Before I start, let me answer your most burning question – yes, these fixes work with all iOS devices, not just the iPhone. I tried them on the iPad, and they should work well on the iPod Touch as well. With that out of the way, let us get into the matter at hand – the unresponsive home button.
If you own an iOS device which you use frequently, you’ve probably encountered this problem. The home button is responsible for your device’s most important functions, so when it gets laggy or stops responding altogether, using your iOS device becomes exceedingly annoying.
This unresponsiveness can be caused by any number of reasons, and if your device is under warranty and it’s not too much of a hassle, taking it to the nearest Apple store is probably your best option. If this is not the case, and your home button is driving you crazy, here are two simple things you can do. The first might fix it, the second will work around it. Either way, your device will be usable again, and peace will be restored.
“Recalibrating” The Home Button
I say “recalibrating” because this is not in any way an official fix. I couldn’t find a definitive source for this trick, which has been floating around for quite a while, but it nonetheless seems to work quite well on unresponsive home buttons. This fix is safe to try on any device – the worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t fix your home button.
Here’s what you need to do:
Launch any app that came pre-installed on your device. I tried it with Notes but you can also launch Calendar, Reminders, or anything else.
Press and hold your device’s power button for about 4 seconds, until the “Slide to power off” prompt appears.
3. Once this happens, release the power button, and then press and hold the home button instead. This will take around 6-7 seconds, but at the end the prompt will disappear, and the app will force close.
That’s it. These actions should recalibrate your home button, and if you were having problems before, you should feel a significant improvement. My iPad’s home button wasn’t driving me nuts, but it wasn’t at its best either. Doing this definitely seems to have made it more quick to respond.
If doing this one time did not have any effect, try repeating the process several times. Some users reported that their home button finally improved after 3-4 repeats .
When All Else Fails – AssistiveTouch
iOS 5 includes many useful accessibility options, one of which can be used as a workaround for your unresponsive home button. The option is called AssistiveTouch, and is originally meant for those who have trouble using the touchscreen. You can enable it through Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> AssistiveTouch.
Once you do this, a new, semi-transparent button will appear on your screen, and will follow you anywhere you go and into any app you launch. The button can be moved around to any corner you wish, and is generally unobtrusive.
Now, when you want to use your home button and it chooses not to respond, simply touch this button to open the AssistiveTouch menu. In the menu, find the home button and use it instead of the hardware one.
This method takes longer than simply using the home button, but it’s highly useful when your home button simply refuses to work. It’s a good solution for a completely broken home button, as well as for one that has mood swings. You can always have the option enabled, and choose to use it only when all hope is lost for the actual home button.
Did It Work?
I’ve told you about my experience with the recalibration method, but did it work for you? Have you managed to get your home button to work again, or did you choose to use the workaround? If you know of any other good ways to fix a rebellious home button, do share them in the comments as well.