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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.

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  1. Thank you! Worked for me too, for now….
    just wondering what could have generated this home button issue, and
    I noticed, in my case, that it could have started after I paired a bluetooth keyboard (a Belkin case)… does it sound plausible to you?

    1. Oh, that’s great. Thanks for the comment. About the bluetooth, I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to use that feature on my iPad. Could be. I really can’t tell if it’s Software or Hardware related. But mine too seemed to happen after an iOS update, so maybe it is software. I just don’t know. I appreciate the additional info though.

  2. I had the same problem, with my ipad2. But, I figured out from the past week, on December 26,2011. I looked it up on: http://www.AppleWorks.com it said to make it work, “You have to hold it in front if you, and press it 2 times,” so then I tried, but it didn’t work. So I left a message on one of the AppleWorks online makers, and they said, “Just play around with it and see if it works,then if you figure it out just give me a buzz.” So then I did play around with it like he asked. After a couple days I goofed around but, I couldn’t find any way to get it. But, January 2,2012 I figured out that you put it on a soft, or hard surface (has to be clean or, it won’t work or, your iPad or, iPad2 will get dirty.) So I layed it on my
    couch (soft leather.) and pressed my iPad2-Home button two times and
    guess what? IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!! So I went to BestBuy, and I told them, “If you press the iPad2-Home button and put it on the couch or something soft, then pressed a little bit hard, at least two times, and it goes to home!” but they said that it’s good but, it might not work for everyone’s iPad or, iPad2-Home. So, I just found this way worked for mine. So, if you have an iPad2 and your homes not working. Thanks just you can find me on any kinds of websites and tell me if it works.

  3. Stephen you are a rock star!

    My fiancé just bought an ipad2 and straight out of the box the home button seemed a little dodgy, kinda felt like it was rocking on itself. After searching a couple of blogs I came across yours and was amazed at the responses! Anyways I gave it a bash and it seems to be working perfectly now. Thank you, you saved us a trip to the Mac store and possible replacement for a used unit.

    Cheers!

    1. Oh, man, thanks so much, Derrick! I never expected such a response either, but I sure appreciate it! It makes me feel good! Yeah, ‘rocking on itself’ is a good way to describe it. I think that’s how mine felt too when it wasn’t working. But anyway, best of luck to you and thank you again for taking the time to write your experiences.

  4. It is as Burke said, the difference in REE memory usage can be explained by the default GC settings. Another thing that might play a role is the tcmalloc memory allocator, which releases memory back to the OS at a much slower rate than the normal system memory allocator but is generally faster.

  5. I was desperate to find a solution and found your post after weeks of frustration. I laughed at myself while I tried it because it seems so silly…..it took a few tries, but I am back in business. Since I am still under warranty I am still taking it in…..but Wow. Thanks for the post.

  6. Ok, so your fix worked on my iPad2. I Googled for how to reset iPad if home doesn’t work and thanks to your fix I’m reset and up and running again..

    So do you think this is a software or hardware issue? My iPad is about 30 days old and I could return it but would be wasting my time if all iPads had this glitch as a software issue. Since you designed this fix I thought you may have some additional insight or suggestions. To return or not to return?

    Thanks for the fix.

    1. Gosh, I really don’t know! I’d hate to advise someone not to take it back if there were really something defective in your particular one. My experience was this. It happened about a year after I got it. Seemed to fix it. SOMEHOW, but then a few months later, even after this post, it happened again, and I thought to myself, “Oh, no, maybe I’ve been advising these people on a ‘quick fix’ that doesn’t permanently solve it” But then, after a day or two, it started working perfectly again, and has ever since. So it’s a mystery to me if its software or hardware. If I were you I’d probably take it back if I could, or at least report it to them, tell them what happenened on such and such a date and ask them what your recourse is if it happens again in the future. Good luck!

  7. I’ve no idea what sort of black magic trick this is, but it’s solved a problem that’s been bugging me for weeks! Genius fella, thanks.

    1. Hahahahha, hey I don’t either! Like I said, I just “stumbled upon” it one day when I thought all hope was lost! Strange. Yeah, to think I almost wasn’t going to post this because I thought this solution is too weird! 😀

  8. Ah, Dave, thanks for sharing your info too. That does make sense. If I remember back to my own experience, it wasn’t entirely fixed until I did the flat surface part. For me, it seems like the rotation thing got it to respond like once out of 2 or three times. And then the flat surface thing seemed to really get it totally fixed.

    Thanks for your comment!

