How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that is stuck on headphone mode, speakers not working [Troubleshooting Guide]

Do you have an iPhone XS that’s stuck on headphone mode? Learn why it happens and how to fix it as you read further. 

You are certain that no headphones are plugged in to your iPhone XS headphone jack but for some reasons, you still see a Headphones volume indicator when you adjust the volume level on your device. But what’s more unusual is that when you play audio files or launch sound apps, sounds don’t play from your phone’s speakers. If this happens to your iPhone, then there’s a higher chance that your device has obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage.

But before rushing to a service center, there are a few workarounds you can try on your end. These workarounds will help you rule out software errors that might have caused your iPhone’s headphone system to act up like this. Read on to find out what to do whenever your iPhone XS suddenly gets stuck on headphone mode.

For owners who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

Time Needed : 15 minutes

  1. Force restart your iPhone XS.

    If this is the first time your iPhone XS gets stuck on headphone mode, then most probably it’s just a random glitch. Should that be the underlying cause, then restarting the phone will likely fix it. Performing a soft reset or force restart on the iPhone XS will do.
    To soft reset your iPhone XS, follow these steps: Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears. Drag the power off slider to the right. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone boots up.
    If your iPhone remains stuck after performing a soft reset, then try a force restart instead. Doing so forces any rogue apps to quit and as your phone reboots. Thus, any rogue apps that caused your device to get stuck is cleared out in the process. To force restart your iPhone XS, refer to these steps: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears.
    Both a soft reset and force restart don’t result to data loss as they won’t affect any saved data on the phone’s internal memory.

    force restart iphone speaker not working

  2. Toggle Bluetooth on and off.

    To make sure that this isn’t a Bluetooth connection glitch, try toggling the Bluetooth switch on and off. This should refresh your phone’s Bluetooth functions and likewise ensures that the feature is disabled. Here’s what you should do then: Navigate to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to turn the feature ON. Soft reset your iPhone. Go back to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. Then toggle the Bluetooth switch OFF to disable the feature again.
    Give your iPhone another restart and then see if that clears out the headphone indicator.

    stuck on headphone mode

  3. Delete Bluetooth connections on your iPhone XS.

    When your iPhone is glitching and you’ve got any saved Bluetooth connections, then there is a chance that would think that it’s paired with any of the Bluetooth devices. To make sure this isn’t fooling your device, forget all Bluetooth connections on your iPhone XS. Here’s how it’s done: Head to Settings-> Bluetooth menu. Tap the information “i” icon next to the Bluetooth device. Tap the option to Forget this Device. Then tap to confirm when asked. Follow the same steps to forget all saved Bluetooth devices on your phone. All saved Bluetooth devices will then be deleted. Restart your iPhone to refresh and clear cache from the memory then see if the problem is gone already.

  4. Reset all settings on your iPhone XS.

    This reset should rule out incorrect settings from the underlying cause. Consider this a must do if your iPhone XS started to get stuck on Headphone mode after customizing some settings or options. Here’s how it’s done: Tap Settings from the Home screen. Select General. Scroll down and tap on Reset. Select the option to Reset all Settings. Enter your device passcode, when asked to proceed.
    Then tap the option to confirm settings reset.
    After the reset, your iPhone will restart by itself and then restores the default options and original values. All customized options are then deleted.

    reset all settings

  5. Restore factory default settings on your iPhone XS.

    As your last resort, perform a factory reset through settings or in iTunes. The problem may have persisted because it’s very complex. To deal with complex system errors, carrying out system resets and restore is recommended. But before you do so, back up all your important files to iCloud or iTunes as they will also be deleted in the process. Once you’ve secured your backup, follow these steps to reset and restore your iPhone XS through settings: Head to Settings-> General-> Reset menu. Select the option to Erase all content and settings. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed. Then tap the option to confirm master reset. Wait for your phone to finish resetting and restoring factory default settings. Then it should reboot automatically.
    If that still failed to fix the problem, try to reset your iPhone in iTunes with these steps: Secure a later or latest version of Windows PC or Mac computer with the latest version of iTunes software installed. Plug your iPhone XS into your computer’s USB port using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable. Open iTunes on your computer. Wait for iTunes to recognize and connect to your iOS device. Once connected, click on the iPhone icon on the left side of iTunes menu. Next, click the Restore button. You may choose to Back Up your important files from the iPhone to your computer drive. If prompted with iTunes to Restore the iPhone and wipe all data and settings from the device, click the Restore button to confirm. Then wait for iTunes to erase then download and restore the software for your iPhone.
    If prompted, select the option to Set Up as a New iPhone then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your iPhone XS.

    factory reset iphone no audio

  • iOS 13.3
  • iPhone XS Max

If none of that works, then you’ve no other choice but service. The above solutions should be good enough to rule out software-related problems that may be causing your iPhone XS to be stuck in headphones mode. But if the problem persists, there can only be two more possible causes. And that would either be a damaged headphone jack or stuck debris in the headphone jack making the phone think that the headphones are plugged in. At this point, you can take your device to an Apple-authorized service center so it can be scrutinized by an iPhone technician for hardware damage indications. If physical or liquid damage is confirmed, then your iPhone needs repair. If your iPhone is still covered by warranty, then you can contact your device carrier before having it repaired. Doing so will ensure that you’re warranties won’t be voided.


Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.