Headphone jacks often create problems, but quite frequently, they are easy to fix. Here are several ways that will help you solve this problem if you have Windows, 10, 8.1, or 7.
Check that your headphone is plugged in properly
In many cases, there is no actual problem with the jack. The laptop owners just fail to plug the headphones in the way they are supposed to be. Before you blame the problem on the headphone jack, make sure that you inserted the thing into the right space.
The jack you are supposed to use will either be color-coded (it will be green), or it will have the headphones icon next to it. If you are sure that it is plugged in the right place and you still can’t hear the sound, you can try some other ways to diagnose the problem.
Check the volume
Sometimes the laptop owners forget to turn up the volume, and when they can’t hear a thing, they assume that there is a problem with the jack. Before rushing to blame the headphone, jack make sure that the volume is not muted or turned down to the minimum. The volume icon on the bottom-right corner of your screen should be halfway up at least. If the sound is still missing, move on to the next fix.
Make sure that the headphones are not broken
More often than not, it is not the jack’s fault, the headphones are to blame. If you have any other device at home with a headphone jack (like a mobile phone or a tablet), connect your headphones to that device, and check if they are working properly. Headphone cables tend to break quite often, so if they don’t work on another device, it means that it is not the laptop’s fault. You just need to buy new headphones.
You may need to update the audio driver
The audio driver is the software on your laptop that helps your operating system communicate with various audio devices such as speakers, headphones, and sound cards. If your audio driver is out of date or if it is the wrong kind of audio driver, you may have a problem hearing sound through your headphones.
Try updating the driver and see if this fixes your problem. Updating the audio driver manually takes time, skill, and patience. Luckily there is a way a novice can do it by themselves by using Driver Easy.
It has the ability to recognize the system you are using automatically and find appropriate drivers for you. You will not have to be concerned about making a mistake during the installation, or about downloading the wrong driver; all of this will be handled automatically. There are two versions of Driver Easy (free version and a pro version).
Set the headphones as default
In the vast majority of cases, Windows detects the headphones and sets them as default every time they are plugged in. But that does not always happen, so you may need to set your device manually to ensure that it works.
Here’s how to do it. Firstly, right-click on the icon of the sound at the bottom-right corner of your laptop. When the selection pops up, click “Sounds.” Next, click “Playback” and unplug and plug your headphones again into the jack. When the option “Headphones” appears in the selection, click on to make sure it is checked, and then click “OK” on the bottom row. If this fix doesn’t work as well, move on to trying to next solution.
Sometimes the audio format does not match the original setting. This may also cause problems with sound transmission. You need to change the format to make it work. To do that, you will need to click on the “Sounds” and “Playback” again.
Then right-click the “Headphones” and from the options choose “Properties.” Then click “Advanced,” and you will be shown the list. Keep selecting formats from the list and pressing “Test” to find the format that works. When you find the format that works, click “Apply” and “OK.” If this does not work as well try the following.
Clean the headphone jack
As the years go by, the headphone jack may become full of dust or lint, and that prevents your headphones from functioning properly. To solve this problem, you need to unplug your computer from the energy source, shut it down and clean the headphone jack.
You can do this with an ordinary cotton swab. Just remove the extra cotton from the tip of the swab until it fits inside the jack and swirl the swab around. Be careful, and do this as gently as possible to avoid damaging the jack.
Try switching to the Chromebook
Windows operating system has existed for decades, and now that we have fast internet, cloud storage, endless applications, it may struggle to keep up. When you are installing third-party software, you are granting the access to various computer viruses that affect everything, including sound transmission.
For those and many other reasons, some people are choosing to ditch the Windows altogether and switch to a different operating system such as Google Chrome OS.
It is generally considered to be more reliable, faster, and easier to use. Chrome OS feels very similar to Windows, but instead of needing to install every program you need onto your laptop, you can do everything via web apps. You do not need to install anything at all.
You can chat, use email, browse the internet, do presentations, etc. All of it via web apps. This means you will not have to deal with malware and viruses; your computer will not slow down or become unstable over time.
If none of the aforementioned solutions fix your headphone jack problem, it means that the jack probably has physical damage of some sort. In this case, there is nothing you can do at home to fix the problem. You will have to take your laptop to a good laptop repair expert who will handle the issue for you.