How to fix your iPhone Home button: The ultimate guide

iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing broken or unresponsive Home buttons

Everything you need to know to DIY (do-it-yourself) repair a stuck or unresponsive Home button on your iPhone!

If you've owned iPhones in recent years, you're probably familiar with Home button quirks. Since the Home button is the most used button on the device, and the only one you use for actual operation, it's typically the quickest to wear down and cause you problems. And no, WD-40 is not the answer. Regardless what iPhone model you have, it is possible to fix a malfunctioning Home button the right way.

We can walk you through not only how to replace the components that are causing the issue, but where to get quality parts and tools from the suppliers we trust. If you're not quite ready to give up your current iPhone and you're up to the challenge, follow along and we'll help you get your iPhone's Home button back in working order in no time!

How to fix Home button issues in an iPhone 5

iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing broken or unresponsive Home buttons

While Home button failures are somewhat less common with the iPhone 5, it still happens from time to time. In the iPhone 5, the Home button assembly is attached to the back of the LCD and digitizer assembly. Since the iPhone 5 opens from the front, it makes a Home button replacement a quick and easy job. This particular repair doesn't require nearly as much DIY skill as a Home button replacement does in an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s. Typically symptoms of a faulty iPhone 5 Home button include double taps registering as single, Siri activating when you only tap the Home button, and in rare instances, no feedback at all from the Home button.

Just like previous versions of the iPhone, the likely culprit isn't the Home button itself, but the cable that lies underneath it. Over time it wears down and just doesn't work as well as it once used to. If any of the above symptoms sound like something you're experiencing, we've got the guide you need.

How to fix Home button issues in an iPhone 4S

iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing broken or unresponsive Home buttons

The iPhone 4S Home button assembly changed design from its iPhone 4 predecessor but it doesn't mean it's completely immune from Home button issues. It comes down to the fact that the Home button and power button are the two most used buttons on any iPhone model. The more presses, the faster a component wears down. It's just inevitable.

Unfortunately, even though Apple switched up the iPhone 4S Home button slightly in order to provide a little more support and contact with the flex cable, the actual cable assembly is still the same. Which means it's just as prone to wear down over time. Again, it's not the easiest repair in the world, but just like the iPhone 4, it can be done for extremely cheap.

If you're experiencing issues with your iPhone 4S and you just can't see getting a new iPhone just yet, a Home button replacement may be a great option.

How to fix Home button issues in an AT&T/GSM iPhone 4

iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing broken or unresponsive Home buttons

The GSM variant of the iPhone 4 is notorious for Home button issues. It's probably the most affected iPhone model when it comes to Home button crankiness. The flex cable assembly that sits underneath the actual button itself wears over time and after so many depressions. This means that the cable isn't making complete contact anymore which can result is mishits and issues such as double taps registering as single taps.

If this sounds like an issue you're having, the Home button flex probably needs to be replaced. While it isn't the easiest repair to perform, it's a super cheap fix as long as you have some good patience and steady hands.

How to fix Home button issues in a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4

iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing broken or unresponsive Home buttons

Just like it's older GSM brother, the Verizon and Sprint (CDMA) variant of the iPhone 4 uses the exact same Home button flex cable. This means that it can be just as prone to giving out over time. The reason we probably see more GSM iPhone 4 Home button repairs is because it's been available longer than the CDMA variant.

As the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 starts to show its age, you may exhibit Home button issues. While the Home button flex is the exact same part in both the GSM and CDMA iPhone 4, the actual repair process is quite different. So if you've got a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4 with an angry Home button, you'll want to follow this guide instead.

How to fix Home button issues in an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS

iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing broken or unresponsive Home buttons

The iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are nowhere near as prone to Home button issues as the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S but it doesn't mean it can't happen. If you've got an older iPhone 3G or 3GS that you just don't want to part with, whether that's due to sentimental reasons, or you just want your kids to have an iPod substitute, it's still a great device to keep laying around.

While the Home button isn't super simple to replace, the front digitizer assembly is. And it just so happens to contain the Home button assembly. You'll not only get a new Home button assembly, you'll get a brand new piece of glass and the labor is super simple. And did we mention it's also an extremely cheap fix?

More DIY help

iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing broken or unresponsive Home buttons

Whether you're having trouble diagnosing an issue or need help with a repair you've already started, our mod and DIY forums are a great place to find exactly that. If you still can't find what you're looking for or need directions on another repair, you can check out even more guides via the link below or contact us with guide suggestions if it's something you think we should cover in the future!

See also:

Note: Originally published January, 2013. Updated June, 2014.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior 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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Reader comments

How to fix your iPhone Home button: The ultimate guide


Definitely one of the most common faults we see, even up there with cracked screens! As mentioned the GSM iP4 is the worst offender but as the 4S gets older we're seeing more and more come in, despite the rubber gasket they introduced.

omg when ever i try to get of something i have to click the home button more than 3 times to get it off the screen i was on its messing about and i am not paying £66.99 just to get it fixed , got to look for someone else to do it x

You dont need to fix it, just activate the "Assistive Touch" function in ios - google it, which creates a floating home button on screen that does everything the real one does - problem solved.

This was just so awesome, thank you for the info, now I can get from screen to screen.
I tried the dropping the phone trick but still my home button is not responding.
I took my whole phone apart (CDMA) phone and reinserted new home cable but still not working.
I only changed it out from black to white when I repaired my cracked screen with new white one.
Now I don't have to take it apart again Yeah!

No. The iPhone 5s is different due to Touch ID - and since it is paired with the board, I would stray away from trying to fix the bracket unless you're completely confident. If you tear the Touch ID cable, you can't replace it, as of now anyways.

If you're having Home button issues, they should be covered under warranty as the iPhone 5s is not a year old quite yet.