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How to Remove a Broken Headphone Jack

Having a headphone jack stuck inside your audio port can be a nightmare. There are several additional issues this can cause, along with the difficulties of removing it.

It can prevent you from listening to music, but also from taking calls, watching videos, and even hearing notifications. This is because your device still thinks there are headphones connected and is directing the audio to the broken jack.

Instead of paying a professional to remove this inconvenience for you, there are a few options you can try first. So, let’s take a look at How to Remove a Broken Headphone Jack…

A word of warning…

Whenever you attempt any do it yourself repairs, there is always the risk of causing damage if not done correctly. Patience and care are required when attempting any of these suggestions. If you are not careful, there is a chance of voiding the warranty.

This can result in you then having to pay in full for any necessary repairs or replacement. Don’t worry too much though, in this instance, the risks are low, and the chances of success are high. Still, please take your time, and be very careful.

Methods for Removing a Broken Headphone Jack

Methods for Removing a Broken Headphone Jack

No matter which device the headphone jack has broken off in, any of these methods I suggest can work. It doesn’t matter if it’s a smartphone, tablet, computer, MP3 player, even your home or car stereo system.

The most common type of headphone jack is a 3.5mm one. The jack is commonly called the male connector, and the port is the female connection. You will find this size and style almost universally across all devices.

A paperclip or toothpick…

You should have either a paperclip or toothpick lying around or easily accessible to you. The other item you will need to make this work is some superglue. If using a paperclip, straighten out a decent length first by unfolding some of the bends. For a toothpick, it helps to blunt the tip slightly by tapping it on a hard surface a few times.

Here are the steps for how to try this method:

  • Dab a tiny amount of superglue on the tip of the paperclip or toothpick.
  • Allow the superglue to dry slightly so that it is neither hard nor soft.
  • Carefully insert the paperclip or toothpick tip with the slightly dried glue into the port, and hold it firmly against the broken jack for around 30 seconds.
  • Wait a few minutes to ensure the glue has completely dried.
  • Gently try to remove the paperclip or toothpick with the jack attached.

When using this method, it is important to only allow the superglue to touch the paperclip, or toothpick, and the broken headphone jack. Allowing glue to remain stuck inside the port can prevent correct operation or even cause damage through short-circuiting.

It is worth using a cotton tip with some of the cotton removed so it can fit in your port to clean it before operation. Dabbing a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the cotton tip will help to loosen any glue and will also remove any dirt or dust.

A ballpoint pen…

Did you know that the tube found inside most ballpoint pens is roughly the same diameter as a headphone jack? Now you do, and this information is very handy for these situations. Not all pens have the same tube size, so you might need to try a few different ones.

Here are the steps for trying this method:

  • First, remove the tube from your ballpoint pen.
  • Insert the back end of the tube into the socket until you feel it grip the broken headphone jack.
  • Swiftly attempt to pull the tube out with the broken headphone jack attached.

If you can’t get the tube to attach with the jack, or you don’t have one that is quite the right size, there are some other things you can try. Give one of these options for how to remove a broken headphone jack a try:

  • Try heating the tube slightly with a lighter. Heat it only enough to make it soft, and not so much that it damages the tube.
  • If you have a knife, needle, or nail around, you can try widening the end of the tube.
  • Add a small amount of superglue to the inside of the tube, and try the same process as the paperclip or toothpick described earlier.
  • Lightly tap the tube with a tool, book, shoe, or anything heavy.
  • Use either some rubber adhesive like the type you use to put up posters or even some chewing gum inside the end of the tube.

Specialized tools

There are specialized tools designed specifically for removing broken headphone jacks. They’re called a headphone jack extraction tool and sometimes also referred to as a “Gripstick.” It is small and light, making the job easy.

Here are some examples of headphone extraction tools:

iFixit – Headphone Jack Extraction Tool

The small, lightweight, and affordable device can be attached to a key ring ready to use in an emergency. It is only suitable for use with 3.5 mm jacks but will make the task of extracting the jack much easier when needed.

GripperX – Headphone Jack Extraction Tool and Brush

This tool is very similar to the iFixit tool; however, the Gripper X also has a covered brush on the other end. The brush can be used to clean the headphone port on your device, which is especially handy for smartphones.

How to Use a Headphone Extraction Tool

How to Use a Headphone Extraction Tool

Operating one of these tools is incredibly easy and is what professional technicians use. I recommend using either gloves or pliers, as they can be sharp when being pulled, and there is a risk of cutting your fingers.

  • Insert the tool inside the headphone port until you feel it just reach past the broken jack.
  • Grip the end of the tool tightly with your fingers or a set of pliers.
  • Pull out the tool along with the broken headphone jack.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Understanding how to stop your headphone jack from getting stuck in the first place is the optimal situation. There are several ways to avoid facing the issue, and some of them you might not even have been aware of. Here are some ways to prevent broken headphone jacks.

Remove the Cable Correctly

When removing a headphone cable, never just pull on the cable itself. Always grip the casing firmly, but pull the cable out gently. You should also always try to pull the cable out straight and not at an angle.

Unplug Them When Not in Use

If you aren’t using your headphones, it is best to unplug them and place them in a safe place with the cable gently rolled up. Leaving them connected to your device can result in the cable being caught, snagged, or tripped on.

Purchase Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Wireless Bluetooth headphones don’t have any wires, so there’s nothing to become stuck. Not having to worry about wires and cables is incredibly convenient, and they are continually becoming more affordable.

Looking for a great set of Headphones?

If so, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Headphones Under $200, the Best Lightweight Headphones, the Best Podcast Headphones, and the Best Headphones for Music you can buy in 2021.

Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Waterproof Headphones, the Best Headphones under $100, the Best Headphones with Microphone, and the Best Headphones Under $1,000 currently available.

And don’t miss our helpful guides on How to Fix a Loose Headphone JackHow to Fix Headphones When Only One Side WorksHow To Clean HeadphonesWhy Are My Headphones So Quiet, and How to Disable a Headphone Jack for PC and Phones for more useful information.

How to Remove a Broken Headphone Jack – Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several options for removing that broken headphone jack before taking a trip to the technician. Most can be completed with items lying around the house and are simple to try.

The best option is to avoid having a headphone jack become stuck in the first place. Make sure you are removing your headphone cable correctly, or possibly even consider a new set of the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones.

Hopefully, one of these options has you back listening to your favorite audio, and you’re now armed with some new skills.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Jennifer Bell

Jennifer is a freelance writer from Montana. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English, as well as an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Games and Simulation Design.

Her passions include guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano, as well as a range of classical instruments she has been playing since at school. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, yoga, eating well, and spending time with her two cats, Rocky and Jasper.

Jennifer enjoys writing articles on all types of musical instruments and is always extending her understanding and appreciation of music. She also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories for various websites and hopes to get her first book published in the very near future.

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