longer use my phone efficiently. I hope this information helps and is useful to you.

Thank you sooo much, i have been suffering with the home button not working for sometime now & thanks to Michelle that Assistive touch option works a treat! thank you sooo much!

Michelle, you rock! You just saved me an hour drive to my nearest Apple store where I probably would have been told I'm out of luck! :-)

I found I can fix mine by plugging it in and tilting the cord up towards the front of my phone. I will hear a click and the home button will work after that, but I am having to do that more and more often... to the point it is ridiculous. Thanks to Michelle I now have a 'new' home button on my screen!! Thanks!

This solved the problem for me too. I put in the powercord and jiggled it up and down a bit, careful not to bend it. I didn't hear anything like you said you did, but even so the button started responding again after this exercise. Thanks a lot, JERIB.

my home button also doesn't work i used your tip on my ipod 4.1 but it didnt work the assistive touch doesnt exist in my setting :/ what can i do please help !

You. Are. My. Hero! My thumb has been sore for weeks from pushing down on the stupid button so hard. I'm so happy I could almost cry!

Thank you Michelle~
My home button just stopped working and I was NOT happy! Thank you for this...I feel back to "normal" again! ;)

I think everyone else's comments say it all!!! Your advice was by far and away and beyond a shadow of a doubt the most useful piece of advice ever published on the internet - 3 months of struggling with this infuriating fault and now back to normal. And you know what is weird!! The real home button is now working too!! What's that about? Hero, star, saviour - take your pick!!!
Thanks so much,

Absolutely stellar, Michelle! Many thanks from HK for a simple but effective solution to a most frustrating problem.

I spent over 4 hours restoring my iphone trying to get the home button to work with no luck. Thank you so much Michelle, your suggestion really works.

Thank you!!! It is soooo annoying! Always happens when you are trying to accomplish something too & time is short. Much appreciated!!! Well... Must shut my phone off now to leave this screen. :)

Thanks, Michelle. I just got my 3GS phone today and the home button is not working. At least it won't drive me crazy tonight. Tomorrow, it goes back.

THANK YOU MICHELLE!!! Now I can wait for the IPHONE 5 to come out before getting a new one! I have researched the internet for over an hour now on how to fix this and this is the only thing that has helped. Crazy that such a smart phone has such a simple problem... Thanks again

If your device is jailbroken, download Activator. It would let you make new "commands" for iphone, for an example double tapping the clock would simulate a click on the home button, or double clicking sleep button.
(There's always the problem of not being able to jailbreak the iphone cause of no home button, but just do this if it's already jailbroken!)

Thank you very much really happy with my phone now. I sent my phone to apple service it came back today .they said nothing is wrong then why the button is playing up annoying but now thanks to u I haven't got a problem.love from London

Michelle, I don't know who you are, but THANK YOU!!!! I was going nuts. Normally i'm very patient, but this was driving me crazy. I'm sure it will take a little getting used cause my brain will automatically default to the middle, but thank you thank you thank you.

Thanks Michelle for the Assistive Touch tip... My home button hasn't been working for some time. Since I am waiting to see if a new iphone will come out soon, I haven't upgraded yet. This helps a lot;)

Thank you so much for this! I tried it and now I have been using. I am not about to buy another phone just because my home button is not working properly. This tip really helps me!!! Thank you again for posting this!

Thank you so much. I was ready to toss this iPhone into the lake. I appreciate the quick fix!

Thank you! Never even thought of checking for something like that :) obviously the home button is more practical, but this is defo the next best thing!

Hey, this is a great work around, so thanks for the guidance. One question -- when I click on teh transparent Home button, it opens up into a center screen image with 4 icons included, on eof them being the home button, so when I tap on the home button there, it brings me there. Just wondering -- is that how it works for you? A two step tap process to get you to main screen? Just wondering. Thx.

That is the best option if everything fails . I had this problem right after my phone's warranty got over in 2011 .. And i tried this .. Its the best you can do ..!! :)

So, I'm not alone. And here I thought it was the result of my JB after upgrading to 4.1.
It's intermittent, and not too annoying, YET.

I thought it was just me. Sometimes I'll hit the home button twice expecting to get the app switcher bar, and I get the search page instead. And sometimes when I'm in an app, I hit the home button twice, and I get the home screen. I hope Apple fixes this. It is very annoying, and kind of defeats the ease of app switching, with all of the extra button presses to get where you want to be.

I had this problem with my iPhone 4 and waffled between thinking it was software related issue and a hardware related one. I finally couldn't stand it any longer (a sporadically working home button gets really annoying) and had the phone swapped out at the Genius Bar.
Anyway, problem for me was 100% hardware related as I haven't had a single instance of home button failure since the swap. It was well worth the effort to swap in my case. I'm running 4.1 BTW.
Rob Terry

Rob, what did you tell them at the G Bar? Cuz I'm having the same problem, but I'm worried if I say the wrong thing, that they'll tell me there's nothing they can do, just to save themselves a phone. :/

Another one who "thought it was just me." Exact same issues -- I tap, or double-tap, the home button, and I never really know what the heck is going to happen. Either the search page pops up, or app switcher, or nothing. It's getting increasingly frustrating.