  9. Awesome tip. Thanks again for sharing it with us. Our first generation iPad works like a champ now. I think as you mentioned before, the secret is holding the home button while the iPad is on a flat surface. When I was moving the pad from landscape to portrait, there was still no change to the button. It wasn’t until I put it on the roll-top desk and held the home button down that it began working. I was about to box the thing up and ship it back while the warranty was still good. You saved me from a massive headache.

  10. Thanks I have been thinking my iPad was shot. I started laughing so hard when it worked thinking it never would!!!

  11. Thank you so much for the tip! IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just wish I had found your tip before re-setting the ipad!!!

  12. Thanks a lot for posting this. My iPad 2 has been having this problem on and off since I got it. I called Apple and they wanted me to reset it back to “out of the box”, which I did and the problem seemed to go away but after a while it came back. It was usually intermittent but this morning my home button wouldn’t work at all. I saw your your video and it worked for me. Apple should know about this problem. To me, this proves that it is not a hardware problem but they have some software bug. I wish I knew what is causing it but at least now I know hot to fix it. Thanks again!

  13. This so totally worked for me. It took a few turns and button pushes, but it is working perfect for me now. I have been struggling with this button problem for weeks! Thank you!

  14. Hey thanks so much for the tip!! Everything worked perfectly fine after that! 🙂 I’ll reccomend this to my friends with the same problem (:

  15. Hey thank you soo much, i thought i was going to have to pay a fortune to get this fixed. I accidentally dropped my iPad the same day i updated it, and i thought the fall caused the button to stop working. But I tried your little trick any way and now the button works perfectly!

  16. Hey Sarah, thank you for the comment. Well, it seemed to be perfectly fine for 4 months after the initial fix, but then just a couple weeks ago, it seemed to start “acting” up again, and only responding once out of say, 4 times, and then only if I had it sort of against some firm resistance. But now as of today, it seems to be fine. So you are right, this could be just a temporary fix, and one may be better off taking it in or sending it back, especially if it’s still under warranty. I don’t know what the warranty is on these things. I remember I bought mine from Best Buy the day the very first one came out, like April 3rd, 2010, so mine’s over a year old.

  17. Thanks for the advise, it saved me loads of time and money. However this solution only works for a limited amount of time. I don’t really know why my iPad went like this, due to many people having this problem after upgrading to iOS.! This isn’t the situation for me though, it just unconditionally stopped without reason. I haven’t tried syncing my iPad with my computer.
    I just want to know whether or not your iPad has permanently stopped repeating this problem to you? ( has it stopped playing-up completely? )

  18. Thanks a lot! It heppened to my iPad after its fall, but after your tip it works OK, so this way might fix even hardware problems with contacts or something. Respect, man.

  19. Thank you for the tips, because it really worked on my iPad with the same problem! Maybe it is some kind of software issue but the solution is great.

  20. Well, this problem has something to do with the WIFI.
    1. Turn off WIFI in Setting, the HOME button problem should go away.
    2. Turn on the WIFI

  21. Well, this problem has something to do wi the WIFI. If you turn off the WIFI, the HOME button problem will go away.

    Good luck.

  22. I can not believe that this worked!!! My problem started when I was playing a game and tried to rotate my screen to landscape mode and it paused for a second and ten it made the shadow edges like the screen rotated, but the picture did not rotate. So I tried to rotate it back, and again it made the dark edges on the corners like it rotated, but it didn’t. So I tried all of the above tricks, and they did not work at first, so I kept trying and eventually got them all to work. So I tried to reset using the home button and the off button, it didn’t work but it did do a strange kinda slow motion pause thing and now…. Presto it works normally every time (knock on wood).

    Thank you for sharing your homemade remedy Stephen!! Mad Props!!!

  23. I tried this and it didn’t work. I was thinking at first it might be a software problem, and restored/ updated etc. Then I found that squeezing and pressing hard on the home button would work. But impossible to double click to set orientation etc. So I realized it was a mechanical issue vs software.
    I contacted Apple service center, they mailed an empty box, I shipped to them and they sent a replacement iPad 2 days later. I was pleased with their handling of the issue but I would like for them to:
    1. Formally admit that there is a serious issue with the iPad home button and send recall notices and make formal statements.
    2. When they send a replacement iPad, tell us if it is a new or a factory refurbished unit. for example, how many hours usage so far on the installed memory?

  24. Works for me too..I put my iPad to different angle while holding the home button and change to portrait mode.

  25. I had this puzzling issue for a month … but I wasn’t prepared to take the ipad back… my research showed that the ‘push each side of the ‘home’ button (not the actual button) for 10 seconds’ worked for me … but the best solution by far is http://www.icopybot.com/blog/enable-multitouch-gestures-on-ipad-without-jailbreaking.htm .. I found this on route to a solution, and even if you don’t have the problem – I love the new gestures!, swipe the problem away!! (I didn’t know gestures existed until I saw this).

