You were trying to listen to your music whilst doing some work on your iPad when you realized once you plugged off your headphones that the iPad is stuck on headphones mode.
Well, fret not, as it happens more often than you think.
Personally, it has happened to both my iPad and even my iPhone getting stuck on headphones mode and I can safely say it has become second nature to try some of the methods that I’ll be sharing with you below to fix this little issue.
In this quick step-by-are guide, I’ll help you try and fix your iPad from being stuck in headphones mode. 🙂
Let’s dive right in.
iPad Stuck in Headphones Mode: 13 Ways
1. Remove your iPad’s case.
Before doing anything else in this guide, make sure to remove your iPad’s case so that it gets a little breathing room.
Most of the time, it could just very well be that the case could be blocking the pathway to the audio jack or pressing random buttons which can cause your iPad to stifle up and remain stuck in headphones mode.
So try it and see if it works. If not there are 12 other ways below that we can try out. 🙂
2. Turn your iPad off and back on again.
I hear you. You may have already tried turning your iPad off and then back on again but it didn’t seem to do the trick. So if you already did this, you can jump to the next method. If you haven’t, then you should try turning your iPad off and then back on again.
This allows you to know whether the problem lies with the software.
3. Plug in, Plug Out.
If you also haven’t tried plugging in your headphones, then try it. Sometimes your iPad can forget that your headphones were even disconnected in the first place.
One thing to look out for when you plug in is that you should be able to hear the audio clearly in your headphones. If you’re pretty sure the audio sounds and works great only then should you slowly pause/stop the audio, clear your iPad’s recent app history (double tap the Home button and close the background running apps) and then finally plug out your headphones firmly.
4. Try another pair of headphones with your iPad.
Different headphones have different configurations. Your EarPods or AirPods aren’t going to have the same configurations as your Bose QuietComforts or your JayBirds. Each of them is different.
Some headphones may not work as great because it could either be poorly made or it could very well be that is there is a compatibility issue with your iPad that doesn’t allow for easy seamless syncing.
If you have the original Apple EarPods (the one with plug) then that would be a great way to test it out with your iPad. If you do not have them then it’s completely alright, you can try asking your friends or family or if you have just another pair of headphones then try giving them a go by plugging it into your iPad and check if it works to fix the issue.
5. Go Airplane Mode. ✈️
If you take a look at my original article where I wrote on a similar piece but to help those who have had their iPhones stuck on headphones mode, you’ll find in the comments that many of the readers have found that going Airplane mode has worked to fix the issue.
Turning on Airplane mode has more use than just turning it on when you’re in-flight. It serves as a shortcut to quickly go offline without even turning off your device entirely.
Here’s how you can turn on Airplane mode if you’ve never done it before:
Step 1: Go ahead open up the Control Center on your iPad by swiping from above. Then tap on the little airplane icon to turn on Airplane Mode. You can do the same by jumping into your Settings app and then next to Airplane Mode just tap the switch to turn it on.
6. Use a Bluetooth Speaker.
Now you may be asking,
“How is this any different from the way you manually plug in and out using the headphones and how does it even help?”
Well here’s why: The chances are the reason why your iPad is stuck in headphones mode is that you used physical plug-in headphones that when plugged out may not have properly recognized that it removed. Think of it like this, your iPad got confused whether you decided to unplug or not resulting in a state of mayhem which you find yourself now.
Hence, using a wireless Bluetooth speaker or even a pair of Bluetooth of headphones can help reset the headphones mode since those appliances are wireless and can reestablish the connection once again.
Try it and see if it works. It’s a pretty neat trick that has worked for a couple of our readers even when fixing such similar issue with their iPhones.
Just connect your iPad to your Bluetooth speaker/Bluetooth headphones, give it a good 3 minutes, then disconnect it. It should be fixed.
7. A Hard Reset for an iPad.
One of the best go-to ways to fix any issue you might have with your iPad is to simply perform a hard reset.
Whether you find your iPad won’t charge or you find your iPad is stuck on the Apple screen, a hard reset is like an escape rope.
It’s super simple and I’ll show you step-by-step how you can try it out with your iPad:
If your iPad is older than the 2018 model.
Step 1: Go ahead hold down the Home and Power button at the same time.
Step 2: Keep continuing to hold down both the buttons even if you see the slider (Slide to Open/Power Off) appears on the screen. The screen has to go completely black and the Apple logo has to appear.
Step 3: Once you find that the Apple logo appears, let go of the buttons and you can let your iPad start up like normal.
If your is iPad the 2018 iPad model or newer.
Step 1: Press and release the Volume Up button (do not hold down on the button, just simply press, and release)
Step 2: Good. Now immediately press and release the Volume Down button.
