find iphone stuck in headphone mode even though you have unplugged the headphone?
Well, you’re not alone. I was at home listening to my spotify using my headphones and it got to the point where I wanted to call my friend so I had to unplug the headphones.
Reading: Iphone 6 headphone jack stuck
That’s when I heard no sound coming out of the iphone speakers. complete silence.
The first thing I did when I tried to check my iPhone was if it made any sounds, like typing on the keyboard, or if it played any of the ringtones.
well, surprise! didn’t work.
At this point it was getting frustrating and I was checking to see what the heck was wrong. that’s when i found out my iphone got stuck in headphone mode when i saw this cowbell shaped symbol that said “headphones” underneath.
so what did i do? I tried these seventeen ways that I am about to show you right now. i am sure at least one of the ways will fix your iphone stuck in headphone mode as well as it did for me. 🙂
let’s dive in. Here are the top 17 proven tips we’ll cover to get your iPhone off of headphone mode:
- 1. remove the protective case from your iphone
- 2. turn off your iphone and turn it back on
- 3. unplug the earphones from your iphone
- 4. try another pair of headphones
- 5. make sure both the mute switch and “do not disturb” options are turned off
- 6. turn on airplane mode
- 7. try using a bluetooth speaker
- 8. force restart your iphone
- 9. let your iphone go into standby mode
- 10. try recording something
- 11. clean iphone headphone port
- 12. helps to suck
- 13. look for water damage indicator on iphone
- 14. update your ios version
- 15. adjust your iphone settings for audio routing
- 16. still find your iphone stuck in headphone mode? factory reset
- 17. Check out solutions suggested by our readers (tried and tested)
- 18. make apple manually check iphone
1. remove the protective case from your iphone.
First of all, you’ll want to make sure you remove any protective case on your iphone, such as otterbox covers, battery packs, clear covers, anything you have on your iphone.
Once you remove the protective case, try plugging and unplugging the headset to see if that fixes the problem.
This solution has helped some of our readers (based on their comments below) as they found that their protective case was blocking the path to the audio jack, causing their iPhone to remain stuck in headphone mode.
try and let us know below if it works.
2. turn off your iphone and turn it back on.
if you haven’t tried restarting your iphone, you should definitely do it.
Not only does it help remove your iphone’s headphone mode, it also helps remove any software issues that may have caused your iphone’s system to get stuck.
don’t know how to reset your iphone, our steps below will show you how to do it:
restart your iphone se (2nd generation), 8, 7 or 6
- first, press and hold the side button until you see the “slide to power off” screen appear.
- then drag the slider to turn it on before turning it off wait around 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
- finally, you can turn your iphone back on by pressing and holding the side button (as shown below) until you see the apple logo appear on your screen.
restart your iphone se (1st generation), 5 or earlier.
- Go ahead, press and hold the power button (up) until you see the ‘slide to power off’ screen appear.
- then drag the slider to turn off the iphone you will need to wait around 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
- finally, you can turn your iphone back on by pressing and holding the power button located on the top (like shown below) until you see the apple logo appear on your screen.
once your iphone has restarted, try playing a song or youtube video to see if any audio is being output from the speakers.
3. unplug the headphones from your iphone.
Yes, you may have already tried plugging and unplugging your iPhone earphones many times, but it’s worth a try.
here is the breakdown of how you should do it:
- try plugging and unplugging the earphones a few more times, as sometimes your ios may forget that the earphones were unplugged.
- When connecting the headphones, you need to make sure that you can hear the audio clearly on the headphones. if no audio is heard, try another pair of headphones.
- once you are sure that the audio is playing in your headphones, only then should you slowly pause it by pressing the pause button on the youtube video or spotify/apple music.
- Clear background app history by double-tapping the home button and making sure no background apps are running. If you’re on an iPhone with a home button, you’ll need to swipe up to see all the apps running in the background. we have written a step by step guide on how to do it.
