How to Fix PC Not Detecting Headphones & Mic? (23 Methods)

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How to Fix PC Not Detecting Headphones

It can be really annoying when you connect your headphone and mic set to your computer to listen to your favorite music or watch a movie and the PC fails to detect it.

However, this is a common issue, and it does not always end up with repairing or replacing the pair of headphones.

If you know the reason for the issue, there are a few easy and quick fixes to this problem. In this article, you will find all those fixes, all in one place, to put your headphones back into normal working condition. So, continue reading.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The most obvious fix for a headphone not being detected by a PC is changing it if there are broken or damaged cables or other components.
  • Outdated and corrupted drivers will also hinder the normal functioning of the headphones and therefore will need to be updated or reinstalled.
  • Often, the output device may be selected incorrectly, and therefore, selecting the right one or disabling a few may resolve the issue.
  • Changing the USB port may also fix the issue because a particular port may be loose or faulty.
  • There may be dust accumulated on the port if it is not used for a long time. Cleaning it may resolve the issue as well.

Why Does a PC Not Recognize Headphones?

A PC may not detect a headphone due to several reasons, including a faulty headphone cable or connector. There can also be issues with the earbuds due to damage, wear or breakage.

In addition to the above, the headphones may also not be detected by the computer due to:

  • Improper connections
  • Faulty or loose ports
  • Improper sound settings
  • Improper selection of the desired output device
  • The sound card driver may be outdated or corrupted and may need updating
  • Malware attack
  • Malfunctioning switches or scroll on a headphone
  • Accumulation of dust on the ports

How to Fix a PC Not Detecting Headphones?

How to Fix PC Not Detecting Headphones

Typically, there are a host of solutions that can fix the issue of a headphone not being detected by the computer. However, all these solutions generally fall under two broad categories, namely, hardware and software fixes, depending on the cause.

However, before getting into the relatively complex set of solutions to fix the issue of your headphones being undetectable by the PC, try the basic ones first.

This involves physically checking the headphones, the cables, and the ports, and even trying them on a different device.

Once you are satisfied with your checks and know that your headphone set is all good, you may try these specific solutions.

Method 1: General Troubleshoot

Sometimes, simple issues with the headphones and their settings may prevent a PC from detecting them. Therefore, it is better to start with simple troubleshooting.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Start menu.
  • Click on the¬†gear icon¬†to open Settings.

Click on the gear icon to open Settings

  • Click on¬†System.

Click on System

  • Click on¬†Sound.
  • Select the audio device.
  • Click on Troubleshoot.

Click on Troubleshoot

  • Wait until it finishes¬†Detecting problems¬†and the window disappears.

Detecting problems

  • Select the right option for headphones or speakers from the next¬†Playing Audio¬†window.
  • Click on the Next button.

Playing Audio window

Wait for the audio to be repaired which will resolve the issue.

Method 2: Update the Driver

Often, the installed driver on your PC may be corrupted or outdated, preventing the headphones from being detected.

Therefore, it is better to update the drivers installed on your PC.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Right-click on the Start menu.
  • Go to¬†Device Manager.

Go to Device Manager

  • Right-click on the audio device.
  • Select¬†Update driver.

Select Update driver

  • Select the ‚ÄėBrowse my computer for drivers‚Äô¬†option.

Browse my computer for drivers

  • Select ‚ÄėLet me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.‚Äô

Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer

  • Select¬†High-Definition Audio Device.
  • Click on the Next button.

Select High-Definition Audio Device

  • Click on the Yes button on the¬†Update Driver Warning¬†window that appears on top of it.

Update Driver Warning

  • Click on the Close button when¬†Windows has successfully updated your drivers.

Windows has successfully updated your drivers

  • Restart your system.

You may find the issue resolved.

Method 3: Uninstall Device

If the above method did not work, the device itself may be the cause of the issue. It is good to uninstall the device and reinstall it again to fix the problem.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Open¬†Device Manager¬†and select the audio device as above.
  • Select and click on Uninstall device.

click on Uninstall device

  • Go to the¬†Scan for hardware changes¬†button at the top in the toolbar of the window.
  • Select the audio device.
  • Right-click on it.
  • Select Uninstall.

Scan for hardware changes

Sometimes, you may see a window like this:

uncheck the Delete the driver software of this device option

If you see it, make sure that you uncheck the Delete the driver software of this device option. If you do not then it will uninstall the primary sound driver software.

