What to do when your iPad’s Home Button Stops Working


A few days ago my iPad’s home button stopped working. Seems like it happened right after I upgraded to iOs 4.3. The only thing I could do to use it was turn it off and back on. Mine’s a first generation that I got at Best Buy the first day it came out on April 3rd, 2010. I searched the web. There was a blog post where a lot of people who were having the same problem talked about solutions and whether it was hardware or software caused. Some found answers. Most didn’t and ended up taking it back and getting it replaced. Since mine is almost a year old and I didn’t buy any of the warranty from Best Buy or Apple, I figured I would have to take it back, they may send it off and that it would cost me something.

Anyway on this blog post I know one guy mentioned that his would work in Portrait mode. I tried portrait mode, still nothing. So I let the thing sit for a day. I’d thought about a hard reset, but how are you going to do a hard reset if the home button doesn’t work?

Anyway, yesterday, even though it was still not working, I found something funny: I noticed that when I held it in landscape mode, pushed the button, held it, then rotated it to portrait mode, then released, it started working, maybe half the time. I thought, “OK, I can live with this for a few days until I take it up there.”

Then later on, I had the iPad sitting flat on my wooden desk next to my desktop. I pushed the button. It worked every time. I thought, “Hey this is cool. OK.” I thought maybe it had something to do with the hard surface. Now my iPad is not in a case, so I don’t know if that may make a difference.

Now, a day after that, it seems to be totally working again like normal.

This could be totally anecdotal and have nothing to do with my exercises. Maybe it was just a glitch in the software that some how “healed” itself. But its worth a try if you find yourself in this same situation.

So try this:

  • Hold the iPad in front of you in landscape mode
  • Push the button and keep it held while you gently rotate it to Portrait mode, then release.
  • See if you get any response: 1 out of 2 times, 1 out of 3, etc.
  • If that works, or even if it doesn’t, lay the iPad gently on a hard, smooth surface, so there is even resistance. (If its in a case, I’d recommend taking it out) Push the button, hold it in a second longer than normal, then gently release.
  • This may be totally anecdotal but it “feels” like it started responding when, after I pushed, I kept it pushed for a second, and then gently released.

Well maybe this is totally luck and yours still won’t work or maybe there’s something to it, and either the maneuver or the slight resistance somehow put it it back in place (assuming it is hardware related) or somehow fixed the “glitch” if it is software.

Either way, what I’m describing above is in no way harming the iPad. I wasn’t pushing any harder than normal or trying to shake it or anything like that. No need to push harder. Although it did seem, at first, that when I would hold it pushed in for just a second longer than normal and then gently released, it started to respond.

Don’t do anything that could damage your iPad, but try the above and see if it works for you. Give it a day or two. Maybe you’ll have the same “luck” that I did, and it’ll start working again.

If not of course take it back to the Apple Store. But either way, if you are one of the unfortunate ones like me that this happened to let me know how it works out. I’d love to hear your experiences. And learn.

 

119 thoughts on “What to do when your iPad’s Home Button Stops Working

    1. Stephen Pickering Post author

      Oh, thank you! I love hearing that, I’m a genius! hahahhahaha. I think I just got lucky finding it myself, but I’m so happy it worked for you. Thanks for commenting and sharing!

      Reply
  1. WhoDoYouThink?

    Ok, so I sat and held the Home botton for a couple of seconds and it started working again, so relieved I won’t have to take it in!

    All about gratitude! :)

    Reply
  2. Robert

    I had the same problem on my Apple 5. I took it to my local “pakistanie”, he changed the internal button. Took 5 minutes and the phone is working 100%

    Reply
  3. Harris-athens

    Stephen, god with you an a happy new year

    I saw the video, tried a few times plus air duster and your trick worked

    Really thanks
    Harris

    Reply
  4. Klaatu

    Very nice. A friend bought her iPad 2 two months ago. The button never would turn on the device, and using it to back out of a screen would take around three seconds. She asked me if I could help. I pulled up this site, and in three seconds, it was fixed. I told her to put it through its paces to make sure it wasn’t just a temporary thing. Seems to have done the trick and made me look like a freakin’ God. Yes!

