At times when you want to watch a movie, listen to songs, or get through an online meet, your headphones don’t work. There appears a very irritating message titled “headphones not recognized.” Your computer not recognizing headphones can get on your nerves and hamper your experience with the computer.

Ways to fix this issue and get your media playing back again:

  1. Fix Hardware issues
  2. Set your Headphones as the default Audio Output device
  3. Update/Reinstall your Computer’s Audio Driver
  4. Change the Default Sound Format
  5. Turn Off Audio Enhancements
  6. Disable front panel jack detection if you use Realtek HD Audio Manager
  7. Run Playing Audio Troubleshooter

Read till the end to find out which solution works for you.

Computer Not Recognizing Headphones- Fixed

Here is a list of solutions you can follow to fix your issue.

Fix Hardware issues

Before trying out the software solutions to fix your issue, follow the following steps to ensure the hardware works fine.

  1. Inserting your headphone into a different port will let you know if the port you are using is problematic.
  2. Trying your headphones on another device will ensure that your headphones are working fine.
    hardware issues

If you find out that both your audio port and headphones are okay, proceed with the solutions below to fix your computer not detecting headphones.

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Set your Headphones as the default Audio Output device

Your default audio output device may be set to another device so that Windows won’t recognize headphones on your PC. Here’s how to change this:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on the Sound option.
  3. In the list under the Playback tab, search for the headphone name. If it doesn’t show up, right-click and choose the “Show disabled devices” option. Now click on your headphone’s name from the list.
  4. Click on it. Next, click the “Set Default” button.

Update/Reinstall your Computer’s Audio Driver

An outdated audio driver software may be why your laptop won’t recognize headphones. Update the audio driver by following these steps:

  1. Open Start Menu and search for the Device Manager app. Open the application.
  2. Expand the Audio Inputs and Outputs option by clicking the arrow on the left side.
  3. Right-click on the name of your headphones. Next, select the “Update Driver” option.
  4. In the new window, choose the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option by clicking on it.
  5. This will allow your system to automatically search the web for updated driver software and install them.

Alternatively, you can right-click on the name of your headphones and uninstall the audio driver software by selecting the “Uninstall device” option.

Restart your computer, and Windows will automatically reinstall a new driver software for your audio device.

Read also:  11 Ways to Fix No Audio Output Device is Installed

Change the Default Sound Format

If your computer’s default sound format is incorrect, your PC will not detect headphones. Here is how to change the default sound format on your computer:

  1. In the Start menu search box, type Control Panel and launch it.
  2. Click on the Hardware and Sound section.
    hardware and sound
  3. Click on the Sound section.
  4. Navigate to the Playback tab and double-click your default playback device. You will see a thick green mark next to your device’s name.
  5. Move to the Advanced tab. Click the drop-down menu and change the default sound format.

Read also: 5 Ways to Fix Audio Services Not Responding in Windows 10

Turn Off Audio Enhancements

Turning off audio enhancements on your device may also solve the problem of your computer not recognizing headphones. This is because enabling audio enhancements interferes with headphone functionality which may cause it to stop working. Here’s how to turn them off:

  1. Open the Control Panel on your computer.
  2. Go to the Hardware and Sound section and then click on the Sound section.
  3. Right-click on your headphones and select “Properties.”
  4. Navigate to the Enhancements tab and uncheck the “Disable all sound effects” option.
  5. Click Apply. Then click on the OK button to save your changes and exit.

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Disable front panel jack detection if you use Realtek HD Audio Manager

Sometimes enabling the front panel jack detection of Realtek HD Audio Manager makes your PC not detect headphones. Turn it off by these steps:

  1. Go to the system tray at the bottom right corner of your home screen.
  2. Right-click the Realtek HD Audio Manager icon and select the Sound Manager option.
  3. Click on the small folder icon in the upper right corner of the window.
  4. Check the box labeled “Disable front panel jack detection.”
  5. Click OK to save these changes.

This should fix the issue of your computer not recognizing headphones.

Run Playing Audio Troubleshooter

If you still face the problem of your computer not recognizing headphones and think, why “My computer isn’t recognizing my headphones?” then try using the built-in Playing Audio troubleshooter of Windows. Here’s how you can do this easily:

  1. Type Troubleshoot in the start menu’s search bar and click on it to troubleshoot settings directly.
  2. Click on the Playing Audio option and then on Run the troubleshooter button.
  3. Choose the headphones from the list. Click Next.
  4. Then select NO, Do not open Audio Enhancements.
  5. If you couldn’t hear any sound, click on I didn’t hear anything option. This will make Windows reinstall the audio driver software.
  6. Follow the subsequent instructions to continue the troubleshooting.

This will hopefully fix your problem.


How to fix Windows 10 not recognizing headphones?

You can use the built-in troubleshooter of Windows to find what’s wrong. Also, you can try updating your drivers, check for hardware issues or try turning off audio enhancements. These methods can help you in solving the issue.

Why are my own headphones not working on my own laptop?

It may happen that your headphones are disabled, or are not set as the default audio device. These may cause your laptop to not detect your headphones.

How to set my headphones as the default audio playback device in Windows 10?

Follow the steps in the given order: Control Panel>Hardware and Sound > Sound > Playback. Now right-click on the window and then select the “Show Disabled Devices” option. Next, click on your headphones name in the list and then click the “Set Default” option.

Why don’t my headphones show up as a listed device?

Your headphones may be disabled which is why they don’t show up on listed devices. Make sure the “Show Disabled Devices'' option is checked. If not, then check it and your headphones will now show up as a listed device.


Hopefully, one of these methods solves the issue of your Computer not recognizing headphones. As you now understand, it might be due to several reasons.

Even after trying all the above methods, if your headphones don’t work, there might be a compatibility issue. Check the user manual to be sure about the same.

If you have more suggestions on solving this problem, write them in the comments section. Also, visit our website for more such articles.