How to Use an iPhone with a Broken Home Button

Nothing’s worse than when your iPhone’s home button breaks, but here’s how you can use your iPhone with a broken home button until you get to the Apple Store to get it fixed.

The iPhone’s home button is critical to much of the functionality of the smartphone. It lets you exit an app and go back to the home screen and it’s also responsible for firing up Siri whenever you need it. It also activates the app switcher by double-tapping.

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With a broken home button on your iPhone, the device pretty much becomes a paperweight and you can’t really use it efficiently. Unfortunately, the only way to fix it is to take it to an Apple Store or mail it into Apple if you don’t live near a physical location. You can also fix it yourself, but it’s certainly not a DIY task for the faint of heart.

Especially with a Touch ID home button, replacing it yourself becomes really tricky, which is why it’s simply best to take it to Apple for repair. However, until you can actually get to the Apple Store, there are ways you can use an iPhone with a broken home button. and here’s how.

Using an iPhone with a Broken Home Button

If the home button is broken on your iPhone, it’s a repair that professionals will have to deal with, but until you can make your way to the Apple Store, there is still a way you can use your iPhone, even if the home button is broke.

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The secret is using iOS’s Accessibility settings, which are normally meant for disabled users, but there are many settings that other users can take advantage of.

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Open up the Settings app and navigate to General > Accessibility. From there, scroll down and find AssistiveTouch and tap on it to open up the settings for that option. Toggle on the switch so that it turns green, and a small box will appear that has a white circle inside of it. This is your new home button of sorts.

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You can tap-and-hold on it to drag it around to any desired location on the screen. Tapping on it will bring up a few options, such as bringing up the Notification Center or Control Center, as well as activating Siri. There’s also an option for the home button, which tapping on it will take you back to the home screen. Double-tapping it will bring up the app switcher.

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It’s not as convenient to use as the actual home button, as you’ll quickly learn, but it’s certainly better than not being able to do anything at all. Plus, it’s enough to allow you to use your iPhone until you can get it fixed.

The other option is to replace the home button yourself, which we wouldn’t recommend doing, but if you think you have the knowledge and patience for such a task, then go for it. There’s even a guide that you can follow that shows you how to replace the home button on the iPhone 6.

You’ll pay around $40 in parts to replace it and you’ll also need a small pentalobe screwdriver and some tweezers. It’s a cheap repair if you do it yourself, but don’t do it if you’re not capable of it. Otherwise, take it to an Apple Store and they’ll most likely give you a replacement iPhone if it’s still under AppleCare.

Other Accessibility Settings

Again, the Accessibility menu isn’t just for disabled users, but there are a handful of other options that many users can take advantage of, with the most popular being the ability to disable iOS 8’s parallax effect.

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The parallax effect was first introduced in iOS 7, and it gives your iPhone’s home screen a nifty 3D look, so when you move your device around in your hand, it looks like you’re looking “around” the app icons onto the wallpaper of sorts.

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It’s just a simple illusion at best made in part by your iPhone’s gyroscope, but it can be cool nonetheless. However, so users don’t like it. Luckily you can disable it in the Accessibility menu.

You can also find other useful settings in the Accessibility pane, like turning down the brightness even more than what iOS would normally allow, by going into the Increase Contrast setting and enabling Reduce White Point. This essentially reduces the intensity of bright colors, and it will lower the contrast a bit, but it will also make your screen much easier on the eyes if the lowest brightness setting is still a bit too bright.

You can also enable Grayscale, which will desaturate your screen, but it will also make your screen appear dimmer. This is a useful setting, but you’ll obviously lose all color.

You can also make text larger, Use the camera LED flash for receiving notifications, disable/enable Reachability on the iPhone 6, and even enable phone call noise cancellation.