How to fix Apple iPhone XR stuck on headphone mode [Troubleshooting Guide]

You’re certain that nothing is plugged into the headphone jack of your iPhone but when you press the volume controls, it says “Headphones.” Apparently, your iPhone is stuck on headphone mode. Something must have triggered the device to think that it’s still on headphone mode even when no headphones are plugged in. Often times, it’s a hardware issue. In fact, many iPhone users bumped into this same trouble after accidentally dropping their phones or exposed them to some sort of liquid.

But before rushing to a service center, there are few things you can try to fix the problem on your end. And these workarounds are highlighted below. Read on to learn what to do if your new Apple iPhone XR handset encounters the same issue and gets stuck on headphone mode.

If however, you are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting guide for we have already addressed the most common issues with this phone. Find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need more help, then feel free to contact us through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

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How to troubleshoot iPhone XR that’s stuck on headphone mode?

First off, try plugging and unplugging your headphones on the headphone jack of your phone several times. This trick has been proven to do wonders to many people and this might help you as well.

First solution: Soft reset/Force restart.

What you’re dealing with could be just a symptom from random software glitches. If everything was working perfectly fine with your iPhone and then it suddenly gets stuck on headphones mode, then performing a soft reset will likely get your device back to its normal state. So here’s what you should try doing first:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

If your iPhone remains stuck on headphone phone after the soft reset, try to force restart your iPhone XR. This should help clear out any suspended apps and errant cached files that might have caused problems. Here’s how:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone reboots.

Both a soft reset and force restart won’t affect any saved data on the phone, thus you can expect all your files to remain intact afterwards.

Second solution: Forget/remove all Bluetooth connections.

Your phone might have thought that it’s still paired with or connected to a Bluetooth-enabled headset. To rule this out, remove all saved Bluetooth devices from your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. Go to Settings-> Bluetooth menu on your iPhone XR.
  2. Then toggle the Bluetooth switch to enable the feature. A list of Bluetooth devices that were connected to your iPhone will show up.
  3. Tap to select a Bluetooth device then tap the information “i” icon next to the name of the Bluetooth device.
  4. Then tap the option to Forget This Device.
  5. Tap Forget Device to confirm.

Restart your iPhone after deleting all Bluetooth connections. Doing so also clears all Bluetooth caches from the phone memory.

Third solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XR.

It also helps to remove all customized settings on the phone. Consider this is option and possible solution if your phone started to get stuck on headphone mode after customizing your iPhone settings. There may be some options or settings that were not properly configured and eventually resulted to this problem. So here’s what you can do to rule this out:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings. This will erase all customized options and settings changes on the phone.
  5. Enter your device passcode, when asked.
  6. Confirm settings reset.

When the reset is finished, your iPhone should restart and then loads the original options and values. By then you can start enabling individual features you need to use on your device.

Fourth solution: Install the latest iOS version available.

Software bugs and malware can also trigger similar errors to occur. Should this be what’s inflicting the headphone error on your iPhone XR, installing the latest iOS update available will likely fix it. Your phone must be connected to Wi-Fi internet, has ample of memory space and battery life to get this done. If you wish to give it a try, follow these steps to check for over-the-air (OTA) updates to download and install on your iPhone XR:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. If a new update is available, select the option to Download and Install.

Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the update file download and installation. Don’t forget to reboot your iPhone after updating to ensure that all recent system changes are applied and likewise to prevent apps from acting up from the system transition.

Fifth solution: Restore your iPhone XR through settings or using iTunes.

Among the last options to consider would be a system restore. This is likely needed if the problem is attributed to fatal system errors and tough bugs that could not be remedied by prior workarounds. But before you do, be sure to create copies of all your important files beforehand. Then you can restore your iPhone XR to its factory defaults through settings or in iTunes.

To factory reset your iPhone XR through settings, go to Settings-> General-> Reset menu and then select the option to Erase all content and settings. Enter the device passcode when asked to proceed then tap the option to confirm master reset.

Wiping of customized settings, downloaded apps and files, and personal information then instigates and the phone reboots when the reset is complete.

To restore your iPhone XR in iTunes, get your computer and iTunes ready then follow these steps:

  1. Open iTunes on your computer. Be sure to use the latest version of iTunes software to avoid system conflicts.
  2. Connect your iPhone XR to the computer using the supplied USB cable.
  3. If prompted, tap the option to Trust This Computer then follow the onscreen prompts to continue.
  4. Select your iPhone XR when it appears in iTunes.
  5. Navigate to the Summary section then click the Restore iPhone button.
  6. Click the Restore button on the message prompt to confirm.
  7. Allow iTunes to finish restoring your device to its factory settings. When it’s finished, it restarts. Wait until it boots up and then you can set it up as new.

Major software errors are usually rectified by performing a master reset or system restore, thus the transpiring symptoms should be gone by then. Otherwise, hardware damage may be present and so your iPhone needs service.

Other options

If your iPhone XR remains stuck on headphone mode after exhausting all prior solutions, then you should take your device to the nearest Apple-authorized service center. It may have obtained some sort of physical or liquid damage from a previous incident of falling or liquid exposure. In that case, your iPhone needs service.


Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XR 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 XR. 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.