iPhone 5 Power Button Not Working Properly? Apple Will Fix It for Free
Many of us who bought an iPhone 5 early in the release cycle have since discovered that our power buttons have either stopped working entirely, or no longer register some clicks / taps. While the assumption has been that it’s a result of wear and tear, Apple has now acknowledged that a malfunctioning power button (also known as the sleep / wake button) is a flaw, and they are replacing impacted models for free repair through the officially named “iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program”. To be perfectly clear, the iPhone power / sleep button is located at the very top of the device:
It’s very easy to determine if your iPhone 5 is impacted by the faulty power / sleep / wake button, and most users who have the problem are well aware of the issue. Not all iPhone 5 devices have a broken power button, and the the vast majority work as intended. Nonetheless, it’s easy to check to see if you are eligible for the free repair service.
Checking Eligibility & Replacing the Faulty iPhone 5 Power Button
You can always visit an Apple Store Genius Bar, otherwise here’s the easiest way to find out if your power button can be replaced for free by Apple:
- Does your iPhone 5 power button not work? Does it occasionally not registered clicks and presses? If it works fine, you can ignore this
- Get the iPhone 5 serial number (find it in iTunes or on the iPhone)
- Enter the serial into the replacement program eligibility checker on Apple.com
If your serial number shows eligibility, you will get a message stating:
“The iPhone 5 serial number you entered is eligible for this program. Please follow the instructions below to have your sleep/wake button replaced.”
If your device is impacted by the problem but the serial number does not show eligibility, it may be worth a call to Apple Care anyway.
Apple says it will take about a week to get the iPhone repaired and returned to you. The repair can either be done at an Apple Repair Center by taking it into an Apple Store, or you can mail-in the iPhone 5 to Apple through a postage-paid service they offer.
Whichever method you use for repair, it is absolutely critical that you back up your iPhone before sending it into Apple otherwise you will lose the data stored on it. The iPhone 5 will also be updated the latest version of iOS (7.1.1 at the moment) so if you’re holding onto an ancient release version you may want to keep that in mind before sending your iPhone in for repairs.
As of April 25, 2014, the replacement process will be available in the U.S. and Canada. In other countries, it will be available as of May 2, 2014.
Replacement of the sleep/wake button mechanism is done at an Apple Repair Center. There are two ways to send your iPhone to the repair center—carry-in or mail-in. See below for details. The replacement process takes approximately 4-6 days from the time your iPhone is received at the repair center until it is returned to you. Your iPhone will be examined prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program and is otherwise in working order. Before sending your iPhone to Apple for service, you will need to back up all your data and erase all your content and settings.
Note: If your iPhone 5 has any damage such as a cracked screen which impairs the replacement of the sleep/wake button, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the sleep/wake button replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.
Most users who are impacted by the problem are well aware of it, and they either have relied on
workarounds using iOS to gain a software power button, or simply have learned to live with the malfunctioning button. Fortunately, if you can live without your iPhone for a week or so, you’ll be able to get it back good as new. If you are bothered by this problem and are eligible for a replacement, you should take advantage of it.
Another Option: Trade For a $350 Apple Credit Towards New iPhone?
Several users who have contacted Apple about the iPhone 5 power / sleep button replacement program have also discovered that Apple is offering up to $350 trade-in credit towards a new iPhone.
According to MacRumors, those interested in trading in a faulty iPhone 5 must specifically request the upgrade and put it towards a new iPhone (like an iPhone 5C or iPhone 5S):
In addition to repairs, U.S. Apple store employees have been offering iPhone 5 users with a faulty sleep/wake button a $350 trade-in credit towards a new device, according to multiple tipsters.
Apple is only giving the credit to users who specifically ask about an upgrade, but the credit amount is above what the store typically gives for an iPhone 5 trade-in. The phone must be in full working order aside from exhibiting sleep/wake issues.
With the price of a brand new iPhone 5S off-contract running about $650, being able to trade in a 2 year old iPhone and get the newest model for as low as $300 is a pretty great deal, particularly considering the used market for iPhone 5’s is typically in the $200-$300 range.