Fix Apple iPhone 7 Stuck On Headphone Mode

There are times when a smartphone just doesn’t act smart. This can occur even to the highest tiered devices like Apple’s flagship smartphones. Just like what happened to some iPhone users about their iPhone being stuck on headphone mode even when there is no headphone that is plugged into the headphone jack.

Aside from the headphones label showing on top of the Volume slider, no sound is heard from the iPhone when the Volume buttons are pressed. Why does this thing happen on your device? This is the main issue that this post will try to address. Find out what’s possibly causing your Apple iPhone 7 to get stuck in headphone mode and what should be done to fix the glitch and to bring things back to normal again.

Possible causes

There must be something that triggers the iPhone to mistakenly act as if headphones are plugged in and so it remains in this mode. There can only be two possibilities — either it’s a software glitch or some sort of hardware damage.

You can say that the problem is related to the software if it happens all of a sudden, after making some changes to some settings, downloading contents, or installing news apps and software updates. On the other hand, this can also be tagged among other hardware-related issues especially if there were previous instances of dropping or liquid exposure on the iPhone. In many cases, the underlying cause is on the headphone jack itself, which is either damaged or clogged with dirt or debris.

Possible solutions and recommended workarounds

There are a few workarounds that you can consider as potential solutions to this particular iPhone problem. If by any chance you bumped into the same situation where your iPhone 7 gets stuck on headphone mode even when not, then you may refer to these guide to troubleshoot and fix the problem on your end.

To rule out the possibility of a software glitch causing your iPhone to be stuck on headphone mode, you may try the subsequent solutions.

Step 1: Reboot your iPhone 7 (soft reset)

It is typical for smartphones to experience minor glitches or apps malfunctions at random times. As minor as they can be, these problems are often remedied by a simple reboot on the device itself. If your iPhone 7 is suddenly behaving this way, then most likely it’s a random glitch which can be fixed by restarting the device, also known as soft reset. To rule this out from the possible causes, follow these steps to reboot your iPhone 7:

  1. Press and hold the Power (Sleep/Wake) button until the slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to completely power off your iPhone.
  3. Wait for about 30 seconds.
  4. After the elapsed time, press and hold the Power button again until the Apple logo appears. Your iPhone will then reboot.

Alternatively, you can do a force restart to fix software glitches that might have caused your iPhone to become stuck in headphone mode. A force restart is recommended when dealing with frozen display or unresponsive iPhone. Just like soft reset, a force restart won’t affect any data stored on your device thus you can say it is safe.

  • To force restart, press and hold the Power (Sleep/Wake) button and the Volume Down button simultaneously for about 10 seconds and then release both buttons when the Apple logo appears. Wait until your iPhone reboots completely and then see if it already goes back to normal mode.

If a reboot failed to fix the problem and that your iPhone 7 remains stuck on headphone mode, try the next possible solution.

Step 2: Check your iPhone settings

Incorrect settings configuration can also put your iPhone in this trouble. Even if you haven’t done any manual configuration to any of your iPhone settings, they can change with an update. For example, if the problem starts to manifest after updating an app or iOS to the latest version available, then the update is likely to blame. Some updates will automatically reset your iPhone settings without giving you notifications. This is one of the reasons why some features stopped working after an update implementation. In this case, the new update might have affected relevant settings including those associated with the iPhone’s audio functions. To eliminate this from the possible causes, verify and ensure that your iPhone sound settings are properly configured. Here’s what you need to do then:

Configure Sounds & Haptics Settings:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen to open the Settings menu.
  2. Tap Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Select Ringtone from the given options.

Try to set or switch between various ringtones to see if the iPhone speakers and sound work for tones.

Configure Accessibility Settings:

Another iPhone 7 settings to check is on Accessibility.

  1. Go back to the Settings menu.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Under Accessibility menu, select Call Audio Routing. This option is used to determine where the audio is heard during phone calls and FaceTime audio calls.
  5. Set this option to Automatic.

If your iPhone is stuck on headphone mode even when not during regular or FaceTime audio calls, setting this option to automatic will make things work properly as intended.

If it is already set to Automatic but your iPhone still shows that it is in headphone mode, try to set Call Audio Routing option to Speaker and then see if there are any changes. If the speaker works fine, go back to the Settings menu and then set this option back to Automatic.

Configure Airplane Mode Settings:

Other iPhone users were able to deal with the same problem by doing the Airplane Mode trick. What they did was turning Airplane mode on and off their iPhone. If you want to give it a try, here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle the Airplane Mode switch to turn the feature ON.
  4. Wait for about 1 minute or 2, then go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode and turn the feature OFF again.

Try to see if there are any differences with the iPhone speaker output with Airplane Mode on.

Other Optional Solutions and Tricks

There are a few helpful tricks which are deemed unofficial or not recommended by Apple, and therefore optional. You may consider this among your last resorts if you already run out of options and that your iPhone is still stuck on headphone mode. Some users took the risk and were lucky enough to find solution from the following tricks.

Clean up the headphone jack from any debris

If you’ve done all the possible solutions that have something to do with the software and yet your iPhone is still stuck on headphone mode, it is possible that something really gets stuck in the headphone jack. To check, you can use a flashlight to shine it inside your iPhone’s headphone jack. If you see some debris that are stuck inside, you may have it removed but getting this done is extremely difficult. Even the Apple technicians won’t dare to do so to avoid causing any further damage to the headphone jack but if you are willing to take the risk then you may consider doing so. But then again, you should do it with extra care.

How to clean or remove any debris that are stuck in the headphone jack on your iPhone 7?

  • Using a BIC pen. You can use a standard BIC pen for iPhone headphone jack cleaning. If you already have one ready, then follow these steps:

1. Remove the cap from the BIC pen.

2. Get some pliers to pull the pen tip away the plastic housing. The tip is attached to a circular plastic cartridge containing the ink.

3. Use the opposite end of the cartridge as it is the perfect size to remove any debris from your iPhone’s headphone jack.

4. Carefully insert that end into the headphone jack.

5. When it’s inserted, gently twist it to loosen the debris and then shake it out of your iPhone.

Be careful not to press to hard to prevent causing any damage to your iPhone headphone jack.

  • Using compressed air. If you don’t have a BIC pen, you can use a compressed air to blow air straight into your iPhone’s headphone jack instead. This can be a better option if you don’t exactly what is stuck inside the headphone jack on your iPhone. The compressed air can help loosen any debris just enough for you to be able to shake or blow it out completely from the jack.

Be careful not to stick the hose all the way into the headphone jack to prevent causing any damage to your iPhone. You may start from the outside of your iPhone and then work your way in gently and slowly.

  • Using thin tweezers. You pull any debris out from your iPhone’s headphone jack using thin tweezers. These tools can reach just far enough inside your iPhone’s headphone jack. But then again, it is a risky thing to do since it can easily cause damage to the sides of the headphone jack especially the tweezers are shove in too far. Do it with extra care or don’t attempt to do it instead.

Take it to the expert

Given that the problem persisted after exhausting all your efforts and trying all possible means to deal with any possible problems on the software that might have triggered your iPhone to mistakenly determine the correct audio mode, you can say that the hardware is likely at fault. It is possible that your iPhone has liquid damage and that the headphone jack is affected based on its location that is on the outside of the iPhone that is susceptible to water damage.

If you don’t feel like doing any of the said tricks, then you can just take your iPhone 7 to an authorized service center and have a technician do the dismantling and fixing with the right tools and the right way. Only an Apple technician can tell the real status of your iPhone’s headphone jack after doing further assessments by then.