10 Best Methods: My Headphones Are Not Working

We music lovers will forget to keep our keys but not the headphones. After all, headphones are the most used gadgets behind smartphones. If you are having trouble using headphones and having trouble, use your headphones.

Then yes, you are in the right place. In this article, I will be helping you out to address the issue – My headphones are not working. So, let’s get started.

Causes Of Headphones Not Working In Windows

Numerous reasons could be stopping you from using your headphones on your windows or whichever device you are using. It could be a corrupted device driver, uninstalled updates, poorly configured audio settings, or lint faulty sound drivers.

If the problem is not with your device, it is probably your headphones. So, concerning the above issues, you will be required to follow the below approach to fix my headphones are not working.

Steps to resolve My headphones are not working

  1. Make Sure Your Headphones Are Connected Properly (If using wired headphones)
  2. Configure Audio Output Settings
  3. Change Default Audio Format
  4. Use the Windows Sound Troubleshooter
  5. Restart Your Device
  6. Check for Sound drivers update
  7. Rollback sound drivers update
  8. Install/Uninstall Windows Update
  9. Enable jack detection (For wired headphones)
  10. If All Else Fails, Consider Repair or Replace

1. Make Sure Your Headphones Are Connected Properly (If using wired headphones)

Suppose you are facing trouble in using your headphones with your device. Then the first and foremost thing you need to do is, check whether your headphones are linked correctly to your device.

If not, connect it properly. You can also try to plug and unplug your headphone a few times and also clean the headphone jack with a cotton swab to remove any excess dust or dirt from the jack. 

If this doesn’t fix your issue, go for the next fix mentioned below.

2. Configure the default playback device

Suppose you have connected your headphones to your device. But the device’s audio output is not set to your headphones. Then you will not be able to hear anything from your device.

And for this, you will be required to change the default audio device on your system. Thus, informing the default device to which gadget it needs to reach.

For changing the audio output settings, follow the below steps:

  1. On the search bar, search the sound settings.
  2. Now, on the displayed window. Probably you will see an option saying Choose where to play Sound. Tap on it. And select the device you want to play Sound.
my headphones are not working

Suppose you are using working wired headphones. Then you will get to see the Headphones option that you can select to play Sound. But if you are using wireless headphones or Bluetooth headphones.

You need to check Bluetooth settings. If your device is available in the Bluetooth devices list to play Sound, select it. If not on the list, choose the option to add a new device and add it. 

Now try playing any music and see if this fixes the issue.

3. Change Default Audio Format

By the above steps, if you were unable to resolve the issue. Then the next step you can take is to check if the default audio format matches your headphone capacity. 

Audio format tells the frequency range and the other important layout that needs to be managed by your device. And if your device doesn’t meet the requirements of your system, it will also be unable to play Sound. For checking the default audio format on your device, follow the instructions below:

  1. Again open the sound settings by searching it over the search bar. Or you can also go to the sound icon on the bottom right corner of the taskbar to open the sound settings by right-clicking over it.
  2. Locate the more advanced settings and open them.
Opening more sound settings
  1. Next, in the Playback tab. Right-click over your headphones and select properties.
  2. Now, go to the advanced tab. In the advanced tab, you will see the default format for your system.
  3. One by one, select the rate and bit depth from the options and click Test on the right. Try running all until you find the one that works fine for you. 
Selecting the rate and bit depth from the options
  1. Find the right one for you. Click over apply button followed by the ok button.

Now try playing a piece of music after connecting your headphones. And see if this fixes the issue.

4. Use the Windows Sound Troubleshooter

If nothing has worked for you till now. Running an automated troubleshooter could save you. To run a troubleshooter, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the sound settings.
  2. Now locate the option – Troubleshoot Sound Problems. 
  3. And select the Outdevices mentioned in from of it.
Troubleshoot sound problems related to output devices
  1. It will start the troubleshooter for the output devices. 
  2. Next, choose the device you want to get fixed.
  3. Wait for the troubleshooter to run a scan on your device. 
  4. It will automatically repair the issues on your device if any are found. 

5. Restart Your Device

In most cases, this fixes the issue. Since to process correctly, your windows might require you to restart it. Follow the instructions given here to restart your system. 

  1. Go to the Windows Key and click over the power button.
  2. Now select to restart your system.

But if this doesn’t work for you. Move to the next step.

6. Check for Sound drivers update

A few times, outdated audio drivers might also raise issues for you. In that case, you will be required to update your sound card drivers. To do it, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to the Device Manager. You can search it on the search bar.
  2. Now, go to the Sound, video, and game controllers.
  3. Right-Click on the audio drivers and select properties.
  4. Next, go to the Driver tab and click on update driver.
Updating the device drivers

Check if this works. If not, move to the next fix.

7. Roll back driver updates

Not all the time system updates come for good. New updates might clash with the other system configuration and possibly cause an issue if you have recently installed new drivers. Then you can try to roll back the driver. So to make sure this isn’t the case, we will try to roll back the sound drivers. 

  1. Go to the device manager.
  2. Locate the sound drivers from the menu.
  3. Now, right-click over the sound driver and open its properties.
  4. Next, go to the Driver tab and select roll back the driver.
Roll back a device driver

Now again, check if this fixes your issue.

8. Install/Uninstall Windows Update

If still the issue doesn’t settle. Check if your device is updated with the latest version. If not, then there are possibilities of getting the error. To check if your device is updated, follow the below instructions:

  1. Open the Windows Settings.
  2. In the top right corner, you will see the Windows Update.
  3. Once you open it, a green check for updates button will appear.
Updating the windows
  1. Click over it and see if there are any updates available.
  2. If there are any, install them.

9. Enable jack detection (For wired headphones)

By this time, you should have fixed the headphone not working issue. If not, the last thing you can check is to make sure the automatic headphone jack detection is enabled on your PC. For this, follow the instructions below:

  1. Search Realtek Audio Console in the search bar.
  2. In there, locate the Advanced Device Settings.
  3. Under the Connector Settings, allow the enable jack detection when the device is plugged.
Enabling jack detection in the Realtek audio console

10. If All Else Fails, Consider Repair or Replace

If none of the above helped you fix the issues. Then, consider repairing or replacing the headphones. You can also try to connect any other earphones or headphones to determine if the problem is with your laptop device or headphones. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do I Fix My Headphones That Are Not Working?

Try to plug in and out your headphones a few times. If that doesn’t help, restart your device.

Why Are My Headphones Not Playing Sound?

It could be possible that the audio output on your device is set to some other device instead of your headphones. 

Why Are My Headphones Plugged In But Not Working?

Try cleaning the headphone jack with a cotton swab. It could be possible the dust and dirt inside your headphones. That is keeping your headphones from operating properly.

Meet the Author

Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.