    Reply
  5. Jeff Watson

    I tried this and it worked fine. It is not a dust issue, I had previously tried the canned air and other dust tricks. We had learned to use the “Pinch” command to get back to home screen. I tried it once and BINGO! rotating from landscape to portrait did it. I did n’t push hard or grind it in (though I had tried that many times before) Thanks
    Jeff

    Reply
  6. Isaac Aboagye Boatey

    I have iPad2 for almost a year now. I use it a lot for all my research work. My grand-daughter also uses it for her game work. Yesterday the home button failed to function and I was confused. Thanks to your method, I have solved this problem.

    Bravo!

    Reply
  7. Tom Coats

    I had the same problem…Home button on my iPad just stopped working. I tried all the suggestions I could find to no avail. Then I took a clean dry cloth and cleaned the surface of the home button with a gentle twisting motion several times. It started working perfectly…don’t know what the deal is, but it works…

    Reply
  8. Michael Malone

    Mine was a dust issue. All I had to do was push on each side of the “home” button and blowing air into the creases to remove the dust and it worked fine. Didn’t realize it was an external mechanism, so this makes perfect sense. Thanks for the advice. Saved me a ton of time returning the product.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Ipad 2, just downloaded new update, and have a baby that puts his slober all over my ipad. Didnt fix it by rotating but…pushed on one edge of the button and blew at the other side and it worked!

      I just got another problem also where the volume slider and volume itself disappear when i try to play itunes movies that are bootlegged. Video is perfect but no audio and no slider. Removed the movies and turned ipad off and on and volume slider returns.

      Reply
  9. Francesco

    Amazing: after half a day of random attempts, it worked , exactly as you have indicated!
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  10. plixpos

    thx ipad 2 is working again. By doing this: press on the side of the home button, while pressing the button run your finger around the outside edge of the home button several times until you get action on the screen from your button….

    Reply
  11. Marc

    Thank you Stephen it worked!
    First I tried it with the home button on the right. This did not do the trick.
    Then after watching the Youtube video I tried it with the home button on the right and my IPad is back to new.

    Thank you for sharing this. I hope some people at Apple also read your website.

    Reply
    1. Marc

      Sorry for the confusion above. The home button had to be on the right in landscape position to do the trick for me.

      Reply
  12. J

    In a million years I never would have believed it but I was desperate and tried these instructions and holy cow it worked!! Thank you so much!!!!’m

    Reply
  13. gillian

    I tried everything from cleaning to resets, clicking here and there and nothing worked. My menu button just wouldn’t work until i tried your suggestions several times and it did work! I was about to bring my ipad to apple to have it diagnosed and could have caused me a lot of bucks. Thanks to you, now its remedied and I hope it holds up till the last dying days of my ipad. Thanks. By the way, the strategy that worked for me is that you put the ipad on a flat surface, and then you hold the menu button and then the power button and press till you hear a click sound or something, then release and unlock.

    Reply
  14. Jesse

    What i found to work was laying it on the back and pressing. Also i took my charger not plugged into wall or computer and pushed down so the tip went to the screen. I did it lightly so it would break anything and i have noticed that it has been working ever since then, It is like magic. i think its software because i started to notice after i updated it to 5.1 not 4.1 it is a lil over 1 year old.

    Reply
  15. Barbara

    Weird! It worked great. I did this once about a year ago and no problems until just now. Tried it again and all is good.

    Reply
  16. Joe

    People, as clever as it is, this is not magic, its simply a dust issue, and Stephen’s trick just happens to remedy the problem over time. It explains the randomness in the issue being fixed and reoccurring. The home button is, after all, free standing from the iPad casing or you wouldn’t be able to press it down. As a result, dust can get in and around the space between the home button and the casing preventing a clean press from your finger. In probably 90% of the cases its not a bug issue that is preventing your home button from working properly, its a dust issue. Stephen’s trick works because when you hold the button down and rotate your iPad you are naturally depressing the home button at various points as you rotate. This helps clear out whatever is preventing your home button from properly functioning. If you want this problem to really go away quickly I suggest you go buy a keyboard air can cleaner and blow out your home button, it will work wonders. If you don’t want to spend the money, then instead of doing Stephen’s trick over and over again try this: press on the side of the home button, while pressing the button run your finger around the outside edge of the home button several times until you get action on the screen from your button, do this a few times and it should solve your problem permanently. If it doesn’t then get the air can cleaner, its pretty cheap and it will definitely solve your problem. If you still have problems then take it into Apple.

