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
98 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
98 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
98 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
98 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
98 months ago
Love my old clicking home button
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
98 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)

Popular Stories

apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
M3 iPad Feature 3

Apple Event for New iPads Still Considered 'Unlikely' Following Delays

Tuesday April 9, 2024 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is "unlikely" to hold an event to announce new iPad Pro and iPad Air models, according to sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman already said Apple was not planning to hold an event for the new iPads, but he made this claim back in early March, before it was reported that the devices were postponed due to manufacturing delays. With the...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...