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?



Yes. I've been reporting this problem for 2 months now. Worse is that above it states that we're hoping Apple fixes this on iOS 4.3 but I am already with the update iOS 5.0 and I still have the same problem and continue to report my iPhone 4 having the home button acting mean by freezing with both single and double clicks! It is definitely annoying! Help, please!!!!

this is like the stupidest article I read. I thought I will find some solution here. THUMPS DOWN FOR YOU!

I had this issue about a month after getting my phone. They replaced it and now appeox. 8 months later same issue with the new phone. It seems like an issue with the button, not the os since when it doesn't work if u push really hard or really fast it usually gets back on track. Very frustrating. Will probably replace this one as well.

thanks a million i was soooo pissed off just super gently tilt the chord while plugged in and bam worked a whole lot better once in while you have to hit it a few times.

worked like a dream
i think using itrip in the car caused the pin in the phone to start the trouble
u are awesome

OMG...it really worked!!! You just made my day, its been acting up all weekend. I was cutting the phone off & cutting it back on just to get to the home screen!!! You are a genius :) Thx again!!!!

Killer Woo, that works but sometime after unplugging the cable it starts to happen again. Do you have any idea how to make it permanent?

Worked! So simple, just a gentle wiggle, thanks so much! First time visitor to the site, I will be recommending to friends!

oh i'm very glad to hear that the same problem has been continuing for years! upgrade to iOs5, which has super duper additional features over the 4 series but guess what, I CAN'T EVEN F*G USE THE BASICS OF THE PHONE, plus I had to restore my phone due its continuous rebooting problem. Keep it up iphone, we LOVE you or will tow you?

Had this with a company phone. Sent it in to Apple for repair, and they sent it back after fully restoring it and not being able to reproduce the problem. It worked for a day and then the problem started again. Thanks apple. it took 2 weeks to get the box to send it back in and then they do nothing.

I had the opposite problem. I left my phone out in the rain for a few minutes, and when I came back inside, the Home button didn't work at all. After using Activator in Cydia to set the Home button to Power button for three months, the issue became intolerable the last two days. Voice Control kept popping up and dialing random people. I tried your method, but that made the Home button constantly activate worse than before. I decided to try the opposite method by bending the USB plug downward for a few seconds. Sure enough, my Home button started working normally again for the first time in three months. Now my friends can use my phone though.

Yes I have it but I think it is down to wear and tear after trying anther iPhone that's new and the button on the is a crisp click and mine no longer is.

Annoying is an understatment. Will Apple replace or fix the phone if it's still under the guarantee?
The thought of nearly breaking my fingers just to scroll around this phone does not appeal to me what so ever.

Thank you so much! Best regards from Germany! I was so horroible disappointed you made my day!!

Thank you so much! Best regards from Germany! I was so horroible disappointed you made my day!!

This is because your pins are dirty. I have this problem because I keep my iPhone in my pocket and lint gets in the connector. I usually fix this by running the charger plug in and out a few times. I have just purchased a rubber plug that fits into the 30 pin connection on the bottom of the iPhone to keep the connection clean and should prevent this problem when I place my phone in my pocket. You can purchase these inexpensive plugs on ebay.

Ugh WTF mines still not working :( i been having this issue for around 10 months. I litteraly have to press the button down with my 2 thumbs just to barely getting clicking. Ima break this POS its getting me mad :/

I have this problem. I updated the firmware to 5.0.1, but it woked only for one day. The next day it started doing the same F***** thing again. I'm starting to think that the latest iphones manufacturer wasn't up to par.

i'v had this problem for months now with my 3GS and had finally given in... tried claiming on my insurance but the b*****ds wriggled their way out (thankfully it seems). tried the 'killer woo" fix with the charger... heard a lovely click but no joy. checked oldest post and saw the 'slap fix' (literally slap your phone ) and gave it a go. its working beautifully atm. this problem has been intermittent for a while so I'm not holding my breath.
Just seems its worth looking around and trying all possibilities before handing over hard earned money to those who you think are supposed to help you. apple; who charge £25 for a "single incident fee" said i needed a new phone without the mention of possible fixes.
My insurance wouldn't pay out because i hadn't notified them within 48 hours of the phone breaking; there is more to that story but i had spent those 2 days on the phone to apple trying to sort the problem as i had been told it was a software one. apparently thats not an excuse. honesty really isn't always the best policy it seems. rant over

My Home button would not respond to the single click to return to the default page but worked for everything else.
I didn't try the options in this article but I did try Killer Woo's suggestion but unfortunately it didn't work for my situation.
Then I tried a soft reset and hey presto it worked!
To do a soft reset press the power and home buttons at the same time and hold - don't let go too early or you'll just take a screen shot - keep holding until the "slide to power off" screen goes away and the apple symbol appears. Worked for me, hope it helps someone else.

hey. it's fixed by using the method below. Obviously over time the microswitch gets bent downward and the result is that no contact is made. Apple needs to find an aprpriate fix by using materials that don't "bend " . TAKE NOTICE APPLE.

