Some buttons are more important than others. Sure, you can do without the function keys on your keyboard or maybe the ‘Share’ button on your PS4 controller, but there’s one button you’d probably rather not go without: your iPhone’s ‘Home’ button. When there’s only one main button on your device, it becomes especially frustrating when that button stops working. Whether you dropped it in the sand at Changi Beach Park or you spilled a Coke on it at GRUB, there may just be a way to get that button working good as new!
Step 1. Recalibration
The quick and easy first step to fixing your broken ‘Home’ button is calibration. In order to calibrate your ‘Home’ button, open up one of the pre-installed apps like Clock or Calendar. Now hold down the ‘Sleep/Wake’ button until the “slide to power off” bar pops up. Let go of the ‘Sleep’ button and then hold down the ‘Home’ button until you’re brought back to the ‘Home’ screen.
If it worked, rejoice; your button is now fixed! If that didn’t work, it’s time to try…
Step 2. Realignment
If you’ve had this iPhone for some time and the ‘Home’ button has mysteriously stopped working so well, misalignment may be the culprit. When you plug your phone in to charge, the connector can sometimes jostle the ‘Home’ button (which is right above it) and cause it to loosen over time. The easiest way to attempt fixing this is to plug your phone into the charger and push down very lightly on the plug, leveraging the connector upwards towards the ‘Home’ button. You may also want to push down on the ‘Home’ button to attempt realigning more securely.
If this did not solve the problem, let’s move on to…
Step 3. Cleaning
Any device that sees as much use as a phone does will likely gum up eventually. Anything from pocket lint to just plain dirt and grime can slowly fill in the nooks and crannies of your device. With some quick maintenance, you can eliminate the possibility that this is is what’s causing your button malfunction.
To clean your iPhone’s ‘Home’ button, take a toothpick or Q-Tip and very lightly wet the end with some isopropyl alcohol or water. Wipe any excess moisture off onto a paper towel. Then press down on the ‘Home’ button with the toothpick or Q-Tip and drag it in a circle around the edge of the button, picking up any buildup that might be there. Wait a few minutes to make sure the button is try and then try pressing it a few times to see if it worked.
If that was not the solution for you, it may be time to try…
Step 4. Replacement
Replacing your iPhone’s ‘Home’ button can be a rather tedious and involved process. If you do not have a warranty or for some other reason are unable to send in your phone to have the ‘Home’ button replaced, you may want to consider bringing it to a professional in your area that could do the job. If you would like to attempt replacing the button on your own, be warned; the process can be tedious and rather difficult. This should be saved as the last resort. There are plenty of online guides with step-by-step descriptions for how to replace the ‘Home’ button for various models. Make sure you find one that describes the process in adequate detail and preferably uses diagrams or photos to ensure accurate information.
If none of these fixes helped and your iPhone is still not functioning properly, it may unfortunately be time to say goodbye and upgrade to a newer phone. Out with the old, in with the new!