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?

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

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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Reader comments

iPhone Bugs: Home Button not working?

1160 Comments

Here is something a lot of people forgot to do: close out aps. The aps take all the memory if they're open, and will ultimately clog the home key, making it inoperable. Here's what you do:
A) Double click the home key (and I know your home key is unresponsive, just keep trying it for one of those rare moments it works)
B) a "bar" will appear along the bottom, showing all the aps you haven't closed.
C) Simply touch & hole one of the ap icons until it "jiggles" and the close icon appears (similar to deleting an ap)
D) touch the close icon on each ap until the bar is empty.
E) then do a reset (press home key and power button together until the white apple appears)
I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but it may save you a trip to the apple store. A lot of people forget to do this, then their home key freezes up and they think it's a hardware issue.

Yeah, this is what worked for me. I tried all of the other suggestions and they didn't work, but this did. I'm sure some of you may be having hardware issues but this is what you should try first, just make sure you restart the phone after you shut down all of your apps that are running.

None of the slapping or holding button down combinations worked for me. What did work was: Double click home button to pull up your running apps, and shut down everyone of them. This is what apple suggests on their website and for me it worked. I was going to send my phone back and give up my untethered jailbreak, when I decided to get rid of everything running in the task manager and restart the phone and now, so far for two days, it's running like new again. If you're jailbroken, you can use a cydia app called, "killbackground" and this will shut down everything in the task manager with one button push; if not you'll have to manually shut down each app, but remember to restart the phone after you do this. I'm sure some of you might be having hardware issues, but If not, definitely try this. I'll report back if I find that my phone has gone back to not working.

tried everything, nothing worked... will try to go home and re-flash the phone, that worked for a week. will even try to downgrade the iOS to before version 4. will keep you posted.

If the Prboricua818 method doesn't work for you, before throwing the phone away, try to plug it in to power for a few seconds and then unplug it. This seems to take care of the button problem, if the recalibration method doesn't work!!!

I have iPhone 4 my home button does not work. When I attach data cable, it works proper. Hot to remove problem. Please reply thanks Tarlochan dhiman

Another thing you can do is set a passcode and set it to lock everytime you press the power button then after you press the power button it will want you to put the passcode in instead press emergency call on the bottom right and then press the arrow back then put in your pass code and youll be back at home screen

Thanks, my thumb is getting numb from pressing home button but after i tried the voice control thing....it works!!!!! THanks :)

I found this by search engine looking for a fix for home button not working. I restored from backup - did not work. Considering the lint possibility as the phone was in my pocket most recently before the failure, I carefully dropped the phone from a height of about 18" onto a wood floor. Voila! The home button is working again.

Neither of these two worked for me but just found one that did; if you can get the button to work just once and double click to see open applications, close mail and then do a soft restart holding both buttons. After the phone Rebooted the home button works great. I now manually close mail when I'm done using it until a permanent fix becomes available.

The fixes listed below did not work for me. I took the phone into an Apple Store, and they replaced it. I asked if this problem is occurring frequently, the staff was rather illusive, saying only that the home button was one of the few moving parts on the phone, so it's bound to cause trouble...but I've got two other iPhones, of previous releases...and these have home buttons that are still working quite well...my advice. Get it replaced. Synch and back up your photos first, of course.

genius! thank you so much for providing this fix!! I was going to send mine for repairs as I thought the button was worn out.. I am absolutely thrilled that your suggestion worked!!

After one month of having the iPhone 4 my home button started to stick sometimes. I tried several of the so-called fixes. Some worked for a while but now (after two months) my home button is unresponsive ALL of the time. I ordered a replacement phone from Verizon today. I know several other people that have this problem. Note to Apple - instead of coming out with the "latest and greatest" every 3 months make sure what you put out there works!

I bought a otterbox for my iPhone 4 and it worked fine for the first month. Then the home button wouldn't work properly for a few days. So I took the case off n tried it and the button worked fine. A week later it's happened again and once again I took the case off and tried it. And it continued to not work. I have the latest update n have tried restoring. Maybe I should go to apple and have it replaced?

My Iphone 3g s' middle button is completely not working! Will the apple store replace it? and the battery is also easily getting low? what the F is happening!!

