How to Fix Headphones not working in Windows 10

Your headphones are not getting recognized by Windows 10? Or your headphones are not working in Windows 10? The problem lies with the incorrect sound configuration, damaged cable, headphone jack might be damaged, Bluetooth connectivity issues, etc. These are just a few issues that can cause the headphone not working issue, but the cause can vary as different users have different system configurations and setups.

How to Fix Headphones not working in Windows 10

How to Fix Headphones Not Working in Windows 10

Here is how you can fix the headphone jack to send audio to your external speaker system:

Method 1: Restart your Computer

Although this doesn’t seem like a fix but has helped many people. Just plug in your headphones in your PC then reboot your PC. Once the system restarts check if your headphone starts working or not.

Method 2: Set Your Headphone as Default Device

1. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then select System.

2. From the left-hand tab, click on Sound.

3. Now under Output click on “Manage sound devices“.

4. Under Output devices, click on Speakers (which are currently Disabled) then click on the Enable button.

Under Output devices, click on Speakers then click on the Enable button

5. Now go back to the Sound Settings and from the “Choose your output device” drop-down select your headphones from the list.

If this doesn’t work then you can always use the traditional way to set your Headphones as the default device:

1. Right-click on your Volume icon and select “Open Sound Settings”. Under Related Settings click on the Sound Control Panel.

Under Related Settings click on Sound Control Panel | Fix Headphones not working in Windows 10

2. Make sure you are on the Playback tab. Right-click in an empty area and select “Show Disabled device“.

3. Now right-click on your Headphones and select “Set as Default Device“.

Right-click on your Headphones and select Set as Default Device

This should definitely help you resolve the headphone problem. If not then continue with the next method.

Method 3: Let Windows Automatically Update Your Audio/Sound Drivers

1. Right-click on your Volume icon and select “Open Sound Settings”.

Right-click on your Volume icon and select Open Sound Settings

2. Now, under Related Settings click on the Sound Control Panel. Make sure you are on the Playback tab.

3. Then select your Speakers/Headphones and click on the Properties button.

4. Under the Controller Information click on the Properties button.

speaker properties

5. Click on the Change Settings button (Needs Administrators permission).

6. Switch to the Driver tab and click on the Update Driver button.

update drivers

7. Select “Search automatically for updated driver software“.

update drivers automatically

8. Done! The sound drivers will automatically update and now you can check if you are able to fix headphone jack not working in Windows 10 issue.

Method 4: Change Default Sound Format

1. Right-click on your Volume icon and select “Open Sound Settings”.

2. Now under Related Settings, click on the Sound Control Panel.

3. Make sure you are on the Playback tab. Then double click on the Speakers/Headphones (default). 

Note: The Headphones will also appear as Speakers.

Double click on the Speakers or Headphones (default) | Fix Headphones not working in Windows 10

4. Switch to the Advanced tab. From the “Default Format” drop-down try changing to a different format and click Test each time you change it to a new format.

Now from the Default Format drop-down try changing to different format Click Test each time you change it to a new format

5. Once you start hearing audio in your headphones, click Apply followed by OK.

Method 5: Manually Update Your Sound/Audio Drivers

1. Right-click on “This PC” or  “My Computer” and select Properties.

2. In Properties windows in the left plane select “Device Manager.”

3. Expand Sound, Video, and Game controllers, then right-click on High Definition Audio Device and select Properties.

High Definition Audio Device Properties

4. Switch to the Driver tab in the High Definition Audio Device Properties window and click on the Update Driver button.

Update driver sound

This should update the High Definition Audio Device Drivers. Just restart your PC and see if you’re able to resolve headphones not detected in Windows 10 issue.

Method 6: Disable Front Panel Jack Detection

If you have installed the Realtek software, open the Realtek HD Audio Manager, and check the “Disable front panel jack detection” option under Connector Settings in the right-side panel. The headphones and other audio devices should work without any problem.

Disable Front Panel Jack Detection

Method 7: Run Audio Troubleshooter

1. Press Windows Key + I to open Settings then click on the Update & Security icon.

2. From the left-hand menu make sure to select Troubleshoot.

3. Now under the “Get up and running” section, click on “Playing Audio“.

Under Get up and running section, click on Playing Audio

4. Next, click on Run the troubleshooter and follow on-screen instructions to fix the headphones not working issue.

Run Audio Troubleshooter to Fix Headphones not working in Windows 10

Method 8: Disable Audio Enhancements

1. Right-click on the Volume or Speaker icon in Taskbar and select Sound.

2. Next, switch to the Playback tab then right-click on Speakers and select Properties.

plyaback devices sound

3. Switch to the Enhancements tab and tick mark the option ‘Disable all enhancements.’

tick mark disable all enhancements

4. Click Apply followed by OK and then restart your PC to save changes.

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That’s it, you have successfully fix headphones not working on Windows 10, but if you still have any queries regarding this article please feel free to ask them in the comment section.

