By Delia / Last update January 13, 2022

Usually we plug in our headphones when we use computers in offices or other public places to avoid the sound affecting others. But what if the headphones cannot be recognized and the sound still comes out of the speakers after we plug them in?

Here is a quick guide on how to fix Windows 10 PC not recognizing your headphones.

windows 10

Check the sound properties

First, click the gear symbol in the Start menu to go to the "Settings" menu. Select "Personalization".


Switch to the "Themes" tab and click on the "Sounds" option.

themes sound

The sound properties window will then appear. Make sure that "Sound Scheme" is set to "Windows Default" when you plug in your headset.

windows default

If this is set to "No Sounds", this should be the reason for no sound. Please select "Windows Default" and click "Apply" to close the window.

Check the sound driver

If the above method does not solve the problem, then you can check the sound driver.

Right-click on the Start menu and launch the Device Manager. Then find "Sound, video and game controllers" in the pop-up window and expand the menu, right click on audio device to open its properties window.

device manager sound

The first screen of the properties will show the status of the audio driver. The first screen in the properties will show the status of the audio driver, which should be "The device is working properly". If this is not the case, go to the "Driver" tab and select "Update Driver" to reinstall the correct driver.

update driver

Sometimes, it may happen that the display is working properly but you still can't hear the sound, then consider the last resort - remove the driver by selecting "Uninstall Device" from the "Driver" tab and try to reinstall the audio driver from the PC manufacturer's website.

Note that the operation of removing the driver is risky, and in case of any accidents that you are not happy about, make a full system backup. It is also a good idea to check the manufacturer's website to see if they offer audio drivers before removing the driver.

Check the hardware

If none of the above methods work, there may also be a hardware problem.

Wired headphones are almost always connected through the jack and may be loose. The cord itself can be damaged and is not sturdy, so even a slight bend in the cord may damage it to the point where it does not work.

To troubleshoot, try connecting the headset to another device and see if it works. Try connecting your computer to another headset again and see if there is still no sound.

Between these two checks, you will be able to determine if you are experiencing a hardware problem and where that hardware problem is, i.e. a problem with your system or headphones.