Apple Offers a Temporary Workaround if the Home Button Fails on an iPhone 7

With the introduction of the iPhone 7, Apple did away with the classic click-mechanism home button in favor of a "solid-state" pressure sensitive one that uses haptic feedback to mimic traditional button presses.

The programming that controls the Taptic Engine-powered feedback is deeply integrated into iOS 10, so much so that it appears Apple's latest iPhone is able to automatically offer a temporary workaround when its diagnostic software senses that the technology is playing up.

iphone 7 broken home button
MacRumors forum member 'iwayne' shared the above picture of his iPhone 7 display after the device unexpectedly turned itself off while charging and the haptic feedback began malfunctioning after a restart. A dialog prompt warns that the home button is in need of repair, but presents an alternative onscreen home button for temporary use until the phone has been turned in to Apple for servicing.

MacRumors has previously noted that the Taptic Engine can become unresponsive if the OS freezes, which forced Apple to change the reset process for the iPhone 7 series. Apple has also apparently safeguarded against instances when the button's haptic sensor system breaks completely, but whether or not its failure rate is any better than a physical button remains to be seen.

Rumors suggest Apple will ditch the iconic home button entirely for next year's "iPhone 8" in favor of one built directly into an edge-to-edge display, but it's unclear if Apple intends to implement the same button-based recovery methods for instances in which devices freeze or stop responding completely.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

djcerla Avatar
64 months ago
Software is much more prone to bugs than hardware failure. Physical buttons are best in many instances!
The physical button of the iPhone has constantly been a point of failure, to the point that in Far Eastern countries often it isn't used at all to preserve the resale value (they use Accessibility features instead).

The car manufactures began using touch controls for volume, temperature, etc a few years back until, unsurprisingly, they started returning to physical buttons shortly thereafter
In the car, touch controls are bad for a completely different reason: because you can't find them without looking.
Score: 100 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
64 months ago
Plenty of issues here as well. Kinda happy mine hasn't arrived yet.
If it hasn't arrived yet, how can you have issues there?
Score: 77 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Adam Warlock Avatar
64 months ago
Just one more point of possible failure that will end up frustrating customers. The car manufactures began using touch controls for volume, temperature, etc a few years back until, unsurprisingly, they started returning to physical buttons shortly thereafter. Software is much more prone to bugs than hardware failure. Physical buttons are best in many instances!
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
marvz Avatar
64 months ago
It's good to have a fallback, but the aim is to never need a fallback. Why is a device so new already popping up such errors? iPhone 7 is truly an experimental device release. Looking forward to 2017's all new device.
You know how many iPhone 7's have been sold, right? Millions. If only one of 1 million iPhones has this problem it means 0.0001 %. But yeah this iPhone is such an experimental device. Please stop posting this nonsense.
[doublepost=1476529947][/doublepost]
Never heard that. Why would people in the Far East be more sensitive to preserving their home buttons than in the West?
That's one reason, certainly, but it's also because of higher failure rates & poor feedback.
Then don't post such arguments if you don't know nothing. iPhone's old physical Home Button is the part that has to be repaired the most.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sunny1990 Avatar
64 months ago
Love my old clicking home button
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
64 months ago
This is properly clever. It also demonstrates just how much thought Apple put into designing the new home button. Not only how it functions when it goes right — but what happens when it goes wrong.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
macbook air deals

Deals: Amazon Drops Price of 256GB M1 MacBook Air to New Low of $849.99 ($149 Off)

Friday August 27, 2021 6:16 am PDT by
Amazon today introduced new low prices on the M1 MacBook Air for both 256GB and 512GB storage options. To start, you can get the 256GB model for $849.99, down from an original price of $999.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Only Silver and Gold are...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
maxresdefault

'Being James Bond' Retrospective Will Be Free to Watch Through Apple TV App

Tuesday August 31, 2021 8:25 am PDT by
Update 9/7/21: "Being James Bond" is now available to watch through the Apple TV app. Ahead of the theatrical release of James Bond film "No Time To Die" on October 8 in the United States, a 45-minute retrospective titled "Being James Bond" will be available to watch for free through the Apple TV app, according to Deadline. The story from MGM is said to feature Daniel Craig reflecting ...
ted lasso notchless phone

No, That Notchless iPhone Spotted in 'Ted Lasso' Isn't the iPhone 13

Tuesday August 31, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Recent sightings of a notchless iPhone in highly popular Apple TV+ comedy "Ted Lasso" have led to sensational headlines suggesting this is a canny bit of product placement on Apple's part and that the iPhone 13 will be notchless. In actuality – and this could go without saying – the phone in question is very likely just showing a poorly superimposed display added in post-production. Notchless ...