iPhone home button no longer works? This is how you can solve it!

The Apple iPhone is actually a sturdy machine, but nothing lasts forever. If you have a problem with the iPhone home button, you can try the following approaches to solve it. Because in this guide I have summarized a few tips and tricks for you, thanks to which you can either get a defective home button (also: home button) working again or replace it with a workaround. However, there is no miracle solution - in case of doubt, you have to check with Apple support to see whether and at what price a repair / exchange is offered.

Defective home button on the iPhone? It does not always have to be replaced. Here are a few tips and tricks as a solution to the problem of the defective home button on the Apple smartphone.

Defective home button on the iPhone? It does not always have to be replaced. Here are a few tips and tricks as a solution to the problem of the defective home button on the Apple smartphone.

Apple iPhone with Touch ID in the home button

A few years ago, tech-savvy people were able to earn some extra money by buying defective iPhone 5 models, replacing the home button and selling the device that was made functional again. From the iPhone 5s onwards, this was no longer possible because the home button was no longer used as a simple button, but also as a fingerprint sensor. In addition to some iPad models and the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, the following Apple smartphones have installed the smart buttons.

Touch ID 1st generation

  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone SE (2016)
  • iPhone 6
  • 6 iPhone Plus

Touch ID 2st generation

  • iPhone 6s
  • 6s iPhone Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • 7 iPhone Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • 8 iPhone Plus
  • iPhone SE (2020)

Solution 1: recalibrate the Apple iPhone home button

If the button under the smartphone display does not react correctly, it is not always broken. Sometimes you just need to recalibrate the button to get it working properly again. If that doesn't work, then it's likely a hardware failure. But to test that, you should try recalibrating the iPhone home button - with these little instructions:

  1. Open any app on the iPhone
  2. Press the power button (on / off switch) for some time
  3. Release the power button when the power off screen appears
  4. Now hold down the home button
  5. Let go when the power off screen disappears and you can see the open app

Does the home button work as it should afterwards? Then the problem is solved ...

Solution 2: AssistiveTouch as a home button directly on the display

Doesn't calibrating the button bring anything or is it already so broken that only the description “defective” applies? Then you can either have it exchanged or conjure up a substitute on the display. Because Apple has taken precautions in the event of a defective home button - with the “AssistiveTouch” feature in iOS. This function activates a virtual home button. That goes over Settings -> Accessibility -> Tap -> AssistiveTouch. Alternatively, you can use the voice assistant by "Hey Siri, turn on AssistiveTouch“Says.

Quick and easy, if you can use the voice assistant: Hey Siri, turn on AssistiveTouch!

Quick and easy, if you can use the voice assistant: Hey Siri, turn on AssistiveTouch!

A third way is via the shortcuts, with which quick use is possible even without speech. Under Settings -> Accessibility -> Shortcut you can activate "AssistiveTouch" as a shortcut. The home button symbol on the display can then be quickly and easily activated or deactivated by pressing the side button (on the right of the device) three times in a row. A comfortable way that saves time and effort, because you don't always have to worry about the settings and quickly get the virtual home button out of the way when you use full-screen apps or watch videos;)

If you briefly tap the virtual home button, you will get this selection for further navigation - here on the iPhone X with iOS 13.5.1.

If you briefly tap the virtual home button, you will get this selection for further navigation - here on the iPhone X with iOS 13.5.1.

More about the function and what you can do with it: Support document HT202658

Solution 3: Have the iPhone home button replaced

As a last resort, you can have an exchange carried out either at Apple itself or at an approved workshop. An original spare part should be used. This is the only way to ensure that the Touch ID works and that you won't have problems with the iPhone home button again after a short time. If calibration is not possible and the display replacement does not agree with you (or you absolutely need the Touch ID), you should be prepared to take on the costs of 50 to 70 euros in some cases. 

Home button error 53 after replacing the hardware

You may have heard of "Error 53" before. He became well known through one Articles in The Guardian of 2016, in which Antonio Olmos reported on it. He had his home button exchanged in a freelance workshop in Macedonia. Then it worked again, but only until the next iOS update. The cause of the error 53 on the iPhone was the incorrect synchronization of the new hardware with the data in the Apple Secure Enclave of the device. Although errors and usage restrictions were removed with iOS 9.2.1, the function of Touch ID can still be disabled for security reasons if no original hardware was used. Source: Wikipedia

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1 comment

  1. Suzan Helfrich says:

    Thank you, my day is saved. I have now created the virtual home button according to your instructions.

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