The iPhone has been plagued with power button issues since the debut of the iPhone 4. We've seen complaints from many readers that their iPhone power buttons are completely recessed and no longer register when pressed. In some cases, they'll still respond but you have to press extremely hard. In severe cases, the power button actually recesses into the casing. The iPhone 5 power button failed enough that Apple issued a replacement program. Unfortunately, that only extends to certain owners, and in certain countries, which leaves DIY repair as the most cost effective option.
Luckily, that's where iMore comes in! No matter what iPhone you have, we can walk you through how to troubleshoot and fix a stuck power button!
- How to fix a stuck power button on an iPhone 5
- How to fix a stuck or broken iPhone 4S power button
- How to fix a stuck or broken power button in a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4
- How to fix a stuck or broken power button in a GSM/AT&T iPhone 4
How to fix a stuck power button on an iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 started suffering from power button issues early on. Typically issues would begin when users noticed that they'd have to push down on one specific side of the power button or their iPhone 5 would not lock. Over time, the button becomes more and more touchy until presses no longer register. In severe cases, the sleep/wake button could even become recessed into the device enough that no movement at all could happen. These issues are actually caused by a tiny metal contact underneath the power button itself. It shifts or becomes dislodged. When this happens, the power button cable no longer makes contact with the button, resulting in no feedback.
If these symptoms are something you've experienced, you need to replace the contact on the power button assembly.
How to fix a stuck or broken iPhone 4S power button
The design of the iPhone 4s is largely the same as its predecessor, which means it is also prone to the same power button issues. Much like the iPhone 4, the problem isn't actually related to the physical power button at all, but the cable that sits directly below it. This cable controls your power button, ambient light sensor (what senses brightness in a room), proximity sensor (what turns the screen off when the phone is brought to your face), and top mic. If you are experiencing issues with any of these other functions, a new cable may very well prove to solve those issues as well.
While an iPhone 4s power cable replacement isn't the easiest repair, it's doable for anyone with moderate to advanced DIY skills. This repair will get your power button back to perfect working condition in just under 90 minutes if you're taking your time.
How to fix a stuck or broken power button in a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4
Just like the GSM iPhone 4, the CDMA variant of the iPhone 4 is just as prone to power button issues. If you find your power button to be recessed or it has stopped registering presses, this DIY repair can help you correct the problem. As in other iPhone models, the actual power button isn't the issue, again it's the cable that lies beneath it. After so many presses, it just becomes worn down and too thin to register when you're pressing it.
While this repair is a little easier than replacing the power button flex cable in the iPhone 4s, we'd still rate it at moderate to advanced. As long as you have some patience and a steady hand, we're confident you can get your Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4 power button back in working condition in around 60 minutes.
How to fix a stuck or broken power button in a GSM/AT&T iPhone 4
The GSM variant of the iPhone 4 seems to be where all the power button problems began. Since then, each iteration of the iPhone has had its own set of issues when it comes to the sleep/wake button. Even with later hardware revisions for the iPhone 5 and beyond, the power button still uses the same kind of assembly, making it an issue for years to come. Luckily, an iPhone 4 power button replacement is quite a bit simpler than an iPhone 5. It's also a heck of a lot more cost effective than getting a new iPhone.
If you aren't ready to trade in your iPhone 4 just yet, a power button replacement isn't too terrible and will take you around 60 minutes if you're being careful.
More DIY help & how to's
Whether you aren't sure if these are the repairs you need or you've already started a repair and have run into issues, our jailbreak, mod, and DIY forums are a great place to ask for help. If you have questions you can't seem to find answers to or would like to see another type of repair guide we don't currently offer, you can always email me as well!
- iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch repair: Ultimate guide to replacing cracked or broken screens
- iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to fixing broken or unresponsive Home buttons
- iPhone DIY repair: Ultimate guide to replacing the battery in your iPhone
- All DIY guides and how to's
Note: Originally published, January 2013. Updated, July 2014.
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iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.