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
40 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
40 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
40 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
40 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
40 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
40 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)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...