Sometimes your iPhone gets stuck in headphones mode preventing you from hearing the sound. The problem is that iPhone mistakenly acts as if headphones or earbuds are plugged in and now your iPhone’s stuck in headphones mode.
First, let’s start really simple and try this one out: just go to settings, Sounds & Haptics, then to Ringtone. Try different ringtones and see if your speakers and sound works again.
Unplug your Headphones
If you see the icon below when you adjust the volume buttons, there may be debris in the headset port. To remove, unplug then re-plug headphones several times (at least 7-8 times).
Some users have reported that they fixed this problem successfully by using a hair dryer or sucking (hard) on the headphone port. You may also want to use a toothpick or a Q-Tip and clean the port to remove any remaining dirt / particles. For the Q-Tip make sure you pull off most of the cotton so it will fits the port well…but not to the point where it could get stuck!
If you try a hairdryer, make sure you blast the phone jack with the hairdryer on cold setting if available or the lowest temperature setting on your hairdryer.
Always make sure you turn your phone off before taking any of the steps listed above.
Try A Bluetooth Speaker
Try connecting your iDevice to a bluetooth speaker, then disconnected it. See if that works in getting your headphones mode unstuck!
Blow into the headphone jack
Before you actually use a compressed air machine or canned air to blow it into your iPhone’s headphone jack, get a flashlight and see if there is anything stuck inside. If something is noticeable, take it out. Now, carefully and gently blow air right into the headphone’s jack. That should remove any small particles. If it doesn’t try and blow a little harder.
Or get a spray can of industrial strength “Dust Off” or similar. These products are usually used to clean computer keyboards and other electronics. Luckily, the small plastic straw attachment fits into the headphone jack almost perfectly. Blast some air in there for a few seconds and check is see if your audio is back into working order.
A couple of our readers even used a small vacuum cleaner to suck the headphone plug outlet. And wouldn’t you know, it worked! Just be very careful. And make sure you stick with a small vacuum–do not use any industrial or commercial types!
Use (or Make) a Tool
Some users find that an interdental brush helps to clean out any dirt and dust from the headphone jack. You find interdental brushes in almost any grocery store or drug store. Remember to clean with a light touch, just brushing the insides of the headphone jack. You can also add a bit of rubbing alcohol to the brush to help remove anything that might be stuck stubbornly on. Remember to use just a little bit and make sure your phone is off before inserting any tool into the headphone jack.
Another method is to make your own very small lint brush by using a paperclip and some transparent tape. Bend the paperclip straight and wrap the paperclip’s tip with the transparent tape, sticky side facing outwards. Make sure the tape is tightly wrapped around the paperclip. Gently insert the sticky tip into the headphone jack, lightly pressing it side to side to pick up whatever dust and dirt is there. Remember to turn off your phone before you try this and always use the lightest of touch.
Another reader realized that on the inside of the jack port there is very small, pinhead size silver pressure button. This particular iFolk found that this pressure button often gets stuck with humidity, grime, dust, you name it! So try a little light scraping with a safety pin followed by a swab with just a bit of alcohol fixed this problem.
Try Some Music or Another App
Some readers report that playing music worked for them. First plug in your headphones or earbuds, open iTunes, and play any song or audio program. Let your iPhone screen lock automatically. Then unlocked your phone, close iTunes by double clicking home and swiping upwards. Follow this by unplugging your headphones. Open YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, or similar and play something. Turn the volume all the way up and check if the speakers work again! If so, open other apps and verify that the apps and your ringer work too.
Reset your iPhone and BackUp
Some users found it helpful to turn off their iOS device and then turn it back On. If those solutions don’t work out for you, this method might actually help. Give it a try and let us know what’s going on.
Another reader reports success just by manually backing up her iDevice via iCloud. After she completed the iCloud back up, her iPhone was no longer stuck in headphones mode. So test this one out too. And if you backup via iTunes, it potentially works for that backup method as well.
Ease on Down the Road to Your Apple Store
If you are still have this problem, it’s time to contact Apple support or visit your nearest Apple Store. You might need your headphone jack replaced, usually part of the dock assembly, lightning connector and headphone jack assembly, or lightning port if iPhone 7 or higher. This is a repair you can do on your own, DYI. It all depends on your phone model.
If you want to attempt this replacement, make sure you know your model number and then do a web search for replacing the dock assembly or Lightning connector and headphone jack assembly for that particular iPhone or other iDevice model.