Fix: iPhone Stuck In Headphones Mode

As you probably know, the iPhone 7 and 7+ are missing the headphone jack. Some will say that is an upgrade, others are firmly against that decision. But, not so long ago we enjoyed our favorite music using headphones and standard 3.5mm jack.

Now, even though there are more than a few negative sides to wireless/Bluetooth headphones, they are, at least, less prone to hardware malfunctions comparing to previous Apple’s handsets. One issue that specially occupied our attention is sudden stuck in Headphone mode. Namely, users were unable to switch from Headphone mode to speakers. There are a few reasons for this and most common are:

  • Small object got somehow inside the jack.
  • Software bug.
  • Phone jack got wet.

For all of you that have exact or similar issues, we prepared a few troubleshoots with both hardware and software approach. Let’s get those speakers up and running.

How to unstuck iPhone from Headphone mode

Hard reset your iPhone

Your first step when addressing any software bug on iPhone is the hard reset. That should resolve mild issues, like the above-mentioned stuck. In order to perform a hard reset on iPhone, follow the instructions.

  1. Press Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for 10 seconds.
  2. Wait for Apple logo to appear and release the buttons.
  3. Startup process may last longer than usual.

However, if this approach hasn’t resolved your issue, move on to next steps.

Switch to speakerphone while in-call

Some users managed to fix this issue with a simple workaround. Namely, they switched from standard in-call mode to speakerphone. It seems that this is an occasional glitch that puts your iPhone in a permanent Headphone mode.
  1. Unplug your headphones.
  2. Make a call.
  3. While in-call, enable a speakerphone for 5 seconds.
  4. Disable speakerphone and end call.

Additionally, some users tried another simple workaround with a silent mode.

  1. Plug in headphones.
  2. Enable Silent mode.
  3. Unplug headphones.
  4. Turn the ringer back.

In case the issue is persistent, move down to additional steps.

Turn on/off Airplane mode

Airplane mode is another way to troubleshoot this issue. Namely, more than a few users succeeded to get out of the Headphone mode with this approach.

  1. Swipe down for the Control Center.
  2. Tap on the airplane icon to enable Airplane Mode.
  3. Wait approximately 20 seconds and disable the Airplane Mode.
  4. Unplug headphones.

If you’re still stuck in Headphone mode, move on to the next step.

Update iOS

Also, this bug (in case it’s a bug in first place) may be resolved with a system update. You should be timely prompted with the notification about latest updates, but you may as well check for those manually.
  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Open General.
  3. Tap Software update.
  4. If an update is available, tap Download.

The latest system update may have addressed this glitch and you should be relieved of this annoyance.

Restore factory settings

Your final workaround for software related issue is the factory restore. If you were unsuccessful with previous steps, move on to factory reset.

  1. To avoid possible issues, make sure your iPhone battery is full.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Choose Reset.
  5. Select Erase All Content and Settings.
  6. Have in mind that all of your data will be gone, so be sure to back it up before performing the reset.
  7. Confirm selection and start the process.
  8. Later on, you should choose Restore from the iCloud Backup feature, and retrieve your data.

If you are using iTunes, that can be much faster and reliable way to restore to factory settings.

  1. Download and install the latest version of iTunes client on your PC.
  2. Connect your device to a PC.
  3. Start iTunes and choose Summary.
  4. Remember to backup your data.
  5. Select Restore iPhone.
  6. Confirm selection and move on to restoring process.

Use hairdryer or compressed air to clean jack

Now we move on to hardware issues. The headphone jack is a quite sensitive part of your device, and arguably the one that is most prone to malfunction. Namely, the jack sensor is incredibly sensitive and any foreign object, no matter how small can cause a lot of trouble. In this case, send a wrong information that the headphones are plugged even though they’re not.

Moreover, if your phone gets wet, there is a great chance that that will cause an interference with a jack sensor. This should be addressed as soon as possible since untreated moisture can cause critical damage to your device.

So if you had any accidents that may affect your iPhone in exact or similar manners as mentioned above, your best bet is to use a hairdryer or canned compressed gas and clean the headphone jack.  Also, don’t do that by mouth. You’ll moisturize it even more.

Clean jack with cotton bud

On the other hand, if you’re unable to clean the jack with a hairdryer or canned gas, your best bet is to use a cotton ear bud. Make sure to thoroughly clean the headphone jack in order to remove any small objects like sand, dirt or moisture.

Once you’ve cleaned your jack, the problem should be resolved.

With that, we surely covered the majority of the workarounds. However, if the problem is persistent, we strongly advise you to contact the Apple support.

Don’t forget to tell us if this was helpful for you in the comments section.


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