How To Make Your iPhone’s Home Button More Responsive [iOS Tips]

How To Make Your iPhone’s Home Button More Responsive [iOS Tips]

How To Make Your iPhone’s Home Button More Responsive [iOS Tips]

One of the unfortunate byproducts of owning an iOS device is that your Home button can become a little sluggish over time. When you get your new iPhone or iPad and use it initially, the Home button works smoothly, but it can eventually become less responsive.

Fortunately, there’s a subtle trick in iOS for recalibrating your Home button. After performing this tip on your personal iOS device, you should notice that your Home button is considerably more responsive when you’re navigating throughout iOS.

iDownloadBlog passes on an incredibly helpful tip that many probably don’t know about. It’s actually a very simple process to recalibrate your Home button; simply open a stock iOS app (Weather, Stocks, Clock, etc.). Once the app is open, press your iPhone’s power button until the ‘slide to power off’ screen appears. From that screen, press and hold your Home button until iOS force quits the stock app you have open. You’re done! No rocket science required.

Your iPhone’s Home button (this also works wonderfully on the iPad and iPod touch) should now be just as responsive as ever. Let us know if this tip worked for you in the comments below!

  • Maxamiliun

    Thank you sooo much! works like a charm. Before, it would take several trys with the home button just to get to the multitasking bar or even to the home screen.  But now it works just like the days I got it. Thanks for the post

  • David Christian Elisa Dengah

    how am i supposed to open weather, stocks, and clock on an iPad 2?
    any stock iOS app will do? can it be the photos, videos, or settings then?

  • Brunno Câmara Lopes Costa

    Awesome!

  • anriettec

    The Weather app does not respond to this technique, we used the Stocks app. It seems to have made a difference. Thanks. My button is just technically skew or something, so it only responds on one half.

  • Bernie Stefan-Rasmus

    worked for me in the clock app

  • alexheath

    Yes. Any stock app

  • James

    WHOAAAAA!!!! THANKS MR. HEATH.

  • Logan Jay Williams

    Oh that is so damn cool. Thanks.

  • aanderson9048

    All this does is force quit the app, you guys are idiots.

  • Damon Aldora

    Wow that is great! I’ve been wondering if the button was getting old or something, but it works!

  • randall

    Way to be a douche. It force quits the app, but helps recalibrate the home button. Try the tip before you decide to call everyone an idiot.

  • Xavier

    it works

  • Nick P

    Alright thanks that worked for me! but it fixed the single home button press.. double tapping still needs 5x tries to work.. until there’s a work around i’m sticking to Activator double tapping status bar shortcut.

  • BrianEnigma

    I kind of wonder if this is a software fix or if all the software-related hoops you jump through are just a “cargo cult” method to get to the real fix — holding down the home button for a while.  I really do not know one way or the other, but this process as a software fix doesn’t quite pass the sniff test for me.  On the other hand, it sounds perfectly reasonable that holding down the hardware button may end up reinvigorating the contacts or could do something to the flexi spring strip typically in these sorts of buttons or something similar.

  • Rob Piercy

    Holy schnickies Alex… that so kicks ass! I was just looking at iFixIt today, studying the Home button replacement chart. Did *NOT* look fun. Why have I not seen this tip published anywhere else? Is something someone just discovered?

  • Dave Mortensen

    That was great… was taking my 4s almost a second to start up before I reset it. Reset it and it comes too almost immediately after I hit the home button. 2 thumbs up!!!

  • alexheath

    Glad it worked for you, Rob! It’s actually a tip that’s been around for awhile and not publicized a lot. I saw it today on a site and thought it was worth sharing.

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  • Digitalcupcake

    This is great! I actually wrote a post on my blog about this recently (http://www.digitalcupcake.net/… and my method was focused more on easily removing the dust/lint particles on the sensor.

    Looks like we have another tool in our arsenal to have a more responsive Home Button! What an odd way to recalibrate the Home button but it seems to have worked for me too! :)

  • SMiller749

    Wow, this really worked!!

