How to fix an iPhone side button that is not working

A faulty side button is one of the worst malfunctions for iPhone users. This is because the button performs many vital functions on the device.

From locking the screen, turning the iPhone ON and OFF, putting the iPhone in recovery mode, resetting the iPhone, taking screenshots, you name it. iPhones with no home button have an even harder time functioning with an unresponsive side button.

Now, to save you a lot of inconveniences, we’ve compiled a couple of fixes and troubleshooting solutions that will get the side button working. Keep reading to find out.

Possible reasons why the iPhone side button is unresponsive

  • Dirt and debris have accumulated around the button.
  • Your iPhone case is interfering with the side button.
  • The button is physically damaged after a fall.
  • A software glitch that’s interfering with the side button.

What do you do when your iPhone’s side button doesn’t work?

If your iPhone side button is not working and apps are not opening, you should try out the following DIY fixes:

1. Remove the protective case

Your iPhone’s protective casing could make your side button unresponsive. Especially, if it doesn’t match perfectly with the iPhone. So, you should remove it then press the side button to see if it works.

If the side button starts working after removing the protective casing, consider replacing the case with one that fits. Alternatively, you can use the iPhone without the case.

If it’s still unresponsive, move to the next solution.

Read Also: How to unfreeze your iPhone XR?

2. Clean debris from the side button

Your iPhone’s side button could have stopped working because of debris accumulation. This is likely to happen if you live/work in a dusty environment or drop the phone on a dirty surface.

So, to unstick the side button on iPhone, use a clean piece of cloth or anti-static brush to clean around the power button.

Blowing a can of compressed air on the side button could also help to get rid of the debris. Click the button to see if it works.

3. Update iOS

Outdated iOS software has bugs and glitches that might hinder the performance of your side button and other features. You should look for the latest iOS for your iPhone and install it immediately.

Follow these steps:

  • Open “Settings”.
  • Select “General”.
  • Tap on “Software Update”.
  • Download and install any available updates.
  • Turn on “Automatic Updates”

With this setting in place, your iPhone will update itself and save you from dealing with issues like an unresponsive power button.

4. Adjust the click speed of the side button

If your iPhone 11 side button is not responding properly, you can adjust its click speed to your liking to see if it helps.

This feature was introduced for iPhone X and later models, and below is the guide for making the adjustments.

  • Open “Settings”.
  • Tap on “Accessibility”.
  • Look for the “Side Button” and tap on it.
  • You have three-speed options to pick from— Default, Slow, and Slowest. Switch from one to the other while checking if the sleep button works.

Read Also: How to fix an iPhone with lines on the screen

5. Enable Assistive Touch

This is a temporary solution that helps you to work around the defective side button. You can use it to lock your screen, reboot the phone, and take screenshots too.

Here is how to enable it.

  • Launch the “Settings” app.
  • Go to “General”.
  • Tap on “Accessibility”.
  • Select “Assistive Touch” and toggle it ON.
  • A circular-shaped bubble will appear on your screen. You can drag it to your preferred position.

Once Assistive Touch is enabled, you can use it to restart your iPhone to fix software glitches that may be affecting the sleep/wake button.

Restarting your iPhone using Assistive Touch

  • Tap on the Assistive Touch bubble to reveal the menu
  • Tap on “Device”, followed by the “More” button
  • Additional options will appear
  • Tap on “Restart” and your iPhone will reboot
  • Once it’s done, check if the side button works

6. Reset all settings

If your iPhone SE power button is not working and you want to be sure it’s not a software system issue, reset all the settings.

Use the guide below:

  • Open “Settings”.
  • Navigate to “General” then “Transfer or Reset iPhone”.
  • Tap “Reset”.
  • Next, tap on “Reset all Settings”.
  • Enter your iPhone’s passcode to confirm.
  • Tap “Reset all Settings” again.
  • Give the iPhone time to reset and reboot.
  • Click the side button to see if it is responsive.

7. DFU Restore iPhone

The last software troubleshooting option for an unresponsive side button on iPhone is to DFU restore.

Here’s is a guide to the process. Make sure to follow the right procedure for your specific device.

8. Schedule an Appointment With Apple Care Technicians

Is the side button still unresponsive? Then you must be dealing with a hardware-related problem that needs professional expertise to diagnose and solve.

And, who better to do it than Apple Care technicians? They’re certified, skilled, and experienced. Schedule a check-up and repair appointment with the ones close to you.

If you have an active warranty that covers the side button repair, use it to get free or discounted repair costs. Read through the terms of your warranty to be sure.

Read Also: Why visual voicemail is unavailable on your iPhone