When it is done uninstalling, reinstall it back. You must then restart your PC. This will resolve the issue.

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Method 4: Change the Bitrate

Sometimes the quality of sound or the bitrate may prevent the PC from detecting a headphone set. Therefore, change it.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to Sound from System and Settings as you did in Method 1.
  • Click on the¬†Sound Control Panel¬†on the right side.
  • Select the audio device.
  • Right-click on it.
  • Select Properties.

Click on the Sound Control Panel

  • Select the¬†Advanced tab.
  • Change the bitrate to CVD or CD quality and continue testing until you hear sound.
  • Click on Apply and then on the OK button.

Click on the Sound Control Panel

Method 5: Disable All Enhancements

There may be too many enhancements enabled in your PC. This can also create some issues with detecting the headphones by the system. In order to fix this issue, disable them.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Start menu.
  • Type¬†Control Panel¬†in the Search bar.
  • Open Control Panel.
  • Select¬†Hardware and Sound.

Select Hardware and Sound

  • Click on¬†Sound.
  • Select the audio device.
  • Right-click on it.
  • Select Properties.

Sound Speaker properties

  • Go to the¬†Enhancements tab.
  • Check Disable all enhancements.
  • Press Apply and then on the OK button.

Go to the Enhancements tab

Method 6: Set the Default Device

The PC may not detect a headphone if it is not set as the default device. You should set it in these easy steps.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the right-hand bottom corner of the Taskbar.
  • Right-click on the volume icon.
  • Click on¬†Open Sound settings.

Click on Open Sound settings

  • Click on¬†Manage sound devices.

Manage sound devices

  • Check the disabled list of¬†Output devices¬†on the next window.

See whether or not the headphones mentioned under this list are disabled. If it is so, enable it. In the above case, it is enabled and therefore left unchanged. Do the same for the other output device/devices under it.

This will make your headphones the default output device.

Method 7: Uninstall Problematic IDT Audio Device

There are several instances where the Interdigital transducer or Interdigitated Transducer (IDT) audio device creates problems with the sound drivers and thereby prevents the PC from detecting the headphones.

Therefore, it is best to uninstall them in the following ways.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the¬†Control Panel¬†as before.
  • Click on Programs.

Click on Programs

  • On the new window click on¬†Programs and Features.

click on Programs and Features

  • Look at the list of applications installed on your PC.
  • Search for the IDT audio driver from there.
  • Select it.
  • Click on¬†Uninstall/Change.

  • Restart your computer.

It will be removed. and the problem will be solved. You can check your headphones to find out.

Method 8: Windows Update

Your Windows operating system may need some updating not only to detect your headphones connected to the PC but for all its other functions as well.

Most of the time, an outdated version of Windows can cause a variety of issues. Therefore, update it.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the¬†Search bar¬†beside the Start menu.
  • Type in¬†updates.
  • Press Enter.

check for updates

  • Click on¬†Check for updates.

Click on the button Windows Update

Windows will check for the latest updates and inform you when it has finished updating. This simple yet essential step will also resolve the issue of your headphones not being detected by your PC.

Method 9: Setting the Exclusive Mode

More often, a wrong setting or selection of the exclusive mode may create such an issue. So, it is better to resolve the problem in hand by setting the exclusive mode correctly.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Control Panel and¬†Sound¬†as before.
  • Select Headphone option.
  • Click on the Properties button.

Select Headphone option

  • On the new window go to the Advanced tab.
  • Uncheck all boxes under¬†Exclusive Mode.
  • Click on Apply and then on the OK button.

Headphones properties

Finally, disconnect and reconnect your headphones. This should solve the issue.

Steps to Fix a PC Not Detecting Headphones Mic

There may be times when your PC would not detect the microphone. In such situations, you will need to make some adjustments to your system settings.

Method 10: Switching the Microphone On

A microphone will not be detected by a computer system if it is not switched on. Therefore, make sure it is switched on.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Click on the Start menu.
  • Go to Settings.
  • Click on¬†Privacy.

Click on Privacy

  • Select the¬†Microphone option¬†from the left panel.
  • Make sure that the ‚ÄėAllow access to the microphone on this device‚Äô is enabled. If it is not, you should change it.
  • Slide the switch under ‚ÄėLet apps use your microphone‚Äô to On.
  • Close all windows.