  • Eric Liebman

    Wow… it really worked!  The home button was working about 20% of the time.. and now it seems to be perfect!  Thanks for the great tip!

  • Matt Powell

    Excellent Tip!! Worked perfectly. Thanks

  • gareth edwards

    VERY GOOD!  Even on my world-weary iPhone 3G this works like a charm. Thanks for the heads up Alex – Merry Christmas.

  • gareth edwards

    VERY GOOD!  Even on my world-weary iPhone 3G this works like a charm. Thanks for the heads up Alex – Merry Christmas.

  • Guest

    Thank God, thank God, thank God.

    The single most annoying problem on my iPhone 4 is solved.

    Best post in the history of Cult Of Mac. Seriously.

  • Tyler Casson

    Also make sure you don’t have the triple click home button setting turned on.

  • Emmanuel

    Do I need to press the home button at the same I’m holding the power button?

  • AlternativeJ

    Thanks! Worked like a charm. I even slowly pushed the Home button, and it quitted the app right away. Beforehand I had to push really hard!

  • sawant

    Works like a charm! Thanks guys!

  • minecraftserverlist

    Worked great :) Thanks. Been wondering why it was so sluggish.

  • Andy Lau

    Works like a dream! Thanks so much

  • David Dostal

    Yes, it works! Perfect, thanks!

  • Shillem Volpato

    Awesome!

  • Bernard Brzezinski

    This made an even bigger difference for me.  Thanks for the tip. :) Now the home button is really snappy.

  • aanderson9048

    You can’t recallibrate a button, when the home button is pressed it completes a circuit, calibration has nothing to do with it, it’s electricity.

  • Jason Smith

    How do you do this on a 4S with Siri??
     

  • Scott Jordan

    You are assuming that the home button feeds something binary like a LVTTL logic input.  We don’t know this– the home button state might be monitored by a channel of a analog-to-digital converter, perhaps for better compatibility with widely varying battery charge situations.  This “calibration” might be exactly that.  Sounds like it, in fact.

  • Fouad Ahmad Ballan

    Extremely Useful and it really give my Home button function a boost :)

  • NukemHill

    Works.  Cool.  Thanks.

    Gotta Lion question for you.  Is there a way to redirect the three-finger swipe (Mission Control) to another swipe action?  I find it incredibly frustrating to constantly have MC open up simply because I am two-finger swiping, but have my thumb resting on the trackpad as well.

    Multiple years of habits (thumb resting on trackpad button while swiping) are difficult to break, and this result is driving me nuts.  I’d really like to be able to just disable the three-finger swipe.

    Can this be done?  I’ve looked, but can’t find any way to do it.

  • Jemuel Ong

    My gosh… it works!!! how?

  • Al

    Clearly the home button is *not* a simple circuit which is either on or off, otherwise this fix would not work.

    Maybe it is pressure sensitive or something like that? Scott’s answer sounds good.

  • aanderson9048

    It actually is a simple circuit, tear downs have shown that.

  • NukemHill

    Initially, you’re pressing the power button, not the home button.  Once you get to the screen to power off, then press and hold the home button.  This force-quits the app that was running, and takes you out of the power-off screen and to the home screen.  Siri shouldn’t come up if you press and hold the home button while in the power-off screen.

  • Chase Fegan

    You guys rock.  Thank you so much.  My home button had become so sluggish, I was getting ready to take my iPod Touch to the Apple Store.  It jumps when I touch it now!  Thanks again!!

  • MarianneNY

    Warning!!! Ok, I clearly did not follow the instructions correctly! It wiped all my folders :-(. I was in the weather app and when the slide to power off came up, I *slid* while I was holding the Home button. This powered down the phone (I am iOS5.0.1 on an iphone4). When I restarted all of my apps were in a different order and I realized I had no folders. It may have reset to the original layout which I haven’t used in forever.

  • kobe_3002

    YES! My home button has been so unresponsive and actually going bonkers! If I pressed it once it wouldn’t register OR it would register as if I hit it TWICE! So annoying! This really fixed it! THANK YOU!!!

