Quick Fixes for iPhone/iPad Stuck in Headphone Mode

By Carrie Murray, Friday, February 17, 2017

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.

iPhone Headphone Mode

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

  • Software error caused by recent iOS 11 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.

Check how to take iPhone/iPad off headphone mode in different situations.

How to Turn off Headphone Mode on iPhone

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.

1. 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 sound now without headphones. If not, replug the headphones for several more times. If the iPhone or iPad is still stuck in earphone mode, move on to next method.

2. Use a Bluetooth Speaker to Switch off Headphone Mode

Pair your iPhone/iPad to a Bluetooth speaker and 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!

3. 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

4. Use iOS System Recovery to Get iPhone/iPad out of Headphone Mode

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 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.

Windows Version DownloadMac Version Download

Step 1. Download and install FonePaw iOS System Recovery on your Windows computer.

Step 2. Use USB cable to connect your iPhone/iPad to the computer.

Step 3. Launch the program and find "More tools" > "iOS System Recovery".

Step 4. Follow the instruction on the program and put your iDevice in recovery mode. The method differs for iPhone X/8/7/7 Plus comparing with that for other iOS devices.

Step 5. 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 6. 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


  • Your device will be updated to the latest iOS version after the repairing;

  • 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.

Quick Fix to 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). This is because that 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 get the device 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.

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.

Quick Fix to Clean Headphone Jack Stuck with Dust/Dirt

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

iPhone 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. 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 can use an air duster to blow the obstruction away.

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

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?


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