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Is iPhone X/ XS (Max) Stuck in Headphone Mode? Try This

Blake Sullivan Updated on Jun 23, 2022 4:05 PM

i tried plugging in and out the headphones like 30 times, but my iPhone XS still gets stuck in headphone mode and thinks headphones are inserted even when not. If there is any workable tip to fix the headphone mode, please let me Know. Thanks.

If you're anyone like me, your iPhone X/ XS (Max) screen might show the abnormal "Headphones" indicator with no headphones accessories connected. This is a disastrous issue that could ruin your day: can't hear any keyboard clicks, no sound from the speaker whilst watching a video or making calls, etc. Fortunately though, there're loads of fixes to resolve stuck headphone mode in iPhone X or iPhone XS (Max) and revive the Speaker function before making a Genius Bar reservation.

Now, time to take matters into your own hands.

Get iPhone X/ XS (Max) out of Headphone Mode

Though no hints are given, the stuck headphone mode could blame for the software malfunction, hardware issues, and other underlying faults. Whatever the cause is, it's fixable. As is always the case, let's start with the very basics to turn headphone mode off in iPhone X/ XS (Max): 

If all these common tips fail to take iPhone X/ XS (Max) out of stuck headphone mode, move onto the following problem-solving techniques for further fixes. After trying each method, remember to test if it overcomes the remained headphone mode via listening to a song or adjust the sound level button.

Option 1: iOS System Rescue Tool

Diagnosing what exactly is origin of the problematic stuff might be the toughest task to rectify the malfunction in iPhone X/ XS (Max) stuck headphone mode. However, iOS System Recovery can save your bacon on finding out the unknown issues and then automatically do a quick and safe fix by removing malfunctioning part that puts your phone into the abnormal headphone mode.

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Including handling with iPhone X/ XS (Max) stuck headphone mode, its robust repairing capability could rescue you from over 50 types of iOS & iPadOS system issues and the whole repairing process is straightforward enough for newcomers to master. What's more, it also covers a wide range of the official firmware package and offers supportive solutions for upgrading and downgrading iOS system.

Overall, iOS System Recovery can do pretty much everything to let your iPhone X/ XS (Max) come out of headphone stuck without risking any data loss.

With that being said, it's time to jump in! Follow the guided instructions below to trigger the repairs.

Step 1: Plug your iPhone X/ XS (Max) to the computer

As a first step, download the program on your computer and install it. Then open it and attach your phone to the computer. With device connected, click More tools at the bottom left hand corner.

Pro Tips: If your device is not in a normal mode, the software will detect it automatically and offer you a "Restart" function in the initial screen to bring it back to the healthy status.

Then it will bring you to a screen where you need to choose iOS System Recovery to move on.

Restore iPhone XS in Headphone Mode

On the next window, there's a comprehensive introduction on what this utility can do in iOS system recovery. Simply click Start button.

Fix an iPhone X Locked in Headphone Mode

Step 2: Choose Repair type

Next, click Fix to proceed. Then, it will offer you two repair types: "Standard Mode" and "Advanced Mode". Select Standard Mode and hit Confirm. (This will keep all device contents intact.)

Step 3: Get firmware package downloaded

Prior to fixing the stuck headphone mode in iPhone X/ XS (Max), you need to download the firmware package first. It will automatically offer iOS firmware that's available for your phone.

Select the latest version of iOS and click Next button to fire up the download process.

iPhone XS Goes to Headphone Mode After Water Damage

Step 4: Get iPhone X/ XS (Max) out of headphone mode

When finishes, hit Fix button and the software will begin fixing headphone mode that's stuck in iPhone X/ XS Max.

Now, you're all set. Just wait until the repairing process is completed.

That's it! You've successfully restored iPhone X/ XS (Max) out of headphone mode.

Notice: "Standard Mode" might not be able to correct the locked headphone mode when your phone is suffering from black screen of death, white screen or other misbehaving situations. In this case, it's advisable to choose Advanced Mode instead. Take note of that it will erase all your data, so do a backup for your iPhone device first.