  • Zach Mayfield

    What Kobe said!  I’ve had the same issues with the home button!!!

  • vistarox

    Oh my god! Thank you so much Cult of Mac!

    Apple has had to replace my iPad 2 five times this year because of this problem. The “Geniuses” at the Apple store always assumed that the reason the home button stopped working was because of a hardware issue. Two of them told me that it was probably because dirt was getting under the button (which made sense to me). Now my home button is working perfectly.

    Now the question is why iOS is making this happen to the home button. I can’t see why anyone would purposely cause a key part of a product to stop working after a while. Conspiracy theories anyone?

  • Tee Zackem

    It’s called Planned Obsolescence. It’s an industry practice for some to keep things not to last longer than it’s possible, in order for consumers to keep purchasing new products. This is important to keep the monetary system running, but it is also wastes a lot of Earth’s resources (note that resources are finite) so it’s essentially a very bad practice for sustainability. Well, corporations only care about their profits, not the future of the Earth. It’s a behavior that our current social system encourages.

  • Tee Zackem

    BTW you can google documentaries like The Story of Stuff and Pyramids of Waste (2010) to learn more.

  • vistarox

    I disagree. The home button always stopped working within a month of me buying the product. If Apple was doing this intentionally I would expect the button to stop working after about a year because Apple releases their products on a yearly cycle. Also, intentionally causing the home button on the iPad to break would cost Apple lots of money. As I said earlier, Apple has to replace my iPad 2 (64GB 3G) 5 times. Assuming that it costs them about $600 to make, Apple would have lost about $3,000 for the replacements.

  • vistarox

    I disagree. The home button always stopped working within a month of me buying the product. If Apple was doing this intentionally I would expect the button to stop working after about a year because Apple releases their products on a yearly cycle. Also, intentionally causing the home button on the iPad to break would cost Apple lots of money. As I said earlier, Apple has to replace my iPad 2 (64GB 3G) 5 times. Assuming that it costs them about $600 to make, Apple would have lost about $3,000 for the replacements.

  • andreaholloman

    Works great! Thanks for the tip!

  • Tee Zackem

    Chances are 1% of the device is non-functional, and they can salvage 99% of the resources, which is most of the original cost. I’m not saying Apple is doing it intentionally, and even if it’s intentional it doesn’t have to be a fixed amount of duration before the device fails, and surely they won’t make it look like it’s intentional.

  • azharkamar

    Omg what witchcraft is this

    IT WORKS

  • Edward Grey

    It’s true companies would like you to buy as many of their products as often as possible, but your statement completely ignores the reason new (electronic) products appear on the market so frequently — because the technology is advancing so rapidly! This is why the market for, say, violins isn’t on an annual product replacement cycle. Computers, however, improve in one year as much as violins have improved in the last two hundred. 

    Overall, I agree that the modern culture of consumption is harmful. Personally, I keep a product for as long as it keeps working, and I take care of it to ensure long life. Most people don’t need to upgrade every year. But they should damn well be free to do so if they choose.

  • phish4rob

    amazing tip, so awesome

  • Joe

    “Story of Stuff” should be called “Story of Anti-Free-Market Propaganda.”

    I have no problem at all with saving resources or fighting waste, but that movie/book is… Well, try confirming the sources for their claims to see what’s going on. 

  • Cgs101

    honestly I don’t know why Apple is not letting the home button go!
    it’s ugly and really sticky on the 4 and the 4s (although it still works beautifully on my 3gs)
    they could put a small silver button on the side and have a bigger screen! (which the iPhone screams for!)

  • Cgs101

    pressing the home button does not

  • Cgs101

    “Once the app is open, press your iPhone’s power button until the ‘slide to power off’ screen appears. From that screen, press and hold your Home button until iOS force quits the stock app you have open”
    this doesn’t work on my iPhone 4
    the “slide to power off” comes up, then I release the power button and press and hold the home button, the “slide to power off” disappears but the Stocks app is still running.

    If I continue to press the power button AND the home button that will restart/restore the iPhone, no?

    what am I doing wrong?

