Home Button Activator

A couple of days ago, we told you about Virtual Home–a brand new jailbreak tweak that allowed users to simulate a press of the Home button using Touch ID enabled hardware. Virtual Home was one of the first jailbreak tweaks that modified the behavior of the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID sensor, and because of that, it proved to be very popular among jailbreakers.

Adding to the popularity of Touch ID tweaks is a recent update to Ryan Petrich’s Activator—an absolute staple of a jailbreak tool that all users should have installed from day one. Petrich’s latest 1.8.3 update brings support for a single press of the Touch ID sensor.

But Activator goes far beyond the scope of Virtual Home, because you can, in theory at least, assign any Activator action to a Touch ID gesture. Have a look inside to see how it works.

To assign a Touch ID gesture to an Activator action, you’ll need to make sure you have the latest version of Activator installed on your device. Activator version 1.8.3 is the release that brings support for Touch ID.

Once installed, head into Activator’s settings by means of the Activator app icon on the Home screen, or via the stock Settings App. Select the Anywhere panel, and then select the Single Press panel under the Fingerprint Sensor section. You can then assign any action to the Touch ID single press gesture.

Fingerpring Sensor Activator

For starters, it’s probably best if you assign the Home Button gesture—a gesture that simulates the single press of the Home button—in order to get the hang of how things work. It’s also a good litmus test for comparing Activator’s implementation to Virtual Home’s.  Once you  get the hang of how Touch ID gestures work in Activator, feel free to assign any other action to the gesture.

A few points of note:

Although there is no support yet for a double tap, you can use two single taps in succession to simulate a double press of the Home button. It takes a little practice, and isn’t always accurate, but it worked fairly well in my tests.

If you want to use the Home button like normal for getting back to the Home screen, invoking the app switcher, etc., you need to keep in mind that doing so will likely invoke the action assigned to the Touch ID sensor as well. For example, if I have Control Center assigned to the Touch ID sensor via Activator, and I press in on the Home button to get back to the Home screen, it will go back to the Home screen and invoke Control Center at roughly the same time. This causes some obvious usability issues and graphical glitches at times. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and one that may not be that easy to work around. I’m curious to see how Petrich plans on handling this issue going forward.

Fingerprint Home button Activator

With the aforementioned in mind, I would suggest using Activator’s built-in Touch ID support primarily to simulate the Home button. If you’ve experienced issues with Virtual Home, this is a good alternative for you to try.

Not to be overlooked are Activator’s other 1.8.3 features and fixes. Here is the full change log:

  • Fix arm64-specific crashes
  • Fix long reboot times on iOS 7
  • Update localizations
  • Add fingerprint event on iPhone 5s
  • Better detect device capabilities on iOS 7

It’s an exciting time to be a jailbroken iOS 7 user. It’s even more exciting to think about the potential of Touch ID in the hands of jailbreakers. Activator is and always has been at the forefront of innovation in the jailbreak community, and this latest release continues that trend.

Have you tried Activator 1.8.3 on your jailbroken iPhone 5s? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

  • RarestName

    Quick question: am I right to say that the metal ring that detects your finger is always active even without having installed tweak like this? So theoretically, this shouldn’t affect battery life?

    • Armando Lopez

      You must have a white iPhone 5S, the Space Grey iPhone 5S does not have a ring and I believe that the white iPhones metal ring is just for decorative purposes. I believe that once the phone is on the sensor is on by default thus allowing you to make purchases via iTunes with it. I have not noticed any change in my battery life since using it.

      • Captain Canada

        Are you kidding? of course the Space Grey 5s has a ring, its just black as opposed to silver on the Silver and Gold.

      • Pranav Shankar

        Lol what?

      • ɑղժɾҽա

        Dude, the metal ring is essential in detecting the presence of a user’s finger. The metal ring on the Space Gray iPhone 5s is just black, so it blends in with the black glass to you.

      • Armando Lopez

        Thanks for teaching me something new. I honestly thought it didn’t have one.

      • ɑղժɾҽա

        No problem!

    • Amid Abdul

      Do not listen to Armando, he probably doesnt know what he’s talking about. Yes, the metal ring detects your fingers but I dont know whether if its always on or not (probably yes)

      • Armando Lopez

        I honestly didn’t know since you can’t tell but thanks for teaching me something new.

  • Pranav Shankar

    I haven’t used activator in a while. It’s dependent on rocketbootstrap. What is that?

    • RarestName

      Just something to make Activator work with the evasi0n jailbreak’s sandbox.

      • Pranav Shankar

        Thank you! Just installed it. It’s a tad better than virtual home, i’ll be using this until virtual home gets updated with delay settings etc

  • Ben

    Cool. Wish I had the 5S, however. I’ll have the pleasure of waking up at 4 AM and purchasing an iPhone 6 for myself.

    • on3simpleclick

      Wait for the 6s. lol. But for real, Apple really needs a new naming scheme & i think we will see it this year. No more ‘c/s’.

      • leart

        I would say no more C, the S version is always the best evolution 🙂

      • on3simpleclick

        Well, I don’t think they will use either S or C in their phones this year. I can see an iPhone 6, but I’m pretty sure they might buck the trend & use something new to define there models.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Just using straight virtual home. Has worked perfectly since install. Only compromise I’ve noticed is taking screenshots.

    • Abhinav

      there is no problem in taking screenshot with VIRTUAL HOME.

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        Mayb I just want aggressive enuf as virtual home was activating before the SS cld b taken. Thnx. Cheers

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Just use activator…

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        Yep, exactly what I did. Thnx

      • sambuzzlight

        use your nails

    • Virtual home is real cool…but did anybody tried to register a new finger in touch id?..it’s was literally impossible…

  • So optimistic

    Looks like it’ll be a problem for me…I’ll pass. Anyone checked out VideoPane? Its a awesome tweak.

