How to remedy a bad Home button or Power button on iPhone using Assistive Touch

How to remedy a bad Home button or Power button on iPhone using Assistive Touch

Two of the most common hardware issues with the iPhone are failures related to the Home button and Power button. This can present as either of these buttons becoming hard to press, not reading presses at all, or they can intermittently work. If you aren't up for a Home button or Power button DIY repair to fix the issue permanently, there is a way around them by using the Assistive Touch accessibility feature. This will give you a virtual Home button and Power button that can supplement the hardware. It isn't the most ideal solution but if you need a quick one, this is it.

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Now tap on General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.
  4. Scroll down again and tap on Assistive Touch under the Physical & Motor section.
  5. Turn Assistive Touch to On.

You'll now notice a white dot appear on your screen that will remain there. You can tap on this to expand the Assistive touch menu. The Home option will allow you to tap it in the place of a physical Home button and be returned to the Home screen from wherever you are. To access the Power button function, tap on the Device menu and then tap on the Lock Screen icon and your screen will shut off.

While Assistive Touch isn't the perfect solution, it can definitely make your iPhone functional again until you can either get it repaired or get a replacement.

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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There are 24 comments. Add yours.

vianar says:

This is awesome and good to know is my home button stops working.

Dionte says:

Mine acts up on my iPad.

williamsbh76 says:

I have been a BB Playbook owner for a while and even though I'm committed to my iPhone and iPad, I really wish Apple had a swipe gesture to wake a device up and access the multitasking tray without having to use a button or jailbreaking. The swipe up gesture on the Playbook and Z10 to wake the device up is awesome!

CORYK333 says:

I might be misunderstanding what you're trying to accomplish, but you CAN swipe up on the iPad to access the "multitask" tray.....just a 4-finger swipe & there it is.

rollingtrees720 says:

He means being able to swipe on a locked iPad and have it wake as opposed to having to press the power or home button to get to the slide to unlock screen.

return_0 says:

I don't exactly see how opening multitasking will help with turning on a device with a broken power button.

Vanti says:

And likewise four fingers is a bit much. I do believe that the designers could have found a better and more user friendly way to bring up the app switcher

Selsandy says:

williamsbh76 I am with you 1000% from the time I found assitive touch I've been looking like crazy to find an app that wakes my iP5 WITHOUT using ANY buttons. From what little I've found out, I'd have to jailbreak my phone to do this, which btw I ain't planning on doing.
If Apple includes this on their devices a lot more of us would be more than happy.
I ONLY use my Home or Power Button to wake my phone and NEVER use them otherwise, that way, I'm guaranteed my physical buttons will last longer. ;-)

asuperstarr says:

This is a great tip. I will have to save this in my iMore tip folder in Evernote. Great tip!

NAMISH says:

That's superb! Didn't know it was that easy... My cousin had problems with his iPhone's home button and spent a whole week banging his head against the wall before he got it fixed for a whooping $90 (approx.) down here in Pakistan.

shinuyuki says:

This is great for people who don't want to jailbreak; however, I cannot stand that stupid white dot. Zephyr is so amazing.

return_0 says:

(software buttons on Nexus 4)

sandy the game says:

awsome trick thanks for sharing

ross778 says:

If the phone is locked and the power and home buttons don't work, how do you wake the iPhone up?

Vanti says:

keep a portable charger with you and insert and remove it quickly then the screen will wake and you have access to your iphone >:) cheers

sameer kapoor says:

Even if your home and power button are working normally, I recommend it because it take all the burdon of pressing power button on it and you will never need to touch power button again , if you find this white dot annoying while using your iphone then you can just on and off it by a simple method , go to settings - general - accessibility - triple-click Home - assistiveTouch . Now by just clicking home button three times simultaneously you can 'ON" and "OFF" this white dot. Thanks for your patience , have a nice day.

Selsandy says:

sameer-kapoor thanks for that tip, really appreciate it but, having to triple click the home button to turn on or off what some people find annoying, defeats "My" purpose of not wanting to wear out my physical Home Button. I find that it works the home button even harder doing the triple click, especially if I don't do it right the first time. Thanks for the tip though. ;-)

sameer kapoor says:

sometime I wonder that if apple can give this feature ( capacitive home button ) in accessibility then why it can't be replaced by hardware home button , now a days a hardware button on a super sensitive touch screen is old fashioned, apple should get rid off it, may be in future devices, let's hope for the best.

R1cki97 says:

That's a nice review, i totally forgot
About that option, but now i know, thanks

kataran says:

I really like this tip

I'm new to the iphone form factor and don't really like the home button as I have to shift my hand a lot and the power button is a strong push so I had to grip my phone tight when I use it

been using this tip for a couple of hours and I Love it

moved the button to the side down near my thumb and it works wonderfully

even has a screenshot option that saves a lot of motion

Two Thumbs Up!!

PassOutPete says:

Another good way to fix a broken home button is AppleCare. Well worth the hundred dollars.

Tre says:

My home button pretty much failed on my iPhone 4 so I was using Assistive Touch for a couple of months. But when I finally updated to iOS6, my home button started working again... every time! Not sure if it was a coincidence or not.