Step 3: Next, Press and Hold (hold down) on the Power button at the very top. You should see the Slide to Power off button now on your iPad’s screen. Just keep holding down on the Power button until you see the Apple logo. Once you see the Apple logo, you can let it go.
Once you’ve tried hard resetting your iPad, give your iPad’s speakers a go and see if this has fixed the iPad from being stuck on headphones mode. If it has not, then it’s time to get your hands dirty and I’ll explain what you’re going to do in the next method.
8. Looking inside your iPad.
Grab a torchlight or any light source and just point it into the headphone jack hole and see if there’s any dirt stuck inside as this may be the reason why what’s causing your iPad.
Now we can’t really tell if anything is broken inside either but it’s best to rule out the possible options until the final method where we can pay a visit to the Apple Service Center.
In the next method, I’ll show you how you can clean your iPad if you do find some debris in there.
9. Like a Game of Operation.
Just like a game of Operation, you’re going to need to be gentle as you clean up the debris that is stuck inside. It’s easy to mess everything up including your iPad all by just poking it a little too hard where you could damage the ever-fragile components.
Now you have three simple and safe tools that you can use to safely clean your iPad’s headphone jack:
1. Cotton Buds
Who doesn’t have cotton buds lying around in their home? Grab one and just gently clean the insides of the iPad’s headphone jack. Since they’re soft, you will not have to worry about it being harmful.
2. The BIC pen (or a ballpoint pen)
If you have a BIC pen or just about any ballpoint pen, here’s what you do:
Step 1: Remove the cap
Step 2: Try and pull the pen tip out from its plastic casing. You can try using pliers if it will not come out.
Step 3: Once you’ve got the plastic cartridge out you want to use the end where it is not where you use to write with. The opposite end of the cartridge is the perfect size to remove all the annoying debris from inside the iPad’s headphone jack.
Step 4: Lastly, just insert the end into your iPad’s headphone jack and then gently twist it to loosen the debris. Once you’re done, just shake it all out from your iPad.
3. Blow into it.
Another simple way is to gently blow into the headphone jack and then try shaking the debris out of the headphone jack.
You can also try using a can of compressed air to blow air directly into the iPad’s headphone jack. However, you need to be careful not to press so hard with the compressed air can and actually start to work around the outside and then gradually work your way inside. You don’t want to stick the hose right into headphone jack as this will damage the components and leave it in a costly, serious mess.
10. Don’t forget to update your iPad!
There is no software in the world which is perfect.
Sometimes there could be a bug or a hole in the software that can be problematic in which case usually Apple ships out an update within a week.
So be on the lookout for any updates your iPad may have. Simply just jump into your iPad’s Settings app, tap General and then tap Software Update to check for any new updates. If there is an update, install it.
Once it has done installing you can try once again to check if the bug of your iPad being stuck in headphones mode has been rectified yet.
11. A Little Tinkering.
Alright, alright it’s not really a “little” tinkering. Since you’ve made it this far, congratulations! 🍾
Basically what you’re going to do is put your iPad in DFU mode. The reason why we’re going to do this is that we’re down to two probable reasons why your iPad is stuck in headphones mode: 1) your headphone jack is hammered 2) your iPad’s software is corrupted
We can definitely try to do something with the latter right now but the former will definitely need a trip to the Apple Service Center for them to have a look.
There are many ways software can be corrupted and one of the biggest ways is having the device jailbroken. Since you’re making heavy tweaks to the device’s software to allow hard customization this causes the system files in your iPad to be altered and in risk of being corrupted.
Okay enough said. Putting your iPad into DFU mode is a simple yet a little lengthy process but it is what the guys over at the Service Center will resort to so you may just wanna get this done and over with right here, right now.
Be sure to make a backup of your iPad into your iTunes.
Step 1: Go ahead plug your iPad into your computer (Mac or PC) and then launch iTunes.
Step 2: Now hold down on the Power button and the Home button at the same time. Keep holding both of these buttons down for 10 seconds. (You can count to 10 in your mind)
Step 3: Once after 10 seconds has passed, release the Power button but continue to hold down on the Home button for another 3-5 seconds. You can only let go completely once the screen is completely black.
Step 4: Finally, your iTunes will notify you that it has detected a device in recovery mode which from there you are can continue to restore your iPad back to good as new.
12. Visit the Genius Bar.
If nothing works in this guide, you can try some of the other methods that our readers have also commented and posted (but for the iPhone instead), it may be of some use to you.
Anyways really once you’ve exhausted yourself from trying everything and you find nothing works, you should meet up with the guys at your nearest Apple Service Center for them to have a look.
Best of luck! 🙂
Share this guide with anyone who’s having their iPad stuck in headphones mode.