  • Benjamin Visness

    Seems to have worked ok for me, still not great. I still might want to take my iTouch to the Apple store.

  • daniels

    I worked for me. Don’t know if this is just a placebo but it seems a little more responsive.

  • Ellen Phillips

    Didn’t notice a difference.

  • zbowling

    Ok so here is what happens. I’m an iOS developer and have been using this since I was told about it at WWDC. 

    What happens is that it kills all the applications running the background. Clears your memory which may be a bit fragmented. No real magic here. Any perceived “sluggishness” that you had with the home button was just apps hogging CPU time when they are being asked to shutdown or suspend when you hit the home button. Of coursing killing all the background apps in memory may make your CPU feel faster for a minute but it’s only temporary.

    These “OMG, you saved my iPad 2!” posts crack me up a little. After doing this, this next you will be complaining about is slow startup times of your apps, because doing this kills your suspended images.

  • icodestuff

    Or you can restart the device, or open the app switcher and remove all the apps. Same thing, kills all the background processes. Expect complaints of “now my apps take longer to start” from anyone you tell about this though. The idea that this is “recalibrating” the home button is just completely wrong.

  • craigerskine

    A bigger screen? So the dpi would drop making it look most pixelated? Why are people so fascinated with bigger screens? Bigger is not better.

  • craigerskine

    A bigger screen? So the dpi would drop making it look most pixelated? Why are people so fascinated with bigger screens? Bigger is not better.

  • Rbn Frn

    My 3GS is running iOS5 so the home button slowness is ‘hardcoded’ in the hardware :)

  • Cgs101

    I’m not saying bigger is better, I’m saying this screen is too small !

  • Cgs101

    it (home button & screen size) is the one continuous design flaw of the iPhone :)

  • da_n

    I for one can’t wait for the 32″ Android phone. I mean it must be better if it has a bigger screen.

  • techsavvydiary

    Thanks for the Tip :) http://www.techsavvydiary.com

  • mookydaspooky

    Thanks!!!!!!  I was having problems with my home button on my iphone 4.  I have an Otterbox Defender Series Case and thought the case was the problem because when I removed the phone from the case, it worked perfectly!  Therefore, I contacted Otterbox and told them I had a defective case and they send me a free replacement one.  However, I was having the same problem even with the new case!  I was looking online for a solution and found this website.
    I did the simple, quick fix and it now works perfectly!!!!!!!!!  Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!   :)

  • Kun Liu

    i am gonna try it.

  • Kun Liu

    wow it really works!! thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooo much

  • Adam Roberts

    When the button is unresponsive its probably clogged with grease, wet your finger with 99.9% isopropyl alcohol and make sure you use a plastic glove, push your finger down getting a little bit of the isopropyl alcohol into the gap around the button, it will clean the contact and allow better movement and it will just evaporate, so it won’t cause water damage. Turn your phone off before doing it and just use a very small amount, don’t drown the phone. It should work perfect after that without any need to dissemble the phone. – btw. I’m a app developer and the apps running in the background aren’t really running, iOS freezes apps shortly after they enter the background, so they won’t affect the responsiveness of the UI. If any iOS app in the background starts taking up too much memory/processing power iOS will kill it even quicker.

  • Savvy Thorne

    Didn’t work for me. I guess there’s a difference between “sluggish” and “totally unresponsive.”

  • Waltzsolfa

    Isn’t this basically just hard-resetting bc there’s not enough memory … Anyways, Adam Robert’s solution worked great! Just tried at my lab haha.

  • Ashley Kiara Young

    Man this really did work =D thanks so much!!

  • Love Mountain

    it work for a few times, but then again sluggish again.  have to push it hard again, but then re-do the step above and it work again.  i guess i have to keep doing it quite often

  • AccessmyApple

    “Recalibration” does not make much sense because it’s more of a hardware issue than a software one. At rare times when the iPhone is slow to respond because there are too many apps loaded in the iPhone’s ram, the most that will happen will be that these are force-quit using the steps in the article and the phone starts responding better. But what about times when the home button does not work due to other reasons?

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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