  26. Ah, Sarah, thank you so much! Well, I love languages in general, and then when the internet began it seemed I was mostly chatting people from Brazil, and it seemed like a beautiful language. Voce eh uma Brasileira? Infelizmente eu so entendo e falar um pouco Portuguese!

  27. Acabei de ver que está aprendendo Português. O que te fez escolher aprender português? De qualquer forma, boa sorte!

  28. Well, it actually works when I rotate to portrait mode, but not everytime, it is like 1 to 5 tries (when it is away from my notebook). And when its next to my notebook it works like 4 to 5 tries (without rotating). I wonder why. Thanks for the help! I hope I won’t need to take it back to the store.

  29. Hey Sarah, thanks for the comment. No not really. I say not really because yesterday I was in the video app watching a movie and I wanted to get out for a second and it didn’t seem to work. But then I simply held it in landscaped pushed, rotated to portrait, released and it worked. I think its working fine now.

    I don’t know if it’s something related to the notebook. My initial recovery was kind of the same. I had it lying next to my desktop and just spontaneously pushed the button and it worked. I was thinking it had to do with the smooth, flat, hard surface it was lying on rather than being next to the computer, but I’m not sure.

    So, have you tried holding it in landscape mode, pushing, then rotating to portrait mode, then releasing? Is it still not working after that, especially when it is away from your notebook?

  30. Hey, did that problem ever happened again? My ipad’s home button had that problem once… then it worked ok for two weeks, now it has returned! Just when I thought it had gone away… Anyway, now it is lying next to my notebook and it worked again, there is someting related to the notebook? Thanks for the tips!

  31. S Roy I’m still amazed that this actually works. I think it was just pure luck. I pushed the button and I guess like an auto reflex took over and I rotated it to portrait mode and “bam” it came on. I really wasn’t sure that had anything to do with it, but I then it still wouldn’t work just pushing it in landscape mode until I additionally rotated it. Weird. Finally after a couple days it was back to normal. Thanks so much for your comment.

  32. Hey thanks dude, this worked for me on my first gen iPad. How in the name of heaven did you even figure this out?

  33. Hahahahaha, thanks Jenny so much! You make me feel so good. Sorry I didn’t for some reason see your comment until now.
    Thanks also DK, that warms my heart. Really appreciate you commenting. I wasn’t really sure if it was a real fix or if I just got lucky. So happy all of your comments confirm that it was!
    Ed, I agree. Really even after it fixed mine I thought that it perhaps would only be temporary, but at least for me, knock on wood, it seems to be permanently fixed.
    Sorry for the time it took approving these. I somehow missed them in my email. 🙁 But you all make me feel so good!

  34. Man I just spent half the day trying to fix my home button by continuously clicking it like a mad man. Until I found this post, that is. Your tips actually worked! I could hug you right now if I could!! Haha. Hope others will stumble onto this post too because all the other Google search results are pretty much useless. Much love from New Zealand! 🙂

  35. My home button got the same problem after I upgraded iOs 4.3. At the same time, there was also firmware upgrade. So, I don’t know if that was caused by hardware or software or firmware. The solution is really not a solution to me. It is just a temporary work around. Apple needs to find cause and fix it permanently.

  36. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this information with us. I was just about ready to give up on my ipad and you saved me a lot of money and grief. Your suggestion worked straight away. Thank you again so much!

  37. Hey, Jake, that’s great news! I’m a bit surprised. I thought I was crazy or something. It seems goofy, I almost wasn’t going to post it, but I thought, well I might as well document what happened to me. Maybe there’s something to it or maybe not, but it’s what happened to me! Feels good that I could actually help someone else, so much appreciation for your comments!

  38. Cool…lately, it’s been working perfectly well, thanks to those 2 moves you mentioned…hey, you probably have stumbled on something there, you gotta get those patented..!=)

  39. Hey Jake, thanks for the comment. Not exactly. It seems like I had to do those moves for like a day or two, and then just by accident I had it laying on a flat surface next to my desktop and out of habit I pressed it and all of the sudden it seemed to worked every time. I thought it was because maybe it was in that position, laying on that flat smooth surface, but then I think either immediately or a day after that, it was working completely.
    So I really can’t tell if it was a hardware or software issue or if I just got lucky. So I think it was like 2 days after I first did those moves.

  40. Hey man, thanks a lot for the tips..both work for me most of the time…except that i need to do them almost each and every time i need to use the home button..=)…did i get it right—-after you did those moves, the home button worked perfectly well again and you didn’t need to do the said moves again?

    It’s just too bad because the ipad is cool and all but it’s got an annoyingly faulty button….!=)