If your iPhone or iPad has a broken sleep/wake button—a top button or side button depending on the device—you can still lock your screen (or even restart) by using an accessibility feature called AssistiveTouch. Here’s how.

AssistiveTouch makes it possible for you to simulate physical movements, gestures, and button presses with simple menu options on your iPhone or iPad touchscreen. That includes locking your screen and restarting your device. To enable it, first, open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.

In Settings, navigate to Accessibility > Touch.

Tap Touch in Settings on iPhone or iPad

In “Touch,” tap “AssistiveTouch.”

Tap "AssistiveTouch."

Next, turn on the switch beside “AssistiveTouch.”

Turn the "AssistiveTouch" switch on.

A special AssistiveTouch button (that looks like a gray square with a white circle in the middle) will appear on the side of the screen.

The AssistiveTouch button as seen on an iPhone.

Whenever AssistiveTouch is enabled, this AssistiveTouch button will always remain on the screen, although it might sometimes become transparent or disappear temporarily to get out of your way. You can reposition it by dragging it with your finger.

To put your iPhone or iPad to sleep without using the power button, tap the AssistiveTouch button once. In the menu that appears, tap “Device.”

In the AssistiveTouch menu, tap "Device."

Under the device menu, tap “Lock Screen.”

In the AssistiveTouch menu, tap "Lock Screen."

After you tap, your screen will go dark. You’ve just locked your device without using your top or side button! Feel like a hacker yet? AssistiveTouch is truly a very powerful tool.

Here’s something even cooler: You can also completely restart your iPhone or iPad using AssistiveTouch. Just tap the AssistiveTouch button and then navigate to Device > More and tap “Restart.” This is equivalent to powering off your device and then turning it on again.

RELATED: How to Use an iPhone with a Broken Home Button

How to Wake Your iPhone or iPad without a Power Button

After locking your screen, you can reawaken your iPhone or iPad by pressing the Home button (if your device has one), by tapping the screen on some devices (See Settings > General > Accessibility > Tap to Wake.), or by physically lifting the device (if “Raise to Wake” is enabled). You could also try using “Hey Siri” (if it’s enabled) while your iPhone or iPad is locked.

If for some reason you can’t reawaken the device, charging it or receiving a notification will also turn on the screen, giving you an opportunity to interact with and unlock your iPhone or iPad.

Also, if you rely on your iPhone or iPad for critical tasks and you can afford a repair or replacement, consider contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store to inquire about repair options. Good luck!

RELATED: How to Set Up and Use Siri on an iPhone

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Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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