I have had this issue too. It'll work for a while and then stop working and then work for a while and then stop working. It finally seemed to stop working at all and I had to turn the phone off any time I wanted to exit an app. I went online and saw several suggestions, such as tap the back of the phone right behind the home button or turn off the phone and put rubbing alcohol on my thumb and rub the home button in an effort to remove any oil or dirt that had gotten inside. But then I saw something that made sense and it worked. Go to Settings, General, Accessibility, Assistive Touch and turn it on. A transparent menu will appear on your screen and one of the features is a Home Button. This Home Button will stay on your screen, transparent, and can be used in place of the home button at the bottom of the phone. If it seems to be in the way of a game or an icon you wish to use, you can drag it somewhere else on your screen. I have found it very useful and helpful, especially when I was at a point where I felt I could no longer use my phone efficiently. I hope this information helps and is useful to you.

Thanks this works for me, my iPhone 3GS stopped responding to the home button yesterday! But this fixed my problem. Although only a temporary fix it does the job.

My iPhone 4 does not have this assisted touch mode? Is there something I need to install first? Please help x

I have this too, I find it extremely annoying. Running stock iOS 4.2.1. Intermittent though so I can walk into an Apple store to have them fix it if it works when they look at it. Just been dealing with it for now. My alarm works fine since yesterday.

I'm actually having a problem where a single click registers as a double click as well as the unresponsive clicking. I've been meaning to swap my phone out but of course not before trying other measures. It's super annoying, honestly.

Just go get it replaced. This happened on my iPhone 3G. They just gave me a new one. I haven't experienced it on my iPhone 4. I've had one since launch day.

I'm glad to see this article. I thought it was in my imagination, or my home button was having issues because i started using new cases (iSkin Solo FX and iSkin Solo Vu).

I don't have either of the problems mentioned. I'm not jailbreaking or generally f'ing with my phone though...

I had this home button problem, dropped in at an Apple Store and they swapped my handset immediately. Therefore must be a hardware issue else they'd have made me wait for a software update. If you're having these issues I suggest you do the same. New iPhone 4 is spot on now, no probs at all.

Since having my iP4, I've found that 50% of the time when in an app, when I click the Home button once it will switch to multi-tasking. I then have to click once more to get back to my home-screen.
I did also have a time (luckily just once, for about 5 minutes)on my iPad where a single-click alsoa cted as a double-click & I was forever stuck in a multi-tasking cycle. Was ok after a hard restart.

Same here! When it works, the switcher bar is a dream, but when it doesn't, it makes the whole thing a mess. I hope I can just swap out my phone to get it to work. Thanks for noticing us!

Like Lee I thought this was a JB problem, perhaps with Activator but it's been happening since the 4.1 update. Very annoying, I'll be in an app and the majority of the time a single press will bring up the app switcher. and when the phone is locked many times a double press will bring the display up but not iPod controls. I got an Apple TV for x-mas so I'll be updating to 4.2 and JB-ing again tonight, I'll report back if that solves it.

I've had this problem on and off with my 3GS for about 10 months now. Apple replaced my faceplate and that took care of things.
Thought I was the only one!

Wow, thanks Tipb! All this while I thought I wasnt pressing they button correctly and/or my key was beginning to act up for whatever reason...

I read all of these posts and left, by clicking once on my home button, to see if I could replicate the stated problems. Here's what I experienced:
• None of my alarms have failed, including ones I created in 2011 in the Clock app.
• Double tapping the home button slowly from any screen brings up the search screen.
• Double tapping the home button quickly from any screen or within any app brings up the switcher.
• Double tapping the home button slowly from within an app that is stored in a folder brings up the contents of the folder and then closes the folder.
My take is that this is a user issue similar to using a mouse in Windows or Mac OS and double clicking an icon too slowly when attempting to open it.
Please start another discussion on how to close all of the apps in the switcher at once rather than one at a time.

well, mine and my cousin's iphone both got this bug... we tught it's a hardware issue!!!
we sold the both iphones because we dont have apple at our place.. the new iphone work perfect..
but still dont know if it's hardware or software.. we restored the software with no luck

Wow, I had this problem a month or two ago. I thought my Home button was failing on my iPhone 4. The problem has gone away the past few weeks for whatever reason but was really bad for a week or two. However like most things jailbreaking offers a good solution.
Install Activator and get some other action to simulate the press of the home button. I have it set where a slide in gesture from the screen bottom does this but you can choose whatever you want (status bar, volume buttons etc.). While it doesn't fix the problem I have piece of mind that when I have an app open and the home button isn't responding I'm not stuck. Just slide in from bottom and I'm good.
Take that Chad #TeamJailbreak

Have this problem as well - started after the most recent software update. Seems like a software issue.

very interesting. every now and then i notice the home button doing this but i thought it was me not pushing it fully.
Now i know. Must be a bug.
However if it was a bug, it must be over the different builds of iPhones because everyone would have this issue correct?

Yes! That has been happening to me for a couple months now. I always end opening the app switcher because I click multiple times.

