Headphones not Working in Windows 10: Diagnose & Fix

Check the playback devices settings and the sound drivers first.

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Key notes

  • Sometimes, Windows 10 won’t recognize the headphones no matter what you do.
  • Of course, you need to check if they are connected properly.
  • But headphones might not be detected in Windows 10 because of a problematic driver.
  • A simple solution is to update the audio driver by using dedicated software.
How to fix headphones not detected/ recognized in Windows 10

Have you ever connected your headphones ready to tune to your favorite jam, or privately watch a movie, just to see that nothing happens? Sometimes, headphones are not detected in Windows 10, so they simply won’t work.

It’s easy to get frustrated if Windows 10 won’t recognize the headphones. However, there are various solutions to resolving the issue and getting you back on track.

But first, let’s make sure you’re up to date with what you’re up against.

Here are some frequent issues that our readers reported in connection with headphones not being detected in Windows 10 and more.

Why don’t my headphones work when I plug in my computer?

  • All Windows versions are likely to be impacted – Headphones not detected in Windows 11, 7, and 8 (Fortunately, you can fix Windows 11 headphones not working with some of these solutions.)
  • Specific editions are most likely to be affected by this issue – Headphones not detected in Windows 10 Enterprise, Pro, and more
  • Realtek not detecting headphones (Headphones not detected in Windows 10 with Realtek, this usually happens as a result of previous Realtek HD Audio Driver issues).
  • All laptop brands can be affected (Dell, Asus, Lenovo, or HP laptops not recognizing headphones in Windows 10 are common. Even Alienware laptops struggle to recognize headphones on occasion.)
  • Bluetooth headphones not detected Windows 10 (If this is also your case, you won’t be able to connect the Bluetooth headphones to your PC or laptop).
  • Windows not detecting headphones plugged in (Sometimes your system might show that no speakers or headphones are plugged in, even if that is not true).
  • Headphone jack not working Windows 10 (This issue is likely to emerge if your audio jack is not working at all).
  • Earphones not detected in Windows 10

There can be many possible culprits behind this. From outdated or broken drivers to an improper configuration for your speakers or faulty USB ports, everything can be responsible for Windows not detecting headphones.

📌 Why are my headphones connected but no sound Windows 10?

Here’s another interesting scenario. Sometimes, headphones are detected, but there is no sound on Windows.

While connectivity errors (impacting Bluetooth, for instance) are common, the problem is most likely software-related.

How do I fix headphones if not recognized in Windows 10?

1. Update audio/sound driver

1.1. Update your audio/sound drivers manually

1. Type control in Windows search and click on Control Panel from the results.

search for control panel

2. Click on Sound.

click on sound in control panel

3. Go to the Playback tab.

go to the playback sound tab

4. Select your headphones and click on Properties.

5. Go to Controller Information, then click on the Properties button.

6. Click on Change Settings (this may require administrator permission).

change settings driver

7. Go to Driver tab.

8. Select Update Driver.

cluick on update driver

9. Choose to automatically download the update and wait for the process to finish.

search automatically for drivers

10. Once the process is complete, plug in your headphones to check whether they work.

Given the fact that the most likely culprit for your headphones not working on your Windows 10 device is a faulty driver, you should first update your audio driver.

1.2. Update audio/sound driver using a utility tool

Downloading drivers manually is a process that carries the risk of getting the wrong driver installed, which may lead to serious malfunctions.

The safer and easier way to update drivers on a Windows computer is by using an automatic driver updating tool.

These tools can get the job done in just a few seconds and clicks because they will repair and update your drivers automatically.

2. Disable front panel jack detection

  1. Press the Windows key + R to start the Run application.
  2. Type Control Panel then press enter to open it
  3. Select Sound.
  4. Find Realtek HD Audio Manager then click on it
  5. Go to Connector settings.
  6. Click Disable front panel jack detection to check the box.

This is one of the simplest ways to resolve the Windows 10 won’t recognize headphones issue.

If you have the Realtek software installed on your computer or laptop, follow the steps above to disable the headphone jack detection.

Try on your headphones again to see whether this solution works for you. Don’t worry, we have more nifty hacks for you to try if the audio jack is not working at all.

If disabling the front panel jack detection doesn’t fix the Windows 10 won’t recognize headphones issue, try the next solution.

3. Change the default sound format

  1. Open Control Panel and click on Sound.
  2. Under Playback, double click on Default Playback device
  3. Switch to the Advanced tab.
  4. Change the default sound format from the drop-down menu.

Another reason why your headphones may not be recognized by Windows 10 is the sound format. If this is not set correctly, then you may have the same problem over and over.

Try plugging in your headphones again to check if this solution fixes the Windows 10 won’t recognize headphones issue.

4. Set the headphone as a default playback device to fix

  1. Open Control Panel and click on Sound.
  2. Under Playback, right-click and select Show Disabled devices.
  3. From the list of headphones, right-click on your headphone device name.
  4. Select Enable.
  5. Click Set as Default.
  6. Click Apply and OK.

If changing the default sound format doesn’t work for you, try setting your headphone as the default playback device using the steps above.

📌 How do I get Windows 10 to recognize my headphones?

If Windows 10 headphones are not detected, here’s a concentrated check-up list for you to hang on to:

Once you follow all these steps, plug in your headphones again and check if they’re working. If the problem persists, here’s what to do if the PC says that no headphones are plugged in.

We hope that these solutions helped you to fix the headphones not detected in Windows 10 error.

If you’ve come across other solutions to fix this problem, you can list the troubleshooting steps in the comments below.

More about the topics: Fix audio issues, Headphones issues