    Hope this helps, and thanks Stephen for posting your remedy, it has obviously helped a lot of people. Hopefully my addition will make it a little faster (and permanent).

    Reply
    1. Brian

      Sorry it is not a dust issue just took one out ofthe plastic wrap that was having the same issue and his solution fixed it.

      Reply
  17. Pine

    I find this bugs has something related to the rotate function, switch and the home button, I have tried to turn on and off the switch on right hand comer, rotate it together with pressing the home screen randomly, THE PROBLEM APPEAR AGAIN!!
    And then I start the solution this blog provide, it WORKS AGAIN!!
    So, my suggestions to avoid this serious fault form your ipad is:
    avoid simultaneously do these three things:
    -switch the right top button
    -rotate your ipad
    -press the home button

    if you need to preform those action, do it separately, at least 1/2 second in between.

    For anyone brave enough, you can repeat my experiment again to determine the pattern on your own machine or the demo one in apple retain store ^_^

    I hope this help.

    Reply
  18. Mandy Robbins

    Hi there

    Thank you so much for your advice. My daughter had been playing on the eye pad 2 and when my husband came home from work he asked if it had been dropped as the home button had stopped working. I tried all the moves on your video and then rested it on a hard surface holding the key in for about 10 secs and bingo it worked. What a relief as I only bought it at Xmas! Thanks again – Mandy Robbins

    Reply
  19. Karen

    Thanks so much I have the ‘New Ipad’ only for 2 weeks and experienced this same issue, did a restore and still same problem, stubbled across your fix and it appears to be working just fine now. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  20. Nelson

    Here’s how to never need the home button again:
    Go to settings / general.
    Turn on multitasking gestures.
    Now you can “pinch” the screen with 4 fingers to go to the home screen!
    No more restarting to get home.

    Reply
  21. David B

    Wowowow!!

    What an amazing find. This actually worked. I was so frustrated that I could not close an app, and had to use the shutdown button just to close the system, but only to find that last app still running on the screen and no way to shut it down. Then, I found this simple solution and WHAMO !!! After 2 frustration filled days, problem solved, at least for the short term.

    Thanks so much for being somewhat inquisitive yourself, and for being so thoughtful enough to share this trick.

    Thanks Thanks Thanks.

    Reply
  22. Karl

    Stephen you’re awesome I thought my iPad was on its final life support when the home button would not function. I tried for weeks just hoping that somehow it will revive itself… until I came across your awesome fix. Thanks a bundle!!!!

    Reply
  23. Elvis Ofori

    I had a similar problem and I was terribly alarmed as I had my iPad on Val’s day and had not fully enjoy the fullness of this great sexy device. After couple of tries it worked for me as well. Kudos to you for your awesome help.

    Reply
  24. Anna

    This toataly just worked for me, I have no idea how long it will last, but I’m so glad this actually worked! How did this make it work though? Is there an explanation?

    Reply
    1. Stephen Pickering Post author

      Oh, I’m so glad, and thanks for the comment. I have no idea why it works. It’s like I just stumbled upon it. Very weird. My experience is, and I have the 1st generation, I had the problem come back one time, about 4 months later, and then the fix worked again, and it hasn’t come back since. So, depending on your warranty, etc. I don’t know if you should report it to Apple or not. Couldn’t hurt to at least ask them. All I can tell you is my experience.

      Reply
  25. John

    Had the same problem of the home button not working. Tried the technique of holding the home button while rotating from landscape mode to portrait mode. It worked! The only thing I can add is the following: I have my IPad locked in landscape mode. When I decide to unlock it and use landscape and portrait mode, that is when the problem started.

    IPad is working fine now. Thank you for your video and great instructions. The IPad is the best invention ever made. John

    Reply
  26. tom

    Little update:
    the fix is not permanent. It fades away after a couple of days maybe, and you have to do the trick again and have the home button fully functioning again. Anyway, since this method seems to partially solve the problem, I guess it proves we are talking about a software and not hardware related issue…. no?

    Reply

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