- lastly, firmly unplug the headphones.
after logging out, try again to see if this helps.
4. try another pair of headphones.
Different headsets have different settings.
So, if you have the original apple earphones (and we mean the original ones, not the fake ones), then go ahead and give it a try.
Whatever brand of headphones you were using before your iPhone got stuck, it may not have been fully compatible with your iPhone. This is because there are certain types and brands of earphones that may not sync perfectly with your iPhone due to different settings.
We’re not saying you should break your bank and invest in a high-end pair of headphones. in fact i still use my apple earphones that came in the box and what i did was ask my friend for her pair of earphones.
You can try asking your friends or your siblings as long as they are not imitations.
5. make sure both the mute switch and “do not disturb” options are turned off.
It’s easy to forget every time we flipped the silent switch or put our iPhone in “silent mode” to turn it off again.
so it’s worth before continuing on this post to make sure we’ve disabled these settings that control how our iphone makes sounds. the following are the different options worth checking out:
i) your iphone’s “mute switch”
Your iphone’s “mute switch” can be located on the side of your iphone (as shown in the image below). If it is indicated in orange, it means your iPhone is on silent and will not play any sound or ring during incoming calls.
just flip the switch so it’s back to normal mode (where it doesn’t show orange).
ii) “do not disturb” settings
The second setting is your “do not disturb” option which can be located from your control center or from within your settings application.
These are the steps to disable the do not disturb setting:
- Go onto your iPhone and then swipe up from the bottom of your Home screen to open your Control Center. For iPhones with a Home button, you will have to double press the Home button to bring up the Control Center.
- Then simply, tap on the moon crescent-shaped icon to turn it off. When turned off, it should be grey in colour (as shown below).
You can also do this by accessing your settings app > do not disturb and simply turn off the switch next to do not disturb.
Airplay is a setting that is primarily designed to allow iPhone to connect with smart TVs for screen mirroring and projection. when it’s on, it will automatically connect to a device like your tv or homepod etc.
this is how it turns off:
- In your settings app, tap general.
- then tap airplay & handoff.
- There are now three options here that we suggest temporarily turning them off (you can always turn them back on). here are the options:
- Auto cast to TVs – Touch this option and make sure that instead of being on automatic, it is selected to never be on.
- transfer to homepod: just flip the switch next to it to turn it off.
- transfer: just flip the switch next to it to turn it off.
6. turn on airplane mode.
One of the most popular and effective ways to fix your iphone stuck in headphone mode is to simply enable and disable airplane mode.
now what is airplane mode?
Airplane Mode was primarily added to the iPhone to allow quick turn-off of services such as mobile data (3G/4G LTE/5G), Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.
Because it temporarily disables these services, it is effective in allowing your iphone to go offline without any connection to anything without having to turn off the device.
I’ll show you how you can enable/disable airplane mode on your iphone if you’ve never done it before:
- go to your iphone and then swipe up from the bottom of your home screen to open your control center. note that for iphones with a home button, you will have to double press the home button to bring up the control center.
- then tap the orange airplane icon to turn on airplane mode. wait a good 30 seconds and then turn it off to see if your iphone speakers are working again.
alternatively: turn on airplane mode via the settings app
You can also go to your settings and then turn on your airplane mode by tapping the slider to turn it on. again, give it a good 30 seconds in airplane mode and then turn it back off to see if your iphone speakers are working again.
7. Try using a bluetooth speaker.
You see, if the iPhone is stuck in headphone mode because you used your headphones or plug-in headphones, you can easily undo it by reconnecting the iPhone to a Bluetooth speaker or a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
In fact, this is the same method that managed to fix the problem for me personally. It’s also proven to work for many of our readers, so it’s definitely worth a try. 🙂
when you connect your iphone to a bluetooth speaker or a pair of bluetooth headphones, your iphone will recognize the bluetooth device and also know when you disconnect it; as you are not manually disconnecting it which can sometimes be confusing for your iphone.
this is a pretty cool trick to do and all you need is a bluetooth speaker or a pair of bluetooth headphones you have laying around.
once you have that, all you have to do is connect your iphone to your bluetooth speaker or bluetooth headset, give it a good 5 minutes, and then unplug it to see if it has fixed your iphone.
