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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.







136 responses to “What to do when your iPad’s Home Button Stops Working”

  1. Annie Roth Avatar

    I can’t believe it! This worked on my iPad 3. I had not used it for awhile because I upgraded and when I went back to it, the home button would possibly summon Siri, but that’s it, Tried cleaning it, taking it out of the case, etc. Resorted to the accessibility solution but really wanted to fix it. Saw your post. Held it in landscape, pushed the home button, rotated to portrait and – it unstuck it! That fast! Now it works perfectly every time. Thank you for stumbling onto this and sharing. Obviously it is an Apple glitch. But I am so glad the community came together. Thanks SO MUCH!

    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      That’s fantastic news! Thanks for sharing! I had an iPad 3 too, but I don’t think I ever had that problem with it. I’m writing this now on an iPad Pro, 2nd Edition, from 2017, which is the last of the pros to have a home button, and its never had that problem either, so I figured it was only a glitch in the first one, so it makes me feel good this post could still be useful! Thanks again for your comment, and may it stay fixed!

  2. amar Avatar

    Your article works more than 80% and solve my iPad problem , thanks for sharing this information.

    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      You’re welcome! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Doug Lappi Avatar
    Doug Lappi

    Hey, it worked! But for how long? Thanks for the idea.

    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      Great! Thanks for letting me know! I’m not sure. That was an iPad 1, so it’s been awhile. If memory serves me correctly, I believe the fix eventually stuck. I may have had to do it over a couple times, but I can’t remember exactly. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Kanakaku Avatar

    I tried those suggestions, but they didn’t work. I squeezed the case with my index finger and thumb right beside the home button and then pressed the home button with my other hand. It works all of the time. If I don’t squeeze, it doesn’t work.

  5. nevaeh Avatar

    Someone please help my iPad mini home key does not work and my volume and it went black and I could only what I was on before it went black plz help I am waiting for I to die so maybe I can charge it and it will work please. Help

    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      So sorry Nevaeh,

      I don’t know. The only thing I know what I show here in the video. If that doesn’t work, you may simply have to take it to the Apple Store, or call Apple. I wish I could help more. I send blessings to you and your iPad Mini in hopes that it will fix.
      All my best.

  6. Valerie Avatar

    I also had issues with my IPad…the home button and volume button would not work and the only screen I could access was the one I was using before it froze/broke….I thought at first the buttons broke as I could still use the touch screen….I did what you said — actually I held the home button and the volume button at the same time and rotated the IPad over and over….after about 20 seconds the screen went black and the apple icon appeared and now it works….my guess is that something froze in the computer and it would not work properly….thank you for the advice.

    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      You’re welcome! Glad you got it working. Thank for sharing your experience too!

  7. Debbie Avatar

    It worked! Yea. thank you

    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      Cool! So glad to hear it! Thanks for sharing! :-))

  8. Helena Avatar

    HOORAY! Thank you so much! Your tricks didn’t work with my iPad’s dead home button BUT they gave me an idea which did. I shook it. Just very lightly. I held my iPad with both hands in the air in front of me and shook it for 1 second and after that the home button works avain. I just saved me Somero euros!! 🙂

    1. Stephen Pickering Avatar

      Oh great! Thanks for sharing your trick. Maybe that’ll work for someone else too!

  9. Shea Avatar

    This TOTALLY WORKED!!! I had to repeat the steps but it worked long enough to put my iPad in recovery mode so that I could reset it since I had forgotten my unlock code!!!!

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