Are your headphones not working on Windows 10 or are you wondering how to fix your headphone jack? Here we have a complete guide and a step-by-step tutorial on how to resolve both.
You might have hoped you could just plug in your bluetooth headphones and start to enjoy your music straight away, but maybe your PC has other ideas.
It’s not always easy to determine why your windows 10 headphones are not working – it could be anything ranging from the hardware itself to issues with the sound drivers.
Whatever the cause of the problem is, this step-by-step guide will take you through everything you need to know about getting your headphone jack back up and running again in no time.
Table of Contents
Why is my headphone jack not working?
If you know why your headphone jack isn’t working, it could help you solve the problem quicker. Here are a few factors that could be at play:
- Computer not detecting headphones because of a windows 10 software issue
- Laptop headphone jack not working can be a hardware issue or the headphones themselves
- Outdated driver software
But, don’t worry if you are unsure which is the fault with your device. Following the different approaches outlined below will hopefully help you find a suitable solution in no time.
Our Solution: Headphones not working in Windows 10
Approach 1. Plug your headphones in and try restarting your computer
It might sound simple, but restarting your PC is a quick and easy fix for many common problems, including headphones not working in Windows 10.
First, plug your headphones into the audio jack. Then, with them plugged in, restart your PC. You can do this by clicking Start – Power – Restart.
Once your computer has started up again, check to see if the original headphones not detected are now working. If not, try the next possible solution below.
Approach 2. Disable the front panel jack detection
Another quick and easy potential fix is to disable front panel jack detection. This works on computers with a Realtek sound card and can be done with just a few clicks in the Control Panel.
After opening Control Panel, change the viewing mode to Large Icons (you’ll find this menu in the upper right of the screen).
Open the Realtek HD Audio Manager. If you don’t have a Realtek sound card, you won’t see this option in the Control Panel and will be unable to proceed with this method.
From here, click Connector Settings. Then, set the Disable Front Panel Jack Detection setting to on. Press OK, then restart your PC again before connecting some headphones and attempting to play some audio.
Approach 3. Change the default sound format
If your headphones are still not working, try checking the default sound format in windows 10. Here are the steps to do this:
- Start in Control Panel, as before, and again change the view to Large Icons.
- Open the Hardware and Sound tab, then select Sound.
- Navigate to the Playback tab and, from here, double click on Default Playback Device. This will open up in a new window.
- Go to the Advanced tab and pick a different default sound format in the drop-down menu.
- After changing the sound settings, restart your computer again and check if the headphones are working yet.
VIDEO on how to check the default sound format in windows 10
Approach 4. Enable the playback device and set as a default playback device
The problem might simply be that the device has been disabled, or the sound has been set to play through another device, such as speakers.
Here’s how to enable your audio device and ensure it is the default output device.
- Open the Control Panel and change the view to Large Icons, as in approaches 2 and 3.
- Navigate to the Hardware and Sound tab before selecting Sound, just like in approach 3.
- Right-click anywhere within the Playback section, and make sure the Show Disabled Devices option is checked. This should make your headphones show up as an audio device if they weren’t there before.
- Right-click on the device you are trying to connect. Make sure Enable is selected as this will make sure it isn’t blocked from being used to play audio on your laptop.
- You should now find that the Set as Default button can be clicked for this device – click it, then restart your computer again.
Again, test if your headphones work now. If not, try the next possible solution.
VIDEO – check out how to change the default playback device in windows 10 via this YouTube tutorial.
Approach 5. Try Running Windows 10 Audio Troubleshooter
If the above fixes haven’t helped, you could use the built-in sound troubleshooter that Windows 10 devices are equipped with. Here is how to access the sound troubleshooter on this operating system:
- Press Windows + I to open Settings. Or, navigate to it via the Start menu or the search bar.
- Open Update & Security from here.
- On the left-hand side, you’ll find the Troubleshoot option. Open it.
- From here, navigate to Get up and Running, then to Playing Audio.
- Click Run the Troubleshooter. Wait for it to finish scanning for issues. If anything is found, you will be able to automatically attempt to fix it from the troubleshooter.
Unfortunately, the troubleshooter won’t always detect your issue. However, it’s worth a shot because there is a chance the system will find your problem and automatically fix it at the click of a button.
If a problem is detected and the troubleshooter attempts to fix it, you’ve guessed it; you should restart your computer for any changes to take effect.
Approach 6. Update your sound driver and audio
The next possible solution to headphones not working in Windows 10 is perhaps one of the most important fixes – running driver updates. In fact, this is something you should do often, not just when you run into problems – outdated drivers can lead to a whole host of problems. Here are the steps you should take to update your drivers:
- Simultaneously press the Windows Key and R to open Run.
- Next, open the Device Manager by entering devmgmt.msc into the search box, then press OK.
- Click the arrow next to Sound, Video, and Game Controllers to expand this menu.
- Right-click on the audio driver in need of updating, then click Update Driver.
- Click Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software, and your computer will automatically download and install the new driver if an updated version is available.
- As always, restart your computer using the steps shown in approach 1 after downloading the latest audio drivers.
Approach 7. Check your Bluetooth Settings
The final solution is one that is, of course, only applicable to Bluetooth headphones. The first thing is to make sure your headphones are compatible with your computer. For example, if your headphones use Bluetooth 5.0 but your Windows 10 PC only supports up to Bluetooth 4.0, they probably won’t work properly.
To check the Bluetooth version of your computer, go to Start – Device Manager – Bluetooth. You should also check that Bluetooth isn’t switched off. To do this, type Bluetooth into the search bar. Then, open Bluetooth and Other Device Settings and check that Bluetooth is set to On.
If these settings are already correct, it could be a problem with the Bluetooth adapter on your computer. If you have other headphones or Bluetooth devices, try connecting these to your computer. If they are not able to connect either, there will be a fault with the built-in Bluetooth adapter.
If this is the case, you can easily buy a new Bluetooth dongle. These are simply plugged into the USB port on your computer. They are relatively inexpensive, so even if this is the problem, you won’t have to break the bank fixing it.
Hopefully, one of these methods has helped you fix issues with your headphones or audio jack not working on a Windows 10 device.
Don’t worry if you find your headphone jack not working one day. There are many potential fixes, and most of them won’t take more than a few minutes and just a couple of clicks of your mouse.
You are likely able to fix your problem by adjusting a few simple audio settings or updating your audio driver or sound card driver. So, don’t hurry to take your computer to the repair shop before trying these simple fixes.
We also have a range of new wireless headphones that would resolve needing a headphone jack – worth considering!