How To Fix iPhone Stuck In Headphone Mode The Easy Way

Have you ever experienced playing an audio and not a single sound is coming out from your iPhone? And yet you can see on the screen that a headphone is plugged into your iPhone even though they are not? In this scenario, it’s probably because your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode that it thinks it is still connected to a headphone but you are 101% sure that no headphone is plugged into the iPhone simply because there aren’t. There have been reports of iPhone users that their iPhone is stuck in headphones mode.

Although there are those asking how can their iPhone stuck in headphone jack when in fact it does not have a headphone jack. This is true with iPhone 7 and later models. When Apple released the iPhone 7, it no longer has a headphone jack. As a matter of fact, users have switched from using a wired headphones to a bluetooth headphones such as an Airpods because of that. But if you really want to use a wired headphones, you can always use a headphone jack connector or a dongle into the lightning port. A dongle is included when you purchased a new iPhone 7, 8 or even X model, but no longer included them on iPhone XS, XS Max and XR models.

Most of the time, when a problem like that seemed to happen the most obvious cause is with the headphone jack of your iPhone or on the lightning port. The headphone jack or its lightning port is probably damaged caused by a water or liquid or is just damaged physically or some debris that might have stuck inside the lightning port or headphone jack that is why iPhone thinks there is something connected to it, hence a headphone.

It is also likely to be a hardware problem rather than a software problem. Lucky for you though, there are ways to potentially fix iPhone stuck in headphone mode issue and it will be discussed below, read on! 



The very first thing to do in trying to fix this problem is to restart your device. There are a lot of instances wherein a simple restart actually solves most problems on their Apple device. This method is considered to be the easiest way to know whether or not it is caused by a software or a hardware problem.

Although restarting is simply turning the device OFF and ON, there are different ways on how to do that which depends on the model of the iPhone you are experiencing the issue with.

How to restart iPhone 8 and newer models:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the Power/Sleep wake button and the Volume down button. (Volume up works too but it can accidentally take a screenshot, opt to press volume down instead).
  2. When the “Slide to Power Off” command slider appears, release pressing the Power/Sleep Wake and Volume down buttons.
  3.  Slide the “Slide to power Off’ Command from left to right to Power OFF device.
  4.  After a minute or two, press again Power Button to Turn ON device.

How to restart 7plus and older versions:

  1. Press and hold Power/Sleep&Wake button. (For some models, it is located at the top portion of the device but for iPhone 6 and newer, it is located on the right side)
  2. Wait for “Slide to Power Off” command to appear. Then release pressing the button
  3. Slide command from left to right. iPhone will now turn off.
  4. After a few seconds to a minute, press and hold again Power/Sleep&Wake button to turn ON device.
  5. Then, wait for Apple Logo to appear then release pressing Power/sleep wake button.
  6. Finally, wait for the iPhone to completely restart.
  7. If after restarting your iPhone and it is still stuck in headphone mode, you can now eliminate the possibility of a software problem. 


If restarting does not help fix the headphones mode problem, you may try to plug a headphone to its headphone jack or lightning port, and unplug it. It is likely that the headphone jack was not able to recognize it the last time you unplugged it making it think that there is still a headphone connected to it. After doing this solution, when unplugged, try to check if the iPhone is still on headphone mode.


With the newest software update, audio’s on your iPhone can now be controlled how it is being played such as on the headphone, it’s speakers, Bluetooth or even external speakers. There is a possibility that your iPhone may be stuck in headphone mode because of its audio settings.

How to check audio settings:

  1. Go to the Control Center of your iPhone. 
  2. In most of the iPhone models, you can open the control center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen but for iPhone X and later versions, opening control center can be done by swiping down starting from the upper right corner of the screen. 
  3. Reveal Music controls

For iOS 10 you may swipe right, but for iOS 13 and newer versions, you may tap the music controls located at the upper right corner.

4. Then tap the Audio controls located at the bottom of the control panel for iOS 10, but for iOS 11 and up, tap on the Airplay tab, an icon of three rings with a triangle in it.

5. Once on the audio control menu, tap the iPhone option. This will send the audio to the built-in speakers of your iPhone.


When you are using a bluetooth headphones and you’ve experienced your iPhone to be stuck in headphone mode, the possible fix for this problem is to simple turn airplane mode ON and Turn it OFF again. Doing so disconnects all connectivity on your iPhone such as the Bluetooth connection, temporarily. If you think that Bluetooth settings may have caused  headphone mode stuck, the easy way to fix it is by cutting its connection for a little while.

How to turn Airplane mode on and off:

Open the control center of your iPhone. As mentioned, there are different ways on how to do it which depends on the iPhone model you are trying to perform it with. 

How to reveal control center:

  1. For iPhone X and later versions: swipe down starting from the top right portion of the screen. iPhone 8 and older versions: swipe down starting from the bottom part of the iPhone screen.
  2. Tap on Airplane mode to Turn it ON. Airplane mode is represented with an icon that looks like an airplane. 
  3. Wait for a few minutes, then tap the Airplane Mode icon again to Turn if OFF.


When there are debris that may have stuck inside the headphone jack or lightning port can cause headphone mode to be stuck too as it can think that something is plugged into its port, in this case too much debris. 

Before you try to clean the headphone jack or lightning port, you have to make sure that something is inside it other than headphones. To get a closer and clearer look on the inside, you can shine a flashlight through it. Normally, there should not be anything inside it other than seeing the metals on the insides. But if there is anything that may look odd, then perhaps there maybe something in there when there shouldn’t be. 

The easiest and safest way to remove lint and debris is by compressed air to clean out the socket. You may use a straw and release air into the headphone jack or lightning port to blow away debris lodged inside. But if you do not have access to compressed air, a simple cotton swab will do. 

Since the jack or port is so tiny that you may be tempted to use a paper clip instead to remove debris, although it is possible but not recommended. You may think that using a paper is ideal because they have the same size as the jack and port. Using it won’t damage the iPhone entirely but it may scrap the metal on the inside surrounding it could be at risk for damage. These should also be done as a last resort and proceed with extreme caution. 


Since the headphone jack or the lightning port does not have a cover, it is probably the most exposed part of an iPhone device. In cases wherein you are fond of listening to your favorite playlists while exercising, chances are sweat can run down the cord all the way through the inside of the headphone jack and lightning port. These can damage your iPhone when water or moisture (Too much humidity) gets inside the jack and port. 

The two easy ways to drain water and absorb moisture from your device is to place it with a silica gel humidifiers or place it in a container of unwashed and uncooked rice. When you suspect that a water or moisture is present, make sure to turn OFF your device before placing it on the silica gel humidifiers or on the unwashed rice.


Although it was mentioned before that the problem is most likely due to a hardware problem, updating to the latest available software fixes bugs that may have cause your iPhone to be stuck in headphone mode.

How to update:

  1. Go to Settings from the home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Tap on General
  3. Then tap on Software Update. Apple servers will now check for available software. 
  4. Tap on Download and Install when there is an available software. But if there isn’t, it means your software is up to date.


If after performing the solution mentioned above and it doesn’t seem to have fixed the problem, you may need to reset all settings on your iPhone. Do not worry, it will not erase data and contents but will just erase the settings and preferences on the device. You need to change settings according to your preferences later on.

How to reset all settings:

  1. Go to Settings from the home screen of your iPhone
  2. Scroll down from the list of options and tap on Reset. It is located at the bottom of of options.
  3. Then tap on Reset all Settings
  4. Enter Passcode when asked to confirm action. 
  5. Resetting will now take place.
  6. Wait for iPhone to normally restart.

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