I've ALWAYS had this problem, both with double clicks registering as single and vice versa, and have always assumed it was because of my general gimpiness and lack of coordination. I've always had the same exact problem with computer mice as well.

I had this problem and tried every restore and reset possible and they didnt work. Finally traded the phone in and havent had the problem since!

I get this intermittently as well. Have been tempted to go to an Apple Store and ask for a replacement but it happens so sporadically that I doubt I would be able to replace it for a 'genius'.
It is very annoying though, there have been times when I have been stuck in an App as the home button will not work. The only option being to power cycle the phone.

Me too. I'd genius bar it apart from the intermittent nature. Certainly seems OS based as it started happening a few months back. Like lots of you I thought it was a hardware issue (which it still might be I suppose).

Yes, my iPhone 4 has had this issue for a few weeks now; at this point, I hope it is lint or a software issue, as otherwise it would be wearing out from normal use, which would mean shoddy build quality, and not be fixable.

I thought my iPhone's Home button was broken. I guess it's just a software issue. I was planning on buying a new iPhone. Thanks for the info.

I, too, am having this problem and thought it was maybe just me or something. I'm jailbroken on 4.2, so I'm not sure it's annoying enough yet to restore, take to an Apple store, get it swapped, then re-jailbreak.
Oh, and @RobTerry, your issue still could have been software related. Getting a new phone gets you "new" software as well.

I had this problem on my 3GS. Took it to a local, independent iPhone repair company and was told it is a very common problem with the 3GS. $45 to replace the button and all is well.

Amazingly this literally just happened to my iPhone 4... I hope it's a bug and not my hardware.

LOL ... I was getting mad thinking my new iPhone4 was messed up. But I guess it sounds like a software issue. I wonder if the PUSH Notification FAIL is related to this as well.
Sometimes I click the home button and it brings up the multi task / recent used bar at the bottom.


Thanks, Georgia. I've been having this problem with my iPhone 4 and thought the button was wearing out. It's always nice to know you're not alone and that it could be software-related.

I literally just had this bug happen to me this morning for the first time. Incidentally, accidentally dropping my iPhone seemed to fix the problem :P

i had the same thing happen to mine a yest. took it to apple and because I still had the 1 year warranty I got a new one. praying this one doesn't going out on me
and yes...i had the blue hue on the camera as well

Totally thought it was just me pressing the home button too often and wearing down its responsiveness. I'm so glad I'm not alone!

Same here. Unpredictable response from Home Button is a bit annoying and more than a bit worrying as it seems the button may be wearing out with all the use it gets. Hopefully Apple cones out with a gesture based way to mirror the Home Button's function.

I've noticed it a few times, but only when initially hitting the button while the phone is asleep.

i have seen this problem for a while. i think it is hardware, as it has been around for a while.

I mentioned this to the genius when I was in last week and he had no idea what I was talking about. Some genius huh?

Did you explain what the situation was? He probably had no idea because he probably hasn't heard of this issue.

I also have this problem with my iPhone 4 running 4.2.1. I have only started experiencing this over the last few weeks. Like the other commenters, I thought it was a hardware issue but now I'm not sure. This is NOT user error as one commented suggested. I may wait to see if a software updates fixes this before hitting up the genius bar but it is becoming more and more annoying.

May just be a hardware issue, but the power button on my iPhone 3 doesn't seem to work. The phone is on, thankfully, but I can't seem to turn it off and I can dim the screen myself by hitting the button.

My wife just experienced this issue with her 3Gs, requiring a visit to the Apple Store and a screen/button replacement. Restores had no effect.

This is definitely hardware. I have been having this problem for about 4 months now and it is progressively getting worse. I have to press very hard on the button now to get it to work. But it seams like the problem goes away after using the phone for a while. I really think it is due to humidity. When I first grab the phone it is dry and hardly works. After being in my hands for a while it puts moister in the button making the contact more conductive. It has gotten consistent enough that I think I could get a replacement now. Double clicking it the most frustrating part about this flaw.

Ditto what eastbaybeast510 says. I've had this for almost as long as I've had my iPhone 4 (July 2010). Nothing seems to help it.

Coming from repairing phones, we've found that it's always one of two things...
Either users had it start happening after 4.1 (extremely odd, maybe a coincidence), or when we take the phone apart, the home button was not seated correctly and just needed to be aligned.
interestingly enough, when visiting an apple store a genius told us most swaps or repairs for previous iPhone models have to do with software glitches or broken screens, where iPhone 4 swaps almost always have to do with defective hardware. They also told us the home button and sleep buttons malfunctioning on the iPhone 4 are the number 1 issues they see.
My current iPhone 4 has the home button issue, and I've had 2 with the sleep button issue where it just stops working out of nowhere and won't recess. It's obviously an issue, Apple should really address it. I'm amazed to see such a high concentration of our readers have the issue too.
I'm just too lazy to tear mine apart and see if my home button is off center. I may just wait for an untethered jailbreak, then swap again. (Even though our local store is still giving out replacements with 4.1)

funny you mention the repair geniuses.. never had a problem with my first i4.. then the volume buttons stopped working due to hardware problem and now i get the home button bug from the refurb.. weird..

