Ten easy ways to fix an iPhone 8 that is stuck in Headphone Mode [troubleshooting guide]

One of the common major annoyances a lot of #iPhone8 users experience lately is a state wherein their device get stuck in headphone mode. While majority who encounter the problem fix the issue relatively easily, some may have to send the phone in because of bad hardware. In this post, try to cover as many solutions as possible so you can try the usual fixes we’ve compiled.

Before we proceed let us remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

How to Fix iPhone 8 Stuck in Headphone Mode

There’s a number of possible reasons why an iPhone 8 may get stuck  in Headphone Mode. among the most common reasons include:

  • a misconfigured audio setting,
  • a software glitch,
  • phone connected to a Bluetooth device,
  • dirty or non-functional lightning port, or
  • general hardware failure.

Below are the potential solutions that you can try to fix this issue.

Solution #1: Force reboot

Before doing any advanced troubleshooting, you need to see to it that your device is restarted. Due to the nature of the issue, you don’t want to simply restart your iPhone 8 the usual way. In this particular case, you want to force reboot your device. To force reboot your iPhone 8, follow these steps: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

Solution #2: Quickly plug your headphone or headset in and out

Many iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 owners who found devices stuck on Headphone Mode before were able to fix the problem fairly easily by doing this step. Sometimes, iOS may not get the right input that the headphone had already been unplugged, causing it to think otherwise. Unfortunately, it seems iOS is unable to realize by itself and it may need another input in order to correct itself. If you haven’t tried it yet, be sure to quickly insert, then disconnect the headphone from the phone.

Solution #3: Check the lightning port

Your iPhone’s charging port or lightning port is an exposed part of your device that can quickly collect dust, debris, or lint. If your phone is usually exposed to dust, or if it’s used regularly outside, it’s possible that the lightning port may be dirty or has foreign object in it. To check, try using a magnifying tool to examine it. If you think there’s dirt or lint in the port, you can use a can of compressed air to clear it out. DO NOT stick anything inside as that may damage the metallic connectors or cause a break, which can compromise its water-resistance protection.

Solution #4: Turn off Bluetooth

If you have a Bluetooth headset, it’s possible that your iPhone 8 may still be connected to it at this time. This is the reason why your device keeps showing it’s currently on Headphone mode. To check, try turning off your headset or the Bluetooth functionality on your iPhone 8.

Solution #5: Check your iPhone audio settings

Sometimes, incorrect audio settings may lead to Headphone Mode issue as well. There are a number of things that you need to check in order to ensure that the trouble is not caused by a misconfiguration.

The first thing to check is the Sound and Haptics Settings. Here’s how:

  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.

The next setting to check is Accessibility Settings. These are the steps you have to do:

  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 your iPhone 8 has already been set to Automatic but remains on Headphone Mode, consider setting Call Audio Routing option to Speaker to see if that will change anything. If there’s no problem when phone is on speaker mode, turn the option back to Automatic under Settings menu.

Solution #6: Toggle Airplane on and off

Some users claimed to have fixed the issue easily by turning Airplane mode on and off. If this works on your iPhone, then it means that there may be an unknown software glitch causing it. If you want to try this troubleshooting step, here’s how it works:

  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.

Solution #7: Install latest iOS and app updates

Whether you have issues or not, it’s always recommended that you keep everything — iOS and apps — updated. Thus, needless to say, you want to check for updates for your operating system and apps at this point. By default, carrier-branded iPhones are usually set to automatically download updates. If your phone has already downloaded the updates but still requires permission from you to install them, be sure to do so right away. Keep in mind that you want to install updates for both iOS and apps.

To check for iOS updates:

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Tap “General
  3. Tap “Software Update”.
  4. Check whether there is a new version or not, if yes, tap “Download and Install” to update your iPhone 8/8 Plus to the latest iOS version.

To check for app updates:

  1. Open the App Store app.
  2. After the App Store opens, tap the Updates icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap the Update All button at the top of the screen.
  4. Enter your password and wait for your apps to update. Some apps may have an alert you’ll need to respond to before the update will install, so wait a few seconds in case one comes up so you can acknowledge it.

Solution #8: Reset all settings

If the issue is not fixed at this point, you should consider reverting all software settings back to their defaults. The effects of this procedure are similar to when you factory reset the device, minus the hassle of erasing user data and apps.

To reset all settings on your iPhone 8:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings>General>Reset.
  2. Tap Reset All Settings.
  3. If presented, enter the passcode.
  4. Tap Reset All Settings to confirm.

Solution #9: Restore

Should nothing changes after doing all the solutions above, you should consider doing a factory reset on your iPhone 8 so you can restore it from an old backup. Before you factory reset, be sure to back important files up to iTunes or iCloud.

To factory reset your iPhone 8:

  1. Sign out of your iCloud account (if applicable).
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Tap Reset.
  5. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.

Once the phone is factory reset, restore your software information using an old backup, preferably the one before the last backup you have. This will minimize the chance of reintroducing the bug that may have been kept with the last backup.

To restore from an iTunes backup:

  1. Create a backup of your files. You can do that in a number of ways but the fastest and most effective way is by using iTunes in your PC or Mac. If you don’t want to create a backup at all, you can simply erase everything on the phone by following the steps in this link.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer with the cable that came with your phone.
  3. We assume you remember your phone’s passcode so simply enter it when you’re prompted for it.
  4. Select your iPhone once iTunes asks you for the specific device.
  5. Once you’re in the Summary panel or screen, select the option that will restore your device (Restore).
  6. Confirm by clicking on Restore button.
  7. Wait for a few moments while iTunes restores your device to its factory settings. It may also take some time if iTunes will need to install an updated operating system version.
  8. After this factory reset, all software settings should be restored to their defaults.

Solution #10: Get professional help

If your iPhone 8 remains stuck on Headphone Mode afterwards, you can assume there’s hardware malfunction causing it. It can be lightning port issue or a bad motherboard. Whatever the true reason for the problem is, you need to send it in so an Apple technician can examine the hardware.


Engage with us

If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions  in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.

Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.