Computer Not Recognizing Headphones [FIXED]


At times when you want to watch a movie, listen to songs, or just 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 really get on your nerves and hamper your experience with the computer.

In this article, we have discussed 9 ways to fix this issue and get your media playing back again. Read till the end to find out which solution works for you.

See Also: 4 Ways to Fix Laptop Sound Not Working

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, go through the following steps to ensure that the hardware is working fine.

  • Inserting your headphone into a different port will let you know if the port you are using is problematic.

headphones different port

  • Trying your headphones on another device will ensure that your headphones are working fine.

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

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Set your Headphones as default Audio Output device

It may happen that your default audio output device is set to some other device which is why Windows won’t recognize headphones on your PC. Here’s how to change this:

  • Open the Control Panel.

control panel to fix why computer not recognizing headphones

  • Click on the Sound option.
  • 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 headphones name from the list.

control panel sound to fix why computer not recognizing headphones

  • Click on it. Next, click the “Set Default” button.

See Also: 5 Ways to Fix HDMI Sound Not Working in Windows 10

Update/Reinstall your Computer’s Audio Driver

Sometimes an outdated audio driver software may be the reason why your laptop won’t recognize headphones.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

  • Open Start Menu and search for Device Manager app. Open the application.
  • Expand the Audio Inputs and Outputs option by clicking the arrow on the left side.

audio driver update

  • Right-click on the name of your headphones. Next, select the “Update Driver” option.
  • In the new window, choose the “Search automatically for updated driver software” option by clicking on it.

update driver automatically window to fix why computer not recognizing headphones

  • 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.

uninstall driver

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 the default sound format on your computer is not correct, you will see your PC not detecting headphones. Here is how to change the default sound format on your computer:

  • In the search box of the Start menu, type Control Panel and launch it.
  • Click on the Hardware and Sound section.

control panel hardware and sound

  • Click on the Sound section.

default playback device

  • Navigate to the Playback tab and double-click your default playback device. Now you will see a thick green mark next to the name of your device.

changing sound format to fix why computer not recognizing headphones

  • 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 your 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:

  • Open the Control Panel on your computer.

control panel hardware and sound

  • Go to the Hardware and Sound section and then click on the Sound section.

control panel sound properties

  • Right-click on your headphones and select “Properties”.

control panel headphone properties

  • Navigate to the Enhancements tab and uncheck “Disable all sound effects” option.
  • Click Apply. Then click on 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:

  • Go to the system tray at the bottom right corner of your home screen.
  • Right-click on the Realtek HD Audio Manager icon and select the Sound Manager option.

system tray relatek hd audio to fix why computer not recognizing headphones

  • Click on the small folder icon in the upper right corner of the window.

realtek audio sound manager to fix why computer not recognizing headphones

  • Check the box labeled as “Disable front panel jack detection”.

disable front panel jack detection

  • Click OK to save these changes.

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

Run Playing Audio Troubleshooter

If you still face the problem of 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:

  • Type Troubleshoot in the search bar of the start menu and click on it to go to troubleshoot settings directly.
  • Click on the Playing Audio option and then on Run the troubleshooter button.

playing audio troubleshooter to fix why computer not recognizing headphones

  • Choose the headphones from the list. Click Next.
  • Then select NO, Do not open Audio Enhancements.
  • If you couldn’t hear any sound, click on I didn’t hear anything option. This will make Windows reinstall the audio driver software.
  • 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 solve your 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, your headphones don’t work, then there might be a compatibility issue. Check the user manual to be sure about the same.

If you have any more suggestions on how to solve this problem, write it down in the comments section. Also, visit our website for more such articles.