Allow access to the microphone on this device

This should resolve the issue and you will see the microphone icon when an app uses the microphone. You may also ‚ÄėChoose which Microsoft Store apps can access your microphone‚Äô¬†according to your wish.

Choose which Microsoft Store apps can access your microphone

Method 11: Tweak HD Audio Manager

The audio manager installed on your PC may not be working properly and hence your microphone may not be detected by the computer system. Make changes to it in order to resolve the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Control Panel.
  • Go to the¬†Category¬†part in the top right corner.
  • Click on the Large icons button to open All Control Panel Items.

Click on the Large icons button to open All Control Panel Items

  • Select HD Audio Manager.
  • Click on it.
  • Click on¬†Microphone¬†in the new window.
  • Click on the Folder icon in the top right corner.

HD Audio Manager

  • Uncheck the box beside ‚ÄėDisable front panel jack detection‚Äô¬†on the Connector Settings window.
  • Click on the OK button.

Disable front panel jack detection

  • Click again on the OK button in the previous window.
  • Now go to the¬†Sound option¬†on the Control Panel.

  • Go to the¬†Playback tab.
  • Double-click on Speakers or select it and click on the OK button to open the Speakers Properties window.
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Playback tab

  • Go to the¬†General tab¬†on the new window.
  • Look down to the Device usage part.
  • If you see that it is written ‚ÄėDon‚Äôt use this device (disable)‚Äô change it to ‚ÄėUse this device (enable)‚Äô.
  • Click on Apply and then on the OK button.

Use this device (enable)

  • Now go to the¬†Levels tab.
  • Check that the sound levels for all are set to the maximum.
  • Check that all enhancements are disabled, or disable it as mentioned in Method 5.

Levels tab

  • Click on the OK button on both windows.

When done, restart your PC, and it should solve the issue.

Method 12: Check the Jack

Now, if the above solution did not work, there may be an issue with the jack and you may need to rectify it.

Did you know that a 3.5 mm jack comes in two forms, namely, 3-pin and 4-pin? Obviously, if you use a 3-pin jack, your PC will not detect the mic but the sound may be fine.

So, choose a 4-pin 3.5 mm TRRS or Tip Ring Ring Sleeve audio jack instead of a 3-pin TRS or Tip Ring Sleeve audio jack.

STEPS TO FIX:

First, check the jack to find out which type of jack you are using.

type of jack

Now, look at the front panel audio connectors for the mic and headphones, which look just the same but have different markings for the headphone and the mic.

front panel audio connectors

If you connect a 3.5 mm 4-pin audio jack in the headset slot, you will hear sound, but the mic will not work.

In that case, you will need to use a special type of cable that comes with a splitter and two different connectors marked for the mic and headset.

Now, simply plug in the connectors into the right slots according to the marks and it will resolve the issue.

In some rare cases, users may use a separate microphone with their PCs like this:

separate microphone 

Typically, this type of mic may need a separate type of connectivity and arrangement like this:

type of connectivity and arrangement 

If you have a new PC, such as a new All-in-One computer system, it will typically come with a single 4-pin TRRS 3.5 mm jack as shown below:

 

So, if you use a 3-pin connection, the mic will not work. Therefore, you will need a different jack for the adapter to recognize the microphone. You will need to use a 3-pin to 4-pin adapter like this one.

3-pin to 4-pin adapter 

Method 13: Uninstall Audio Inputs and Outputs

The ‚ÄėAudio inputs and output‚Äô setting may be incorrect and therefore, your microphone may not be detected.

In that case, it is better to try updating it, and if the mic still does not work then uninstall it to resolve the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Device Manager as before.
  • Look for¬†Audio inputs and outputs, usually located at the top.
  • Click on it to expand it.
  • Select Microphone (High Definition Audio Device).
  • Right-click on it.
  • Click on Update Drive first, following the same steps as in method 2.
  • Check whether the issue is fixed. If not, select Uninstall device.

Audio inputs and outputs

  • Click on Uninstall when the warning box appears.
  • Now, click on the Action button in the Device Manager window.
  • Click on¬†Scan for hardware changes.

Scan for hardware changes

Restart your PC and see whether or not the issue is resolved.

Method 14: Adjusting Device Installation Settings

Sometimes, automatic downloads of manufacturers’ apps and custom icons may also cause such an issue.

