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iPhone Stuck in Headphone Mode? 12 Tips to Fix It

DoubtUser Concern

“My iPhone is stuck in headphone mode. I hadn't used the headphones before this happened. I've tried cleanning out the jack with a match (it looks very clean) and plugging the headphones in and out several times whils watching a video. Neither worked.”

Many iPhone users have encountered this situation: They're sure that headphones are not plugged into the iPhone, but an onscreen message shows that the headphone volume and the iPhone are not making any sound.

iphone stuck in headphone mode

What's happening? Don't be afraid; it is one of the common issues in iPhone and can be easily fixed.

In this article, we'll explain why your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode and look at some solutions that can help you get your iPhone out of headphone mode.

Part 1. Why Is My iPhone Stuck in Headphone Mode?

Before fixing the iPhone stuck in headphone mode issue, it is important to know why it occurs. Well, it can be caused by a number of things, either hardware problems or software issues. The following are just some potential causes:

  • It is too fast to disconnect the headphones while the phone is busy.
  • The headphones are incompatible with the device or of low quality.
  • Software errors caused by iOS updates or jailbreak.
  • Lint, debris or dirt has built up in the headphone jack.
  • Your iPhone has been damaged by water or other moisture getting inside.

Part 2. Get iPhone out of Headphone Mode with Headphone Jack

Before racking your heads to learn deep, knowledgeable methods, let's first check some easy solutions.

Check Water Damage

Your iPhone may be damaged by water if cleaning the headphone jack doesn’t help. The headphone jack will show whether your iPhone is water damaged for old model. For new models, the SIM card slot is the indicator.

If you see orange dot on headphone jack or SIM card, you need to save the device from water damage.

Plug and Unplug Your Headphones

The simplest thing you can try is to plug in the headphones and unplug them. Something may go wrong with the headphone jack so that it can't be recognized by your iPhone when the headphones have already been unplugged. Then, making this pair of headphones plugged and unplugged could possibly solve this issue.

unplug headphone

Regularly Clean Headphone Jack

As previously mentioned, the headphone jack issue could result in the iPhone being stuck in the headphone mode problem. Too much dust on the headphone jack could affect the recognition of the headphones.

Thus, you have to take a clean toothpick or cloth to clean the dust or dirty to remove the dust from the headphone jack. Ensure that the headphone jack should be dry when you are cleaning it.

clean iphone jack

Remove Your iPhone Case

Many a time, the iPhone stuck in the headphone mode could be caused by the phone case, especially when the case doesn't include a precise cut for headphone jack.

As a result, we highly recommend you remove the case or any cover from your iPhone and then try again to check whether the iPhone is still in headphone mode.

remove iphone case

Part 3. Is Your iPhone Still Stuck in Headphone Mode?

Restart Your iPhone

If the tips above don't work, the next solution is to restart your iPhone. A simple reboot will let the software get a fresh start and clear some temporary technical glitches that cause the iPhone to get stuck in headphone mode.

restart iphone

Enable and Disable Airplane Mode

Sometimes, your iPhone may still think that the device is connected with an external audio source, such as bluetooth headphones.

Putting your iPhone into Airplane mode can quickly turn off cellular,WiFi and Bluetooth connections. Here's what you need to do:

  • Open the Control Center and tap on the Airplane Mode icon to turn it on.
  • Wait for a few seconds, then tap the Airplane Mode icon again to turn it off.

turn off and turn on airplane mode

You can also directly go to Settings on iPhone, then enable and disable the Airplane Mode option.

Change Audio Output Settings

Another way to get your iPhone out of headphone mode is changing its audio output settings. To do it, follow these simple steps:

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn it on.
  • Turn on the Bluetooth speakers, HomePod or other external audio output device you have.
  • Pair your iPhone with that device and play a music to check if the connection was successful.
  • After that, disconnect the device and check if your iPhone is out of headphone mode.

Try Playing a Song on iPhone

Play a song is said to be useful to fix the issue of the iPhone being stuck in headphone mode. You can play some with iPhone's inbuilt music apps, such as iTunes, Spotify, Pandora. You can also play songs with other music apps.

  • First, connect the headphones to iPhone and open music apps to play a song.
  • Then, wait for the iPhone to lock automatically.
  • After the device is locked, unlock it and force close the music app, then disconnect the headphones and check whether the iPhone speaker is normal or not.

play a song on iphone

Reset All Settings on iPhone

If this issue still exists after trying the solutions above, you can try to reset your iPhone settings. However, all the data on iPhone will be deleted permanently. In this case, a backup iPhone with iTunes or iCloud will be required.

To reset all settings on iPhone, head over to Settings > Reset > Reset all Settings and enter the passcode to verify the reset process. The iPhone should be in normal mode after that.

reset all settings iphone

Upgrade iOS Version

Keeping the iPhone version up to date will also avoid and resolve various iPhone issues that you may encounter, including the iPhone stuck in headphone mode issue. Now follow the steps below to install the newest iOS 17 on your iPhone.

  • Hit the Settings app on the home screen of your iPhone.
  • When in Settings mode, click General, then "Software Update" to check whether the iPhone system is the newest version.
  • If the new update is available, click "Download and Install" to update your iPhone to the latest iOS 17. After that, most iPhone bugs shall be fixed.

update ios version

Fix All Issues in One Click without Data Loss

When your iPhone or iPad is stuck in headphone mode or encountering other difficult issues, most solutions you can search online may be restore iPhone system with iTunes or restart iPhone. Unfortunately, a 100% recovery rate cannot be guaranteed, and you will be at risk of losing all the data on your iPhone. Thus FoneGeek iOS System Recovery is here for your assistance. This 3rd-party iOS repair tool can fix all iOS issues without any data loss, such as iPhone running slow after iOS 17 update, iPhone stuck in verifying update, iPhone won't turn on, etc.


Here is the step-by-step guide that you can follow to understand how to fix all iPhone issues in one click.

Step 1. Download and install FoneGeek iOS System Recovery on your computer. Then launch it and hit "Standard Mode" tab on the main screen to initial the repair process.

choose repair mode

Step 2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable and wait for the program to detect the device. If not, please follow the on-screen instructions to put the device into Recovery or DFU mode.

connect ios device

Step 3. Once your iPhone is recognized, check the device model and choose the matching firmware version. Then, click on the "Download" button.

download firmware

Step 4. When the firmware is downloaded successfully, click "Fix Now" to start the repair process. In general, the repair process will take several minutes. So be patient and let the repair process complete. Then, your iPhone will restart immediately.

fix now

Contact Apple for Tech Support

You can also get professional tech support from Apple if you doubt that your iPhone is stuck in headphone mode due to a hardware issue.

Take the device to the Apple Store nearby, and the staff will check your iPhone issue and get it fixed. But it may cost a lot to repair if your iPhone is not under warranty.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

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