Solved! If I unplug my headphones, audio will only play through laptop speaker until restart.

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Apr 26, 2019
So I've had this problem for the past year and a half, it's mildly annoying burgeoning on infuriating at this point.

Basically my headphones work perfectly fine if they are plugged in during the initial startup. However, if they are unplugged at any point then audio will only play through the laptop speaker, regardless of if the headphones are plugged back in. The only way to get audio back into the headphones is to restart the whole laptop again.

I suspect this is a driver issue and I've been through about 50 different times where I've uninstalled and downloaded new drivers. When a new driver is installed it does seem to fix the problem up until a new restart. I can plug the headphone back in and the audio will work as intended and switch to the headphones, but if the laptop is turned off/goes to sleep after this then the problem returns.

Clearly my headphone jack isn't completely broken seeing as the audio can work normally for a brief period once a new driver is installed. The problem is that it never lasts as eventually I have to restart my laptop/put it to sleep.

Any thoughts? I'm sick of having to completely restart my laptop when I accidentally unplug my headphones in the middle of a game/TV show.

Laptop is a Dell Inspiron 15 Gaming 7567 btw.
It is possible that it isn't just a driver but the settings for the headphones as well.

Try this...

  1. Go to "Control Panel".
  2. Click on "Sound".
  3. Make sure you are on the "Playback" tab.
  4. Click on the heaphones (they must be plugged in) to highlight them. Not to open.
  5. Right click on them and choose to set them as the "Default device".
  6. The click "Apply" and "OK".
  7. Now unplug the headphones and right click on the speakers. They should show as the default.
You should no longer get sound from the speakers when headphones are connected.

NOTE: If the headphones don't show in there, right click on the white background of that window and make sure both "Show disabled devices" and "Show disconnected devices" is checked.

Should you still not see the them, right click on the "Speakers", only while the headphones/speakers are plugged in, and disable them (the speakers). This may resolve the issue. Be sure you test that the internal speakers work again, when you unplug the headphones/speakers.
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