If you've got an iPhone or iPad with a Home button, you may have noticed that you have to press the button to unlock the device with Touch ID - and you might be wondering if something's changed. Wasn't it possible before to simply rest your finger on the button?

Well spotted, and yes, you're absolutely right. This is something that Apple changed as part of the iOS 10 update; it wasn't popular then, and it's not popular now. In iOS 10 and later (this is still true as of iOS 12) you have to press the Home button to unlock your device, whereas before you could just rest your fingertip on the Home Button to unlock it using the fingerprint scanner.

It's a small change, maybe, but when you have to retrain your fingers things can get frustrating. Luckily it's easy to change it back to the way things were.

To reactivate Rest Finger to Open, go to Settings > General > Accessibility. Under the section headed Interaction, find and tap the entry for Home Button, then tap Rest Finger to Open so the toggle turns green to indicate that it's activated.

How to unlock iPhone & iPad without pressing the Home button: Settings

Now you're back to the way things used to be.

Press To Unlock vs Slide To Unlock

How to unlock iPhone or iPad without pressing Home button: iOS 9, iOS 10 and iOS 12

Why did Apple make this switch? It comes down to a change in approach. In iOS 9 (on the left in the screenshot above), you were instructed to Slide To Unlock. In iOS 10 (middle) and iOS 12 (right), the instruction is Press Home To Unlock or Press Home To Open.

Generally speaking this is a change that makes good sense: almost every current iDevice with a Home button also has a Touch ID fingerprint scanner, and it's an altogether more efficient method to press the Home button while simultaneously having your fingerprint scanned.

But the fact that you have to actually press the Home button - you used to be able to get away with just lightly resting your fingertip on the scanner and letting Touch ID go to work - is an irritation. For sure, pressing a button isn't the most onerous of tasks, but when you've grown used to one particular method of unlocking a phone, even small changes can be annoying.

Even more annoying when you consider that the iPhone 7 and 8 don't actually have any moving parts in their Home buttons so you aren't really pressing anything at all - Apple just uses a vibration to make it feel like you pressed a button inwards.

Can you bring back Swipe To Unlock in iOS 10 and later?

Now for the bad news. You can't bring back Swipe To Unlock, and we assume you won't ever be able to. (Unless the backlash is huge. Or possibly someone comes up with a method via jailbreaking.)

If your reason for wanting to avoid using the Home Button is that your Home Button isn't working on your iPhone, however, read this for further advice: How to fix a broken iPhone Home button. If you're having problems with your fingerprint scanner, meanwhile, try reading How to fix broken Touch ID.