Headphones are a good part of how we accessorize our lives. Yet we all but ignore them, till something goes wrong. The first thing to be blamed in that case is usually the headphone jack. Many people reach out to us declaring that their headphone jacks are faulty. While some may take this to be a welcome break from the zombie like states into which headphones render us, the problem still requires an answer. So, what do you do if the headphone jack on an iPhone, laptop, desktop or Samsung phone stops working?
1. Make sure your device is not on mute
This may seem like a bit of a condescending solution, but the first thing that you need to do in the event that your headphones jack has stopped working is to check that your device has not been muted. Perhaps you are not the only one that uses your phone or computer. If that is the case, then someone may have placed whatever it is that you are connecting your headphones to on mute. Some computers have a mute button, and you may have accidentally pressed it.
2. Make sure that the volume is up
Another obvious solution, but it’s something that you need to check on nevertheless. In the event that your headphone jack appears to be not working, make sure that the problem has nothing to do with your device’s volume actually being tuned rather low. We are not all computer gurus, and sometimes these simple solutions elude us. Part of the problem could be that you have volume controls both on your headphones and on your laptop. So, you need to make sure that none of these is turned too low.
3. Test your headphones on another device
Are you really sure that it’s your headphone jack that’s not working? Perhaps it’s your headphones that have a problem. Headphone jacks are generally sturdy and it’s not very common for them to pack up. However, the same cannot be said of headphones. Sometimes it can appear as if you actually go through several of them every year. I mean, I have just purchased some earphones and one side is already done for. And it’s not even a week since my purchase. Of course, I am partly to blame. I bought the cheapest earphones that I could lay my hands on, and they turned out to be cheap in more ways than one. Anyway, if your headphones refuse to work on another device, then you can be sure that it’s not the poor jack that’s to blame.
4. Clean the headphone jack
Sometimes the environments in which we live are less than clean. Those pesky roaches are hard to get rid of and they get into the most unlikely of places. Perhaps they are the reason for your headphone jack not working on laptop or phone problem. If that is the case, then you may need to clean the poor jack.
There are also times that we go for long periods without using our devices. Perhaps you have been using Bluetooth headphones all along and have neglected your headphone jack. If that is the case, then dust may have accumulated in there. The solution would be to clean the audio jack. So, how do you go about doing it?
The first thing that you need to do as part of the process of removing dirt from an audio jack is to take a toothpick or matchstick or whatever to remove the link and other dirt that may be in there. The job probably won’t take that long. When done, test out your headphones one more time. You may be in luck.
If you are lucky, the solution to the headphone jack not working problem could be to simply blow on the jack. This could be all that is needed to remove the dirt. If your breath is not strong enough, then you may consider using compressed air to blow the jack clean. You could even use a vacuum cleaner to try and suck out the deck, but you need to be gentle when trying this. You don’t want to have your phone sucked into the cleaner.
Another solution is to wrap a swab of cotton onto a toothpick and then putting a little bit of rubbing alcohol on the swab. Use this to gently clean the headphones jack. Again, this can be a rather delicate task, and you need to be gentle when doing it. When done, try to use your headphones one more time.
5. Restart your device
Perhaps the most effective solution when you encounter problems with any device is to restart the device. Electronic device can be rather temperamental, and the solution may be to simply turn them on and off. The same can be said for headphones. Before you rush to the repair shop with your laptop to have the headphone jack looked at, you may simply wish to turn it on and off.
6. Does your computer have audio drivers?
This is another thing that you need to do to solve the headphone jack not working on laptop or desktop issue. Every piece of hardware that’s on a computer, including the audio jack, is controlled by drivers. These act as an interface between the Operation System on the computer and the hardware. You need drivers to get your keyboard, printers, headphones and everything else on a PC to work.
So, before blaming the headphone jack for the problem that you are having with your computer’s audio, make sure that the problem is not actually with the drivers. It’s a bit of a technical issue, but anybody can do it. Usually, when the audio drivers are not working on your computer, you will have an X on the audio icon. You will also not get any sound even from the computer’s speakers.
The solution for this would be to go into device manager to uninstall audio drivers. Search for and open “Device Manager” on your Windows 10 computer. In Device Manager, go to “Audio inputs and outputs.” This, as it happens, is usually the very first item on the list. Click on the dropdown arrow and you will see the audio devices that are on your computer. On mine, there is a speaker and a microphone. If you have your headphones plugged in, they will also appear on there. Try uninstalling all the drivers under Audio inputs and outputs there. You do this by right clicking on each item and choosing Uninstall Device. Then you need to restart your computer. Don’t worry. The drivers will be reinstalled when you restart your computer.
7. Make sure that Bluetooth is turned off
Bluetooth devices are all the rage at the moment. Everywhere you turn, there are Bluetooth headphones, Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth TVs and much more. If you have been connecting to your device using Bluetooth, this may actually be the problem when trying to use your headphones in wired mode. It’s possible that a Bluetooth device has been chosen as your primary audio device, in which case your headphones will not get any audio when you plug them in.
So, another thing if you discover that your headphones are not working on a laptop is to make sure that Bluetooth is turned on on your device. Once you do this, the headphone jack should revert to being the default audio device on your computer of phone. To turn off Bluetooth on a computer, you need to do the following;
- Search for and open “Bluetooth and other devices settings” on your Windows 10 computer.
- Toggle the Bluetooth switch to “Off.”
- Check to see if your headphones are now working.
8. Get the audio jack repaired
You may have noticed that most of the problems that are blamed on the audio jack have nothing to do with the component itself. A headphone jack is not a very complicated device. However, in the event that all the solutions that we have outlined here have failed, and in the event that you are sure that it’s the headphone jack itself that’s the problem, the only solution would be to take your device to be repaired. If it’s a desktop or a computer, the repair shouldn’t cost that much.
In fact, it’s something that you could conceivably do yourself if you have the right parts and a soldering iron. You can source the necessary parts from Amazon. Anyway, when the repair is done, you should be able to get back to your favorite music.