I had this problem a few months ago with my iPhone 4. I went to the Apple store and they gave me a new iPhone 4. Problem solved. FYI, I do not have Applecare.

I've had that problem for as long as I can remember since I got the 4 on launch day, maybe not since then, but I don't really remember any particular time of onset. Usually I try to double click and it just takes it as a single click, closing the app, so much for trying to multitask. Rarely it registers a double click from a single click.
I feel it's hardware related because depending on where and how hard I press the button affects how it registers. Minor annoyance though, although I could try to give Apple crap and try for a replacement if I wanted.

I've been having this problem for about weak now after I installerld 'Ask To Call' and removed my screen protector. Ive been jailbroken on 4.1 for a while. I just deleted 'Ask To Call' and did two manual rests. My home button is fine now.

I had the same problem with my iPhone 4 but I thought it was down to keep on having to keep on pressing the button for multitasking.
On the upside I woke up drunk new years day with a dead pixel on my phone so i got it changed for a new one.
No more problem's

My Home Button goes on staycation several times a day. I hit it, nothing happens. Then I hit it again and it works. Only after iOS 4.1 for me. Before that it was fine. So either post 4.1 doesn't register as well or it took a month or so for the hardware to bug out :-/

Mine has been hit or miss. Not too often but often enough to get annoyed with it. I considered taking it back to Apple for a replacement just wasn't sure I could recreate the issue at the store therefore wasting my time going down there.
This has however been happening to my fiance's phone shortly after purchasing. About a month after she cracked the back side of the phone and figured the Apple Store would place the blame on the "damage".

I've had this problem with my iPod touch (3G) and just last night with my iPad (first time; bought iPad Nov 8th 2010). Both on OS 4.2.1. So far, I just keep pressing the button & eventually it works.

Sometimes the button just isn't connecting - try and find the sweet spot. Also if your button is absolutely not working just take it to the Apple store

I was sure that it was an hardware issue. But the problem seem to fix it self when i restart the phone. Again the issue comes back after two or three weeks. But still restart helps. And i've done this couple times. The "fix" might be just coincidence but it gives hope that this is a software issue. It seems that apple has let the quality control down in 2010, in many cases. Hopefully in 2011 we see major improvements in that dept.

Its got to be the crapy magical hardware. If you use a bluetooth keyboard with the escape key / key that acts as the button it works fine.

Mine dies this too. One click registers as two and vice versa. This is my second iPhone 4 in 5 months. It works in the beginning but the acts up. Genius bar said dust and grime could get stuck so they blew compressed air. Helped a bit. But now it's back

Faulty head flex cable. its the one cable that connects Home, Sleep, Volume buttons and an audio jack to the logic board. When it breaks, it gets worse over time.

Happens to me too. Really annoying. Specialy since I have tripple-click assigned to VoiceOver. So it happens sometimes that he doesn't register the double click (multitasking bar doesn't appear) but another click activates VoiceOver... So it could be a software thing.
On the other hand: Pressing the button in the center, and not - as I was used to - a little bit on the left, seems to help also.

Started noticing this after 4.2.1, however, the issue got progressively worse to the point the button would not work at all. Factory resets and clean installs didn't help. Replaced the phone and things seem to be fine for the moment.

I've noticed another bug:
Sometimes my keyboard buttons don't match where I'm touching. My keyboard is one letter off. I press S and D pops up.
Anyone else experience this bug? Seems to be happening alongside the homescreen button bug.

I had this problem with my first iPhone phone starting with iOS 4.0 out of the box. I restored as new and tried all that and still happened quite a bit. The Apple gave me a new one in Sept and its been fine since. I see it as faulty hardware.

As my 3G is quite old (2 yo), I thought it would be just a worn button. But now I am stuck with the 4.1. Well, gotta live clicking buttons more often than usual...

I started noticing this after (I think around) 4.1 and lived with it for a while, did a restore from new, then a restore from backup later on with no effect. Eventually, Apple replaced it for me and it has been working wonderfully.

Had this on my iPhone 4. Thought it was just my clicking but surprised many experiencing it too. Another complaint is the Settings>>>General. It takes sooooo loooooong to open. Anyone else?

I think it's a memory problem. When I have lots of apps open it (home button) works very lethargically. Once I clear the multitasking tray it works fine.

Happens to me a lot, but it seems like only when I am in an app on not on the springboard pages. That leads me to beleive it is software related.

Getting the same issue and relieved that I am not the only one experiencing it. Also thought that the button was worn out

This happens when you have to many APPS open at one time, keep less then 10 apps open and you wont have a problem. I had the same problem and now everything goes good as long as I keep the Apps closed

I've had this problem spanning 3 iPhone 4's from the day of release. I noticed right off the bat that it took 3 or 4 rapid clicks of the home button to bring up the music controls when the iPhone is in screen-off mode. In all previous iPhones I've never had to do that. Always 2 solid clicks.
I just chalked it up to a heavier memory load and slower response using this feature on the iPhone 4 and went on with my life. However, if this is part of a larger problem, I'd like to see it fixed. It does happens in other instances as well (trying to bring up search, etc.).