8. force restart your iphone.
In most of our iphone related posts we often suggest to force restart your iphone to fix any issues you may encounter. This is especially useful when your iPhone is completely stuck or you find that you can’t turn off your iPhone.
In almost any situation you find yourself stuck, this can be a useful escape rope. Please note that the force restart and the way you normally restart your iPhone is completely different.
this is how you force reboot your iphone:
force restart an iphone 6s, iphone 6s plus, or iphone se (1st generation).
- go ahead and press and hold the power button along with the home button at the same time.
- press and hold for at least 20 seconds until the apple logo appears on the screen.
force restart an iphone 7 or 7 plus.
- Go ahead and press the power button and the volume down button at the same time.
- hold it down for at least 20 seconds until the apple logo appears on the screen.
force restart an iphone with face id, iphone se (2nd generation), iphone 8, or iphone 8 plus.
- press and quickly release the volume up button.
- then press and quickly release the volume down button.
- then press and hold the side button until the apple logo appears on the screen.
now try to see if your iphone speakers are working and if it fixed it so it doesn’t get stuck in headphone mode.
9. let it go into standby mode. it works.
We recently received tons of comments and feedback on this method via email from readers.
one of the recurring solutions suggested was to allow the iphone to go into standby mode on its own and before stopping the audio and unplugging the headphones.
here’s a clearer step-by-step breakdown on how to do it:
- First, you’ll need to make sure your iphone automatically locks the screen after a few minutes. if you have ios 13, you can do this by going to your settings app > screen and amplifier; brightness > auto lock > select the 30 seconds option for the current test purpose.
- then plug in your headphones and open an app like spotify or apple music to play any song.
- allow your iphone to automatically lock itself and go into what we call “sleep mode”. you’ll need to make sure you don’t touch your iphone based on the amount of time you’ve set for auto-lock per step 1.
- now after your iphone locks, touch it to wake him up
- then go back to the song and stop it.
- close the spotify/apple music app so it doesn’t run in the background.
- on your iphone home screen, you can now unplug the earphones.
- after that press the sleep/wake button to lock the iphone and press the button again to wake it up.
- drag the slider to unlock the iphone and then just test again to see if sounds start playing from your speakers.
The steps above should allow the iPhone to no longer be in headphone mode.
alternatively: connect earphones while iphone is locked (steps)
You can also try to plug in your earphones when the iphone is locked. this is what you do:
- First, you’ll need to make sure your iphone automatically locks the screen after a few minutes. refer to step 1 (above)
- then let iphone lock automatically.
- then try to connect earphones when iphone is locked .
- Now, once it’s connected, press and hold the power button and wait until the “slide to power off” screen appears.
- drag the slider to turn off your iphone.
- unplug the earphones.
- reboot your iphone and try to see if it starts playing any sound like phone clicks keyboard.
10. try recording something.
another user, mark, who had a similar situation where his iphone 6s got stuck in headphone mode, suggested that after making an audio recording with the voice memo app, the problem was solved.
It’s a great tip and, in fact, you can also try it out using the voice notes app on your iphone.
simply open the app and try recording with the headphones connected before removing them and going back to record another session.
11. clean iphone headphone port.
It is also possible that your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode because there may be debris or debris stuck in the headphone jack or lightning port (iPhone 7 and later).
When cleaning the headphone jack or lightning port, it is crucial that you are careful. it’s very easy to mess it all up just by pushing it too hard or hitting one of the very fragile components. we suggest you also take a flashlight when using the strategies below so you can always see if you’re making any progress.
Below, we share some of the safest ways to clean your headphone jack.
