Fix Windows Not Detecting Headphones

Ever been in a situation where you plug your headphones into your computer, but Windows doesn’t seem to detect them? It can be really frustrating, especially when you need to listen to your music or watch a movie without disturbing those around you, and you may find yourself scrambling to find solutions.

But don’t despair – fortunately, there are some simple solutions that will help you fix Windows not detecting your headphones quickly and easily. In this article, we’ll explain what causes this issue and how to get your headphones working again.

Why Is Windows Not Detecting Headphones?

There are several possible causes for Windows not detecting your headphones. Here are the most common ones:

  • Faulty connection: If your headphones are not securely connected to the device, Windows may not detect them. Make sure that the connection is snug and that no dust or dirt has accumulated in the port.
  • Missing driver: If the correct drivers for your device are missing, it can prevent Windows from detecting your headphones. To fix this issue, you’ll need to download and install the correct driver for your device.
  • Outdated driver: If the drivers for your device are outdated, they may not be compatible with Windows, and this can also prevent Windows from detecting your headphones.
  • Incorrect settings: If your headphone sound settings are set to the wrong output, Windows may not be able to detect them. Make sure that they are correctly configured in Sound Settings.
Windows Not Detecting Headphones

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How To Fix Windows Not Detecting Headphones?

Now that you know what might be causing the issue, let’s take a look at how to fix it. Here are some of the methods you can try.

Fix 1: Check Your Headphone Jack and Cable

The first thing you should do is check the headphone jack and cable for any damage or loose connections. Sometimes you may not notice anything, but the slightest bit of dust can block the connection and prevent your headphones from being detected. Make sure the headphone connection is secured firmly in the socket, and try to wiggle the cable gently to ensure there are no broken wires inside.

Fix 2: Try Headphones on a Different Device

If the headphones are not detected on your computer, try plugging them into a different device. This will help you determine if the issue is related to the device or the headphones themselves. If they work perfectly fine on another device, then it’s likely an issue with your PC.

Fix 3: Update Windows Headphones Driver

If the problem persists, you may need to update your Windows headphones driver. Outdated drivers can cause compatibility issues, crackling sound and prevent the headphones from being detected by Windows.

To update your audio driver, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows + R to launch Run Command Box.
  2. Open the Device Manager by typing “devmgmt.msc” in the command box.device manager run command
  3. Expand the Audio inputs and outputs section.audio inputs and outputs drivers
  4. Right-click on your audio driver and select Update driver.update headphones driver
  5. Select whether you want to update the driver automatically or manually.select how to update driver
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to update the driver.

Fix 4: Check if Headphone is Default Sound Output

If the issue persists, you may need to check if the headphone is set as your default sound output. This will ensure that the audio output is directed toward your headphones and not to your laptop speaker or any other external speaker. To do this:

  1. Right-click the speaker icon on the right side of the taskbar and select Sound settings.windows 11 sound settings
  2. Under the Sound settings, expand the Choose where to play sound option.expand the choose where to play sound
  3. Select your headphone from the list if it is not selected already.choose your headphones

Fix 5: Run Audio Troubleshooter

Windows 11 comes with built-in troubleshooters that can help you identify and fix audio-related issues. One such troubleshooter is the Audio troubleshooter.

To run it, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.
  2. Under the System tab, select the Troubleshoot option on the right.windows 11 troubleshoot
  3. Next, choose Other troubleshooters.other troubleshooters
  4. Look for the “Audio” and click the Run button next to it to begin audio troubleshooting.run audio troubleshooter
  5. On the next window, scroll down and click Yes to start troubleshooting.begin audio troubleshooting

Fix 6: Restart Windows Audio Service

Windows audio service is responsible for managing audio output on your device. If the service is not running properly, it may prevent Windows from detecting your headphones.

To restart the Windows Audio Service, follow these steps:

  1. Press “Windows key + R” on your keyboard to launch the Run Command box.
  2. Type “services.msc” in the Run dialog box to launch the Windows Service.windows services run command
  3. Scroll down, find Windows Audio service, and right-click on it.windows audio
  4. Select Restart from the menu to restart the audio service.restart windows audio service

Fix 7: Re-Install Headphones Driver

If all else fails, you may need to re-install the headphone driver. Uninstalling and reinstalling the driver is a surefire way to fix any driver-related issues, including Windows not detecting your headphones.

Here is how to uninstall and re-install the headphones’ driver:

  1. Open Device Manager by typing “devmgmt.msc” in the Run command box.
  2. Expand the Audio inputs and outputs section.
  3. Right-click on your audio driver and select Uninstall device.uninstall headphones driver
  4. Confirm the uninstallation process by clicking Uninstall when prompted.
  5. Reboot your system, and Windows will automatically install the driver.
  6. Check if the headphones are now working properly.

Fix 8: Update Windows 11

If the issue persists, try updating Windows 11 to its latest version. Microsoft often releases patches and updates that can fix common issues, including audio-related problems.

To update Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Windows 11 settings from the Start Menu.
  2. Switch to the Windows Update tab on the left pane and click the Check for updates button on the right.check for updates
  3. If updates are available, Windows will download it.
  4. Click the Install all button after the updates are downloaded and ready to install.install windows updates

How to Prevent Windows Not Detecting Headphones

To prevent Windows from not detecting your headphones, you should follow these steps:

  • Make sure your headphones are properly plugged in: Ensure that your headphones are fully plugged into the audio jack on your computer.
  • Keep headphones clean: Clean the headphone jack and cable regularly to ensure no dust is blocking the connection.
  • Update audio drivers: Check if there are any available audio driver updates for your computer. You can do this by going to the manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest audio driver for your specific computer model.
  • Check audio settings: Ensure your headphones are selected as the default playback device in your computer’s audio settings.
  • Try a different audio jack: If you have multiple audio jacks on your computer, try plugging your headphones into a different jack to see if it’s a hardware issue.

Final Words

Headphones not detected by Windows 11 can be irritating, but thankfully, there are a few ways to troubleshoot the issue. With these methods, you should be able to get your headphones working again in no time. It is important to remember that if the problem persists, you may need to contact Microsoft Support for further guidance.


Why are my headphones not working when I plug them in?

There could be several reasons why your headphones are not working. It could be a hardware issue, an audio driver issue, or even a software issue. Generally, it is because of dust and lint.

Laptop not detecting Headphones, what to do?

If your laptop is not detecting headphones, try the method listed in this article, such as restarting the Windows Audio Service, re-installing the headphone driver, and others.

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