Ditto here & running iOS 4.0 still since my i4's launch. I just deal with it. If it gets worst before June, I'm calling Apple. -)

Sometimes it happens to me too...
I'm happy to know that at least is software related and not hardware =X

This drives me in sane. Apple replaced mine once for this and i can't wait for my next day off to go to the Apple Store again.

Happened to me. It got worse, and I had the phone swapped out by a Genius. After a few months, the "new" one is exhibiting it.
In my case, it either ignores the click, or a single click registers as a double and brings up the multitasking bar.
I'm 99% sure it's a hardware problem. I think Apple uses cheap switches for the Home button, or they're not properly debounced.
Seems pretty lousy since you're forced to use the Home button so often with no softkey alternative.

I actually did the factory restore and loaded my backup a few hours ago and so far, so good.

Home button stopped working today. I uninstalled the app Voxer (which was the only app I recently installed) and after rebooting the phone, the home button is working again.

I have sorted it...... Settings - general - accessibility - then on the triple click option, turn it OFF. My phone is now perfect.... Why don't apple know this...?? Please let me know if this works for you.

It happens to mine frequently. One press won't close the open app or a double click will register as a triple click. I never really know what I'm going to get when I click. Very annoying.

This, and the slowness of my iPhone 4, have been bothering me for awhile now. How many times do I have to hit the home button for it to respond?

Happens to me occasionally like where I'm switching apps in multitasking. Sometimes I think I hit the home button twice when it didn't register my first click and kicks me out to my home screen. Gets annoying at times.

antenna gate, alarm, home button etc.....
what's next MORON.... If you can't handle the truth then sell your fuc'k'n phone. Cry babies.

And I thought I was the only one! Ha! Well I've kinda been used to it, it's not that big of a bother to me at least. Wouldn't mind getting it fixed, but it's not life or death

Not sure if this has been mentioned but I had the same problem and found that if I keep my camera app from running in the background and use it when I only needed, it fixes this problem. It's been working for me the past couple of weeks.

hey, i have never thought of this. just tried what you suggested and it really seems that the camera app is the responsible for making the home button become non-responsive. thanks for the tip, man!

Awesome! That totally worked for me too! It's setting about the camera app running in the background that does it. Maybe I'll just find a third party app to take my shots. :/

This happened to me several days after I got the iPhone 4 at the initial release. I called Apple about the problem and had a new phone the next day.

Mine is getting bad.. sometimes I attributed it to user error but just used my wife's phone the other day and noticed that her home button worked just as it should. I might bring it in to apple to see whats what

I thought this was just me! When I double click it usually registers as a single click. Makes it very hard to use "multitasking" and is very annoying...

Out of curiosity, of those experiencing this problem, how many of you have a jailbroken phone?

I thought it was some jailbreak app causing this problem but even a clean phone causes this problem!

it's dangerous! I was witness to an auto accident and the home button refused to work, had to borrow a Droid to call 911

I got my phone when it first came out but never did the 4.1 upgrade. My friend did it and started noticing the button issue. When 4.2.1 came out, I thought I'd do the upgrade and instantly noticed that I started having problems with my home button. Strange thing is I did the upgrade to my iPad as well but the home button is fine.

Maybe one time in twenty or so the home button will fail to register for me, or a double-click will register as a single click. I can't decide if this is hardware or software. It maybe some of both. On the one hand it does seem worse when memory is low, but on the other hand it also seems worse when the phone is cold/dry/has been sitting unused. After using the phone for a while it seems to work fine, but that could me anything. Some dirt or corrosion or something is cleaned away from the switch contacts after a while, or the humidity is improved after it's been in my hand a while. But after using it a while the OS will also be "primed" to "hear" the button better/faster (ie, it could be the memory thing too). I find hitting the button more slowly and deliberately helps too, but again I think this is consistent with either a software or hardware explanation.
I too worry that a Genius Bar visit would be a waste of time because of the intermittent nature of the problem. That, and I hate getting a replacement. The restore is always a pain.

P.S. Just did some testing while sitting here. Been using the phone so it's warm, primed, and at least somewhat humid (thought it's very dry where I am today). Again, seems to miss a click one in every 10 to 30 times.

Add me to the list. The problem seems to me like software because it happens most often after exiting out of Settings. I get it right after exiting Facebook sometimes too. Or sometimes I get the first click not waking it up from sleep. Every so often it acts like it saved my extra click. Like I click once on the home button, nothing happens, I click it again and I get all the way to the search screen. It's like it's registering the click but doesn't do anything with it.
My first attempt at a replacement was unsuccessful. I'm going to try again tomorrow morning.

