How to Deal with a Broken iPhone Home Button

Troubleshooting an unresponsive home button

Given that it's the only button on the front of most iPhones, it's no surprise that the Home button is pretty important. Most of us probably don't realize how often we press it. Between returning to the home screen, quitting apps, quickly switching between apps and other tasks, we use it all the time. But what happens if your Home button is breaking or already broken?

The ideal solution is to repair the button and return your iPhone to perfect working order, but there's also a workaround that lets you replace hardware with software.

assistive touch helps fix broken iphone home button

The iPhone X and newer models don't have a home button at all. Learn how to perform common tasks on those models in iPhone X Home Button Basics.

If Your Home Button Is Completely Non-Functional

If your Home button is already totally broken, you may not be able to get to your Settings app (you could be stuck in another app, for instance). If that's the case, you're out of luck.

There are a number of accessibility features that can be enabled using a computer when your iPhone is synced to iTunes, but AssistiveTouch is not one of them. Using that requires getting into the Settings app. If your Home button is already completely non-functional, you should skip to the repair section at the end of this article.

While this article refers to the iPhone, these tips apply to any iOS device, including the iPod touch and iPad.

AssistiveTouch on the iPhone

If your Home button is broken or breaking, there's a feature built into the iOS that can help: AssistiveTouch. Apple didn't put that feature there as a workaround to broken buttons. It's actually designed to make the iPhone accessible to people who may have trouble pressing the physical Home button due to disabilities. 

AssistiveTouch works by adding a virtual Home button to your iPhone's screen that is overlaid on every app and screen throughout your phone. With AssistiveTouch enabled, you don't have to click the Home button—everything that requires the Home button to do can be done by tapping the button onscreen.

How to Set Up and Use AssistiveTouch on iPhone

To learn how to turn on AssistiveTouch, and how to configure and use it, read our step-by-step instructions in How to Use AssistiveTouch on Your iPhone.

iPhone Home Button Repair: AppleCare

If your Home button is breaking or broken, AssistiveTouch is a good temporary fix, but you probably don't want to be stuck with a non-functional Home button for good. You need to get the button fixed.

Before deciding where to get it fixed, check to see if your iPhone is still under warranty. If it is, either due to the original warranty or because you bought an AppleCare extended warranty, take your phone to an Apple Store. There, you'll get an expert repair that maintains your warranty coverage. If your phone is under warranty and you get it repaired somewhere else, you may forfeit your warranty.

iPhone Home Button Repair: Third Parties

If your phone is out of warranty, and especially if you're planning to upgrade to a new model soon, then getting your Home button fixed at the Apple Store isn't crucial. In that case, you can consider getting it fixed by an independent repair shop. There are lots of companies that offer iPhone repair, and not all of them are skilled or reliable, so make sure to do some research before picking one.