Headphones Not Working On Your PC: 9 Troubleshooting Tips





The problem of ‘Headphones don’t work on PC’ is usually experienced following a Windows update. You will find below some of the techniques to resolve the issue of Headphones not working on Windows 10.

Causes of headphones don’t work on PC issue

There can be many reasons for this problem but some of the common issues you may face with your headphones include a damaged cable, headphone jack not working properly, Bluetooth connectivity issues, and many more amongst others. 

These are just a few of the problems though, but they can be as varied as the number of headphone models is available to us.

Among the varied causes of headphones not working on PC include an incompatible operating system and drivers, or after downloading a Windows Update on your computer. This may break the earphone and other components in your system.

Many people who updated their Windows 10 computers with the 1903 update have reported that their computers weren’t recognizing their headphones, due to which they couldn’t hear anything even though the speakers worked fine.

Fix 1: Plug the headphone in and then restart your computer

This fixes pretty simple and has helped out many people. Only two steps are required:

1. First you need to plug your headphone into the computer.

2. Now you should restart your computer and check whether your headphone works.

If your headphones still don’t work, you should try the next fix below.

Fix 2: Enable your Playback device

In the second attempt to fix your issue you should check whether your headphone as a Playback device is disabled by the operating system. If it is, you should re-enable it using the following steps:

  • Firstly, ensure your headphone is connected to your computer.
  • Now right-click on the speaker icon in the notification area of your taskbar. Then select Sounds.
  • If you cannot see your headphone listed on the Playback tab, right-click a blank area and choose Show Disabled Devices. Then your device should show up on the screen.
  • Right-click on your headphone and click on the Enabled option.
  • Click on OK to save the changes made.

Once you’re done, check whether your headphone problem goes away. In case the issue still prevails, we recommend you to head over to Fix 3.

Fix 3: Set your headphone as default device

Windows systems may not play any sounds through if your headphone has not been set as the Default Playback device. To solve this issue, perform the following steps:

1. Press the Windows logo key and X at the same time on your keyboard.

2. Now from the pop-up menu you need to select the Control Panel.

3. You should change your view to Category and click on Hardware and Sound.

4. Click on Sound.

5. Select Headphones and click Set default on the Playback tab.

Note: You may see “Speaker or Headphones” instead of just “Headphones” as an option. If that is the case, click on Speakers/Headphones and select Set Default.

6. Click on the OK button.

If you still find no luck, you need to panic, let’s look at the next fix.

Fix 4: Use the Windows Troubleshooter

You can also take the help of Windows troubleshooter, to resolve headphones not working on Windows 10. To do so, 

  • Right-click on the sound/speaker icon on your taskbar and then sele Troubleshoot Sound Problems.
  • You need to select your headphones and then click Next.
  • Click on no If you get a prompt asking you to open audio enhancements. And do not open Audio Enhancements.

Fix 5: Use the Audio Troubleshooter

To use audio troubleshooter, you need to open Windows Settings by clicking on Start, then on Settings and then on click Update & Security.

Click on Troubleshoot and choose the Playing Audio option.

Now Click on Run the troubleshooter and follow the instructions that are on your screen.

Now Restart your PC. If you have checked your audio settings and other things, and they all are pretty working well, then try restarting your computer. This is done to resolve any software glitches that could cause your headphones not to work in Windows.

Fix 6: Update Sound Card Drivers

To do this you need to right-click Start and select Device Manager.

Double-click Sound, video and game controllers category in the device manager window.

Now check whether your sound card driver is updated. If it is not, right-click on it and choose Update Driver. Now you can let your system search automatically for the updated driver software or browse for the software yourself from the computer.

Or, you can download the drivers from the sound card developer or the manufacturer’s website. Ensure you download the latest driver for the Windows version you are using and keep in mind where you downloaded it to so you can install later.

Fix 7: Rollback Drivers

The audio or Bluetooth drivers can be rolled back to an older version in the event Windows Update triggered the problem with your headphones. If there was no update done, then you are required to update the drivers to the newest version available.

Follow these steps To roll back a driver:

Right-click on the Start > Device Manager. Then double on the Sound, video and game controllers category. And simply right-click on your audio or Bluetooth driver. 

Now you should select Properties.

Click on the Driver tab and then click on the Rollback option.

Fix 8: Install the Latest Windows Updates

If you find out that your headphones not working on your computer after installing a Windows Update, then you should uninstall the update and restart your computer. 

To do this, move to Settings > Update & Security and then choose Windows Update.

Uninstall the recent updates from the link there under Installed Updates, and then hide with the Hide Updates tool. 

Or you can get a patch for it by checking for newer updates released by Microsoft.

Fix 9: Perform a System Restore

A System Restore takes you back to the point where you were before the problem with your headphones began. 

You can go on with this option by typing System Restore in the search bar and choose to Create a Restore Point. 

Click on System Restore in the System Properties window. 

No click on next when you see the Restore system files and settings window.

Now, choose the restore point you want to go back to and then click on Next.

There’s a good chance that one of these handy techniques will do a good job to fix headphones don’t work on PC. 

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