How to Turn Headphone Mode Off in iPhones

by Nathan McGinty

Normally, when you use a pair of headphones in the iPhone jack, a sensor inside the jack detects when the headphones are removed, and it turns off the headphone mode. Occasionally, grit may become lodged in the jack and interfere with the operation of the jack sensor. If you find that your headphone mode doesn't turn off on your iPhone or if you can't hear sound through the iPhone speakers, try a few troubleshooting tricks to get your phone working properly again.

Step 1

Check that the "mute" function isn't activated. Turn the phone so you can see the hardware switch located on the left side of the case above the volume controls. If you see an orange indicator on the switch, mute is activated. Toggle the switch towards the front of the case to hide the orange indicator and disable the mute function.

Step 2

Insert the headphones that originally came with the iPhone into the headphone jack. Push the plug gently to ensure that it is seated all the way inside the socket. Grasp the plug firmly and pull it straight up and out. Repeat this a couple of times.

Step 3

Take a can of compressed air and blow it directly into the headphone jack to dislodge any dirt that might be trapped there.

Step 4

Insert a wooden toothpick into the jack and gently scrape it around the sides of the socket inlet to remove any dirt or buildup on the inside of the jack.

Step 5

Turn the volume level up by pressing the volume buttons on the side of the iPhone. Check the sound icon on the front of the phone. It should not display "(headphones)" under the ringer heading. If it does, the sensor still thinks headphones are attached.

Step 6

Turn off Bluetooth by going to "Settings," "General" and "Bluetooth." Move the Bluetooth switch to the "Off" setting to prevent the sound from being routed to a Bluetooth headset.

Step 7

Restart the iPhone by pressing the button located on top of the phone and holding it down until you see the "Slide to power off" display. Swipe the control to power down the phone. Start the iPhone by pressing the button on the top again.

Step 8

Take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store for a consultation with a genius or contact online technical support if you still can't hear sound from the iPhone speaker.

Warning

  • Don't insert anything metal into the headphone jack, as this could damage the sensor.

About the Author

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.