How to solve iPhone volume problems by cleaning your headphone jack

One frustration many iPhone (or any Apple device with headphones) owners will undoubtedly experience is a situation where their handset remains in headphones mode, despite no headphones being plugged in.

One frustration many iPhone (or any Apple device with headphones) owners will undoubtedly experience is a situation where their handset remains in headphones mode, despite no headphones being plugged in.

The solution to this problem can be quite easy, though a steady hand is recommended.

Symptoms
If this situation occurs, you'll most likely figure it out pretty quickly:

  • You slide to unlock your iPhone and the "click" sound is not heard.
  • You press the volume buttons to increase or decrease the ringer and the headphones volume setting appears instead.
  • You launch applications, games, or videos that normally have sound and hear nothing.
  • You cannot hear your music through the built-in speakers.

So what's up?
This issue generally occurs when something (most likely pocket lint) is lodged in the headphone jack on your headset. It can seem like the operating system is acting up or your speaker is broken, but don't panic.

A simple headphone jack cleaning can get your volume back to normal.

With a simple paperclip you can save yourself tons of frustration. All you have to do is bend out one end of it, and using extreme caution, carefully fish out the lint from your headphone jack.

You will want to be sure not to scratch any of the contact points in the jack or the liquid submersion indicator at the bottom of the jack. Debris can get lodged in there pretty tight (especially if you use headphones a lot), so be sure to get it all out.

If your eyesight is pretty good, you can generally see everything in the headphone jack with a steady beam of natural light or under a good lamp at the right angle. Otherwise, use a small flashlight to be sure you get everything.

To test, simply press your volume buttons (without headphones plugged in, of course). The volume indicator on the screen should be changing the "ringer" levels. If it is still changing the "headphones" levels, there may still be debris in the jack.

And, while you've got your paperclip out, you can gently scrape out any debris that has collected in the dock connector port on the bottom of your device. This will ensure proper connections for data transfers, peripherals, and charging.

If you've tried everything here, or are hesitant about cleaning your device, take it in to your closest Apple Store (be sure to make a Genius Bar appointment), Apple consultant, or AppleCare technician, and they can get you operational in no time.


Be sure to follow MacFixIt on Twitter and contribute to the CNET Mac forums.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Delete your photos by mistake?

Whether you've deleted everything on your memory card or there's been a data corruption, here's a way to recover those photos.