It's incredibly frustrating when Windows 10 doesn't recognize your headphones.

Without warning, Windows 10 may no longer recognize your headphones. This can be caused by a connection problem, a faulty driver or unsuitable settings.

Let's take a closer look at how to identify and fix the problems with your headphones in Windows 10.

Identify the problem with your headphones

If Windows 10 seems to have problems recognizing your headphones, it could be a hardware or software problem. Or both.

  • Start by checking the audio jack. Connect your headphones to another device and see if they work. In this case, you can replace the headphone jack on your device or use a jack-to-USB adapter.

  • For USB headphones, unplug and plug in again. If that doesn't work, try a different USB port.

  • If you are using bluetooth headphones, make sure they are within range. Then check that the headphones don't have a mute button that you may have accidentally turned on.

  • Take a look at the volume controls on your device. Is it turned down to zero?

Sometimes the most basic things catch us! Once you determine that this is not a hardware issue, you can try the fixes listed below.

1. Check the Bluetooth settings

If you are using bluetooth headphones, make sure that bluetooth is turned on. Here's a quick way to do it:

  1. Press Windows key + I to open the settings.

  2. click Devices> Bluetooth and other devices.

  3. Check that the toggle switch is on. If it's already on, turn it off and then on again.

Check to see if your headphones are under. are listed Audio. If you can't find it, click Add bluetooth and other devices at the top of the window and connect it to your PC or laptop. If your bluetooth headphones are listed there, click on their name and select Remove. Then connect them again.

Check the headphone battery

Windows 10 shows you how much battery the connected devices have. When the battery level is below 15%, it's time to charge your headphones.

If that doesn't solve the problem, you can try the the settings Menu to access Bluetooth troubleshooting.

  1. Of the the settings Menu, click Update & Security> Troubleshooting> Other Bug Fixes.

  2. Of Find and fix other problems, choose Bluetooth> Troubleshoot.

2. Check the sound settings

For example, suppose Windows 10 could recognize your headphones but use a different device for audio output. Follow these steps to select your headphones as the default audio output device:

  1. Press Windows key + I access the settingsthen go to system.

  2. Select in the menu on the left sound.

  3. Under output, use the drop-down menu to select your headphones as the output device.

If you want to check other settings, click Device properties. Here you can rename your headphones so that you can identify them more easily. If you want to disable any other audio device connected to your PC or laptop, select it and enable Deactivate.

Related: The Most Useful Ways to Control Sound in Windows 10

3. Check the drivers

Windows 10 may not be able to recognize your headphones due to an outdated or damaged driver. If you are using bluetooth headphones, you need to look at bluetooth drivers as well. Fortunately, Windows 10 has multiple ways to update the drivers and you can use the one you prefer.

Related: How to Find and Replace Outdated Windows Drivers

4. Disable the audio enhancements

Some sound cards will not work properly with Windows Sound Enhancements enabled. To turn off Windows sound enhancements:

  1. Press Windows Key + X, and choose Switchboard.

  2. click Seen from and choose Big icons or Small icons.

  3. to open Sounds.

  4. Select your headphones and click properties.

  5. Open that Advanced Tab and disable Enable audio enhancements.

  6. click Apply> OK to save the changes.

Related: What Is A Headphone Driver And How Does It Affect Sound?

Learn How to Fix Your Favorite Headphones in Windows 10

You can fix this problem simply by pressing a button on your headphones. Sometimes you need to access Windows 10 settings, so it's a little more complicated. Hopefully this guide helped you fix the problem, so now you can enjoy your favorite music or watch the latest shows.

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About the author

Matthew Wallaker
(37 published articles)

Matthew's passions lead him to become a technical writer and blogger. As a graduate engineer, he likes to use his technical knowledge to write informative and useful content.

By Matthew Wallaker

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