How to Repair: Laptop Computer Won’t Recognize or Detect Headphones in Windows 10

Have you ever plugged in your headphones to listen to your favorite music or watch a movie in privacy, but got a message that Windows 10 doesn’t recognize your headphones?

It can be frustrating and annoying. However, Techquack prepared a few solutions to solve this problem and get you back on track.

What causes your laptop to not recognize your headphones?

Some users have found that this problem occurs because of the way Realtek software handles plugs. By disabling headphone jack detection on the front panel, some users were able to recognize their headphones. This seems to be an isolated bug in the Realtek software and is not found in all versions.

In most cases, this problem is caused by a setting in Realtek HD Audio Manager. Some users have reported that their headphones were detected after enabling multithreading mode in the Realtek HD Audio Manager settings.

The computer may not be recognizing the headphones because Windows isn’t using the correct audio drivers, or the drivers were corrupted after improper installation – this often happens when users upgrade from an older version to Windows 10. Your headphones may not be recognized because your computer’s audio system isn’t working due to a driver error.

How to solve the problem when your laptop doesn’t recognize or detect your headphones

Set headphones as the default playback device

Sometimes headphones are not set as the default playback device. This results in headphones not working in Windows 10 or 8. The steps to set headphones as the default device are described below.

  1. Right-click the Start button. Click Control Panel.
  2. Click Hardware and Sound. Select Sound.
  3. Locate the Playback tab, and underneath it, right-click on the window and select Show Disconnected Devices.
  4. Headphones are listed, so right-click on the headphone jack and select Enable.
  5. Click Set Defaults. Finally, click Apply.

Using the Troubleshooter for Audio Playback

Windows has a built-in audio playback troubleshooter that can help you solve a problem when your computer doesn’t recognize your headphones. Follow these important steps:

  1. Press the Windows logo key on your keyboard.
  2. Type “Troubleshoot” and click Troubleshoot when it appears.
  3. Click Play Audio, then click Run Troubleshooter. Click Next.
  4. Select Headset. Then click Next.
  5. Click No, do not open Audio Enhancement.
  6. Click Play Test Sounds.
  7. If you don’t hear any sound, click on I didn’t hear anything. Windows will then prompt you to reinstall the audio driver.
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen to continue troubleshooting.

Changing the Default Audio Format

If the default audio format is not set correctly, the “headphones don’t work” problem occurs. Here are some quick steps to change the default sound format on your desktop:

  1. Right-click Start. Then click Control Panel.
  2. Click on Hardware and Sound. Select Sound.
  3. Click the Playback tab and double-click the default playback device. You’ll see a thick green checkmark next to it.
  4. Switch to the Advanced tab. In the drop-down menu, you can change the default audio format.

Frequently Asked Questions

Locate the audio jack on the side or back of your computer, often with a headphone or speaker icon, and make sure the headphone jack is plugged in correctly. You can also take them out and plug them back in until you feel a click. Plug the headphones back in and make sure they work.

  1. Right-click on the volume icon and select "Playback Devices".
  2. Now right-click on the empty space and select "Show Unconnected Devices" and "Show Disconnected Devices".
  3. Select "Headphones", click "Properties" and make sure that the headphones are enabled and installed by default.

Click on "Hardware and Sound." Select "Sound." Find the "Playback" tab, right-click under it and select "Show Disabled Devices." Your headphones are in the list, so right-click the headphone device and select Enable.

Make sure your headphones are turned on and set as the default device. In the Sound Settings window, click Manage Audio Devices and check to see if your "headphones" or "headphones" are in the Disabled list. If it is, click it, and then click Enable.