Quick Fix for ″Headphone Mode″ on iPhone/iPad

By Carrie Murray, Friday, February 17, 2017

When your iPhone/iPad is stuck at 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 volume bar shows "headphones". It seems like that the iPhone/iPad thinks headphones are plugged in while actually the earbuds have been pulled out.

iPhone Headphone Mode

The headphone mode problem has troubled users of iPhone X/8/8 Plus/7/7 Plus/6 Plus/6/6s/5s/iPad Mini/iPad2/3/4. It could happen because:

  • Software error caused by recent iOS 11 update, incorrect operation of headphones;

  • Water damage which gets water in iPhone/iPad headphone jack;

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

Check the quick fix for iPhone/iPad stuck at headphone mode for different reasons.

Quick Fix for Headphone Mode Problem Caused by Software Error

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 the software error, you can try to fix the stuck 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 still displays as if the headphone has been put in, move on to next method.

2. Use a Bluetooth Speaker

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

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 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 fix the headphone mode problem.

FonePaw iOS System Recoveryis capable of fixing various software problems and get your device 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 techie 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 7/7 Plus comparing with that for other iOS device.

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. The speaker should be back to normal 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 Wet iPhone/iPad off Headphone mode

Some iPhone or iPad get into headphone mode after dropping into water (How to Fix Water Damaged iPhone). 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 at 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 in 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 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 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 at 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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