Depending on user preference, some connect their audio devices through a USB port, while others choose the more traditional method, headphone jacks.
Since we require audio for everyday computer use, encountering a situation where the audio jack doesn’t work can be frustrating and worrying.
Unfortunately, this could happen due to numerous reasons, hardware or software-related.
Luckily, the following guide should assist you in fixing this issue, so without further ado, let’s get straight into what you should know.
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What Could Cause The Headphone Jack To Stop Working?
There are multiple reasons why the headphone might not work on your computer.
A motherboard cable not plugged in, a misconfiguration in the audio-control software, missing drivers, an audio device not set as the default one, and a damaged jack or device are just some examples.
However, this problem is tricky because there isn’t a way to find its cause immediately. You’ll have to try different methods until one of them succeeds, also known as “trial and error.”
Fortunately, the sections below include methods that helped many users overcome the problem, so let’s begin with the first.
Fix 1: Ensure You’ve Plugged The Audio Panel Into The Motherboard
You may wonder what the problem could be when you plug the device into the audio panel, yet there’s no sound, and the computer doesn’t detect it.
The most common problem could be that the audio panel you’re plugging the device into is not connected to the motherboard.
Often, users connect their audio devices through the front panel, as it’s easier to access. However, chances are much higher for that panel to be non-functional, as it’s easy to forget to connect it to the motherboard. The same can happen with the USB panel.
If you’ve assembled your PC and don’t have much experience, you may have forgotten to connect the cable for the front audio panel from the case to the motherboard. Don’t worry, though. It happens even to experienced PC builders.
Therefore, if this is the reason, rectifying the problem is fairly simple. You simply need to locate the cord for the frontal audio panel of the computer casing and connect it to the F_AUDIO socket on the main circuit board, as depicted in the picture underneath.
Note that the F_AUDIO (or it could be named differently on your motherboard) slot is often in the bottom-left corner on most motherboards, but it may be different in your case. Carefully read the labels before plugging anything, as you don’t want to cause any damage to your PC.
Once plugged in, the front audio panel should now work. Now, if you plug an audio jack into it, you should be able to hear the sound if all else works as intended.
You can also plug the audio jack into the rear audio panel if the front one doesn’t work or you don’t want to go through connecting the cable to the MB. Also, the sound quality is often better when using the rear port.
If the panel is already correctly plugged in, yet your device doesn’t work, the problem may be something else. Check the following sections for more methods covering different issues.
Fix 2: Check The Audio-Control Software For Any Misconfiguration
Many people claimed they resolved the problem by accessing their sound preferences and adjusting specific choices which could potentially be causing it.
For example, if you have multiple audio devices connected to your PC, the one you plugged in most recently may not work as it’s not the default device. You can change this within the Realtek panel
if you have a sound card from that brand. Other sound card brands will require you to access a different settings panel. Either way, we recommend you look into it, as changing some of the settings within the sound card panel can make a difference.
For example, some users reported accessing the Realtek panel and finding out that the “jack detection” feature was disabled. Enabling it solved the problem immediately.
We also recommend downloading the dedicated software (if the device manufacturer has one) to see if some settings within need adjusting. For example, Logitech devices use the G-Hub software. Razer devices use Synapse, and so on.
Fix 3: Install Or Update Audio Drivers
Missing or outdated drivers can cause various audio-related problems. That is often the most common cause. However, it’s also one of the easier problems to solve, as updating your drivers in Windows is straightforward.
Here’s how to do it:
- Simultaneously press the Windows and S buttons on your keyboard to open the search box.
- Type in Device Manager and click on the first result shown on the list.
- In Device Manager, click on the arrow to expand the Sound, Video, and Game Controllers category.
- Right-click the items listed within, then choose Update Driver and Search Automatically For Drivers for each one separately.
- Expand the Audio Inputs and Outputs category. Right-click the items listed within and choose Update Driver for each one, just as you did during step #4.
When all drivers are up-to-date, we recommend rebooting your PC. After that, the problem should be gone if outdated drivers were causing it.
Fix 4: Ensure The Device Is Set As Default
After plugging in a new device, whether a microphone, a headset, a MIDI, or anything else, it may not work as intended immediately. The reason is that the device may not be immediately recognized and set as default within the software or in Windows.
So, we recommend setting the device you just plugged in as default within the Windows sound panel.
After that, you should open the software you wish to use with the device you connected and set the device as default within the settings panel.
If you are plugging in a headset, for example, but you already have a TV connected through an HDMI cable or a monitor with speaker(s), the computer may choose one of those devices to transmit sound over your headphone jack device. That will happen until you manually set the new device as the default one.
That also applies to some of the most widely-used programs such as Discord, Skype, Steam, various video games, digital audio workstations (DAWs), and more.
Always set your preferred audio device as default in the settings panel. Otherwise, you may not hear audio even if everything is as it should hardware-wise.
Fix 5: Run The Windows Audio Troubleshoot Program
Last but not least, you can always run the Windows audio troubleshooter to see if there are any problems under the surface.
Sometimes, some bugs or issues aren’t “too visible,” and in those cases, the troubleshooting program can help find them.
To run it, follow the steps below:
- Press Windows + I on your keyboard to open the Settings panel.
- Click Update & Security.
- Click Troubleshoot (from the left sidebar menu).
- Under the “Getup and running” category, click Playing Audio.
- Run the troubleshooting by clicking the button.
Wait for the process to complete. If the troubleshooter detects anything, you will have the option to let it fix the problem automatically.
Hopefully, this will fix the problem.
Sometimes, simple problems require simple solutions, such as unplugging and plugging the device anew and rebooting the PC.
However, when the problem becomes persistent, some more complex methods are required, and hopefully, the ones listed in the guide above helped you as they did other users.