Why My IPad Sound Doesn’t Work Without Headphones

ipad screen with handipad screen with hand

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If you’re an iPad user, you already know that it’s a handy device to have around the house. It’s ideal for streaming shows, looking up recipes while you cook, and catching up with friends on social media. But what happens when your iPad sound stops working without headphones? Suddenly, that handy device can become downright frustrating.

There are several common reasons why your iPad sound doesn’t work without headphones:

  • The volume is too low.
  • Your system software is outdated.

Whether it’s dirt in the headphone jack or a software issue—there’s likely going to be an easy solution.

That’s right: no need to panic yet! Before we get into how to fix your problem, let’s first figure out why it’s happening in the first place.

Why Your iPad Sound Doesn’t Work Without Headphones

When you first get your iPad, it is set up and ready to go. This means that it is configured to listen to sounds and send them to your ears. If you don’t hear anything, it could be because there is a problem with your device or the way you are using it. Here are some common issues with your iPad’s sound that you can try to fix.

  • Your volume is too low.
  • Your speakers aren’t working. This could be because they are broken, or there is something blocking them. Check all the cables and ports on your iPad.

Luckily, these are easy fixes!

How to Fix the Problem

To fix a sound issue, there are several things you can try:

  • Check the audio output settings on your iPad. If you have installed third-party apps that are not outputting audio, then you may be able to fix your iPad sound not working without headphones by forcing certain apps to output audio.
  • Try a quick reset. This will force your device to start again, as though you first got it. If you have installed new apps that are now preventing your device from playing any sound, then a reset may solve the problem.
  • Check for updates. Your iPad may not be able to output sound if it is running an outdated version of the software. This is because the latest updates may have fixed any issues with the software. For example, you may be running an old version of the iOS that does not allow your device to play sound.

iPad sound issues are extremely common, and they can be quite frustrating if you don’t know what to do. We will tackle each issue below, one by one, and provide you with a solution.

Check Your iPad’s Settings

If your sound is not working, it is a good idea to check the basics. To do this, you should:

  • Check your volume settings. The first thing to check is whether the volume is up on your iPad, and if so, what level it’s set to. If you don’t see anything about audio in your settings, try going into Home > Settings > General > Sounds & Haptics and then tap Mute under “Sounds.” Make sure this setting isn’t switched on (if it is, you should see a red line next to its name).
  • Check your mute setting. If all else fails and there’s still no sound coming out of your iPad when playing music or videos, try turning off Mute under Siri in Settings > Display & Brightness; then go back into General > Accessibility and toggle Switch Control on (if you don’t know why this will work—it won’t—just trust us).

If there’s no sound coming from your iPad speakers, but you hear it when you plug in headphones, try using different ports for charging and connecting to audio devices.

Restart Your iPad

You can restart your iPad by turning it off and then back on. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the top right edge of your iPad for a few seconds until you see “slide to power off” appear at the top of the screen (this will vary slightly depending on which version of iOS you’re running).
  • Drag this slider across the screen to turn off your device completely before starting over again with step 1 above.

If nothing appears to be preventing a connection here, proceed by checking whether a software update is available for your device. If it is indeed a software issue, updating will likely solve whatever problem(s) you’re experiencing.

Update Your Software

Update your software. You should be able to update the iPad’s operating system, or iOS, by going into Settings (found by swiping up from the bottom of your screen) and selecting General > Software Update. The process may take several minutes and is affected by your internet connection speed and availability.

If there is an update available for download, it will appear below the version number of your current OS version in red letters; tap on that message once you’ve read it thoroughly before choosing “Download and Install.”

If this doesn’t fix it, try these steps next:

  • Remove any cases or covers from either side of your iPad speaker holes (just above where headphones plug in). This might help if dust has collected inside those holes since they were last cleaned out with compressed air.
  • Check for lint build-up around those areas as well; using a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol may help remove any clumps of dirt/dust/debris that are causing problems when listening through headphones only or via speakers only (depending on which device has been connected).

If you have updated the device and still cannot hear anything through speakers, then it’s time to troubleshoot further as there are probably hardware issues present.


While it is possible to fix your iPad sound not working without headphones by yourself, it is much easier if you take it to an Apple Genius or an Apple Store technician. The staff will be able to check the internal microphone and any other internal components to see if they are working properly. If they are not, they can easily fix the issue.

Also, it can be frustrating to deal with a sound issue when the answer is right in front of you. If your iPad is not playing sound, then there is probably a problem with the microphone, device, or software. If you have followed these steps, then you can easily fix your iPad sound not working without headphones by yourself.

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