As discovered by Myke Hurley (via Daring Fireball), some iPhone 7 and 7 Plus users are going to have a tough time unlocking their devices during wintertime. As it turns out, the new "solid-state" Home button on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus requires skin contact or the right kind of capacitive gloves to function.

If you put on a pair of gloves or cover your finger with the sleeve of a shirt and attempt to open the iPhone 7, access the Home screen, exit out of an app, or activate multitasking, the Home button will not respond to a press unless it's touching skin. And because the iPhone 7 uses the redesigned Lock screen in iOS 10, there's no quick and easy way to bring up the passcode entry screen to unlock the phone manually (the quickest way sans Home button is to swipe to the widgets screen and tap one).

iphone7homebutton
We tested with a pair of gloves that are designed for touch screens and while we could unlock the iPhone 6s Plus with the gloves and use the touch screen, that wasn't possible with the iPhone 7 Plus -- the Home button wouldn't activate. There are mixed reports on Twitter from people with capacitive gloves, and while some work, others do not appear to. It may vary based on the material and construction of the gloves. Latex gloves also do not activate the Home button, but will activate the display.


The redesigned Home button in the iPhone 7 is no longer a physical button -- it's flush with the iPhone and uses haptic feedback to give the sensation of button presses. Because it's requiring capacitive contact to unlock the device, it's likely the iPhone 7 is using the Touch ID fingerprint sensor to register touch.

While capacitive contact is required to unlock the phone, the new "Raise to Wake" functionality still allows the Lock screen to be viewed without a touch, so it continues to be possible to view incoming notifications. Fully unlocking the phone will require a free finger that's unobscured by fabric or one of the brands of capacitive gloves that are functional.

Update: As MacRumors forum members point out, there is the option of turning on AssistiveTouch in Accessibility, which offers a way to bypass the home button with screen-only control options.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

larrylaffer Avatar
83 months ago
The other 92% of the surface has the same restriction, so uh, I don't really care.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
surfingarbo Avatar
83 months ago
Remember folks, some people wear gloves ALL THE TIME...

Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Peepo Avatar
83 months ago
Doesn't matter because if one uses Touch ID then needs skin contact anyways.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
btrach144 Avatar
83 months ago
Not sure how this is really an issue. All you could do before, assuming you have touch ID enabled, is check the lock screen by pressing the button with gloves on.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tuslaw12 Avatar
83 months ago
"You're touching it wrong"
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zigmund555 Avatar
83 months ago
Buttongate.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Expected Later This Year With These 7 Exclusive Features

Tuesday January 24, 2023 4:53 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least seven exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the seven features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
Mac mini M2 2023

New 256GB Mac Mini and 512GB MacBook Pro Have Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Models

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:11 pm PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous-generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3

Tuesday January 24, 2023 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 16.3, the third major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that originally came out in September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.3 comes six weeks after tvOS 16.2, an update that added Apple Music Sing. The tvOS 16.3 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software...
watchOS 9 Feature

Apple Releases watchOS 9.3 With New Watch Face, Bug Fixes

Monday January 23, 2023 10:06 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 9.3, the third major update to the watchOS 9 operating system that first launched in September. watchOS 9.3 comes over a month after watchOS 9.2, an update that added new Workout functionality and Crash Detection optimizations. watchOS 9.3 can be downloaded for free through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by opening it up and going to General > Software Update. ...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Pro Mac Mini

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
The new M2-series MacBook Pro and Mac mini models launched today, marking the debut of the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. We have the M2 Pro Mac mini on hand, and thought we'd take a look at the machine and do a series of benchmarks to see how it fits into Apple's lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Base model Mac mini machines come with either an M2 or M2 Pro...
Ventura Macs Feature Blue

Apple Releases macOS Ventura 13.2

Monday January 23, 2023 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Ventura 13.2, the second major update to the macOS Ventura operating system initially released in October. macOS Ventura 13.2 comes more than a month after macOS Ventura 13.1, an update that added the Freeform app and other changes. The ‌macOS Ventura‌ 13.2 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...