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My iPhone says "press home to restart" but my home button is broken so there is no way to press home.

I can't use the answers in How do you activate an iPhone with broken home button iOS 10 as my iPhone isn't linked to my computer, and I can't activate Assistive Touch.

How can I activate my iPhone nevertheless?

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Get the phone fixed, or buy a new one.

  • not a bad news to read this during corona virus epidemy :( – Martin Delille Mar 19 '20 at 11:35
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Copied from an answer found on iFixit, this helped me set up an iPhone with a broken Home button, on iOS 14.2.

Turn off the iPhone with power button + slider, do not reboot it. Turn on again with power button and you should be able to use touch and go through settings without the need to press home button.

You can then unlock sim, activate iPhone and re-enable Assistive Touch or restore a backup.

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I do not know what you mean by "[…] my home button is broken […]". You also did not state which iPhone model you are using.

So I assume "broken" means "stuck".

A friend of mine helped me with a stuck Home button. This is how to clean the stuck Home button with care:

  • make a backup first (does not apply to you, because you can't activate it.)
  • shut it down completely & take out the SIM card
  • Wait about 30minutes for all capacitors to loose their load
  • take isopropanol (90% medical alcohol)
  • take a q-tip, wet it with the isopropanol (don't sniff - you know, don't drink and repair expensive technical equipment :-) )
  • use the wet q-tip carefully around the Home button, try to press it slightly and clean the edge/border with it multiple times for at least 5mins. Don't drown the iPhone!
  • if the alcohol has crept in all cracks around the Home button, continously press and release the Home button at least 50 times, unless you feel it working smooth again.
  • put the iPhone away for at least 3h, let the alcohol dry out.
  • put the SIM card back in.
  • power up and have fun.

I hope that helps!

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[UPDATE for iOS13 - not sure this still works unfortunately, it was fantastic for iOS12 but I think iOS13 may need a different strategy unfortunately]

Original answer below:

Believe it or not, this is easy.

You must have access to a mac and the right cable for your phone

With the phone at the setup welcome screen, you plug the phone in and iTunes should pop up. Open the Summary page for the device, and scroll to the Options section at the bottom. Select "Configure Accessibility", and turn on Voice Over.

Now you can double-tap on the "press home" text to voice-over-select it, then when you tap again, it enters it taking you to the next screen.

All the screens after the first one work without the home button so you can turn Voice Over off now and get to work.

Don't forget to turn on the Accessibility touch work-around from Settings as soon as you can! Good luck

Credit for Scott from https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/303020/288316

  • wow, a downvote for an answer I used myself that works, with no explanation. why's that? – Mike Hardy May 25 '19 at 19:48
  • It didn't work for my iPhone neither... – Martin Delille Mar 20 '20 at 7:38
  • I'm not sure it is still valid for iOS13 unfortunately. iOS13 may need a different strategy, I will edit the answer – Mike Hardy Mar 21 '20 at 12:48
  • Thanks for the clarification! This could be considered as a bug by Apple since it is a regression. I don't have time for filling it but I have a device locked in this state so if anyone want some more information I'll be happy to provide it! I just wanted to add the only working function of the phone is receiving a call (but contact are of course not synchronised) – Martin Delille Mar 23 '20 at 8:34
  • You might try other options to see if anything can get you through - from here: support.apple.com/guide/iphone/… "Turn on accessibility features during setup You can turn on many accessibility features right away when you first set up iPhone. Turn on iPhone, then do any of the following: (examples deleted but follow the link for 3 different ways)" – Mike Hardy Mar 23 '20 at 18:43

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