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iPhone Home Button Not Working

I have noticed in the last couple months that my iPhone 3GS home button is growing gradually unresponsive. Whereas a light click used to activate my home button without fail, the same amount of pressure now goes unnoticed by the iPhone. I now have to press harder for the home button to respond to my touch, and the constant double-tapping required to bring up iOS4′s app switcher places noticeable stress on my thumbs.

The home button issue was raised by a user in the MacRumors forum in November 2007, and the thread contains 4 pages of related complaints from iPhone customers with faulty home buttons. The complaints range from first-gen iPhone to 3G to 3GS users, though I have found no reports about an iPhone 4 home button issue as of this writing. It may be too early to tell.

Although the weaker home button on my iPhone 3GS has been apparent for a couple of months, it was never a huge inconvenience since I normally only tapped the home button once at any given time. Now that the iOS4 update has brought multitasking to the iPhone, the double-clicking required to activate the feature makes the home button problem that much more aggravating.

Pushing towards the bottom of the home button seems to work better, though not reliably.

These days, using my iPhone for a long period of time reminds me of the sore thumbs I had as a kid after playing too many video games. This is not a good sign, given the hand health risks associated with video gaming. No one deserves to get carpal tunnel syndrome from their iPhone, yet the possibility is a real one if Apple has not improved this issue with the iPhone 4.

I have not yet attempted to take my iPhone to the Apple Store, since there is no store in my town and my expired warranty has discouraged me from driving to a distant Apple Store only to be turned away. Although I will soon switch to an iPhone 4 (still awaiting delivery), I would like to sort this issue out if possible so that I can get a good price for my iPhone 3GS when I sell it on eBay.

Is Your iPhone Home Button Faulty, Too?

Is your iPhone home button less responsive than when you originally got the phone? If you were able to solve the home button issue, I would love to know your advice for fixing it.


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35 Comments

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  1. Gina (3 comments) says:

    The alcohol solution Worked!!!
    THANKS!!!!!

  2. annonymous (2 comments) says:

    Alcohol Fix

    Pour some rubbing alcohol on the home button.
    Press down the home button so the alcohol can get down into it, press in and out a few times.
    Repeat with more alcohol.
    Once alcohol has gone down into the sides of home button, press button repeatedly.
    Let alcohol evaporate.

    Home button back to normal.

    :D

  3. Victor 18 (1 comments) says:

    It is very hard to press my home button Iphone 3gs!

  4. Hannah (4 comments) says:

    I’m having the same loss of sensitivity on the home screen with my iPod touch

  5. darren (1 comments) says:

    I have an iphone 4 and i have notic the same thing happening to me

  6. ithinkParty (1 comments) says:

    How do you really fix this? I don’t understand how it can be related to OS version, I think it’s a hardware issue. I’ve also tried hard resetting my iphone 4. No luck. The SBsettings is a good idea, if home is totally unresponsive. But my home button is fine, it only has to be clicked several times which makes it annoying. I hopr there’s a working fix we can do ourselves.

  7. Daniel (15 comments) says:

    Ok so naturally I have a I4 with the same issues as everyone else in here but does anyone have word on whether apple will cover it? Or are we on our own on this?

    So what’s your solution Sabeeh?

  8. Sabeeh (1 comments) says:

    I FIGURED IT OUTTTT! after trying to fix this on my 3gs for a couple hours i finally got it. idk if it’s the fix for all home button sensitivity issues out there but it worked for me! you can’t be afraid to open up your iphone for this though.

  9. Mel (4 comments) says:

    I think same goes to iPhone 4 and my phone is not even 1 year old. Why there are no reply from apple of such problems I’m such forum??? Or they don’t even know what to do???

  10. leigh burke (1 comments) says:

    Hi there my iphone 4 is becoming much less responsive, and it is only 6 months old.

  11. Danny (4 comments) says:

    It’s been 8 months since I bought my iPhone4. The home button has started to get not as responsive as before. Sometimes single-clicking may accidentally activate the multitasking tray, while other times clicking once may not bring me back to the home screen.It’s getting kind of annoying.

  12. Liz (5 comments) says:

    I have an iphone 4 ,, yes it also has the same problem. Its really difficult to go home I have to click it numerous times for it to work although it is sometimes its happening more often

  13. Pratyay (2 comments) says:

    Here is the fix I found. I had similar problem with my iPhone 4 and the issue got resolved just now. U need to reset your phone as described in the link http://www.mademan.com/mm/hard-reset-iphone.html.

    1. Pratyay (2 comments) says:

      ….forgot to mention, also see the thread https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2541121?start=0&tstart=0

  14. Matthew (2 comments) says:

    I have the same problem with the 4. very aggravating.

  15. Useryo (1 comments) says:

    iPhone 4 here. I think I’m going to break the phone with the pressure I need to push the button with. Started soon after I got it. Definitely a hardware problem here.

  16. Shay (1 comments) says:

    My home button on my iPhone 3G will not work at all no matter how hard I push down :(

  17. sathish (1 comments) says:

    I am from India and I have the same issue with my iPhone 3G. This is getting worst day by day. But recent days I learnt a technique of pressing the home button using my thumb’s Proximal Phalanx.