My home button is tempermental ! It was unresponsive on last Saturday afternoon for about 10 minutes. It was again unresponsive last night for about 10 minutes.Then, it was unresponsive tonight for about 10 minutes. I tried rebooting it (by pressing the on/off button and home button for 10 seconds), it did not immediately cure the unresponsiveness.
Should i just get a replacement? it is only 4 months old and it is throwing tantrums! :(

I have been havinhg this problem for at least 6 months now, at first thought it was hardware, but then it was intermittent, then after a recent trip overseas where I had 3G off, I noticed that the problem generally went away. On further inspection it seems that whatever causes it is just waiting for something to complete processing/downloading in the background before activating the home button....we've all clearly become impatient thanks to the normal speed of the home button and are just clicking away too fast!! ....or at least too fast given this issue. To prove this, switch your phone onto airplane mode and see if it mostly goes away.
I have previously been into Apple and they tried to tell me I had water damage under the button in the power plug hole (based on their little UV torch inspection) and was told that I should claim on insurance for a new phone. Based on my new findings I intend to do some more research, perhaps this time on downloading sluggishness, but otherwise head in again and take a fresh approach in demonstrating the issue. More info if I get any.
Some of the above mentioned fixes, hard reset, restore etc. may of course solve the problem, but only temporarily. Hope this helps.

I seriously think it's a hardware issue. The home button wasn't engineered well enough for double-clicks. I have to push hard and fast to get a successful response. With the extensive use my 3GS gets I think the button has become 'tired'. People are experiencing it with iOS 4 because it's the first time that the double-click has seen extensive use. Rumors are Apple is replacing the button with multiple touch gestures in future models.

I have same problem as everybody else on my iPhone 4 :
Home button reacts weird

  • It reacts and does not what you intended
  • It does not react, you need to click again then it reacts
  • Double click sometimes takes me to search or first page from the springboard and if i am lucky it takes me to the multitasking bar.

I noticed that my dads iPhone 4 when movin my finger from the left to the right of the home button it's smooth. On mine i feel the home button is a bit lowered down, i can clearly see and feel the difference.
This might be the issue.

I notice that too! my brothers iphone 4 home button feels real smooth as well as my other friends iphone. he works for at&t and said i should go to apple to see it checked out but i feel like ill waste my time because it happens here and there but im determine to go have it looked at. my iphone is jail-broken by the way you think that has anything to do with it?

On a related note: My 3GS home button got stuck because my 3 year old daughter applied some unidentified foodstuff into it.
So I liberally sprayed the button with contact cleaner (designed for electronics, no grease etc), which solved the problem nicely.
BUT the contact cleaner also found its way between the LCD and the glass. Didn't evaporate either. I got pretty rainbows all over the display! I had to disassemble the phone and clean the glass very carefully using a microfiber tissue.

Happened ALL the time to me what I do is this
Hold down both buttons and wait or the apple logo
Keep holding
Once the logo goes away let go of both buttons
Then turn on the phone

I had this similar problem before and got it replaced, and sure the exact problem appeared on my replacement phone. So I can safely say that this is not a hardware issue. I repeat it is not a hardware issue. This issue is a sofware issue and can only be fixed through the future update that Apple releases.
Reason why I'm saying this is because I have experience this issue as well. When I push the home button once, sometimes it does not respond, or sometimes it acts like I pushed it twice. same for when I push it twice, sometimes it doesn't respond or acts as if I only pushed it once. Now after reading this issue, I have noticed that this only happened on 4.2.1, and not any previous ones. so 4.1 worked perfectly fine. So right now do not say that it is a hardware problem, because if you do get it replaced, that same problem will come back on your replacement phone. Thus you can rule out that it isn't a hardware problem.
Some advice. Only take it to the genius bar if it's a hardware related. If you happen to replace the phone and realized that it wasn't a hardware problem. It will only make the matters worse and give you a headache. What I would do is just live with the issue, until iOS4.3 comes out. It is a software related issue. SO if 4.3 did not fix the issue then go to the apple store and talk to them about it. I'm sure they may try to help you by just restoring your phone, or replacing your phone on the spot. good luck.

Also I would like to add that with my new replacement phone, it does not happen all the time but only a few times. This is something I can deal with but if it does it all the time then that is something I cannot deal with.

I have a jailbroken iPhone 4, and out of nowhere my home button completely stopped working, what should I do?

This happens to mine all the time and I finally just called Apple to make an appointment. It's really annoying. Sometimes I click twice and it thinks I only clicked it once. a lot of times I click it once and it doesn't register. It seems to be getting a tad worse and considering what I paid to have the warranty, I am going to take advantage of that and get this sucker replaced. I take really good care of my iphone - it's always in a gel case and then usually in a Golla pouch as well (along with a screen protector). Because I am exceedingly careful with it, I can pretty much rule out damage caused by me. Hopefully Apple will rpelace with no issues.

Mine didn't become a problem until well after jailbreaking, so I'm unsure how that relates because not many have mentioned phone specs, just a useless "me too" comment. How many are jailbroken using Greenpois0n and iOS 4.2.1 with a temperamental home button?

My phone is also jailbroken with greenpois0n on 4.2.1. The button started working intermittently maybe two weeks ago, but I've been jailbroken since the untethered jailbreak came out. I'm gonna restore it to remove the jailbreak and take it into Apple for replacement - hopefully it won't mysteriously fix itself when I do that.