So, it is better to disable this feature, which is usually enabled by default.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to System from Settings.
  • Click on¬†Advanced system settings¬†at the right side of the window.

Advanced system settings at the right side of the window

  • Go to the¬†Hardware tab¬†on the next window.
  • Click on Device Installation Settings.
  • Click on the OK button.

Device Installation Settings

  • On the new window saying ‚ÄėDo you want to automatically download manufacturers‚Äô apps and custom icons available on your devices?‚Äô click on the circle beside No (your device might not work as expected).
  • Click on Save Changes.

Do you want to automatically download manufacturers

Close all windows and your issue will be resolved.

Method 15: User Policy Update

There are several instances when an outdated user policy has hindered the PC from recognizing the microphone in a headphone.

Needless to say, you will need to update the policy.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Search bar.
  • Type¬†cmd¬†in the box.
  • Click on Command Prompt to open it.
  • Select Run as administrator.

Type cmd in the box

  • Type in¬†gpupdate¬†beside the prompt
  • Press Enter
  • When it is done updating, type¬†cls
  • Now type¬†chkdsk c:
  • Press Enter.

gpupdate

Finally, when it is done checking, type exit to close command prompt. This should fix the problem.

cmd exit

Steps to Fix a PC Not Detecting Headphones Jack

The PC may sometimes not detect the headphone set due to a faulty port where you have inserted the jack. Fixing this issue is quite simple.

Method 16: Check the Audio Source

First up, the audio source may not be correct and that may be the cause of your headphones not being detected.

Assuming that your jack is not damaged and it has the right number of pins, and the volume is not muted, it may not work sometimes because the slots on the PC may be faulty.

So, changing and trying a different slot and source may resolve the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Click on the audio icon at the bottom right side corner of your screen.
  • Check the different sources, if any.
  • Try each of them one by one.
  • Now, remove the jack from the¬†slot at the back and plug it in at the front, or vice versa.

slot at the back and plug it in at the front

If you are using an activated Universal Serial Bus connection, make sure that the Speakers (USB AUDIO) source is chosen correctly.

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Speakers (USB AUDIO)

Steps to Fix a PC Not Detecting Headphones Via Bluetooth

There may be times when your computer system will not be able to detect the headsets that are connected or paired via Bluetooth. You should fix it and there are quite a few ways to do it.

Method 17: Turn Bluetooth On

First of all, you will need to make sure that the Bluetooth headset is powered on and the Bluetooth option on the PC is also on.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the settings option.
  • Click on Devices.
  • Select¬†Bluetooth and other devices¬†from the left panel.
  • Slide the button below Bluetooth to On if it is Off.

Bluetooth and other devices

Method 18: Add a Device

Often, users forget to connect or add their Bluetooth headphones with the PC, and therefore it cannot detect the device.

Therefore, make sure that you have added your headphones correctly.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to Sound from Settings as before.
  • Click on Bluetooth and other devices on the right side.

Add a Device

  • On the new window, click on the¬†‚Äė+‚Äô sign¬†to add a Bluetooth or other device.

add a Bluetooth or other device

  • Click on the¬†Bluetooth option¬†at the top.

Click on the Bluetooth option at the top

  • On the new window, click on the device you want to connect via Bluetooth.

click on the device you want to connect via Bluetooth

The system will do the rest to connect and pair your headphones to the computer system to resolve the issue.

your device is ready to go

You can now see your headphones under the Audio section of the earlier Bluetooth and other devices window.

Method 19: Run the Troubleshooter for Bluetooth

Sometimes, there may be internal issues with the settings and other aspects of your PC which may prevent the normal functioning of the Bluetooth feature, even when it is on.

Running the troubleshooter is one of the easiest fixes to this issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Press Windows and I keys together to enter Settings.
  • Go to Update and Security.
  • Select¬†Troubleshoot.
  • Click on Additional troubleshooters option.

  • Go down to¬†Find and fix other problems.
  • Click on Bluetooth.
  • Click on Run the troubleshooter.

Now, restart your PC and the issue should be resolved.

Method 20: Update the Bluetooth Driver

The Bluetooth driver may not be able to detect the BT headset and therefore may need updating sometimes to resolve the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:         

  • Open Device Manager.
  • Look for¬†Bluetooth.
  • Click on it to expand it.
  • Right click on the driver.
  • Click on the Update driver option.

