Why Is My iPhone Stuck In Headphone Mode?

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There are times when we might get annoyed by the simplest of things. Especially nowadays that everyone has many different devices, all of which will become faulty at some point, it is more evident that we get annoyed by the simplest of things. One of the things that causes a great deal of annoyance is having an iphone stuck in headphone mode.

Just think of this scenario. You are getting a video call by your boss. This looks like an emergency. You tap on Answer, expecting to hear a “Good Afternoon” by your boss. You see their lips moving, but you can’t hear them. It’s not because of your internet connection, or theirs.

You’re getting visibly annoyed, while you try to keep calm and just signal to your boss that you will call them back. This was one really important moment, and your iPhone just decided to not cooperate.

You go on to spend a few seconds to try and find out what’s wrong. And, there it is. Your iPhone’s settings say that you have your headphones connected. But, your headphones aren’t connected. There’s only one true answer here… ghosts!

Well, we’re here to say that it might not actually be ghosts. In fact, this is a well-known problem with many iPhones and other devices that have headphone jacks. Thankfully, you will be able to fix this issue. If nothing works, then call the Ghostbusters.



Why Did My iPhone Get Stuck in Headphone Mode?

Your iPhone might be stuck in headphone mode for several reasons. It could be an issue on the hardware side or the software side. Some of the most common reasons your iPhone might be stuck in headphone mode are moisture or dirt building up on the audio port, software errors due to an update, or the use of inferior quality headphones which might have caused damage on the port.

While these are some causes of your phone being stuck in headphone mode, it can still happen randomly.

As we’ve already said, we’ve got your back. For most cases, you will be able to fix your iPhone without any help. Other than ours, of course. So, let us take a look at some of the fixes for your iPhone, if the problem is on the software side.

Software Side: Simple Software Fixes To Get Your iPhone Out Of Headphone Mode

What we mean by software side is that your iPhone might think that you have headphones connected, when you clearly don’t. So, we will need to find a few ways to trick your iPhone so that it exits the headphone mode.

To do that, we will need to target some algorithms on the phone, so that it exits the headphone mode without us altering stuff on the hardware side.

Plug And Unplug Your Headphones

The first and easiest thing you need to do is very simple. You just need to plug your headphones in, and then unplug them. Gently insert your headphones in, and then simply unplug them.

Your iPhone, just like any other phone that has an audio port, will know that you have connected a pair of headphones, because the port is built in a way where once the cable touches the jack it signals to the phone that it should enable headphone mode. When that happens, if your phone is not faulty, it should run some of its algorithms and send some instructions to its software, in order to pass the audio through the headphones.

If this method works correctly, then the software will probably reboot and understand that you have unplugged the headphones.

Restart your iPhone

If the previous method didn’t work, then you should try restarting your iPhone. When you restart any phone, the whole software reboots. This is like creating a new save file on your favourite game. This way, the phone will understand that you have connected a pair of headphones to it.

Depending on the iPhone that you own, you will need to take different steps in order to restart it.

If you own an iPhone X or iPhone 11, you will firstly need to press the volume button or the side button. This will take a few seconds, but once the power off slider pops up, you can stop holding the button. You will then need to drag the slider that has popped up towards the Turn Off option, so that you can turn off your iPhone. You will then need to press and hold the side button once again and wait until you see the Apple logo, in order to turn the phone back on.

If you’re a proud owner of a 2nd generation SE, 8, 7, or 6, then the steps are fairly similar. Unlike the newer models, you can only turn these ones off by pressing and holding the side button until the Power Off slider pops up. You should then drag that slider towards the Turn Off option, just like you would do with the X or 11. When you want to turn the phone back on, you should press and hold the side button, until the Apple logo pops up.

Lastly, if you are an owner of the older models, like the 1st generation SE or earlier, the last two steps are the same. But, on these older models, you will need to press and hold the button that is on the top-right part of the phone in order for the Power Off slider to appear. Just like every other model, you should drag the slider towards the Turn Off option, and turn the phone back on by pressing and holding the side button.

Enable and disable Airplane mode

If these simple fixes weren’t the solution for your problem, then this method could be helpful to you. The Airplane Mode is one of the best ways to turn off most of the features on your phone, including Bluetooth connections.

This method is mostly geared to any of you who use Bluetooth headphones, but it could also be a fix even if you use wired headphones.