One of the safest ways to clean the headphone jack is to use a cotton swab. just take one and use it to gently clean the inside of the headphone jack.
since they are soft, you don’t have to worry about them being harmful. this is not the case if you are thinking of using a toothpick or brush because the sharp edges can cause damage.
Also when you use your swab, don’t push it in but slide the debris out.
ii) interdental brushes
You can also use interdental brushes which are commonly used to clean braces. they are also quite effective due to their small size that can be inserted into the headphone jack.
again, it’s important not to push it too far in, but to slide the debris out.
iii) can of compressed air
We recommend that if you can get your hands on a can of compressed air, it can do wonders for removing lint, debris, and dirt stuck between the headphone jack. you can get a can online or at most office/computer supply stores.
It’s important to note that when using a can of compressed air, you use the nozzle (the long straw-like thing). When using the can of compressed air, gently press down on it so that it only blows out a few bursts of air. you can take the flashlight and look into the headphone jack each time you press the can to see if it makes any difference.
We recommend not to use a paper clip (bent/unbend) or the plastic ink tube in a pen when using it to clean the headphone jack because it is dangerous and sharp edges can damage the headphone jack over time . the above ways are safer and more effective.
12. helps to suck.
Another workaround shared by users was to suck out the headphone port.
suctioning the headphone port loosens and removes any debris that is stuck in the port.
A cleaner option, which we recommend, would be to use a small vacuum cleaner to do it for you. they are cheap and are much more effective than sucking on it yourself.
just make sure you have a microfiber cloth by your side every time you suck so you can clean up any residue.
13. look for the water damage indicator on the iphone.
If you dropped your iPhone in the water and then found that your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode, then most likely your iPhone headphone port has suffered from water damage.
This is especially the case if you’re using an iPhone 6s, iPhone SE (1st generation), or earlier models. Since these models are not waterproof, they are prone to water damage.
now if you fell in water, how exactly do you know if your iphone is water damaged?
well, your iphone has a secret water damage indicator! Simply open your SIM card slot (on the side of your iPhone) using either the SIM card tray opener or a paper clip.
Next, inspect the liquid contact indicator (lci). If it is indicated as a red circle or red line, that means your iPhone has been in contact with water and may be damaged as a result. If this is the case, we recommend that you quickly grab a hair dryer or anything that can dry out the iPhone. you can also try leaving it in a bowl of rice.
if that doesn’t work, you should go directly to the apple store and have it checked (method 17). Apple is unlikely to replace the iPhone for you if it is water damaged, however, if it is in Apple’s care, then you still have a chance.
however, if you find the indicator is white/silver, please understand that your iphone has not been water damaged.
14. update your ios version.
By making sure to keep your ios up to date, you will not only be able to fix your iphone stuck in headphone mode, but also prevent many bugs and software related issues in the future.
all you have to do is follow these simple steps to update your iphone and you’re good to go.
- On your iPhone’s home screen, click the settings app, then tap general.
- then click software update.
- give your iphone a few seconds to check for new updates.
if there are updates, continue with the update. Once you’re done, it should fix your iPhone so it doesn’t get stuck in headphone mode.
15. adjust your iphone settings for audio routing.
There is a setting that deals with where audio is heard during phone calls and face-to-face audio calls. This setting may not have been configured correctly and may have caused audio being routed during calls to not be heard.
The steps below will show you how to locate the settings and make the necessary changes that will fix your iPhone:
- Go to your settings and then general.
- then select accessibility .
- scroll down until you see touch.
- keep scrolling until you see call audio routing.
- great! now all you have to do is make sure it’s set to automatic; if yours is not, select automatic from the list.
Now, if you find that it’s already set to auto and it still doesn’t work, try and try setting it to speaker.
To check if this worked, all you have to do is make a facetime call or audio call and then see for yourself if your speaker works.
if so, just go back to this same setting and change it back to automatic.
16. still find your iphone stuck in headphone mode? factory reset.
