Hang Up a Phone Call on the iPhone by Tapping the Power Button

Jan 13, 2014 - 16 Comments

Many of us use our iPhones for so many tasks that it’s easy to overlook some of the simpler functionality of the device, like making and ending phone calls. With that in mind, we’ve got a nice trick to hang up an active call faster, without having to touch the devices screen at all. It’s incredibly simple:

Hang up a call instantly by tapping the Sleep / Power button

Hang up an iPhone call by tapping on the power button

Yes, the sleep/lock/power button at the top of the iPhone can also be used to hang up a call, without having to rely on touching the iPhone screen.

No Touch Screen Usage = Works with Cracked Screens

This is valuable for several reasons: it’s faster than tapping “End Call”, it can be done with a simple finger tap without looking at the screen, and it works even if the iPhone touchscreen is not working due to a hardware failure or a completely cracked screen that has the lower portion of the display unresponsive to touch.

Cracked iPhone screen

You’ll also be able to make phone calls in cold weather easier, or if you’re wearing gloves that aren’t touchscreen friendly. Just use Siri to make the initial phone call, then use the top button to end the call, all while keeping your toasty gloves on the entire time.

Additionally, it works to hang up a call even if tapping on the “End Call” screen button doesn’t work, which seems to be an odd Phone app bug that happens at random for some users.

End a call on the iPhone by tapping the power button

The simple power button also has a few tricks up it’s sleeve for incoming calls too, with a single-tap silencing the ringer, and with a double-tap sending the call directly to voicemail.

As some readers have pointed in the comments, the functionality is slightly different depending on how you are using the iPhone during the call. In order for the iPhone call to hang up and end the active call, you must be using the iPhone with an active phone call in handset mode (that is, held up to your ear how most people use a phone). If you have an active call with speaker phone mode turned on, or are using an AUX cable attached to the iPhone, pressing the power button will result in the screen locking instead of hanging up.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

16 Comments

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  1. Ewd says:

    This is a very old tip… Sorry.

  2. Dexter says:

    Old tip, yes, and not the best one. A well-known flaw that affects the iPhone 5 (not all, but some and fixed in the 5S) is a weak Sleep cable/switch assembly. I have this issue, myself. At first it becomes flakey, then fails altogether. Unnecessary taps of the button only increase the likelihood of a switch failure.

    Granted, Apple will repair this under warranty, but out of warranty units will not get their attention… without big cost. Also, it is a difficult item for an individual or non-Apple repair facility to replace.

    I avoid using the Sleep button unless I have to.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for the tip. I didn’t know this was a common problem. I had my first iphone 5 replaced after 2 months because the power button failed. On my second one, out of warranty I believe by now, and it’s button barley work with a case on.

  3. Joe Swetz says:

    I always find it interesting when information such as this is characterized as “tricks up its sleeve”. Really?! Call me old-fashioned but this and many other “secret tips” can be found in the iPhone User Manual, page 44 for this secret tip.

  4. Avenged110 says:

    I love this and use it all the time. It’s handy though particularly because it locks the screen when you’re done. Saves me a tap and I don’t have to check to make sure it ended.

  5. Peter says:

    The lock button does not hang up the call and never has. It simply locks the screen and lets the backlight go off.

    • Peter says:

      It locks the screen if you’re on speaker — if you’re using the handset, then it hangs up.

      • Ivan says:

        It works as advertised but is not thoroughly explained:

        * If you’re using the screen it will just lock the screen and prevent taps as usual. If you have any physical audio connection into the iPhone, it will also just lock the phone.

        * If you’re using the actual phone on a phone call without an AUX connection, it will hang up the call as described. If you’re actively dialing a number, it will also hang up the call as described.

        Call a random 800 number to test it yourself.

        • Ivan says:

          Oh to clarify further, it locks the screen if you’re on SPEAKER MODE, but hangs up the call if you’re using the actual phone as a phone like up to your ear. That is exactly what is described here, but who knew there would be so many additional options?

        • Paul says:

          Yes, it does behave differently if on speaker phone or there is an audio cable attached to the audio port.

    • Paul says:

      Touching the lock button hangs up the call if you’re using the iPhone as a phone in handset mode. Otherwise if you’re on speaker phone or have an audio cable connection, it will lock the screen instead.

  6. Jay Cagle says:

    Tapping the Power button while on a call won’t do anything. On the other hand, clicking the Power button will end the call.

    • Pedantic Nutter says:

      Yah Jay, there is no touch screen on the power button so how do you tap it? You can’t tap that which is not a touch screen and there is no screen on the power button because Apple has failed in the great innovation machine, proofed by Google purchasing Nest which has all the former Apple insider creationists! But I digress Jay, so let us get back to the matter at hand, what is it that you mean by clicking the button, and with what? My trackpad? A mouse pointer? How do I get a mouse attached to my iPhone to end the call! I tried connecting my USB mouse to the iPhone but it does not fit, is this Apple’s fault for switching from the regular 30 pin adapter to a 7 pin adapter eh? Do I need to get the USB camera connection kit for the iPad and connect a mouse so I can click the power button with that? Can someone cover this topic thoroughly or shall I make an appointment with the Genius Bar? The trouble is there is no Genius Bar at Roanoke and thus I must drive in the vehicle, a method of transportation popularized in 20th century that utilizes gasoline propellant to convey a four-wheeled vehicle in a forward motion, also known as an automobile.

      Now, what I have found does work is to PRESS with a finger or other hard object the power button at the top of the iPhone, and that PRESSING behavior hangs up a call. But you must PRESS using the muscles in your finger to apply steady pressure to the button with enough weight or force such that is sufficient to make the button depress slightly down into the iPhone enclosure and thus trigger the mechanism to hang up the call, which is really just another way of saying end the phone call so that you are no longer in active communication mode over the cellular telephony network. It’s not really “hanging up” the call because you are not hanging the iPhone from anything! Except maybe the mouse you attached using the USB Camera Connection Kit from Apple, isn’t that right Jay?

      But remember, this is not “press” as in the type of press you use to squeeze olives to make olive oil, an excellent cooking oil that has health benefits but should not be near the vicinity of an iPhone at all. Additionally this is not to “press” as in the type of printing press used for creating a print publication of the type related to newspapers, books, and magazines printed with ink on paper derived from trees, being the type that grow from the ground in dirt, sprouting up towards the air. And, finally, this is not like that TV show “Meet the Press” either, which has nothing to do with pressing anything so obviously they are wrong on all counts!

      Does that make sense? Can I hang up this call yet?

      • Pedantic Nutter says:

        Oh I must clarify, the closest Apple Store is at Tysons Corner, in the state of Virginia, located in the eastern coastal region of the United States of America!

  7. Herbie says:

    I use the volume buttons to silence incoming calls and sleep my alarm in the morning. Did the button change between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5?

  8. Ann says:

    Thanks for the clarity. Lmao

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