My iPod Is Stuck in Headphone Mode

By Crystal Bonser

Updated February 10, 2017

Troubleshooting iPod headphone issues.
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Virtually all electronic devices experience glitches from time to time, and Apple's iPods are no different. One issue that many iPod users have experienced is the device being stuck in headphone mode, which prevents sound from being emitted from the external speaker. This issue can often be corrected with basic troubleshooting.

Clear Debris From Headphone Port

In some cases, debris gets logged inside an iPod's headphone port. This can cause your device to act as though headphones are connected event when they are not. To address this issue, stick your headphone jack inside the headphone port, pull it out and repeat several times. If this does not clear the clog, you may need to have the headphone port professionally cleaned.

Turn Off Bluetooth

If you use Bluetooth headphones and they are within 30 feet of you, your iPod and your headphones may still be connected. To address this issue, click on "General" in your Settings menu, then click on "Bluetooth." Here you will find a switch to turn your Bluetooth on and off. From this menu you can also unpair your Bluetooth headphones from your iPod if you no longer wish to use them.

Restart or Reset iPod

Many iPod issues can be solved by simply restarting or resetting the device. Restart your iPod by holding down the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the device until the red "Slide to power off" message appears. Then, move the slider from the left side of the screen to the right, wait until the device turns off then hold down the "Sleep/Wake" button again to turn it back on. If your iPod is still stuck in headphone mode, try resetting it. To do this, hold down the "Sleep/Wake" button and the home button at the same time until the Apple logo appears. This will cause your iPod to reboot itself.

Restore Your iPod

If all else fails, perform a system restore on your iPod. To do this, connect your device to your computer, launch iTunes then click on the name of your device in the panel on the left side of the screen. Then, click on the "Summary" tab and select "Restore." You will be prompted to back up your data before you begin. You will also have the option to restore your iPod from your backup, which means all your data will be copied back to your device. This processes is a lengthy one, so patience is required.