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The iPhone 7’s new home button lost a key feature, but there’s already a fix

Published Sep 9th, 2016 1:48PM EDT
iPhone 7 Home Button Screenshot Reboot
Image: Apple

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The home button on the iPhone has so many different essential functions that Apple can’t just remove it. But starting with the iPhone 7, the home button is changing. It’s no longer a physical button. Instead, it’s a capacitive button that gives you the impression that you’re pressing a regular button with the help of a new Taptic Engine. That means the home button will retain almost all its features, and it’ll even gain some new ones. However, it also means a crucial iPhone feature is changing this year.

DON’T MISS: iPhone 7 preorders: We have entered a parallel universe

When all else fails with an iOS device, you can force a reboot by holding down two buttons simultaneously. The power/standby button and the home button. However, starting with the iPhone 7, that particular combination will no longer work. It’s likely that the iPhone needs to be turned on so that the new home button works as intended.

If a phone is frozen, it won’t recognize home button presses so the old combo simply isn’t possible. Therefore, Apple is replacing this gesture with a different one: You’ll have to hold the power/standby button and the volume down button simultaneously to force a reboot, or to put the iPhone 7 in DFU mode.

That said, the home button on the iPhone 7 still retains the same features you expect it from it, including Touch ID, Apple Pay, Siri, multitasking and Reachability. The home button can also still be used to get out of apps and return to the home screen, and can be used to take a screenshot. It will be customized to support other actions in the future as well, but Apple has yet to detail them.

To take a screenshot, you’ll still have to press the power/standby button and the home button at the same time, just like you do now. The difference between taking screenshots and rebooting is that the iPhone is powered on while you’re grabbing a screen.

Here are full instructions on how to reboot and enter DFU mode on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, via iMore.

How to reboot your iPhone 7

  1. Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side
  2. While continuing to hold the On/Off button, press and hold the volume down button on the left side of your iPhone.
  3. Hold both buttons as the screen turns off, and keep holding them until the screen turns back on and displays the Apple logo.

How to put your iPhone or iPad into DFU mode

  1. Plug in your iPhone 7.
  2. Make sure iTunes is running.
  3. Turn Off your iPhone 7 if it isn’t already.
  4. Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side of your device for 3 seconds.
  5. Press and hold down the volume down button on the left side of your iPhone 7 while still holding down the On/Off button.
  6. Keep holding both buttons down for 10 seconds. (If you see the Apple logo, you’ve held them too long and will need to start again.)
  7. Let go of the On/Off Button but keep holding the volume down button for about 5 seconds. (If you see the “Plug into iTunes” screen, then you’ve held it too long and will need to start again.)
  8. If the screen stays black, that’s it! Your iPhone 7should now be in DFU mode.
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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