Quick Fixes for iPhone/iPad Stuck in Headphone Mode

author Carrie Murray
date Sunday, September 29, 2019

Follow 12 methods below to fix iPhone stuck in headphone mode. If you have tried many tricks and the iPhone still won't get out of headphone mode, this is could be a tricky system problem. You may directly download [FonePaw iOS System Recovery](https://www.fonepaw.com/frozen/fix-headphone-mode.html#solution11) to repair iOS system on your iPhone to fix the headphone mode issue.

When your iPhone/iPad is stuck in headphone mode, the device makes no sound for calls, apps, music, video or whatsoever without plugged-in earphones. And when you volume up/down the ringer, instead of "Ringer", the iPhone's volume bar say "headphones". It seems like that the iPhone/iPad thinks headphones are in when they are not.

Some users reported that their iPhone speakers stopped working after a recent iOS update. And there were also users who found the headphone mode problem after they abruptly unplugged headphone from iPhone/iPad during a call or video chat. No matter what cause iPhone/iPad to think you have headphones in, you can try to disable headphone on iPhone/iPad with these methods.

iPhone Headphone Mode

The reasons why your iPhone 11, XS/XR, X/8/8 Plus/7/7 Plus/6 Plus/6/6s/5s/iPad Mini/iPad2/3/4 get stuck in headset mode could be:

  • A software error caused by recent iOS 13 update, incorrect operation of headphones;

  • You dropped the iPhone/iPad in water and the headphone jack is water damaged;

  • The headphone jack is stuck with dust or lint that makes the device think that there is earphone plugged in.

1. Restart iPhone or iPad to Remove Headphone Mode

Long press sleep/wake button until the "slide to power off" bar appears. Slide and power off the device. Wait for 20 seconds and reboot the device by pressing sleep/wake button. After rebooting, press volume buttons to see whether the volume bar is showing "Ringer".

Restart iPhone 6

2. Replug Headphone Into Your iPhone/iPad

Since the iPhone/iPad has not detected that the headphone has been pulled out, plug the headphone into the device again and then remove it. Then check if the iPhone makes a sound now without headphones. If not, replug the headphones several more times (7-8 times). If the iPhone or iPad is still stuck in earphone mode, move on to the next method.

Plug Headphone into iPhone

For iPhone 7s, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone X without headphone jacks, try plugging incharger back into your iPhone and then immediately unplugging it. Repeat it several times.

3. Use a Bluetooth Speaker to Switch off Headphone Mode

Pair your iPhone/iPad to a Bluetooth speaker or a Bluetooth headphone, then start to play a song on your device. When the song is playing, turn off Bluetooth on your device. Some users find that their iPhone/iPad speakers start to play the song when the Bluetooth is off. Problem solved!

4. Turn on/off Airplane Mode

Some users can turn off headphone mode on their iPhone/iPad by turning on and off Airplane Mode.

  • Open Control Panel and turn on Airplane Mode;

  • Wait for about 15 minutes and then toggle off Airplane Mode;

  • Check if you can hear sound from iPhone/iPad speaker.

Airplane Mode on iOS

5. Adjust Call Audio Routing

Call Audio Routing determines where audio will be heard during a phone call or FaceTime audio. Adjust this setting can help to get your iPhone/iPad out of headphone mode.

  • Go to Settings > General > Accessiblity > Call Audio Routing;

  • Tap Automatic if another option is chosen;

  • If it is already set to Automatic, switch it to Speaker. Then start a call and see if the speaker is working now.

Call Audio Routing

6. Start A New Audio Recording

Another method to fix iPhone/iPad stuck at headphone mode is to record a sound. For example, you can make a voice memo with the built-in app Voice Memo; shoot a video with Camera. Use whatever recording app you like to make an audio recording. After that, the speaker may be back to normal.

7. Play Music with Different Apps

First, plug your headphones/earbuds into the iPhone/iPad and play music with iTunes, Apple Music, etc. When the iPhone/iPad is locked, unlock the device and turn off the music app. Then unplug the headphones/earbuds and launch a music app again to play songs. Some users found that the speaker starts working after that.

8. Clean Headphone Port

8.1 Clean Headphone Jack Stuck with Dust/Dirt

Firstly, with a flashlight, check if there is anything clogged in the headphone jack.