Update Bluetooth device

  • There will be two options in the new window.
  • Try ‚ÄėSearch automatically for drivers‚Äô¬†first.
  • You may even try ‚ÄėBrowse my computer for drivers‚Äô.

Once both are done and you close the windows, it may fix the problem.

Method 21: Change the Bluetooth Support Service Startup Type

Windows offers a lot of services but all may not be needed or configured just the way you want. In this case, the Bluetooth support service may cause some issues with detecting your BT headphones.

Therefore, you will need to reset it properly.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Search bar beside the Start menu.
  • Type¬†Services.

services app

  • Open the¬†Services app.
  • Look for Bluetooth Support Service.
  • Click on it.
  • On the new window, change the default Manual setting to Automatic.
  • Click on apply and then click on the OK button.

change the default Manual setting to Automatic

Finally, restart your PC and your problem should be solved.

Method 22: Fix Hardware Issues

There may be some issues in the hardware that are unknown to you but may cause this problem of the Bluetooth headset not being detected by the PC.

You should therefore try to fix them by following these easy steps.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Search bar at the bottom left corner of your screen.
  • Type¬†Run.
  • Press Enter to open the Run box.

Run app

  • Type in¬†msdt.exe – DeviceDiagnostic.
  • Press Enter or click on the OK button.

msdt.exe - DeviceDiagnostic

Alternatively:

  • Go to the Control Panel.
  • Select all Control Panel Items.
  • Select Troubleshooting.
  • Select Bluetooth.
  • Click on the Next button on the windows that pop up.
  • Now click on ‚ÄėHardware and Devices‚Äô¬†from the different troubleshooting packs.
  • Click on the Next button on the windows that pop up.

Hardware and Devices

  • Follow the on-screen instructions.

When the process is complete, restart the PC and see whether the problem is resolved or not.

Method 23: Troubleshoot Bluetooth

There may be problems with the Bluetooth itself that may be preventing your headphones from being detected by the PC.

Updating and reapplying it is one feasible fix.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the control panel as you did in Method 2 of fixing the issue with the microphone.
  • Select all items.
  • Click on Troubleshoot in the left panel.
  • Click on Hardware and Sound.
  • In the new window, click on the¬†Bluetooth¬†category.
  • Click on the Next button on the window that pops up.

Hardware and Sound

  • When the system completes detecting the problems and fixing them, you will need to select¬†Apply this fix¬†to finish the process.

Apply this fix

  • Click on the Next button on the¬†‚ÄėRestart your PC‚Äô¬†window that pops up.

Restart your PC

  • In the next¬†Device Install Settings¬†window, click on Enable to detect additional problems.

Device Install Settings

  • Click on the Close button in the¬†Troubleshooting has completed¬†window.

Troubleshooting has completed window

Close all windows and let the system restart, which will resolve the issue.

Conclusion

So, now you know that there are lots of reasons for why a headphone may not be detected by the PC.

Assuming that the device is not faulty and needs repair, you can try any or a combination of the above methods, depending on the cause and the situation, to get your headphones to start working normally again.

About Dominic Chooper

AvatarDominic Chooper, an alumnus of Texas Tech University (TTU), possesses a profound expertise in the realm of computer hardware. Since his early childhood, Dominic has been singularly passionate about delving deep into the intricate details and inner workings of various computer systems. His journey in this field is marked by over 12 years of dedicated experience, which includes specialized skills in writing comprehensive reviews, conducting thorough testing of computer components, and engaging in extensive research related to computer technology. Despite his professional engagement with technology, Dominic maintains a distinctive disinterest in social media platforms, preferring to focus his energies on his primary passion of understanding and exploring the complexities of computer hardware.

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Dominic Chooper
Dominic Chooper, an alumnus of Texas Tech University (TTU), possesses a profound expertise in the realm of computer hardware. Since his early childhood, Dominic has been singularly passionate about delving deep into the intricate details and inner workings of various computer systems. His journey in this field is marked by over 12 years of dedicated experience, which includes specialized skills in writing comprehensive reviews, conducting thorough testing of computer components, and engaging in extensive research related to computer technology. Despite his professional engagement with technology, Dominic maintains a distinctive disinterest in social media platforms, preferring to focus his energies on his primary passion of understanding and exploring the complexities of computer hardware.
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