How to Fix iPad Gets Stuck in Headphone Mode

You don’t need to panic if your iPad stuck in headphone mode. In this article, we list several methods that are very helpful to get the iPad back to normal soon.

Author Avatar Joy Taylor Last Updated: Jul. 26, 2021

Quick access to the music stored in your iTunes library is just one of many advantages iPads have to offer. But if the iPad thinks headphones are plugged in even they clearly are not, then listening to music is off the table.

An iPad that is stuck in headphone mode is not a rare occurrence, and you are far from being the only one who has dealt with this issue. Sometimes, the iPad would unable to turn on like the iPhone had encountered after iOS updated. Usually, it’s not a big issue. You are at the right place if you are trying to find out what to do with the iPad stuck in Headphone mode or some other stuck problems because in this article we are going to show you how to fix the problem like that.

Why Does Your iPad Get Stuck in Headphone Mode?

The latest iPads don’t have audio jacks and yet they can get stuck in a Headphone mode. Although connecting headphones via Bluetooth is recommended for newer iPad models, connecting wired headphones to the device is still an option.

The Lighting port can also be used to connect 3.5 mm headphones to your iPad, but if you do so frequently the device can get stuck in headphone mode. The source of the problem is usually hardware, although in some cases iPad’s OS may be the culprit.

More often than not you can get your iPad unstuck on your own, but if the physical damage has caused the device to get stuck you’ll have to either service it or replace it.

Getting your iPad out of the headphone mode is easy, although fixing the hardware problems that caused the device to get stuck in the first place can be a somewhat delicate operation. Let’s take a look at the top 9 to fix the iPad stuck in headphone mode issue.

Restart the iPad

This is the first and the most obvious thing to do if your iPad is stuck in the headphone mode. Simply press the top button to turn off the iPad and then check if the issue persists after you switch it back on. You can find out how to switch an iPad off and on at Apple’s customer support page.

If your iPad has Face ID, you can press either the volume button and the top button. When you see the power-off slider pops up, you can drag it to turn it off. Take 30 seconds or more to turn on the device.

If your iPad has a Home button, you can long-press the top button. Once the slider shows up on your screen, you can drag the slider to turn off the iPad. Wait for 30 or more seconds and then press on the top button to turn on your iPad.

Take off the Case

Although cases can prevent physical damage, they can also block the audio jack which consequently tricks the device into thinking that headphones are connected. The case could also be applying pressure to different buttons that send the signal to the iPad to activate the headphone mode. These issues can all be resolved by removing the case.

Connect Another Set of Headphone to the iPad

Each set of headphones is configured differently which can cause a compatibility problem that ultimately got the iPad stuck in the headphone mode. Try plugging in the headphones you’re already using into the device and playing some music for a few minutes.

You should be able to hear the music normally, and if this is the case you should turn off all apps and then unplug the headphones. The device should exit the headphone mode automatically as soon as you disconnect the headphones.

If your iPad remains stuck in the headphone mode after you unplugged the headphones, you should try plugging in another set of headphones and repeating the entire process. Sometimes differently configured headphones can resolve the compatibility issue the device has encountered.

Check If the Bluetooth Speakers Are Working

Connecting speakers via Bluetooth is yet another option you have at your disposal. iPad can get confused after you unplug wired headphones because it wasn’t given the command after you removed the headphones from the audio jack.

Pairing up speakers with the device via Bluetooth for a few minutes and then shutting down the connection is going to reset the headphone mode and hopefully help your iPad to exit it.

Perform a Hard Reset

A hard reset will restore the iPad’s original settings, and after a reset, the device should no longer be in the headphone mode.

A Hard Reset on iPad Models Produced Before 2018.

Step 1. Press the Home and Power buttons simultaneously and keep holding them until the iPad’s screen goes black.

Step 2. Release the buttons after the Apple logo reappears on the screen and wait for the device’s OS to load.

Newer iPads After 2018.

Step 1. Press the Volume Up button and release it right away, and then do the same with the Volume Down button.

Step 2. Hold the Power button and wait for the screen to turn black and release it once the Apple logo reemerges on the screen.

Try plugging in the headphone after a hard reset to check if the device has exited the headphone mode and if they are functioning properly.

Enable the Airplane Mode

Your iPad will go offline after you activate the Airplane mode, which could help the device to get out of the headphone mode once it goes back online. To enable the Airplane mode on an iPad you will have to take the following steps:

  • Access the Control Center and then tap on the Airplane mode icon. Alternatively, you can go to Settings and enable the Airplane mode from there.

Clean the Port

Check for traces of dirt in the Lighting port or headphone jack Dirt. Or debris can jam the headphone jack. Moreover, the tip of the headphones can break and stay in the audio jack which is the reason why the iPad thinks that headphones are still plugged in.

Keep in mind that removing things from a Lighting port of a headphone jack is really difficult and even a tiny mistake can make irreparable damage. You can try blowing air into the headphone jack or the Lightning port in order to get the debris out, but keep in mind that you may not achieve much.

Optionally you can try using a straw, cotton swab, or ballpoint pen to get the dirt out, but do so carefully to avoid damaging the headphone jack or Lightning port.

Update iPad to the Latest Version

Make sure that your device has an up to date because sometimes an outdated system can cause the iPad to get stuck in the headphone mode.

You can check if the latest updates are installed on your device.

Launching the Settings app > opening the General menu > tapping on the Software Update.

If you found a pending update proceed to install it.

Resolve the iPad Stuck in Headphone Mode Issue with AnyFix

In case malfunctioning software is the reason why the iPad thinks headphones are plugged in, AnyFix -iOS System Recovery can help you solve this problem quickly. AnyFix is a professional system repair tool that supports to fix many common problems iPad users may encounter. Also, it provides several solutions to help iPhone, iPad, and iPod users to get out of headphone mode stuck issue. Here’s how you can repair your iPad with AnyFix.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 1. Download AnyFix, install, and run it on your computer. Connect your iPad to the computer and choose the System Repair mode.

Tap on System Repair

Tap on System Repair

Step 2. Now you can choose the 40+ iPad Problems and then click on the Start Now to go on.

How to Fix iOS System Issues with AnyFix

How to Fix iOS System Issues with AnyFix

Step 3. Here will list 3 modes you can choose from. Highly recommend the Standard Repair which won’t risk your data loss.

How to Fix System Issues with AnyFix

How to Fix System Issues with AnyFix

Step 3.  Hit the Repair button and let AnyFix work its magic. Once the software is done, you can check if the iPad is still stuck in headphone mode.

System Repair Completed

System Repair Completed


Although having your iPad stuck in headphone mode may seem like a benign issue, it is anything but because it may indicate that the headphone jack or Lightning port has suffered physical damage.

If however the problem is caused by a malfunctioning software, you won’t have a tough time solving it since in most cases a hard reset is going to be enough to get the iPad unstuck from the headphone mode. You can also repair the device’s system with AnyFix – iOS System Recovery if you are not sure what caused the problem and you don’t want to spend time trying to determine where the problem is coming from.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to get your iPad out of the headphone mode. Leave a comment and share your experiences with us.

Author Avatar
Joy Taylor Twitter Share Facebook Share

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.

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