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(FIXED) Audio Jack Not Working on Windows 10 Laptop

The audio jack on a laptop or desktop system is one of the simplest ports to use. The drivers for this port are automatically installed with audio drivers. If you get sound from your speakers, the drivers for the audio jack have also  been installed. All you have to do is connect a device to it.

The audio jack on a laptop is generally used to connect headphones or an external mic but you can also use it to connect a pair of external speakers or to split audio out to two different devices. Any audio device that can connect via a 3.5mm plug can be connected to your system.

Audio jack not working

Audio Jack Not Working (Windows 10)

The audio jack on a Windows 10 laptop can connect both input and output devices. They’ll be detected immediately and you will not need to install additional drivers for it no matter how obscure the device is. If the audio jack is not working on your Windows 10 laptop, run through the following basic checks and then try the fixes listed further below.

Audio jack not working

How to Fix a Headphone Jack Not Working (FULL GUIDE)

Basic checks

These checks will determine if you have a hardware problem or a software problem. They will also determine if the problem is with your laptop or with the device you’re trying to use.

  • Restart the system.
  • Check the audio device in several different apps to see if it works in any one of them.
  • Connect the audio device (mic, speakers, headphones) to a different device e.g., a different laptop and check if it works. The point of this check is to verify if the device is working or not. 
  • Connect a different device to the audio jack e.g., a different mic or headphones, and check to see if it works. If it doesn’t, the problem is likely with the audio jack. It may or may not be a hardware problem.

In order to determine if the problem is hardware related or not, exhaust each of the following software fixes. If they do not work, you should take the laptop in for a check.

1. Enable audio line-in

This is a setting you have to enable on some systems in order to use the audio jack however, it may not work on all systems.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Hardware and Sound.
  3. Select Sound.
  4. Go to the Recording tab.
  5. Look for a device called ‘Line’.
  6. Double-click it to open its properties.
  7. Go to the Levels tab.
  8. Enable the ‘Listen to this device option’.

If you do not see the ‘Line’ option and instead have Stereo listed as a device, this fix won’t apply to your system. Move on to the other fixes.

2. Run troubleshooter

Windows 10 has a troubleshooter for both audio input and output problems. It may be able to get the device connected to the audio jack to start working.

  1. Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut).
  2. Go to Update & security>Troubleshoot.
  3. Click Additional troubleshooters.
  4. Run the Playing audio and Recording Audio troubleshooters one-by-one and apply the fixes they recommend.
  5. Restart the system.

3. Disable sound enhancements

Sound enhancements improve audio on the system via software but they can also cause problems with it. If the audio jack on your Windows 10 laptop is not working, try disabling sound enhancements.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Hardware and Sound.
  3. Select Sound.
  4. Go to the Playback tab.
  5. Double-click your playback device.
  6. Go to the Enhancements tab.
  7. Turn off all enhancements.

4. Uninstall virtual audio drivers

If you have virtual audio drivers installed, either disable them or uninstall them.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  3. Look for the virtual audio drivers and click the Uninstall button.
  4. Restart the system.

5. Check audio device in app

Apps that can record audio will often have an option to select one of the audio devices that are connected to the system. An example of such an app is Audacity which is often used for recording. 

In Audacity, you can open the dropdown next to the mic icon and/or the speaker icon and select a different device.

6. Change active audio device

Windows 10 allows users to switch between different audio devices that are connected. On some systems, depending on the driver you have, the audio jack and the built-in mic and speakers will be treated as a composite device while on others, they will be treated as separate devices.

  1. Click the sound icon in the system tray.
  2. Expand the menu by clicking the arrow button.
  3. Select the device connected to the audio jack.

7. Update audio driver

Try updating the audio driver. It may solve problems with the audio jack.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Sound, video, and game controllers.
  3. Right-click your sound card and select Update driver from the context menu.
  4. Select the option to search online for updates and install any updates that are available.
  5. Restart the system.

Headphones not working on laptop? Conclusion

The above fixes will resolve software related problems that the audio jack may be facing. If they do not work, you likely have a hardware problem.

It isn’t uncommon for the audio jack to come loose. It’s a port like other ports and with a laptop, there is a greater chance of it being unseated.

The fix may be simple and cheap but make sure you have a professional look at it instead of opening it up yourself.

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