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Getting iPhone Out of Headphone Mode

Having trouble getting your iPhone out of Headphone Mode—even when you’ve already taken the headphones out? Maybe you’ve tried putting the headphone plug in and out of the jack to toggle it off seemingly millions of times to no avail, or maybe you’re facing this problem for the first time. Either way, this article has 3 proven methods to help you get your iPhone out of Headphone Mode so you can use the external speakers again without any problem. If you’re dealing with an iPhone stuck in Headphone Mode right now, stop stressing and continue reading to get everything fixed in no time.

Many people think they have to go to Apple Support to solve the problem—and many people who don’t have iPhone warranties understandably don’t want to make that trip. Don’t worry—iPhones stuck in Headphone Mode can often be fixed without having to leave the house. While Apple Support is listed here (see Method 3), it’s a last resort. Chances are, you’ll solve the problem before having to head over to the Apple Store. So keep reading for some easy solutions!

If your iPhone is stuck in Headphone Mode, that means that your iPhone still thinks the headphones are plugged in even when they’re not. As a result, the external speakers don’t produce any noise when you’re playing music or making a call, and you are not a very happy camper. To be sure that this is what you’re dealing with, turn your volume up and down and see what comes up. If the word Headphones is displayed in parentheses below Ringer, then your iPhone is indeed stuck in Headphone Mode and you will need to take a look at the methods below to fix it.

Method 1: Clean The Headphone Jack

For this, you are going to need a Q-tip. It is important that you use a Q-tip. Do not use something else in place of a Q-tip. Sometimes the toggle switch in the headphone jack can get stuck if the jack is unclean. Hence, cleaning it is not only a good idea in general but also effective for making sure your iPhone audio settings are in the correct mode. It doesn’t take long, and as long as you’re very careful with your cleaning technique, you don’t risk causing any damage to your phone. This method is also highly effective, so it will solve your problem in all likelihood. Take a look at this simple procedure, and you’ll hopefully be enjoying sound from your phone again in a matter of minutes.

Start by blowing air gently into the headphone jack. Then take a look at your Q-tip. If the diameter of your Q-tip is larger than the opening of the headphone jack, pull some cotton out to adjust the size as needed. When it is smaller than the headphone jack, push the Q-pin in gently (don’t force it!) and clean the jack. Gradually go in deeper and clean very carefully. When you think you’ve done a sufficient job, take the Q-tip out of the jack and wait for 10-30 minutes. (Find something else to work on to make the time pass more quickly.) Then insert the headphone plug into the jack about 5 times or so.

Check to see if this solved your problem by playing some music from your phone. Like before, adjust the volume again and see if the word Headphones is there. If you’re out of headphone mode, good going. If not, continue to the other methods below:

Method 2: Reset Your iPhone

This one gets a little more complicated, but it has a high success rate. Why? Because your iPhone is tricked into believing your headphones are plugged in even when they’re not, and with any luck you can trick it back into the correct audio settings (external speakers on, headphones not in) by resetting it. It’s a bit of a pain to reset everything when you really just need to reset the headphone jack, but resetting your iPhone is definitely worth a try before going to the local Apple Store for help. So keep your spirits up and give this method a try.

First, check your phone for updates. If there are any, you’ll need to reset all your settings before updating. If you accidentally updated before resetting, don’t stress—just see if you can downgrade it after resetting.

To reset your settings, tap Settings, and then tap General. From there, go to Reset, and then tap Reset All Settings. If your phone is still in headphone mode after resetting, try updating to the latest version of iOS. You can download the iOS version in an ipsw file from the Internet. At this point you’ll need to connect your phone to the computer you use for syncing. Then open iTunes. Find your iPhone and click on Restore. You can do this with Shift for Windows or Alt for Mac. Then find the ipsw file you just downloaded and launch it to install iOS.

This should take your iPhone out of Headphone Mode. If it doesn’t, keep reading and try:

Method 3: Visit Apple Support

This method is not very popular for reasons stated above, but rest assured that there is a reason for it. If you iPhone is still stuck in Headphone Mode even after you’ve tried everything else in this article, there may be a bigger issue going on with the hardware. At this point, it’s time to take it to the Apple Genius Bar at your local Apple Store and let the professionals mess with it. That way, you’re making sure that any and all problems are solved. Knowing that your iPhone is in the right hands should, at the very least, take some of the stress off you since you no longer have to worry about solving the problem yourself. And when you get your iPhone back from the Apple Geniui, you’ll know that they fixed the problem and, furthermore, that they fixed the problem right.

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