Does anyone know what to do if the screen is just blacked out and if i press home button nothing appears ive tried acting as if i was powering off and still nothing

Nothing helps, I'm jailbroken and that's the only salvation especially that I hate physical button :)
Activator and QuickDo is the home button home remedy, I could simply put now dock tape over that stupid thing!

i found that after cleaning out the port where you plug in the charger actually increased the sensitivity of my home button, it hasnt fixed it but it has stopped me from mashing the button to pieces trying to get it to work.

none of that worked for me or my friends but i found something that does work and has worked ever since. take your iphone cable and plug it into the bottom of your phone. no need to plug into the computer. now grip the part right where it is plugged into the phone and slightly bend it up towards the screen...just a little...bam guaranteed to work!!! use at your own risk cause i'm not responsible if you break anything.

Bless you sir or ma'am. You solved my problem!!!! To everyone else, it may sound crazy but if you just tilt your connected cable slightly forward and keep testing the home button it will eventually work.

killer woo, ohhh thanks, this worked for me too, amazing ... i dono how you people find these things :) cheers

Mr. Killer Woo, thanks! This really worked! I was running iFaith to do a restore, when I read this. & wow, it worked! You just save me hours of reconfiguring. Thanks a bunch!

Thanks K Woo! I think I heard a barely audible click when I tried this and then the button worked like new. It only takes a LITTLE upward pressure so you gorrilaz out there go ez!
BTW you're not DOCTOR Woo are you? Wait, no, that's doctor WU I'm thinking of.

You should get a million dollar prize for figuring this out. So easy, someone needs to definitively answer this on the apple support threads.

thanks mate. it worked. i tried airflow the first time, tooth brush cleaning second time, this time your technique. now what should i do next time hmmmmmmm...

OMG!!!!! HOLY COW!!! I HAVE BEEN FIGHTING THIS FRIGGIN BUTTON FOR MONTHS!!!!
THIS WORKED!!!
YOU ARE MY NEW HERO, KILLER WOO!!!

Thank you, it worked! Been having this intermittent button problem and thought I had to get the phone replaced.

Brilliant! I guess that settles it for me wether it was software or hardware messing with my home button. No iPhone update till next year now that my iPhone 4 is up to par, especially with iOS 5. All I need now is iPhone 4 airplay mirroring and Siri!

OMG!!! You are a rock star! Thank you so very much!!! It totally worked. I appreciate you saving me a trip to the Apple Store. Don't get me wrong, I love going there the customer service and energy is awesome but I only want to go there for good/happy things. :-)

Holy damn i cant believe it worked lol thank u i was about to throw my phone or maybe i have a couple times.......

I know 2 people that did follow this but messed up their inside as they plugged and bent it up towards screen. Maybe they did it to roughly but many of us decided not to take that chance. Thanks though.

Dude, that is amazing. Took it to apple and they could not figure it out. It worked like a charm. Nice post.

Been dealing with this issue for about 6 months!!!! You are DA MAN!!! Genius Bar should send you a check for helping all these iPhone users that they could not help themselves, including me!! Thank you sooo much!

Unbelievable...My wife bought me this phone less than a week ago and I was having the same problem. Thought I was gonna have to return it til I found your post. Tried it and BINGO it worked. I think part of the problem is being a little overzealous when pushing the home button and flexing the plate the button sets on inside. When you perform this adjustment, you are flexing the plate back into shape. That being said it would behoove us all to press the button more gently as flexing the plate internally, repeatedly may not work after awhile. I say this as an electronics technician with some experience. Thanks for the heads up on this one.

you are a legend..
just tried it, worked a treat
was about to go to apple appointment with a phone out of warranty
thanks

This was awesome man, home button started working in less than 5 seconds. Thanks a ton!

Thank you so much!!! I've been doing the restore from backup every two weeks! It worked but it's been getting worse and worse and the restore from backup is just a temporary fix. Now it's like my iPhone is back to normal. I cannot thank you enough for this post!!

Thank you so much!!! I've been doing the restore from backup every two weeks! It worked but it's been getting worse and worse and the restore from backup is just a temporary fix. Now it's like my iPhone is back to normal. I cannot thank you enough for this post!!

Thanks for the post. It worked perfectly. I was about to transfer my music to an ipod and swtich to the HTC.

