iphone 4 home button lost sensitivity

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by scadoosh, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. scadoosh macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2011
    My iphone 4 home button has been losing sensitivity gradually the past couple months and now I basically have to mash it to work. I use the assistive touch feature for now but I just find it annoying more than anything. Is there any way i can fix it either myself or through apple? I've tried restoring it and the power off screen trick, but have had no luck so it must be a hardware problem. I got it at launch over a year ago. Thanks.
  2. tecknik1 macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2011
    HCM Vietnam
    I have the same problem with my 6 month old iPhone 4, the last month or so the home button is loosing sensitivity .

    On another note. I just handed my 3 month old MacAir into service because the track pad has gone out.

  3. tancg17 macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    the home button circuit uses a metal nipple/contact so if u press it too hard, u'll eventually depress the metal in such a way that it is not unresponsive.

    A lot of repair shops around who can replace that circuit.
  4. geerlingguy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2003
    St. Louis, USA
    I've experienced this with two iPhone 4's (my wife's and mine), and sometimes when I use a friend or relative's, I experience the same thing. I've never experienced this problem on a 2G, 3G, or 3GS, and haven't yet had trouble on the iPhone 4S... so maybe it's just a fluke with the design of the button on the 4 in particular?

    A lot of times, you have to press straight in and hard on the iPhone 4's home button... I often press at a slight angle, which may have caused the problem in the first place!
  5. Brad02 macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2011
    This is such a bad issue. Every iphone 4 I had (3) all had that issue after a while and now my wifes and mother in laws are doing the same thing.

    Will the apple store fix the button if you pay (Not $200 replacement phone cost though)?
  6. Jamkas, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011

    Jamkas macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2011
    North New Jersey
    How long have you had the iPhone?

    Apple offers a one year warranty and this definitely falls under it.

    I had this issue on my iPhone 3G and it was very aggravating. They replaced it when I brought it into the store.

    If you're kind of tech savvy you can open up your iPhone 4 and see if you can see what you can yourself. I know that they have a special tool to take out the screws in the bottom, but you can file down a small flat head screw drive and it'll catch two points of the star.
  7. ecwhite4S macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well, if you're under the 1 year warranty still, go to the Genius bar, they would probably swap out your phone for a new one, or at least charge you nothing to get it fixed. Unfortunately, with as much as that button is pushed, it's likely that eventually it will get so broken in, that it wont seem responsive anymore.

    I think eventually Apple is going to turn that home button into a capacitive button. Maybe, maybe not.
  8. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't like capacitative buttons on Android phones, they're too easy to press accidentally.

    This was just a design defect of the iPhone 4, I imagine the 4S home button was improved.
  9. ecwhite4S macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Never thought about that, on how they're easy to press accidentally. I don't mind the physical home button, I was just saying to avoid that button from failing I wonder if they ever will turn it into capacitive. Probably not.
  10. testcard macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    Northumbria, UK
  11. wpotere, Dec 23, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011

    wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    I have one on my Samsung focus (now using an iPhone4 myself) but didn't find it that bad. I only wished they would have recessed it a bit to make it a little harder not to bump. That being said, you learn quickly how to avoid it.

    Adding to the OPs post, I "built" a 4 out of various parts and the button was one thing I had to buy because both phones that I had were not very responsive. It is not an easy fix as you have to tear the entire phone down but it can be done.
  12. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
    My iPod Touch 2G's home button was being slow-to-unresponsive, saw this suggestion and tried it - it seems to work.

    1) Open an app like Weather or Stocks (something that came with iOS)
    2) Hold the Power button until "slide to power off" appears
    3) Let go of the Power button
    4) Push and hold the Home button until the "slide..." message disappears. This took awhile on the iPod touch, so be patient
  13. testcard macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    Northumbria, UK
    It'll be interesting to see if others find this solution works for them too.
  14. Kyotoma macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2010
    Carnegie and Ontario
    Many familiar with the Jailbreaking community will recognize the Cult of Mac method as a Respring or a Force Quit.

    In my own experience it does seem to help when you do this.
  15. johnfoster macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2011
    I have the same problem with my current 4g as do a few of my friends at work. I've been told they will replace it,however I'm not sure about the warranty thing.
  16. loreatec macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2011
    It is just the switch that is broken. You can get it for about $10 on ebay. The button and the switch are different parts (the switch is just glued to the button), so make sure you get the switch or the assembly with both the button and the switch.
  17. Dunbar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Mine started losing responsiveness when it was about 7-8 months old. You could tell it was the button since it didn't have a positive click feel like my iPad. I was dumb and procrastinated and before I realized it my warranty expired. I found a repair place on Craigslist and had it replaced today. Talk about a PITA to replace, I watched the guy putting it back together and I'm glad I didn't attempt it myself.
  18. dancbr macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2012
    This fixed mine

    1) Connect with USB cable to charge your iPhone4
    2) Hold Home button till Voice Control show up
    3) Now press Cancel and your Home button should be reactivate

    Fixed mine like a charm.
  19. AlPlPlLE macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2012

    Is it under the warranty? If so, do what they suggest below. Go to Apple Store, they look up the serial, if under warranty, youll get a new phone. Just make sure you have a backup.

    Do as explained above if its only 6months old.

    Yes again, if under warranty

    I would love to see this move as well as long as there was a feature that took away from the easy android sensitivity like madmaxmedia described.
  20. kchkwan macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2011
    if ur under ur 1 yr warranty they will give you a replacement phone if ur home button is not sensitive. My ex gf went and got it swapped.
  21. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
    The alcohol-fix worked for me

    On other threads I saw a tip that worked for me! I was also having intermittent problems with the button--sometimes pushing several times for a reaction, sometimes getting a double-click from one push. I am kind of tired of visits to the genius bar, so decided to try a fix I had seen.

    Anyway, what I read (think it's on YouTube too) was to:
    1. shut off the phone
    2. put the phone flat on the table, put a small drop of rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) on the button
    3. Use something plastic (but not scratchy) to work the drop around the edges of the button as you push down on it. The alcohol will work its way under the button.

    On my specific phone this completely fixed the issue. I am actually a little surprised how good it worked.

    A slight modification I have heard is to apply the alcohol and rub using a Q-tip.
  22. jonnyboy88 macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008

    Tried it with a q-tip and it works like a charm. Really work in the alcohol and let it sit and evaporate before trying it.
  23. Eckscaliber macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2012
  24. doc4x5 macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2008
    the great Pacific northwest
    Home button unresponsive

    The fora (plural of forum?) win again. I tried the method linked in the cult of mac article, and it appears to have worked. Saved me a trip to the genius bar.


    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.

  25. tatingcarl macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2012
    quick solution for iphone home button

    here's my quick solution, im doing it just a minute ago. lay your iphone on the table, pour a little amount of isopropyl alcohol to the home button and rub it,keep on pressing again and again, you may notice the home button started to work;);););)

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