Guide to Fixing Headphone Jacks on Computer

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How to Fix Headphone Jacks on Computer

The global revenue from earphones and headphones has increased over the years to a reported US $14.55 billion in 2017, including wired and wireless headphones. With that many headphones, users are bound to have questions regarding either the headphones or their jacks.

One question users commonly ask is how to fix headphone jacks on computers.

Fixing can mean either a software fix, where the computer fails to recognize the presence of a headphone, or hardware repair, where either the headphone is loose or damaged. Trying to fix a hardware issue is cumbersome so it’s best that you first ensure the problem isn’t something software-related.

How to Fix Headphone Jack on Computer

The first step should always be to run a proper diagnostics for the problem. Ensure the problem is with the headphone jacks.

Try Out a Different Pair of Headphones

If you’re experiencing problems with your headphone jack, you should first try a different pair of headphones. Also, try your headphones on a different PC to see if they work.

Update Driver

As with any software, bugs and glitches are common in OS. There are a number of scenarios that could lead to a fault in your headphone’s drivers, including deletion, failure to update, or a ripple effect to another update.

If you’re experiencing any problems with your headphones,

  • Go to the device manager by pressing Windows Key + R
  • Type in “msc” and press enter
  • Search for Sound, video, and game controllers
  • Update your Audio Device. If you don’t know the name of your device, try updating all of them.

Clean Headphone Jack

If the problem persists, it’s time to consider hardware changes. Before pulling out your screwdriver, though, check the headphone jack for any debris. There might be something in the jack preventing your headphone pin from coming into contact with the receivers.

Use a pair of tweezers or a small cotton swab to brush the inside of your headphone jack and then try your headphones again.

Fixing Hardware Problems

If you’ve tried everything and you’re still experiencing problems, there might be a hardware issue. To fix any sort of headphones jack hardware problem, you’ll need:

  • A 3.5mm headphones jack
  • A soldering station
  • Needle-nose pliers or snip
  • Good lighting

Possible Problems

Although there are a wide range of hardware problems that might cause your headphone jack to stop working, following are the three most common ones.

When you open up your PC’s casing you’ll find that most of the time, the audio connector is connected to the motherboard. Sometimes, there are wired connectors as well, which could arguably be easier to replace.

1.      Bent Connectors

After you’ve found the connector, you’ll see 4 to 6 golden contacts welded to the motherboard. At times, they get bent due to stress or force. If this is the case, you might hear distortions in your headphones or broken audio.

Simply use your pliers to straighten them out, ensuring the soldered ends do not break. A good technique is to apply slight pressure, bending them back into shape.

2.      Broken Solder

Due to stress or mishandling, it is common for the solders of an audio jack to give way. These connections can be found on the same golden contacts mentioned above.

If you see a broken contact, you can easily solder it back onto the motherboard. Although we’re sure you know what you’re doing, we recommend using extreme caution with a soldering iron!

3.      Short-Circuited/Irreparable Audio Jack

The death-sentence of any audio jack is a severe-short circuit due to water damage or bad connections. You can smell the burnt connections up close in that case. This will require you to replace the jack. Simply;

  1. Remove the existing solders
  2. Pull out the damaged audio jack
  3. Solder the new audio jack in place
  4. Let it cool and test it before closing your PC up.

Headphone jacks can be found easily on Amazon ranging from under US $0.5 to US $2.


If you are having problems with your headphone jack and are certain that the problem is hardware-related, follow the steps above on how to fix headphone jacks on computer for a quick and easy solution!


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Hi, I'm Red, the Chief Editor of Red Diamond Audio.