How to Enable a Virtual Home Button on iPhone or iPad with AssistiveTouch
Do you miss having a Home button on the iPhone X? Maybe your Home button isn’t working as expected, or is broken on an iPhone or iPad? Or maybe you’d just find it easier to tap on the screen to mimic a Home button press rather than using the hardware button? You can enable a virtualized onscreen Home Button to use instead with the help of a great Accessibility feature called AssistiveTouch.
While AssistiveTouch has a huge array of excellent Accessibility features and capabilities, we’re going to intentionally limit it’s scope here to focus on creating an onscreen touch Home button on an iPhone or iPad.
How to Add a Touchscreen Home Button on iPhone or iPad
Here is how you can use AssistiveTouch to enable an onscreen Home button in iOS:
- Open the “Settings” app in iOS
- Go to “Accessibility” (new iOS versions) or to “General” and then to “Accessibility” (older iOS settings)
- Tap on “AssistiveTouch”
- Toggle the “Assistive Touch” switch to the ON position
- Next choose “Single-Tap”
- From the Single-Tap options select “Home” as the single tap action item for Assistive Touch
- Drag to position the Assistive Touch virtual button, by default it’s in the upper right corner of the screen, to mimic an onscreen Home button drag it to the bottom middle of the screen, or the position of your choice
Now you can tap the onscreen virtual Home button to mimic a real Home button, it will perform the same actions as you’d expect, like returning to the iOS Home Screen from any app.
Creating a virtualized Home Button with Assistive Touch works on both the iPhone and iPad, though for people wanting to use it as a digital Home button replacement it’s probably most useful on devices that either don’t have a Home button at all (like the iPhone X, and if rumors pan out all future iPhone and iPad models), or for devices where the Home button is broken and not working.
The latter scenario of using Assistive Touch to manage a broken Home button has been in use for quite some time as a workaround for users with a damaged or malfunctioning Home button, and it continues to work well for that purpose today.
By the way, if you’re enabling this setting because your Home button is broken or malfunctioning, you might also appreciate knowing how to restart an iPhone or iPad without pressing any hardware buttons, and if your Lock / Power button is misbehaving too then you can also shut down an iPhone or iPad without using the Power / Lock button and follow some other tips for managing a broken Power button on iOS devices.
How to Disable AssistiveTouch Touchscreen Home Button in iOS
Of course you can also turn off the onscreen Home button in iOS too if you decide you don’t like it, or don’t need it:
- Open the “Settings” app in iOS
- Go to “General” and then choose “Accessibility” and then tap on “AssistiveTouch:”
- Toggle the “AssistiveTouch” switch to OFF position
The virtual Home button will disappear immediately when you turn off AssistiveTouch.
Now you know how to enable or disable a virtualized onscreen Home button on your iPhone or iPad that you can use the touchscreen for like any other item on the screen, pretty handy!