What to do if iPhone button won't work

Last updated 05:00 22/08/2012
Fairfax Australia

Is your home button being a pain? Ben Grubb explains how to simply and quickly sort it out.

iPhone swipe button
SWIPER NO SWIPE: The virtual button in action.

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Is your iPhone home button beginning to fail? Is your thumb beginning to get sorer and sorer from pressing it over and over again? Think you may be at risk of getting arthritis if you have to keep pressing it forcefully?

OPINION: If you answered yes to most of the above questions then it may be time for you to do the following (which doesn't involve having to buy a new smartphone) and which puts a virtual home button on your iPhone's screen.

The problem of the iPhone's physical home button not working after a period of ownership has been well documented on Apple's help forums. And if you're within the Apple warranty period then it might be worth dropping into the Genius bar for a replacement phone.

But if you're like me and you are outside the warranty period and don't want to pay for a new iPhone while you wait for the rumoured iPhone 5 later this year, then you may want to do what one of my housemates (a former third-party Apple technician) told me to do after he saw me yelling at my iPhone in the lounge room recently.

To all the tech-savvy people out there who will say something like "this isn't new", I apologise. But many I have told about this recently have either installed it after I've spoken of it or told me they are using it already.

The fix works on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.


To turn the virtual home button on, navigate through the following menus:

Settings > General > Accessibility > Assistive Touch

There you will find an on/off slider that you should turn on. Shortly after turning it on you will see a square icon that you can touch the centre of to show you a number of options, one of which is the home button.

If I have saved your thumb, you are welcome.

-The Age

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