For me this did not work, I think it might be a hardware problem in my phone. I did find a way around the home button so that I won't have to replace my iPhone! It's very simple and your phone doesn't have to be jail broken:
1. switch on the code lock in Settings > General.
2. Now every time you press your power button (top of your phone) a menu opens.
3. Press emergency call > press back > enter your code > you're back in your home screen!
Works perfectly for me!

Had this issue
Tried everything, took it to apple store and they replaced handset within 5 mins
Outstanding customer service

WOW, cant try this till i get home, but I am quietly confident...............
Even if doesn't work for me, it worked for a large majority, so for that, many thanks....

Like most acts of brilliance, it was probably and accident and comprehension. Brilliant woo, Ty Ty Ty.

WOW WOWEE!!! I am very happy right now,,,after 2 weeks of DEPRESSION my phone works,,thank you guy,GENIUS,whoever you are out there,,,IT WORKED!!!!!

Youre my saviour.. It works fine in just seconds.. I was about to send it for repair tommorow but bam you did a great job...thanks dude..

wow that was a great idea, it actually worked, past few weeks I thought I broke the home button, now thanks to you I don't have to go to the apple store to ask them the damages, thank you.

Same issue, iPod touch 4g. Thanks Woo. guessing this happens over time and the switch/housing gets a little warped... also plugging in charge cable at an angle and gaming with cable in probably dont help. I could feel the home button was not totally flush anymore and it is closer now.
I am sure Apple hardware design knows about this. Probably keeps the tech team outta the loop cause they are making more money by keeping quiet. Just MHO.
Thanks Woo :).

Yeah some apple "genius" tolde that I should turn my wifi off and kill all my apps and reboot my phone every couple of days. The reason being that the primary use of the device is a phone and everything else is secondary. That having all these other things going on makes the system run slower and there by making the home button not work as well. I don't notice a huge difference.

I was skeptical as hell about this technique, but I'll be damned if it didn't make the home button completely functional again. Big ups to the Killer W for sharing. Cheers!

Wow, you are the man! I was depressed thinking I need a new phone. Don't have insurance and warranty expired. The trick worked like magic. No click heard but phone works like new!!!!!!!!!

This charger tip worked for me, my iPad suddenly became hit and miss was unsure whether it was a hardware or software problem but since putting mu charger in and bending it slightly it's been perfect thanks

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 repeat that several time if 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.

The tip worked great ! Thanks to you. The irony is that I went to the Apple store and he declared the phone dead.

genius!!!! worked like a charm, but did take a couple tries!!! totally awesome! saved me from getting a new fone!

I have had this problem but believe it to be wear on the button and possibly muck getting inside. I have since cured the problem by switching off the phone and using an air duster around the home button. A good squirt of pressurised air seems to have cured it for now. Obviously be careful when using this method.

Wow... I thought the fix Woo suggested sounded too simple. Amazingly it's sometimes the simple things we got try 1st before over complicating matters. Great job.

You sir or madam are a saint! You saved my 32GB iPod touch 4th generation.
I was about to throw it out since without a home button the device was practically useless untill I bumped into your posting.
May god bless you.

I tried it...amazing!!!! it works... so i think that it is definitely hardware bug in iphone4,i used iphone3 about 3 years without any problem at all and was very disappointed with iphone 4(home butt.)

My iPad 4 home button isn't working. I've tried the recommended fixes and none of them work. Can anyone offer some advice or help here please? Thanks!

omggggg WOO thank you!!!!
youre a life saver.
im in shock. it acutally worked. i owe you my life!!!!

Home button problem solved...,,,...,,,Iphone 4 home button issue is a critical one for iphone users,its 100% hardware problem,those who encounters home button issue i have a useful solution for them....1-put your iphone 4 off. 2- remove the plastic protector off the screen if any. 3-take nail polish remover. 4-take a single match stick from the match box. 5-dip the match stick in the nail polish remover(alcohol). 6-after dipping it place it on the sides of the Home button try 4 sides make sure that a little quantity of nail polish remover(alcohol) enters the home button sides. 7-as soon the nail polish remover enters the home button push the home button for atleast 25 to 30 times quickly. 8- wait for 5 secounds. 9- start your iphone 4 and see the change.:)

I must say that Asfandyar's trick seemed to have worked for me a lot better than the charger trick. Applied the nail polish and works like brand new, no side effects so far!

You just need to do steps 1 & 8 . Just restart your phone and it will work fine. However the problem returns in a while.

