How to Navigate Your iPad with No Home Button

How to turn on your iPad, adjust the volume on your iPad, and everything else you need to know about your iPad with no Home button.

Let's look at how to navigate an iPad without a Home button. iPad ownership starts with the basics: how to turn on an iPad, how to adjust the volume on your iPad, what the iPad side switches are, and the rest of the physical parts of your iPad. Here is your complete guide to navigating iPad models without a Home button.

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iPad Models without a Home Button

The iPad models that do not have Home buttons are:

  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd & 4th generation)

Related: What iPad Do I Have? How to Identify Apple's Different iPad Models & Generations

Top Button: Sleep/Wake

At the top right of your iPad you'll find the Sleep/Wake button. Pressing and holding this button activates Siri. When your device is on and awake, pressing this button puts your iPad back to sleep. When idle, pressing it wakes your device. You can also toggle on Lock/ Unlock, which allows you to wake your iPad when you open your iPad cover. You can also press the Sleep/Wake button to send incoming calls to Voicemail.

For the 4th-generation iPad Air, this button is your Touch ID. For all other models, you will be using Face ID. If you have Face ID or Touch ID enabled, then to unlock your device you simply wake your iPad and look at the screen. The lock icon along the top should unlock once you are recognized, indicating that you can start using the device. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go to your Home screen. To lock your iPad once again, press the Top button. If you don’t have Face ID or Touch ID enabled, then to unlock your device you must wake your iPad, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, and then enter your passcode.

Volume Buttons

Along the right side of your tablet near the top, you’ll find the volume buttons, which can control the volume when you play videos and music as well as your ringer and alerts. You can customize what the buttons control by going to Settings > Sounds. If you toggle on Change with Buttons, you’ll be able to control your ringer and alert levels with the volume buttons. I prefer to mute all alerts on my iPad and use the volume buttons just to control video and music playback. For more iPad customization options, check out our Tip of the Day!

USB-C Connector

This port is located on the bottom of your device in portrait orientation and is where you plug your iPad into the USB-C charger included with your purchase. This is what you use to  charge your iPad.

Smart Connector

You’ll find three small holes along the bottom of your device when it’s in portrait orientation called the Smart Connector. The Smart Connector lets you attach keyboards without Bluetooth pairing.

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Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both's picture

Author Details

Amy Spitzfaden–Both

Amy Spitzfaden Both is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, an award-winning novelist, and an iPhone enthusiast. Over the past decade, her work in the publishing industry has included live coverage of industry events including the Yale Publishing Course and Magazine Innovation’s ACT 9 Experience, providing editing services for several start-up publishing houses, and acting as newsstand consultant for magazines such as The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The New York Review of Books. She graduated from M.I.U. with a Bachelor’s in Literature and Writing, and has gone on to publish two novels and two short stories. Her debut novel Untold won the 2014 Chelson Award for Fiction.
Writing everything from book reviews to skincare tips, Amy discovered a passion for bringing exciting and useful information to even the most casual researcher. The mix of usability and endless possibilities is what drew her to Apple products originally, and the more she learns, the more she loves.
Amy lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing or glued to her iPhone, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and creating her own tea blends.