I have the same problem. Fortunately only rarely. I can't intentionally reproduce this problem. I also think it is software related. But I'm not 100% sure. Tonight I will upgrade to iOS 4.3, maybe it fixes this bug. I will report the result...

umm i have the same problem but somehow when i put it in the big fat otter box for iphone 4 my home button works like no problem at all but when i take it off i have problems with it...so i am guessing that it might have been that the iphone 4 home button is spotty like someone said but yea...hope this helps

I upgraded to 4.3 yesterday and now it's worse. Now the only time it works is when it's charging. When I took it in in January for the same problem they updated the software and offered me a new phone. I decided not to get the new one cause the new software seemed to fix the problem. But now I want a new phone. And for anyone with a jailbroken phone just do a restore on ur phone and they won't know it was jailbroken.

I have had this issue for a while after updating to 4.2 and hoped that 4.3 would fix it but it's continuing and seems to be worse at times. I took it to the Genius Bar before 4.3 release and they restored as new and that seemed to help at first but not for long. Has to be software glitch, some app installed that is causing an issue or something. The button isn't stuck and sometimes can take several presses before it will register.

Someone mentioned closing the camera app in the background...I closed all apps running in the background, including the camera app, and the home button is responsive again.

I started having a similar issue and closing the camera app fixed it. Still seems sluggish but a lot more responsive now... (i'm still at 4.2.1)

I too had the problem with 4.2, then it went away with 4.3 only to return. After reading an apple discussion board i sealed (with duct tape) the vacuum hose and repeatedly pressed the home button with suction applied. Worked perfect!!!

After dealing with this prob on my iPhone 4, I figured out if u press it frim/slowly, it seems to work all the time. The faster ur press it the less responsive it gets. Idk works for me... Just a tip.

Had this problem for a few months, only got the phone in October. Updated to 4.3.1 today, no impact. The only time the home button works properly is when I also press the reset button on top, and that allows me to power down, and not always reset.

Noticed this a week after I got my phone in November. Had it replaced under warranty in Feb. The guy in the Apple store said it was common thing with iPhone 4s to get dust under the button which would explain the intermittent problem... Doesn't really explain the bonehead design that led to the problem though, does it?!

My phone just recently started doing this and I tried the solutions people have listed here. My girlfriend thought I was insane trying to vacuum my phone at 2:30am. Resets and reboots didn't work. Finally after clicking the button 200 times I got the multi tray to pop up and I cleaned out all the apps. Instantly responsive.

Just clear out all the background apps by double tapping and then holding home button till they shake, then remove all of them. Instant change in repsonsiveness. It must be the solution.

I had the same problem with the home button. Has anyone jailbroken Their phone? I know my phone did this after a jailbreak once. Restoring the phone fixed it.

I have sorted it…… Settings – general – accessibility – then on the triple click option, turn it OFF. My phone is now perfect…. Why don’t apple know this…?? Please let me know if this works for you.

I have read the entire blog here and it is completely random on the symptoms. I have restored, took Apple Genius Bar's advise, kill my App process, turned off Triple Play and still the same ole same ole. This is my corporate phone and basically impacts my job. Not happy, running to Genius Bar later today. I better get a brand new phone. If not and the issue exists still, I am going back to BB. Sucks because I love Apple products. Cant believe I dont hear more people with iPhones complain on this problem that seems random, sporadic, and so far unfixable.

I have had this VERY annoying problem for quite some time now and it's getting worse everyday. I've done lots of google searches hoping that I could find a fix. This is the first place that I've found with this many folks having the same issue. I'm to the point that I can repeatedly click on the home button for 2 minutes straight without a response. I haven't bothered going to the Apple Store for two reasons....first, I'm assuming it will work perfectly when I go there and secondly, I called their tech support many months ago and was completely blown off. The person on the phone had no knowledge of there being any kind of problem and offered no help what so ever.
I have done everything that everyone else has talked about including downloading an app that frees up memory. This helped for a while, but now the problem is back and worse....possibly with the upgrades.

Took the phone to Apple Genius Bar. Described the problem (intermittent failure of the home button) and was lucky enough that the button did in fact fail in front of store clerk. He tried a hardware fix (cleaning dust out or something). When that didn't work he went to the back and brought out a new phone. It took all of 10 minutes (after waiting 15 minutes for a scheduling delay).

Do you have to take your reciept with your phone or just the phone and box?as I have mine in contract not sure I have a receipt have only had mine 7months and it playing up loads.

Had the same problem, home button stopped working which made doing a hard reset impossible. Took it to the genius bar at the Apple store, they confirmed it was a hardware problem. Warranty expired 10 months ago but was offered new phone for £55. Took the deal, now have a new phone that works great. BTW, didn't purchase original phone from Apple or need to take a receipt. Dont forget to backup/sync before you take it in so that you can restore to your new phone.
Hope this helps.

So, this started happening to me this morning. Only thing that seems to be different than anybody else's comments I've read is that my phone registers the home button about once in never. AKA the app I open after turning my phone on is the one I'm using until I reboot my phone. I'm afraid if I take it to the Genius Bar, they won't do a fix or a replacement because my phone's screen is cracked. Any suggestions or past experience with this problem?

Mine did this before. But last time it just became less and less responsive. then it just stoPped working. so I gave it a few days and it worked again for about a week. now its not working at all. to exit out of apps I have to turn it off and back on. this is really starting to piss me off.