Just tried this and it worked thanks so much, no mention of this on the apple site!! Have tried everything that apple say to check and thus did not do it but your way did !!

that is real funny, who first think that would work BUT it really works at least now.I tried resetting my phone and many other things I tried but problem came back after working ok for short time. I still can't believe it works that way,many thanks to you, saved my time

that is real funny, who first think that would work BUT it really works at least now.I tried resetting my phone and many other things I tried but problem came back after working ok for short time. I still can't believe it works that way,many thanks to you, saved my time

that is real funny, who first think that would work BUT it really works at least now.I tried resetting my phone and many other things I tried but problem came back after working ok for short time. I still can't believe it works that way,many thanks to you, saved my time

that is real funny, who first think that would work BUT it really works at least now.I tried resetting my phone and many other things I tried but problem came back after working ok for short time. I still can't believe it works that way,many thanks to you, saved my time

that is real funny, who first think that would work BUT it really works at least now.I tried resetting my phone and many other things I tried but problem came back after working ok for short time. I still can't believe it works that way,many thanks to you, saved my time

that is real funny, who first think that would work BUT it really works at least now.I tried resetting my phone and many other things I tried but problem came back after working ok for short time. I still can't believe it works that way,many thanks to you, saved my time

It worked!! Could someone PLEASE explain!! AND how did Killer Woo find out about this???
Home button was driving me nuts!

Holy crap that simpleand it worked! I have been struggling with this for aboit a week. I just started happening amd I tried everything from compressed air to restore! I love iPhone! Amd iPhone community!

thanks man alot god bless you .............u r just awesome great fix ............. now homebutton is working like newone
thaks again ...

thanks man alot god bless you .............u r just awesome great fix ............. now homebutton is working like newone
thaks again ...

thanks man alot god bless you .............u r just awesome great fix ............. now homebutton is working like newone
thaks again ...

how far do I have to bend the cable up ? it didn't work for me. I feel like I'm doing something wrong with all the positive feedback

Dude Ive been having this problem with my iPod ever since I had it after 30 seconds of reading your post my home button was fixed thanks

i will no longer go to church on sundays, i will now build a shrine to you killer woo and pray there in stead, we were not planning anymore children but now we have no choice but to have two boys called, killer and woo.
this is how much this bloody back button has done my head in,vodafone wanted £150.00 to fix.
you take care killer you are worth your weight in gold,

Thank You! I had to try it a couple of times before I got it to work but now it is working fine! I still have the occasional issue but overall it is so much better now. Thank you so muchhh!

Excellent!! I was resigned to having to replace my 2 year old 3GS, but there is no need for that now. Thanks...you saved me a lot of money. :-)

You're the man. Works fine now thanks to God the almighty then to you. I wanted to disassemble and reassemble my iphone as I knew it was some connection inside wasn't in good contact with the button flex. What prevented me was that I didn't want to lose the warranty. Thanks again.

You're the man. Works fine now thanks to God the almighty then to you. I wanted to disassemble and reassemble my iphone as I knew it was some connection inside wasn't in good contact with the button flex. What prevented me was that I didn't want to lose the warranty. Thanks again.

AMAZING. Thank you. I was about to do a full restore which would have been a real nuisance.
THANK YOU
Daniel

it makes since... cuz if my iphone is plugged in i dont have this issue. must be using the darned thing too much! :) thanks for the help!

Omg! I'min love lol....I was on the phone with my iPhone repair guy when I tried this and it worked! I told him and hung up thanks!

Wow! Yesterday I was so fed up I took my phone to the Apple store. Somewhere between my house and the store my home button began working perfectly. The guy at the store was like, "I'm not sure what to tell you, and by the way the little pink moisture indicator dot is tripped, so your phone is no longer under warranty.". True, my iPhone spent a split second in a Diet Coke(oops) but it never seemed affected by this and this home button problem started way before the Diet Coke incident. I left the store so frustrated knowing the home button problem was sure to return as it did tonight. Now I took your advice and it 's working perfectly. THANK YOU. Btw, I plugged my phone into the car charger on the way to the Apple store so that's prob what fixed it.

Absolutely brilliant. I had just been to the Apple store and couldn't be seen until Monday. I restored and that didn't work. Googled the fault and found this. It works fine now. Thank you

Thanks man. You are awesome. I mean really awesome. This problem have always bugging me. You solved it man. Thanks again. Cheers :D

its really working now my home button after little bend the plugh towords iphone screen.really nice ,thanks and God bless u

Just tried it... Totally worked! Unbelievable! Thanks a million. It was getting really annoying.