Some dust or debris may be too small to be seen and there are many tools that you can use to clean headphone jack, such as Q-tip, toothbrush, toothpick, needle, pin, interdental brush. But you don't want to poke around the headphone jack and damage it. You should gently loose the dust or dirt with the tool and shake the device to get the obstruction off. Also, you should turn off the iPhone/iPad before cleaning the headphone jack.

Other users use air duster or vacuum cleaner to blow the obstruction away from the headphone port.

After the cleaning, open the device and see if you can hear sound without headphone.

iPhone Headphone Jack

8.2 Get Water off Headphone Jack

Some users found that the iPhone made no sound after dropping in water and only the headphones work (How to Fix Water Damaged iPhone (opens new window)). This is because the headphone jack is water damaged.

Although you have kept your device safe from the water, moist weather or even sweat may damp the headphone jack and thus the device gets stuck in headphone mode. Therefore you need to dry out the headphone jack.

  • Insert Q-tip swab into the headphone jack and gently rotate the swab to remove moisture.

  • Blow the moisture out with a hairdryer on the low heat.

  • Power off your device. Then Put your iPhone or iPad for at least 12 hours in a bag of rice to remove moisture.

Note: Be careful and keep the hairdryer at a certain distance from the device when you are drying out the speaker area and headphone jack. You don't want the overheating to damage your device.

9. Manaully Backup iPhone/iPad to iTunes

Some users successfully turn off headphone mode on iPhone/iPad after backing up iPhone/iPad to iTunes.

  • Open iTunes on Mac or Windows PC;

  • Connect the device stuck at headphone mode to computer;

  • Choose Back Up Now on iTunes. After the backup is complete, check if the speaker is working now.

Back up iPhone to iTunes

10. Backup to iCloud & Reset iPhone/iPad

Also, you can manually back up iPhone/iPad to iCloud.

  • Go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup.

  • If it is off, turn on iCloud Backup and tap Back Up Now.

  • When the backup is done, check if your iPhone/iPad speaker can play sound now.

  • If not, go to General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Reset the iPhone/iPad and restore the iCloud backup that you just made.

Back up to iCloud

11. Fix iPhone/iPad Stuck At Headphone Mode in One Click

If the above methods fail to get your iPhone or iPad out of headphone mode, the software error may be more serious on your device. And you might need professional software to take your device off headphone mode.

FonePaw iOS System Recovery (opens new window) is capable of fixing various software problems and get iPhone/iPad out of headphone mode. It is easy to use and can fix system error without wiping data in your device. So you don't need to worry that it is too difficult to fix the system problems on your own or lose data after the recovery.

iOS System Recovery

STEP 1 Download and install FonePaw iOS System Recovery on your PC or Mac. Run the program and click iOS System Recovery > Start.

STEP 2 Here suggest you try Free Quick Fix to repair firstly, which is free and will protect your data. If it cannot work, select Standard Mode and confirm.

Select Standard Mode

STEP 3 Then follow the on-screen instruction to put your iPhone/iPad in recovery mode. If the instruction is not clear enough for you, click Instructional Video to follow the video guide.

Put iPhone into Recovery Mode

STEP 4 After your device has entered recovery mode, the program will display the device type, model, iOS version of your iPhone or iPad. Check if the information is correct. If it is, click "Repair" to begin the repairing process.

Check Device Information

STEP 5 The repairing process could last for a while and your device will reboot automatically. Wait till you see "Repair Completed". Then you can unplug the device. Your iPhone/iPad should get off headphone mode by now.

Repair Completed


  • If you have jailbroken the device, the device will go back to unjailbroken state after the repairing;

  • If you have SIM lock the device, the device will be SIM-locked again after the repairing.

12. Other Fixes to Turn off Headphone Mode on iPhone/iPad

There are other tricks that users share on different forums. You may find one of them helpful.

  • Call someone with your headphones on and hit speaker. Then hang up the phone, turn your iPhone on Silent then turn OFF.

  • Switch ON the mute button on the left side of your iPhone. Then press the volume buttons. Headphone mode often changes back to the Ringer.

  • Accepting a call with the headphones plugged in, and then unplugging and plugging the headphones in multiple times, then hanging up.

Other than being stuck in headphone mode, your iPhone or iPad might make no sound for other reasons. See No Sound on iPhone 7/6s, What to Do (opens new window)?

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