Its software related i reckon. No one is reporting seeing this before 4.1. Mine goes in and out, it wont work at all for a good hour then it will be fine for days, this is with no apps running either. I've had it with apps running and no apps running.
I can reboot the phone, nothing, clear all apps, nothing. Then leave the phone for a while, come back, ohh its working again.
I've just managed to get the button working and hard reset it, running super smooth now, button responds instantly.
I'm on 4.1, phone is jailbroken with greenposion.

Mine is doing the same. The phone is four months old and is under warranty. I am also having to turn it on an off again to get to the screens . The repairers for Apple are not retuning calls and their mail box is full so you can't even leave a message - which is very annoying

Im having this problem. Im on 4.2.1 I have my SHSH saved Im going to update it tonight to see if that fixes the problem. I purchased my phone from craigslist. I think the person that I purchased it from found the phone from somewhere. Is it safe to take it for repairs and will they change my phone with out my consent?

I have the same problem with my iphone as well .It was fine in iOS 4.1 but with iOS 4.3 it became worse.Read some where that keeping the camera app running the background did fix the issue for some .Tried the same and voila it works for me.I have tested with out camera app running in the background the home button issue arises but with camera app running in the background its all fine.
Its sounds weird but it works for me.

So I am having the same issue with my iPhone 4. Running OS 4.3.2. The home button quits working intermittently. I just tried running the camera in the background and that seems to be making the button work again.. Odd. It was not working all morning.
It would be a real pain to take it to a Genius Bar, I would have to take a 5 hour trip and have the chance for it to suddenly start working again in front of them.. well, that would suck. Sounds software related. Maybe I will give it a good blow with air too.

I ended up taking the trip to the apple store which is 2 hours away and of course the button was working great for them but they replaced it anyways knowing that it was a problem.
Take the trip, get a new one before the warranty is up!

I have the same problem with my iPhone 4 and latest iOS.
It is definitely a software issue. After restarting the iPhone several times the home button still wasn't responding. No apps were running - only the OS.
So I tried the tip mentioned in this thread. I restarted the iPhone and launched Apple's camera app.
Hit the home button a few times and suddenly it was back.
So yes, it works. Keep the camera app running (in the background) on your iPhone and the Home button magically works again.
It's not like you put too many buttons on the device so it's pretty damn annoying that the one button you need to press every 20 seconds is not working properly.
Update the iOS please.

Camera in background doesn't fix the problem. Seems like the only fix is to plug in the phone then click the sleep button then home button. Will work for a while, then later on have the same problem...

I am running 4.3.3 (8J2) and the home button does the same thing. How do you make the camera run in the background??? I open the camera and you have to hit the home button to get back to the main screen (home). If I do that then the camera is closed correct?

My home button has just started acting up. I think mine is hardware. If I hold the button and shake the phone it works!

That is so weird! My home button has been doing the same thing described in the post and when I shook it like you said, all was well!
I have a feeling it has something to do with activator. Is your phone jailbroken?

One week old iphone4. Did Jailbreak and installed activator among others. Then I started having the home button problems as described here. I did a restore in iTunes (with the stock firmware) and the problem vanished. Been running for one day now without having the problem, if this were a hardware problem I should have noticed it. I will run without jailbreak for a week, to make sure it doesn't happen again. Then I'll jailbreak again and see if the problem returns.
I also suspect Activator, banksy01. Or if not that, one of the system libraries that gets replaced by Cydia.

Day 2 after stock IOS restore: Haven't had the home button issue resurface one single time. If this were a hardware problem, I should have had it return at least once. Pretty sure it was related to the jailbreak (possibly Activator or some Mobile Substrate hack).

Day 3 after stock iOS restore: still no sign of trouble with home button. Was definitely software / jb related. Willdo jb again in a couple of days to see if the problem returns.

Started not working periodically today. Having camera app on doesn't help me. Phone is 8 months old.

Clean out the port underneath the home button with a toothpick. Use a vacuum to remove any remaining dust. Worked for me and others on another forum. Seriously.

Started happening to me last week. Took it to genius bar today. Genius couldnt replicate it and asked me to come back when it became chronic. While he was writing it up I kept playing with my phone in his sight and the problem happened then went away. But he saw it and immediately went to get me a new phone.

set a passcode for your phone and every time you want to use and app lock your phone, press emergency call, go back to the screen, type in your password and it will take you home.
this has been happening on and off to be for months now, and im finally going in this weekend to talk to a genius (haha).
but yeah, if you do what i said, it will take you to the home page every time, i've gotten use to it.. kind of annoying though.

Thanks for this. It seems to be working and will get me through until I can get to the store

i also just updated to 4.3.3 i'm starting to believe mine is hardware not software, and running camera doesn't do the trick either, apple genius, here i come!
such an inconvenience :(
i've also bought mine off ebay, so im hoping it isn't over a year old!
i don't think iphone 4 has been released for over a year anyway?
or atleast i hope not...

Figured it out. Mine was because the wallpaper was heavy. If you set the homescreen wallpaper to one of the default phone wallpapers, the phone works fine.
Iphone 4, 4.1, 2.10.04, Jailbroken

I tried this too..changed wallpaper to phone default paper and it didn't work. Home button still not responsive...