38 thoughts on “How to Fix Headphones not working in Windows 10”

  1. Avatar photo
    Dave Hamilton

    I have a Toshiba Satellite L750.
    After migrating from Windows7 to Widows10 I have to manually select speakers or headphones depending on which device I want to use.
    I have followed your method 1 and method 2. The dialog boxes indicated the drivers were up to date, and I observed my settings appeared to be identical to those in your guide.
    Thanks, Dave

  2. Avatar photo
    Dave Hamilton

    It worked. After I did a full power down and restart, the sound system began working correctly.
    It would appear selecting the Power – Restart is not adequate.

  3. Avatar photo
    Samveg Chauhan

    i have windows 10, method 1 & 2 didnt seem to working… so i manually downloaded latest realtek drivers, ran realtek hd audio manager, but there IS no “connecter setting” option please help

    1. if you don’t see the connector setting than uninstall realtek hd manager, and try the steps shown in the video, hope this helps!

  4. if one item is playing, my headphone works. but if jumped to next song i’ve 2 replug z headphone song.. next take out headphone n plug it again”’like zt problem..+ only speaker is apearing on playback devices no headphone…help pls

    1. hi, okay so there are few things which you could definitely try, first follow the advice given in these two videos: and this if they don’t help then do this:
      1.Try to restore your windows to the earlier time.
      2.Try to clean your headphone jack and install all the latest drivers from manufacturer’s website.
      3.Uninstall and reinstall all the sound drivers.
      4.Install Realtek device manager (obviously if you are using Realtek audio chip)
      5.Check if the headphones are working fine by using it with your mobile or another PC.
      6.Check for malware on your PC with your antivirus sometimes viruses are known to cause some of these issues.

      Get back to me after try all this.

  5. I have a Toshiba satellite p55w. and it recently updated my audio driver to conexant and the speakers work but the headphones isnt registering at all. Also method one and two didnt work and i dont know if realtek will work. The headphones only stopped working after i did a windows update 2 days ago.

  6. tried everythig! EVERYthing.. nothing has yet worked… When i plug headphones in to my phone they work well, but on pc they worked 2 days ago, didn’t update my pc… suddenly they stopped working so i dont get any sound. And before it used to ask if it was headphones, speakers, headset etc where i could check a box. Now it doesn’t

  7. Since I upgraded my Dell from windows 7 to windows 10, I’ve been battling with headphones not working error. I always try the first method you stated but nothing. So I have to use both methods 1 and 2 to fix the issue. I automatically and manually do the update and restart the laptop before the headphones start working.

  8. Have new Dell laptop with Windows 10 and had no sound from headphones until I rolled back the driver with the Roll Back button (in the Audio Driver menu displayed in the above article). Solved it! Works perfectly now.

  9. The solution is right click the speaker, double click earphone icon and go to enhancement…press restore defaullt and setting…if its not appear just press as long as you can and you will see your pc refresh…thats how i fix mine

  10. After searching the whole internet on how to do this, finally i bumped into this and it worked. so i thought i should spare a minute just to say; Thank you, this was very helpful.

  11. Thx a million, method 2 did it! I’ve changed my Realtek driver to the high definition audio in the list and bam! works again.

  12. I have an HP Pentium Laptop that is updated to windows 10. The sound just comes through the laptop speakers when I plug my ear/headphones in. I’ve tried everything. The weirdest thing is that they seem to work perfectly fine when I plug them into my iPhone. Help?

  13. It was an easy fix eventually on my Dell XP9370. After calling Dell Tech support and trying as many of the software fixes mentioned here I sent the laptop to Dell. They said they replaced the motherboard, cables, etc and checked it out thoroughly. When I got it back the problem remained. Finally, I opened it up saw an unconnected cable to the headphone jack, connected it and now it works fine. A 10 min fix after hours/days of fiddling with software & Dell.

  14. I have been searching for hours and troubleshooting to solve this problem. Since the last windows update Nahimic started giving me UAC warnings so I deleted it and reinstalled the realtek HD audo drivers only to find they no longer were working! I think the realtek drivers were sending the sound to an internal audio signal, but not to my speakers, and my headphone jack no longer worked.

    Option #2 gave me the headphone jack back (but called s/pdif) as well as my speakers.

    I was seriously going to reinstall my whole system from scratch, so you really saved my day.


  15. I had the same problem..Though different solutions works for different problems,,but just download the driver from realtek’s site(and not from dell).. and don’t update it.. It will auto update and the problem will appear again,than roll back the driver from device manager and live a happy life..It will not update automatically again.. 🙂

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