You are the man. None of the clowns at apple new anything about how to fix this. Works great:)

WOW WOW WOW !!! Worked like a harm .. a fix that takes 2 seconds !!!
Here are more detailed tips on how to do it ..
First make sure that the problem is physical.. when you click the home button several times it does not respond to you .. everything else on the phone works perfect ..
The problem is intermittent, that means most of the time the button works and one day it stops responding.
Insert the charging cable, (make sure it is not blocked to the wall)
Push the cable from the bottom to the top, as if you were trying to slightly rotate the plug around an imaginary axis where it is plugged to the phone. Very slightly, you don't want to break anything. It is better to put one finger on the bottom across the plug and your thumb right under the home button (not on the home button) instead of trying to bend the cable toward the screen with both fingers holding the plug. When you hear a click while doing that, that is when your home button if fixed. You can repeat that several times if it does not work from the first time.
Trying to bend the plug downwards does not do the trick.
Be patient, don't use too much force and good luck.

OH my god you're AMAZING!!! I seriously can't believe that worked. You literally saved me (probably) tons of money getting it fixed and the self esteem of whatever poor verizon employee i would've probably ended up freaking out on for not being able to fix it.

Dude! Most amazing thing in the world!!! Thank you so much!!! I love you and your incredilble resourcefulness!! =)

glad to know i wasn't the only one with that problem..just to think it was that easy...thank you very much killer woo...saved me more of a headache..think a month of dealign with it is long enough..just hope it lasts..

Yes, the unresponsive home button is definitely caused by iOS5 as I, as well as the other majority of iPhone users, have immediately noticed the bug. Hopefully, Apple addresses this problem quickly without any problems.
Anon.

That was great... Worked like a charm! No idea how you came to working that out but well done!

Sort of worked for me - still having issues. I'm going to see if the clean restore does anything. I hate the stupid home button. They need to make a better one. My Ipod Touch 2g had issues with the home button and I was scared getting an iphone the same thing would happen - one year down the track here we go again.. and I have an Ipad as well - hope it goes ok

Seen it happen a fair bit to other peoples iphones. And mine! Not fixed even in ios5! Not happy!

In my case this is a hardware issue. Of that, I am reasonably sure at this point. However, I was able to get mine functioning again without taking it apart or back to Apple.
Take a Q-Tip and dip the end in rubbing alcohol. Clean all around the home button even depressing it with the Q-Tip. Do this several times blowing on the button and in the end for the power cord after each application.
It seems dirt or something gets in this area and a little cleaning goes a long way .Mine works fine now

killer Woo
You Da one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That fixed mine! nothing else did!
Keep On Truckin!!!
Thanks KILLER WOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

after several try. the only way is cleanignt he Home Button. the reason oil affect from hand or what reasonblocks button to function well. so jsut need to put few drop alcohol to buttom(indeed first switch off iphone) thenpress few times to make alcholo to get in. then wait few minute to dry. then power on the Iphone. it is working great. for Turkish(80 numara kolonya kullanabilirsiniz)

Have had a problem with Home button not responding, no matter how many clicks or time pressed. Down loaded version 5 of software yesterday and problem appeared again.
Tried Liller Woo's fix and insert link cable and gently pressed down and it seems to have cured it, fingers crossed.
Bill

Bending the plug upwards worked great!!!!!!!!!!! I was about to throw my phone in the ocean before this. I knew it couldn't be a software problem.

It Worked!
Woo, I think I owe you a bottle of Glenlivet, which is what I was drinking while reading this post. iphone4GS 16gb iOS 4.21 jailbroken

This works on phones with dust under the charge contacts because it pulls the contacts away from the dust. It wont work on a software problem.

This works on phones with dust under the charge contacts because it pulls the contacts away from the dust. It wont work on a software problem.

Intermittent fault with home button... With charger plugged in, works every time! Must be a case of over a period of time, the chassis somehow is altered and the charger causes some displacment that makes the button work.. Summing up, my fault seemed like hardware, not IOS..

Tried all of this, also upgraded to 5.0. At wits end, ready to throw all Apple products out the window. Not spending another dime on their products. Smartphone, should be renamed Uselessphone

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