  • iRy757

    Bytafont 2 is out everyone.

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Was just about to type this. Neuropol, back on my device.

    • Eddie Hines

      does not work yet….any fonts will force you to install bytafont one and those fonts do not show up in bytafont 2

      • iRy757

        There is a section in Cydia that says Fonts (BytaFont 2). It’s working fine. Not that many choices as of now though.

  • Fardeen Beharry

    is it just me or the animations of the ios is laggy?

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Install ‘no slow animations,’ wrks perfectly with virtual home. Ftw!

      • Jeremy

        I like the animations but hated that it was so slow so I used that hiddensettings7 tweak and I found a section in it that allows you to change the slow factor of the animation and it works perfectly and my animations are much faster 🙂

  • At

    I’ve tried this out and eventually, touch ID stops working completely. I can’t unlock my phone with touch ID after having this installed. I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled twice but have the same problem. Anyone else have this issue yet?

    • ɑղժɾҽա

      If this is actually an issue, then I’m not installing this tweak.

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Have been using it constantly since release and it hasn’t failed once. I think u have something installed tht is in conflict. As far as activator goes, the only function I have set is swipe down from top rite to invoke sleep button. I also have my thumb scanned into touchID 3 times.

      • At

        The only other tweak I have downloaded is the control center one. Not sure why is does it, I have 4 fingerprints scanned in there and none of them will work. I’ll give it another try and update if any different.

      • 4p0c4lyps3

        I have CCToggles installed, as far as CC tweaks installed. Hope ur touchID isn’t failing, tht wld suck. I also have no activator action assigned to my home button at all. Does ur touchID work by itself?

  • ɑղժɾҽա

    Does this tweak actually utilize Touch ID or just the fingerprint detection sensor? I don’t want to wear out my fingerprint scanner.

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Once ur device is unlocked, it can be activated with any of ur fingers. So it doesn’t use the fingerprint sensor, seemingly. Cheers

  • Alex-V

    I noticed ..after some time it will not wake with touch I’d ( it’s a bit better as virtual home..) anyone also noticed ..?

    Also it would be nice if just the device wake..without a complete unlock

  • ɑղժɾҽա

    I just tried the tweak out and I don’t like it because it’s very inconsistent. Pressing the home button will always do the trick for me.

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Nice, til u wear tht mthrfckr out!!! And I do believe tht apple does not want home buttons to last forever. My old iP4’s HB is straight shot. And it was jb’n from the first moment it cld b and I utilized zephyr from the day it became available.


    Activator dosent works with my iphone5s its says : Activator Disabled

    • Mohammad Ridwan

      Install cydia substrate. that might help.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    My iPhone config with activator:

    Double Press Home – Control Center

    Swipe from Bottom, Bottom Right and Bottom Left – App Switcher

    Two problem I found so far with this config.

    1- When you first unlock your phone Control Center comes up first from the bottom on the first swipe. After that the App Switcher kicks in and stays.

    2- After the App switcher is already open if you swipe from the bottom again Control Center and will come up.

    Overall this is still pretty cool to use iPhone 5s this way.

  • kl Wong

    Hope this not out of topic:
    Is the “schedule” function existed on Activator before missing in this new version?

  • Oh noes. I installed and I’m stuck on safe mode now… anyone with the same problem? Thanks.

    • Anthony Nguyen

      just shut down your phone, and turn it back on again

      • Did that already, a lot, nothing. 🙁

        I’m on an iPad 2 wifi


  • I think Virtual Home is implemented better at this point for using the TouchID sensor as a home button. It has the same functionality as the Activator toggle, except to get to the switcher you tap+hold the touch ID. Also, it rarely gets in the way of activating Siri if you press down quick enough on the home button. I can’t imagine though what other events they’ll create for the TouchID. I’m patiently waiting for someone to implement TouchID swipes (left, right, up, down).

    • 4p0c4lyps3

      Word. +1

  • aphunex

    In my opinion this is better than VirtualHome because Activator uses double press on TouchID for multitasking while VirtualHome uses a press-and-hold to invoke the app switcher.

  • sambuzzlight

    is it me or just that i found Activator one more accurate and responsive than the ‘Virtual Home’ tweak and it also eats less battery. But i also noticed that after few minutes the Activator action becomes unresponsive and i have to end up doing a respring for it to work again.

  • Guest

    when I jailbreak should I be connected on itunes or disconnect my iPhone from iTunes??

    • Tristan

      Close iTunes.

      • Guest

        Just close it or eject my device from iTunes or leave it connected

  • Kim Olsson

    I like using touch ID as the standard home-button, but is there any way to automatically disable it for certain apps like app-store?

  • Dante Arellano

    I installed it buy didn’t work I have i5s I reinstalled mobile substrate and update to 64bit but it still no working please help guys!!!

    • Alex-V

      Reinstall cydia substrate and be sure you are not in save mode

  • Virtual home is real cool…but did anybody tried to register a new finger in touch id?..it’s was literally impossible…:/

  • Fernando Bravo

    Is in conflict with the Bio Protec.
    When we use the Bio Protect an App to unlock it disables all the rest of the Activator fingerprint sensor and or Virtual Home.

  • MichaelM

    hello, i really need help; i could not find the “fingerprint sensor” tab in activator; i have looked hard, any help? my is iphone 5s

  • Ronr1

    I installed Activator from Cydia but there’s no fingerprint event visible on my 5s?? It is the latest version though, I tried reinstalling it too. :/