Compared with wireless headphones, wired headphones are more suitable for most people. In addition to being easier to connect to devices, it is also cheaper.
Some Windows users have reported that their PC can’t recognize wired headphones, so they can’t use them. Why is this happening in the first place, and how do you fix it? Let’s find out!
Why can’t Windows 11 recognize your headphones?
If Windows 11 cannot recognize your wired headphones, the problem may be with both hardware and software. Here are some of the reasons why this happens:
- There is a malfunction in the headphone cord, which prevents the device from forming a stable connection with the system.
- The audio jack you are using for your headphones is damaged or physically damaged. It might be a good idea to plug your headphones into another jack if you haven’t tried that already.
- The audio drivers responsible for connecting the headphones to the system are either outdated or corrupted. Updating or reinstalling the drivers from scratch is the best way to solve this problem.
- Your headphones are not set as the default audio device for Windows 11. If another device, such as speakers, is selected as the default device, you can change these settings to solve the problem.
Since we now know the possible causes of the problem, let’s see if Windows 11 does not recognize your headphones or if there is another reason why you are not using them.
How to check if Windows 11 can recognize your headphones
Here’s how to determine if the system recognizes the headphones:
- Type control panel into Windows search and click to open.
- Change view by category to big icons.
- Choose It seems from the list of available options.
- In the next dialog, head to Playback tab And check if headphones are listed there.
If the headphones are not listed in the audio dialog, it means that Windows failed to recognize the headphones. In that case, go to the troubleshooting methods below. In case you recognize headphones, you can head over to our dedicated guide on solutions to try when headphones not working in Windows to fix the underlying issue.
When you encounter issues like the one at hand, the first thing that you should do is to determine if it is hardware or software related. This will help you narrow down the problem and solve it more quickly.
In the case of wired headphones, we suggest that you try using them on another device to see if they work properly. Another thing that you can do is to check if the audio jack you are using is not damaged or damaged. You can try plugging wired headphones into another jack in your laptop or computer and see if the error persists.
Once you are sure that the problem is not hardware related, you can proceed with the system related troubleshooting methods below.
2. Enable headphones
The first thing that you can do is to enable the headphones manually using the Control Panel. If your system is unable to recognize the headphones because the headphones are classified as hidden devices, then this fix will solve the problem.
Here’s how to enable your headphones:
- Launch Control Panel and change View by Category to big icons.
- Head over to the Playback tab and right-click on an empty space.
- Choose Show disabled devices from the context menu.
- You should now be able to locate your headphones. Right click on it and choose Can of the options available.
This is it! You should now be able to use your wired headphones without any issues.
3. Set your headphones as the default audio device
If your headphones are not already set as the default audio device on Windows 11, this may prevent the system from recognizing them.
If this scenario is applicable, here’s how to change the default sound settings for Windows 11:
- Go to the Playback tab of the audio settings by following the above steps.
- Right-click on your headphones and select Set as default device. If the headphones are not already enabled, you will have to enable them using the above steps. Once you do that, set them as the default device.
4. Run the audio troubleshooter
Another fix that worked for users was to use the built-in audio troubleshooter specially designed by Microsoft to check and fix system sound related errors without requiring any user input.
The troubleshooter is in the Settings app for Windows.
Here’s how you can run it:
- Click on win + me keys together to open Windows Settings.
- Choose System From the right pane and click Troubleshooting on the right side of the window.
- Click Other troubleshooters.
- In the next window, locate the audio playback troubleshooter and click on File start button Associated.
- Wait for the troubleshooting to complete the scan. If any errors are selected, tap Apply this fix To apply the solution recommended by the troubleshooter.
- If not, click Close the troubleshooter And go to the next method below.
5. Update your audio drivers
As mentioned earlier, the problem can also be caused by corrupt or outdated audio drivers. The best course of action, in this case, is to update the drivers. You can do this via Device Manager.
If that doesn’t work, you can uninstall and reinstall the drivers from scratch using the manufacturer’s website. We hope this fixes the problem once and for all.
Easily use wired headphones
Making mistakes with wired headphones can be frustrating since they are supposed to be easier to use than their wireless counterparts. We hope that the above methods were helpful in solving your problem. To avoid such issues in the future, make sure that the relevant drivers are updated at all times. In addition, we recommend that you store and use wired headphones with proper care, as a damaged wire can cause problems when connecting to a device.