Apple Mobile

Broken home button? Here’s how to unlock your iPhone on iOS 10

One fairly common reason why some old iPhone users aren’t upgrading to iOS 10 is because they feel their phone won’t be usable anymore. After all, iOS 10 does require you to press the home button to unlock the device. Yet, there multiple ways to unlock your iOS 10-running iPhone even if it has a broken home button. Find out how after the jump.


The iPhone 5C, 5 and earlier had somewhat flaky home buttons. They would work fine in the first year or so, but then things would go really downhill. First, your home button would lose its tactile, clicky feeling. Second, it would stop taking input at all unless you pushed it a very specific way.

At this point, most people activate Touch Assist / accessibility controls. You know, that semi-transparent virtual home button that would show on screen?

With iPhone 5S and later, Apple has mostly fixed this. iPhones with Touch ID have significantly stronger home buttons. To date, I’ve never seen the owner of an iPhone 5S or later complain about a non-functional home button.

Most such owners don’t even use slide to unlock anymore, since their iPhones would be unlocked with Touch ID. This is why Apple has introduced “Press Home to unlock” in iOS 10; replacing the iconic Slide to Unlock in iOS 9 and earlier.

iOS 10 for iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S: yes, you should upgrade

For owners of iPhone 5C or 5, or even a 5S (Touch ID isn’t so great on that), the lack of Slide to Unlock is a real concern. How will they unlock their device when the home button (or Touch ID) doesn’t work well?

Related: Enable slide to unlock in iOS 10

There are two ways to do it.

The first is to ensure you have AssistiveTouch enabled from Settings > General > Accessibility > AssistiveTouch. If you see the semi-transparent home button on your screen, it means it is working. Now, when you upgrade to iOS 10, this button will be there at all times. You can press it to show the passcode screen, or to unlock your device.

The second is simpler, and less obtrusive. Just swipe right, and tap on any widget! Doing so will unlock your device, or at least open the passcode screen.

That’s it.

Windows Clan recommends you to upgrade your aged iPhone to iOS 10. There are performance improvements, and new features that are worth it.