How to Create a Virtual Home Button in iOS Using Assistive Touch

by

After testing some apps on an old iPhone 6 recently, I started to notice the device's Home button was becoming less and less responsive to finger presses, especially when it came to double-clicking it. Sure enough, after a few more days' use, the Home button stopped working completely.

broken home button iphone

In memory of the Home button

Now, ordinarily this would have left me in the unenviable position of having to power off my iPhone and turn it on again whenever I wanted to exit out of a launched app, until I relinquished the device and sent it away for a costly repair.

Fortunately, however, the event jogged my memory of a friend who was able to continue using their iPhone even after a drop had left its Home button dangling by a wire (by some miracle, Touch ID still worked). They had set up iOS's Assistive Touch feature as a virtual Home button while they waited until they could afford a replacement.

If your iPhone's Home button is dead or dying and you want to take similar action, or if you just fancy reminding yourself what using a Home button was like before Apple removed them from its latest iPhones, here's how to set up Assistive Touch to mimic a virtual one.

Note that if your Home button is already broken and your iPhone is stuck in a launched app, simply power off the device and turn it on again to boot back into the Home screen and follow these steps.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

  2. Tap General.
    how to create a virtual home button with assistive touch 1

  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Scroll down and tap AssistiveTouch.
    how to create a virtual home button with assistive touch 2

  5. Slide the AssistiveTouch toggle to the green position to turn it on.
  6. Next, under Custom Actions, select Single-Tap.
    how to create a virtual home button with assistive touch 3

  7. In the next screen, tap Home to check it in the list.

With the AssistiveTouch virtual button enabled, simply touch it and it will behave just like a physical Home button.

how to use assistive touch as a virtual home button
Note that you can drag it around the screen to another location, and it will remain there until you move it again. You can also access it in running apps, as well as the Control Center.

Top Rated Comments

BootsWalking Avatar
25 months ago

I have never run across or had it happen where my home button was broken. What are you guys doing to it?

I've never had cancer before. What are you guys doing to your cells?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xgx Avatar
25 months ago
On a 6s it would be much quicker to just hard press the left side of the screen to launch the app switcher via 3D Touch, can’t see any benefit to turning the device off and on again...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
25 months ago
Thanks Tim for that tip!!
This is a great feature to use even if the home button works fine when using a Plus sized traditional iPhone. Just tried it out. Works great ++
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Johnny365 Avatar
25 months ago
I have never run across or had it happen where my home button was broken. What are you guys doing to it?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Infinite Vortex Avatar
25 months ago

I have never run across or had it happen where my home button was broken. What are you guys doing to it?

Of the 4 iPhones I've had I've needed to replace button in 2 of them (iPhone 4s and iPhone 5). They go hinky and/or stop working. Come to think of it the button in my iPad mini crapped out as well. I see a lot of people using this. While I don't permanently mount my iPhones and bow to it of an evening I do look after my things. The problem is the buttons themselves.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
25 months ago

I have never run across or had it happen where my home button was broken. What are you guys doing to it?

So, what are you trying to see here, Just because it didn’t happen you, how does it happen to others? Even if you drop your iPhone on a certain angle, it’s not difficult to break the home button or where it lose its functionality with consistency.

Also, I would suggest reading through the iPhone forum, there have been multiple threads where others have broken their home button simply by dropping the phone or intermittent hardware issues.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Thursday November 19, 2020 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.2.1, a bug fix update that comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 14.2 and is available for Apple's new iPhone 12 models. The iOS 14.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release notes, iOS...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...
iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
maxresdefault

CrossOver Allows x86 Windows Apps to Run on Apple M1 Macs

Wednesday November 18, 2020 6:07 pm PST by
Codeweavers posted a blog post and video tonight showing off CrossOver running on an Apple M1 MacBook Air. This video shows Team Fortress 2 running on a new M1 MacBook Air: CrossOver is software (based on Wine Project) that runs Microsoft Windows apps on the Mac by translating Windows APIs into their Mac equivalents. The Codeweavers team was able to run the current version of CrossOver on...
macbookpro13large

Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Thursday November 19, 2020 6:12 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software. Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if macOS Big Sur can't be installed on...
128gb m1 macbook air education cropped

$799 M1 MacBook Air With 128GB Storage for Education Institutions Spotted Online

Friday November 20, 2020 5:15 am PST by
A new configuration of the M1 MacBook Air with 128GB of storage and a lower $799 price has today been spotted on Apple's U.S. Education Institution Hardware and Software Price List. The M1 MacBook Air is only available with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. There is currently no 128GB configuration on the Apple Store. However, Reddit user "u/dduci97" noticed that Apple has listed...