If you operate a mobile device with a single main button, the chances are that you will overuse it and risk it more to wear and tear. Your efforts to keep the phone safe and undamaged can be short-lived when the one button becomes unresponsive. Those of us with an iPhone 4 or 4S can comfortably relate to this.
This iPhone gadget has the Home button to operate the device physically. If this Home button becomes unresponsive, users become confused and frustrated as it becomes almost impossible to use the iPhone.
This problem rarely affects iPhone 5 (and later models) users as the model possesses a different design of the Home button. For instance, a physical Home button is absent on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus, but users are prone to experience problems with a malfunctioning button.
When faced with this issue, most users focus on finding the reason as to why the Home button will not function properly. Most of them settle on dust, misalignment, moisture, prolonged use or dirt as being responsible.
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The causative reasons remain unclear and finding reliable methods to fix the Home button remains important. This article addresses the issue of a malfunctioning Home button in various iPhone devices.
Seek High-Quality Services from Apple Store
If the Home button spoils when your iPhone device has a warranty, it is best to take it to a nearby Apple store. The warranty is limited to a one-year period; a significantly short period for your iPhone to have spoilt. Apple will repair your device and replace it if need be as long as your warranty has not expired.
For users outside the warranty period, you to take your gadget to Apple store for repair services. However, Apple services in most cases are expensive. Sometimes it is even best if you entirely purchase a new device.
It is common for most users to restore the iOS software in their iPhone in an attempt to fix the home button. To try this, you will first need to have all your data backed up in iTunes. Then connect your device to iTunes and choose it on Devices option. Once here, locate the Summary option and tap on Restore. In case you encounter any problems doing this, seek assistance from the Apple team by visiting their Support Page.
For users unable to settle the repair cost, other methods are available for you to utilize and resolve your issue. They involve either repairing the device hardware or hacking the iOS software. In the subsections that follow, I am going to outline an in-depth analysis of the other methods available for you.
Recalibrate the Home Button
Recalibrating the Home Button has no official recommendation (not even from Apple Inc. itself), but has helped most users fix their non-working Home Buttons. This procedure is quite simple, safe, fast and efficient to perform on numerous devices. This fix solves the problem for most users but does not apply to every Home button issue.
To calibrate your iPhone, open a basic app such as Clock in your iPhone. Press and hold the Sleep button until the device prompts you to “Slide to power off”. When prompted, release the sleep button, then press and hold the Home button immediately. The opened app should close in approximately between 5 – 10 seconds.
If this solves your problem, consider yourself very lucky. This fix normally solves some software issues within your device that rendered the home button unresponsive. If you did not successfully solve the issue, restore your device and proceed to try other fixes as described below.
Realign Your iPhone’s Docking Port
If you have had your iPhone for quite some time now, you probably have used it frequently every day to perform some tasks and recharge it. As you use the phone, you subject it to normal wear and tear through which some components can slightly misalign from their original location.
The docking port is one such component, which can drag the home button with it upon misplacement. This usually happens during charging. Do this properly and with utmost discretion to avoid spoiling your gadget.
To solve this, connect your phone to the USB 30-pin connector. Proceed and lightly push the connector down in a gentle manner, ensuring that the Home button slowly pushes up. While still at this task, tap the Home button to determine if this has fixed the problem. Disconnect the cable. If this solved your problem, be happy. If not, proceed to the other methods below.
Enable the Virtual (On-Screen) Home Button
iPhone devices have an accessibility feature that enables users to operate their devices with an on-screen Home button. This option normally called the Assistive Touch function, specifically designed to assist people who have problems using their smartphones. You are required to enable it first before utilizing it.
To activate this feature, select and open Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch. Turn the Assistive Touch feature ON. A small circle will display on the screen providing you with six options; Custom, Siri, Device and Control Centre, Home, Notification Centre and More.
These options enable you to perform every function in your iPhone initially possible with a physical button only including the Home button, Volume Controls, etc. Among these six available options, only Custom and Device Centre require an elaboration, but the remaining four are self-explanatory.
With the Custom option, you can prepare and install your customized commands and gestures. The Device Centre offers you additional operation options like Lock or Rotate, Screen, Mute, and Volume Control. This applies to iOS devices such as iPhone 5 and later versions. In older iOS devices, the tapping the virtual home button once gives you three options only i.e. Home, Voice Control, and Favorites. With the Favorites button, you can customize and save particular actions and gestures.
However, the on-screen home button can hinder you from operating your device properly especially with the persistent “dot” on display. If this ever happens, select and tap on the virtual home button and replace it to another location in your screen frame. This fix is temporal and not a perfect one but is capable of giving you service until the day you repair your Home button or buy a new one.
Clean Your Home Button
The Home button can become unresponsive if you use your iPhone in dirty or dusty environments. You will need to apply pure isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to clean the home button properly. These substances are available for purchase in most local stores near you. Ensure that you perform this fix properly to avoid damaging your device.
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With the cotton swab, release 2 – 3 drops of the alcohol straight into the home button. You can also do this using a tissue or an eyedropper. Be cautious and avoid contaminating the screen with the fluid. Ensure that the alcohol gets into the frame properly even if you have to tap the home button constantly with a narrow blunt object. Dry the alcohol to clean the device. After 10 – 15 minutes, determine if this fix worked in your favor.
Attempt Available Jailbreak Options
Currently, only A4 and iOS 6 devices have tethered jailbreak. If your iPhone is in this category, then you can easily transfer the functions of the home button to another physical button present such as the volume control buttons (either Volume Up or Volume Down). It is insane to try this fix but then again, what choice do the crazy ones (like me) have if the available options are excessively expensive or not available at all.
With the Jailbreak option, you can access more and endless options supported in the functionality of your iPhone. You can readily obtain a free app in Cydia store from the numerous ones available to attempt this fix on your home button.
The jailbreakers present can easily alter the button settings on your device creating new ones. These features enable you to replace the home button functions and copy them elsewhere as you desire. The three most popular apps are iHome, Activator, and Zephyr that I highly recommend.
The Last Resort; If All Else Fails
If none of the fixtures described above solved your problem, I encourage you not to despair. Other last resort options are available. You can have your home button repaired by anyone qualified. You can contact the Resq team to repair your iPhone properly at a lower price than Apple. However, only Apple can replace the Touch ID present in iPhone 5S and other succeeding iOS gadgets.
Touch ID is a fingerprint sensor inherent with the Home button. It possesses a security code (only Apple can crack it) that associates a particular home button with a particular iPhone. You disable this feature if other firms and not Apple repair your home button. This fix is ideal if you urgently and genuinely require the home button back and operational.
Giving your iPhone a twist and a spin can fix your home button if the idea (present in numerous Mac forums) is anything to go with. Although I have not tried it, I hope that it works for you, but I suspect it would address the same problem as described in the third method. Have your iPhone down with the screen facing up, tap and hold the home button firmly and give the iPhone a clockwise twist.
That is all I have to share with you today on the subject above. If you have the different fixing technique or find out a different one missing above, be generous enough to share it with us. We believe that it would work for others if it fixed your home button.