    When I give this phone to someone new, they think that the phone is turned off as it never lights up when they press the button soft.

    Can someone suggest a workaround? I dont have warranty and I have jail broken this. I can not take this to Apple now. Can I repair this myself?

    I guess this problem is partially related to the button sensitivity and partially because of the ios 4 upgrade.

  18. Steve (25 comments) says:

    I have a iPod touch and am experiencing the same issue. It started after upgrading to iOS4. I have to double click a lot to close down apps or lose battery life. All that extra clicking is taking a toll on the battery. I don’t think the button was designed for such excessive use (my opinion)

  19. Janaka (1 comments) says:

    My Iphone 3G, home button too is not soft. Need to press it hard to activate, which I think is not very convenient. Have to charge battery twice a day sometimes. Wonder why?

    IPhone is a great product: but these matters must be resolved.

  20. José Junior (1 comments) says:

    Same problem here. iPhone 4.
    Sending it to dealer (Claro Brasil).

    1. juliano (1 comments) says:

      hey, I am from Brazil as well. Have you already talked to Claro? What have they defined? How long it took until you got a response?

      Thanks.

  21. Kathy (3 comments) says:

    Same here. Started recently, after it worked fine for six months. Annoying! Takes me sometimes three tries to get it to respond. Now I’m worried I’m making it worse.

  22. frank coviello (1 comments) says:

    I have the exact problem that you described in your article. I could have written that word for word. I have an iphone 3g that I purchased new about two yrs ago. Probably within the last six months the home button has become more and more unresponsive. I can push it softly like six or seven times and nothing. I finally have to push hard on the home button and almost hold it down until it opens. At this point it’s really annoying and it’s out of warranty. I’m ready to upgrade to the 4g but want to get this resolved so I can sell my 3g for a decent amount. This phone works great but no one is going to buy it if the home button is acting up. Do I take it to an Apple Store and let them run a test on it? What do I do with this? It almost seems that it’s so common now that Apple should cover the fix. Help please. Thx.

  23. Powen (1 comments) says:

    jailbreak your iPhone, install SBSetting from Cydia. SBSetting allows you to mimic the home button functionality by say tapping the title bar (or swiping the title bar to left/right…etc), works for me.

  24. Barb (3 comments) says:

    Yes, I have an iPhone 4 and am currently at Apple to try to find out what is going on? Update y’all soon!

  25. Gennaro (1 comments) says:

    I’ve had my 3GS since day one, and my warranty expired a few months back. Personally the Home button on my 3GS is perfectly fine, I think part of this has to do with iOS4, I’v noticed that since the various versions of iOS4 came out, on some occasions it takes 2-3 presses on the home button to come out of “sleep”, once the screen is lit up and in use I get zero issues and everything is fine. It really seems like a software issue to me

  26. MusicMan (1 comments) says:

    I have the iPhone 4 and am experiencing button problems. Like you stated above, it has gradually become harder to push. I took it to a myPhone MD store and they said the prongs behind the button are probably bent, and the harder you push the more it bends them, etc.

    I have a warranty with Best Buy but shouldnt this be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty? My iPhone 4 is about 3 months old and is in perfect condition, no damage at all.

  27. Micah (1 comments) says:

    My iPhone 4 I have to slam down the button once or twice for it to read. Really annoying

  28. TheJunkMonger (8 comments) says:

    I think it’s probably lint under the button and not the actual switch that is defective. At least that is what I found on my 2g

    1. iPhoneChris (218 comments) says:

      Thanks. Were you able to get the lint out? I was considering popping open the iPhone and looking around in there.

      1. Leo (8 comments) says:

        I’ve got the same problem, but my iphone 2G after unlocking work FINE. Why it needs 2 click of home button to wake up I don’t even know. I think it’s a soft problem.

        1. Leo (8 comments) says:

          I have iPhone 2G. It was ok, and I had to pres home button one time, then I had to double click home button, now I have to double press power button or one click to power button then one click to home one. It’s definitely soft problem couse when I use it there is no problem with home button at all.

          1. Ivan (3 comments) says:

            Hi Leo, I found how you can fix this issue into 4 steps :)

            1. First of all you should open system folder on your iPhone 2G which located in “/System/Library/SystemConfiguration/PowerManagement.bundle/”

            (for example you can use for it an iFunBox – http://www.i-funbox.com/)

            2. Then, in this folder you will see file “com.apple.SystemPowerProfileDefaults.plist”

            3. Just rename this file to “com.apple.SystemPowerProfileDefaults.plist2” or delete it at all.

            4. Reboot your iphone, it should work normally!
            :)

          2. RL (1 comments) says:

            My 3g phone got a little wet with salt water and my home button sensitivity went way low. It was almost impossible to activate. I got fet-up and went extreme and sprayed a little WD40 around the home key and worked it in…pressed the key like 50 times. Now, believe it or not, it works fine again!

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