Headphones Not Working On A HP Laptop? Try These Fixes

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We all know how frustrating it can be when a simple feature like the sound isn’t working properly on one of your devices. So whether you are trying to watch a movie, listen to music, take a video call, or do a variety of other activities that require headphones in public on your HP laptop, you will certainly want to be able to fix the problem quickly and continue with whatever you’re doing!

If your headphones are not working on your HP laptop, there are a few simple solutions to try:

  • Restart your laptop.
  • Make sure your headphones are plugged in properly, they are compatible with an HP laptop, and that the volume is up.
  • Set your headphones as the default speaker option.
  • Update the audio driver.
  • Change the audio format.

These options are all accessible to anyone with an HP laptop, and you certainly don’t have to be a tech genius to try them all. If you keep reading, we will go through each solution and the step-by-step instructions needed to complete each task! For your convenience, we have ordered the steps from easiest to fix and most likely problem, to the slightly more challenging tactics, so you may have your headphone problems fixed after the first try!

Why Aren’t Headphones Working on an HP Laptop?

As noted on the list above, there are several reasons why your headphones might not be working with your HP laptop. Most likely it’s a communication or compatibility problem, i.e. your laptop isn’t comprehending that the headphones are plugged in or the headphones are not working with the settings you have in place. Here are some solutions to fix every possible problem!

Restart your HP Laptop

This trick is often forgotten but it is a tried-and-true tactic to fix most technological device issues, including if your headphones are producing sound.

All you might need to do is turn the HP laptop off for a few minutes and then turn it back on. That’s all there is to this solution, and hopefully your headphones are now working perfectly!

If not, we have a lot more options to try.

Ensure the Headphones are Set up For Success

Before going ahead and changing the system on program on your HP laptop, you will first want to make sure that your headphones are working, that they are plugged in properly, if they are compatible with your laptop, and that the volume is on!

Here’s a short list on how to ensure all of these factors are functioning properly:

  • Check to see if your headphones are working by plugging them into another device. If they don’t, it’s your headphones, not the laptop, that need replacing.
  • Some headphone jacks can be a little finicky. It’s important to check that the small silver part of the cord is plugged all the way in. It sounds simple, but it happens all the time!
  • Some older HP laptops have two headphone jack options: one is for headphones and the other for a microphone. While some of the newer models have condensed them into one headset jack, you still will want to check. Next to the jack, you should see a little headphone icon or headset icon.
  • Last but certainly not least, make sure the laptop’s volume is up to at least the halfway point. Once again, it may sound obvious but you’ll be excited if that’s the only problem!

If none of these solutions have done the trick, it’s time to turn to the HP laptop itself.

Set the Headphones as the Default Audio Option

Your HP laptop should be able to distinguish when you want it to use the internal speakers or your headphones, but if it’s having trouble, all you need to do is follow the directions below to set your audio settings to prefer the headphone option!

  • Select the “Sound’ icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
  • Click the “Playback” option, then unplug and plug back in the headphones.
  • Ensure that “Headphones” is selected then press “OK.”

That might just do it! If you’re not happily listening to your headphones, we have two more options to try.

Update your Audio Driver

Luckily, there is an amazing free program that will run all the updates for your HP laptop and the included systems with just one scan!

We recommend that you download Driver Easy, and then simply hit the “Scan Now” and then the “Update All” buttons. If it was an update issue, your headphone problem should be sorted.

Change the Audio Format on your HP Laptop

Once again, for this option you will need to access the “Sound” settings by selecting the icon right where you found it before, at the lower right corner of the screen.

Then you can easily select the options for “Playback”>”Headphones”>”Properties”>”Advanced.” Next you may have to try a few different formats to find the one that works!

We recommend having something playing through your headphones so you know when you’ve selected the right one.


If your headphones were not working with your HP laptop, hopefully they are now! These solutions only take a few moments each to complete and will make your entertainment work life infinitely more enjoyable now that your headphones are now working!

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