Option 2: Keep Lightning Port Clean

In some cases, if you hadn't used any headphones before your iPhone X/ XS (Max) stuck in headphone mode, inspecting the lightning port makes sense. As the debris, lint, small balls and more that piled up on the charging dock might have built up to a level where the headphone sensor has obstructed, putting iPhone X/ XS (Max) into headphone mode incorrectly.

Now, let's step through some household items to remove dirt from the port. Take care when cleaning the port.

  • Insert a Q-tip or toothpick
  • Move gently anti-static brushes or toothbrushes into the port
  • Spray compressed air into the port

Option 3: Cut Down All the Wireless Devices

To check out if your phone sends the sound to other active wireless devices rather than play sound through the built-in speaker without informing you, try activating the Airplane Mode. It can block anything connected and get iPhone X/ XS (Max) unstuck from headphone mode.

  • Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access Control Center, then select .
  • Wait for 15 minutes or more, then disable it.

Option 4: Get iPhone X/ XS (Max) Updated to the Latest Version

What was your last time to update your device?

Your iPhone X/ XS (Max) could lock in headphone mode if it is running an older iOS version. To check your situation, browse to Settings > General > Software Update to take a look at the system version. If there is a message indicates that a new update is available, tap "Download and Install". You can also view Apple's clear walkthroughs on updating device wirelessly or with computer.

Option 5: Tweak Sound Settings

An unnoticeable issue with system updates is that sometimes your iPhone X/ XS (Max) goes into headphone mode because a conflict with the unresponsive sound settings. You can solve this problem by going through Settings > Sounds & Haptics on your device, and then moving the slider under the "RINGER AND ALERTS" from the left to the right.

If you run into that your iPhone X/ XS (Max) says "Headphones" while doing a Facetime call or a phone call, a mistaken output audio source could also interfere with attempts to utilize Speaker Mode. Thankfully, there's a specific route inside of your iPhone handset to remedy this problem: Tap Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Call Audio Routing, then switch among Automatic, Speaker and Handset as required.

Option 6: Check If Your Device Got Damage

So far, if you haven't figured out to set the device back to Ringer mode for the port cleaning and software fixes, the problems might hit your device body itself. Sometimes, water damage or the falling physical components can result in stuck headphone mode in iPhone X/ XS (Max).

Test Liquid Damage

First, see if water damage happens to your device. There's a Liquid Contact Indicator (LCI) located inside the SIM card tray on your device that will show whether it has been in contact with water. Then just shine a light into the SIM slot and look for if there is a red sign. Learn how to do if you can't find the LCI in your device.

If, unfortunately, the indicator has turned red, power off your device first and then try dealing with your liquid-damaged device with uncooked rice or a dry cloth.

Noted: Apple's warranty does not cover water damage.

Fix Physical Damage

If the indicator displays in white or silver, it's most likely that the physical damage introduces the issue of getting iPhone X/ XS (Max) stuck in headphone mode. Your best bet for a secure iPhone repairing is to visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider or meet with a Genius at a local Apple Store.

Option 7: Last Resort - Restore from iTunes Backups

This isn't an option for everyone. But if you've backed up your phone recently, restoring your device from the backups is the way to go for unsticking headphones mode in iPhone X/ XS (Max).

First thing first, erase and reset all of your content and settings on your iPhone device:

  • Unlock your iPhone and head to Settings > General > Reset.
  • Choose Erase All Content and Settings.
  • Input your Apple ID password if prompted and confirm to erase the device. It may take a while to wipe out all the data.

Then to restore back-up files in iTunes to your device, you can follow this official instruction or just follow this wizard:

  • Connect your iPhone X/ XS (Max) to the computer that keeps your backups.
  • Open iTunes and click the Device button on the upper left of the window.
  • Choose Summary from the sidebar.
  • Select Restore Backup.
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