If you find that none of the above methods work to fix your iphone stuck in headphone mode, then it is very likely that you have a corruption in your iphone ios.
this is especially the case if you have ever unlocked your iphone. as you made some tweaks here and there from cydia which directly modifies how the system works making it prone to more bugs and issues.
so what is the solution?
You must perform a complete factory reset for your iphone. this should fix all the damaged ios files and the files will be replaced with new ones which should make your iphone work like new.
make sure you have backed up your iphone using your itunes. do so before continuing with the steps below. Also, make sure you are using the latest version of iTunes.
this is how you can put your iphone in dfu mode:
- go ahead and hold the power button on your iphone for 3 seconds.
- keep holding the power button but now you have to also press and hold the home button for 15 seconds.
- release the power button while continuing to hold the home button for another 10 seconds.
- good! Now your device should display the connect to itunes screen.
- Now connect your iphone to your computer and open your itunes. it will ask you to restore and update or you can restore manually by following the steps below.
- to start restoring your iphone, go ahead and connect your iphone to your computer.
- now select your iphone when appears on your itunes. select the summary tab and then click the restore button.
- click restore iphone.
- after you are done with your restore, your iphone will reboot. then you should see the slide to configure. From now on, follow the steps in the ios setup wizard.
- You can always restore your device from a previous backup if you need to or you can also choose to set it up as new .
After performing the factory reset, you should be able to use your iPhone just like you first got it without getting stuck in headphone mode.
17. check out solutions suggested by our readers (tried and tested)
Since this post was published in 2017, we have received tons of helpful suggestions from readers on some creative and effective ways to fix “iphone stuck in headphone mode” issue. our thanks to all of you. 🙂
Below is just a few of the many tips we’ve received and we hope that if you run into such a problem right now, it will help your situation.
- backing up via itunes to mac or windows pc: Some users have found that when they connect their iphone to their pc or mac and try to back up itunes you managed to take off the iphone from headphone mode.
- Test with a real-time call: Instead of trying to call someone, try a test with a real-time call. wait 10-20 seconds for the speakerphone to work and leave the headset mode.
- accept a call with the headset connected: Some users have also found that accepting a call with earphones plugged in and then unplugged during the call helps get the iphone off the ground.
- press the ‘speakerphone’ button during a call, selecting to use the speakerphone instead of your earphones, you are effectively forcing the iphone to come to and use the speaker to output any audio. if the “speaker” button is grayed out, you can refer to our guide here on how to fix it.
- try setting the alarm and ringtone (settings app > sounds & haptics > play any ringtone) to play: You can also try setting the alarm clock or ringtone to play on your iphone to see if it forces the iphone to play the sound from the speakers.
- accessibility > voice over > enable voiceover: when trying, it will ask you to press the home button. press the home button and it should return to speakerphone mode (removing you from headphone mode)
- use cotton swabs, hair dryer and suction in combination – most readers have Said that using the combination of cotton swabs, hair dryer, and repeated sucking helped the iphone unstick.
- back up using icloud: some have also tried doing a backup backup using your icloud which also allowed the iphone to get unstuck from headphone mode.
- how to fix ipad stuck in headphone mode – saint
- how to fix iphone 6s stuck in headphone mode – saint
18. have apple manually verify the iphone.
so what do you do if none of the above ways have solved the problem?
We recommend that you first back up all of your data using iTunes, Finder, or iCloud, and then check the Apple warranty options that are available to you. If you’re under AppleCare, you can go ahead and go to your nearest Apple Support or Apple Authorized Service Provider to have your iPhone inspected.
you will most likely be told that your iphone is not replaceable. if you have applecare you should be able to fix it, but don’t expect it to be free as apple may still charge you a fee.
Feel free to also check out the many hints and tips in the many helpful comments posted by others who had the same issue below prior to their trip. let us know below if you found a better option and we’ll update the article with your credit.
If this guide was helpful, please share it. 🙂