Just like the method above, activating Airplane Mode differs depending on your device.

If you have an iPhone X or an iPhone 11, you will need to swipe down from the top part of the screen, in order to bring down the control panel. You should immediately see a button which has the image of an airplane on it. Once you’ve spotted that button, you should simply tap it once in order to turn it on. Wait a few seconds, and then tap on it once again to turn it off.

If you own a 2nd generation SE or any earlier models, the process is slightly different. You will need to swipe up from the bottom part of the screen, rather than swipe down from the top edge of the screen. You should be greeted by the control panel, and you should instantly locate the button which has an airplane on it. You will need to tap that once, and after a few seconds tap it again, in order to turn the airplane mode on and off.

Connect to a different audio source or change audio output

Another great method of getting your iPhone to reboot its software and resolve the headphone mode problem is by connecting it to a different audio output, or by changing the audio source. You could, for example, connect your iPhone to a Bluetooth speaker or a set of Bluetooth earbuds.

If you wish to change the audio output, you will need to navigate to the Bluetooth tab on your iPhone. To do that, you just need to open up Settings, and then simply tap on the Bluetooth option.

Once you’re there, you should switch on the Bluetooth audio output device of your choice. Make sure to choose one that is surely working, otherwise you might still not be able to hear through that device.

All you need to do after that is simply pair your iPhone to the audio output device and either play a song or a Youtube video or any other test file in order to see if the connection is great, and if the pairing was done successfully.



Reset your Network settings

The last fix we will tackle today is not as straightforward as the other ones. You will need to reset your network settings. By doing this, you will be resetting all the current connections on your iPhone, both network and Bluetooth ones.

In order to reset your network settings, you will need to navigate to Settings on your iPhone, and from there go on to General. Once you’re there, you will have to just scroll down until you find Reset, which you will need to select. Once you’ve selected Reset, you will need to tap on Reset Network Settings. Keep in mind that by doing that any passwords you have for networks, whether that’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi will be deleted.

Hardware Side: Hardware Fixes To Get Your iPhone Out Of Headphone Mode

If the fixes we mentioned above weren’t effective, then we will have to target the hardware side. You will firstly need to make sure that the headphone jack isn’t stuck inside the audio port, since that would be a problem. If there’s nothing stuck on the audio port, then you should check out if there’s any dirt or debris inside.

Let’s take a look at what you can do.

Remove any lint, debris, or dirt from the headphone jack

Firstly check out if there’s anything inside the port, by using a flashlight to see if you can spot anything. Make sure to have a paper clip or a toothpick and a cotton swab lying around.

For starters, remove most of the cotton from the swab, so that it fits inside the port. Afterwards, you will need to slowly and gently put it inside the port and turn it around in order to clean out the dirt that might be inside. And then, just pull it out carefully. Do that a few more times until there’s no more dirt.

You can then use the toothpick in order to catch any lint that might be inside the headphone jack. You will need to, again, slowly insert it and then spin it gently around to clean out any lint and dirt left.

This can also be done much more efficiently and quickly if you have a can of compressed air. Simply place the nozzle on the tip of the headphone jack and then blast it a few times with air.

You should also look out for any water damage. To do that, pop out the sim card tray by using a sim ejector tool. Use the same flashlight as before to check inside the headphone port. If you don’t see anything, then you’re set. If you see a really small red dot, it means that the LCI has been activated, so there you probably have some water damage. In order to treat that, you should either visit a repair center, or do it on your own. The second option should only be done by experts, so don’t do it unless you’re 100% sure you won’t ruin anything.



Wrapping your headphones correctly

If you always leave your headphones inside the port, it might be the cause of the damage on your port. Make sure to always keep your headphones unplugged if you aren’t using them, and keep them stored inside a case.

How To Get My iPhone Out Of Headphone Mode If None Of These Steps Work?

If none of the above steps worked, then who are you gonna call… Ghostbusters. Well, not exactly. You should call a repair center. It should be one that is recognised by Apple, and you should certainly avoid any third-party stores. And even if that doesn’t work, then Ghostbusters are the only solution.


If your iPhone gets stuck in headphone mode, you shouldn’t worry about it. And you should definitely not panic. 99% of the time you will be able to fix it on your own. And most of those times you won’t even need to do much.

We hope that any of you who had this issue managed to resolve it through one of our methods!


For more such helpful guides checkout our site: https://reddiamondaudio.net

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