How to Fix iPhone Stuck in Headphone Mode


This is the case with iPhones where you can exit headphone mode by simply unplugging your wired headphones or disconnecting the wireless ones. Sometimes, however, you end up with your iPhone stuck in headphone mode.

When this happens, your phone keeps thinking that an audio device is connected. Therefore, you will not hear any sound from your iPhone speakers.

We understand how frustrating this issue can be when you urgently need to hear something through your phone’s speakers. So, this article will walk you through the possible fixes when your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode.

Why does iPhone get stuck in headphone mode?

Before we dive into the fixes, let’s see why your iPhone may be stuck in headphone mode. A faulty headset or a software bug could be a potential cause for this issue. Some of these might include:

  • Use of poor quality or defective earphones
  • A software bug
  • Dust or moisture buildup in the headphone jack hole
  • Disconnect headphones while phone was overloaded

Keep in mind that the cause of your iPhone getting stuck in headphone mode can be completely random. Follow the steps below to fix the problem on your phone.

1. Plug and unplug headphones

Before you go for any other solution, just try plugging in a pair of headphones. Then unplug the earphones and check if the issue has been resolved.

Sometimes your iPhone’s headphone jack does not recognize the unplugged headphone and stays in headphone mode.

2. Restart your iPhone

It’s always a good idea to restart your phone in case of sudden problems. Software glitches or technical malfunctions in your phone can sometimes be fixed with just a quick restart, so give it a try!

For step-by-step instructions, please see our guide on how to restart iPhone (all models included).

3. Check the audio output settings configurations

Recent versions of iOS allow you to decide which output device the audio will play through. To access audio output settings:

  1. Open Control Center.
  2. Next, tap the AirPlay icon to see a menu appear.
  3. Be sure to choose iPhone to have your audio sent directly to your phone’s speakers.

4. Turn airplane mode on and off

Your phone may still think it’s connected to an external audio source like a wireless headset. We suggest turning airplane mode on and off, which might fix your problem. Do this:

1. Open Control center.

2. Press the Airplane mode icon.

Tap Airplane mode. Screenshot: Farhad Pachaei/Gotechtor

3. After a few seconds, tap the same icon again to turn off airplane mode and check your speakers.

5. Connect to another audio source

You can try connecting your iPhone to another audio source like a Bluetooth speaker. To do this:

1. First, go to Settings.

iPhone Settings app
Go to settings. Screenshot: Farhad Pachaei/Gotechtor

2. Press Bluetooth.

Bluetooth in the Settings app
Tap Bluetooth. Screenshot: Farhad Pachaei/Gotechtor

3. Then turn Bluetooth and click on the preferred device.

Disabling Bluetooth
Activate Bluetooth. Screenshot: Farhad Pachaei/Gotechtor

4. Pairing should begin if your Bluetooth the speakers are on.

Next, disconnect the external audio device and check if your iPhone speakers are working properly.

6. Reset Network Settings

Next, you will reset your iPhone’s network settings. Doing this will erase your iPhone’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Cellular, or VPN settings.

To reset your iOS network settings, follow these steps:

1. On your iPhone, go to Settings

2. Press General to access the reset option

General option on iPhone settings
Select General in Settings. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

3. Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone

Transfer or Reset iPhone Settings
Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

4. Press Reset for more options.

reset option on iphone settings
Tap Reset. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

5. A pop-up menu will appear on the screen with various reset options. Press on Reset network settings.

Reset iPhone Network Settings
Tap Reset Network Settings. Screenshot: Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

After confirming your selection, this will remove all network settings and return them to factory defaults.

7. Clean the headphone jack

After fixing possible software issues, let’s take a look at the actual physical reasons why your iPhone gets stuck in headphone mode.

First of all, it should be mentioned that the accumulation of dust or other materials in your headphone jack can send a false signal to the phone.

This could cause the software to think that an audio device is connected to the headphone jack. Try shining some light into the headphone jack to see if you can spot any debris that could be causing your problem.

If you only see stationary metal at the end of the hole, you can rest assured that your headphone jack is unobstructed and you should look for the source of your problem elsewhere.

Assuming you see any debris or dust buildup, use a long bristle brush to clean the headphone jack.

You can also use compressed air; However, be sure not to overdo it or hold the straw too close to the end of the headphone jack. After that, restart your iPhone and check if the stuck in headphone mode is resolved.

8. Your iPhone could have water damage

Another hardware problem that could have stuck your iPhone in headphone mode is water damage. Some iPhones have liquid contact indicators that turn red upon exposure to water.

If water or moisture has gotten into your phone (especially through the headphone jack), you should have your phone checked by an Apple technician at a trusted Apple repair center.

9. Set up a Genius Bar appointment for iPhone repair

If none of the above solutions has solved your problem, you should make a Genius Bar reservation for technical support.

Depending on their diagnosis of the problem with your iPhone, they may apply software or hardware fixes.

Conclusion

Your iPhone speakers might have randomly stopped working, leaving you confused as to the cause.

We have tried to list the possible methods to solve this problem. By doing so, we fixed any software or hardware issues that may have stuck your iPhone in headphone mode.

If you know of any tips that worked for you, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.

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