Nice work, guys - the charger plug trick totally did the...trick... I guess. Home button back to new - saving me a great deal of frustration and wishing a slow painful death on my iPhone4. Defs coming back to this site if my phone decides to do anything else silly!

now will this work if my phone got splashed with water? my home button stopped working three hours after it got splashed i used it for about six phone calls between the water and the button stoped working i sent it to apple will they fix the button or tell me its water damage

if apple wont fix my home button due to water damage is the home button fixable somewhere else or do i need a new phone

My phone is a 4 and the iOS is 5.0 and it's not jb and mine is still doing this. I got it at AT&T does anyone know if they will take it back and give me a new one? Thanks

I have had this problem for about 5 months on my i pod touch 4g.
I was wondering could I still get my i pod touch replaced by apple
or am i out of luck. I am sure it is not an update issue for me because even though i update my ios this problem still stays.
Is there a fix to this Problem?

Does apple provide refurbished phones or new phones incase hardware issues are identified.. does anyone ahve an idea?

I had this problem too but fixed it right after cleaning the home button. Now it works perfectly.

I don't know what exact problem is this but my home button is not working. Even the button do not get properly pressed, the flexibility in the button is very bad and it really is very annoying me while going back to my home screen.

I have a problem with it not skipping to the first page of apps, the button works fine if I want to get out of an app or double click to switch, but it doesn't work when ie. I'm on the second page and I want to go straight to the first. I have to slide through pages, or if im on the first page and I click home it doesn't go to search.
*Also if I hold the apps to move them around I can't get rid of the shaking apps. I have to push the power button then slide to unlock.
* SOO Annoying ! Hopefully they fix !!

I have an iPhone 4 (4.3.5) jailbroken and I use gevey sim and I start having this problem like 2 or 3 months ago but it happeneds just a few times and then just like a magic it start working perfectly until now.I think jailbreak is the caus of this I think its a software problem and something is stopping the button from doing the funcion.Im going to restore the iPhone and if it doesent work Im going to buy a Samsung even why i hate them lol

After reading this... I took my iphone 4 to apple and explained what was happening and after they confirmed my problem... they gave me a new phone in less than 5 minutes of me walking into the store!!!
Thanks for contributing to this thread!

Re: My Ipad's home button is no response
May 1, 2011 8:56 AM (in response to AnnaScott)
I may have had a breakthru... I started thinking what would everyone be using on their iPhone and iPad? Safari!!! So I undocked Safari from the bottom of the screen and rebooted my iPad. It instantly started working flawlessly! I ran it pushing the button often and it never missed! Single clicks, double clicks it’s been working perfectly. I tried the same thing for my iPhone which was having the same issue and it also has worked perfect ever sense undocking safari, rebooting, and then it was safe to put safari back to the original location! So far all of the clicks to the home button have worked!

I just started experiencing this problem with my 3GS (it's actually a replacement phone at the moment) and i have been trying some of these techniques, but the only way to exit an app is to turn off the phone, then turn it back on. This is quite frustrating since the home button is something you need to use frequently with an iPhone.

Found a thread that suggested the following:
1. Open up stock app.
2. Hold power button until "power off" slider appears.
3. Release power button.
4. Press home button until app force closes.
5. Your home button should work now.
I did these things after a couple months on that home button getting worse and sometimes being impossible to activate. Presto, it appears to have worked!Just in case the problem resurfaces, I activated the assistant in Settings / General.

I think it is by the application of cidya -> Activator. I just uninstalled a few days ago and the home button works perfectly.

I have this problem too, all I do to fix it is blow into my phone where I put the charger and it goes back to normal

Fix it yourself, or have a repair shop fix it for you.
New Home Button: $20
Repair Shop: $30-$40
Do it yourself: Free + $20 for new button
In order to replace the home button, you would need to take a part almost the entire phone.
Sounds crazy? Hard? But not true.
This is what Apple wants you to think, so you buy a new phone, or pay a lot for repair.
The truth is, that it's very easy to fix almost anything on the iPhone, with just a little time and money (for the parts).
If you don't feel comfortable to do it yourself, fixing the home button, should cost tops $60.
If you're like me, follow this link to a step by step repair guide, and your home button is like new, in less than an hour.
If you can replace your home button yourself, you'd be able to replace almost anything after.
Good Luck!!!

Try this before trying Michelle's 'last resort' action - it honestly works in 80% of cases:
Open any application on the iPhone
Press and hold the Power button till the ‘Slide to Shutdown’ screen appears.
Now release the Power button and gently hold the Home button.
In all probability, your Home button would start functioning normally again.

Had problem with start button for weeks. Went in to see g at store and could not fix and was out of warranty. Why would tthey not tell me about this wonderful solution? To make more $$? Perplexing. Thank you Michelle!! Works fine and I am happy!!!

I can't take credit for this, but it also seemed to work. Although it may have been more a mental fix that a physical, time will tell.
Plug in your iPhone Synch cable, press and hold to activate voice command, then simply cancel out. This re-activates your home button.

Hey Michelle! people like you make other people's days!!!!God bless you" seen how many people are happy about this!!!! i say bless you with more talent!

Mostly the reason for a non working home button is dirt disturbing the contacts…
you can find a lot of crazy solutions in the web – a view months ago i found http://ifixthebutton.com
it really helped me…my HB is working now for months