With a pair of steady hands and some tools you already have, you can remove a broken headphone jack within minutes.
Did your headphone jack break and now it’s stuck inside your smartphone’s audio port?
It’s an annoying problem. It keeps you from taking calls, listening to music, watching videos, and hearing important notifications. In short, it severely limits what you can do with your device.
The obvious solution is to get the audio port replaced at a repair center. But that involves spending some of your precious time and money.
You don’t have to do that.
You can learn how to remove a broken headphone jack at home using tools that you already have.
If you’re not careful, you can void the warranty of your device and may have to pay in full to get it repaired or replaced.
You need to be extra careful when doing quick do-it-yourself fixes at home.
How to Remove a Broken Headphone Jack from Any Device
It doesn’t matter if your headphone jack broke off in your laptop or if the headphone jack is stuck in an iPhone or Android phone.
Most headphones have a standard 3.5-mm jack that is plugged into a standard 3.5-mm audio port found in most laptops, smartphones, and portable speakers.
The jack is actually the socket where you insert the headphone plug.
However, what is known as a jack is often called a plug. And what is known as a plug is often called a jack.
In this article, when we’re talking about the headphone jack, we’re actually referring to the headphone plug.
The methods we describe below will work for most devices.
- Method 1: Use a ball pen tube
- Method 2: Use a toothpick or paperclip with superglue
- Method 3: Use a GripStick
Method 1: Use a Ball Pen Tube
A ball pen’s ink tube has almost the same size as a headphone jack.
Take any regular ball pen, such as a Bic pen, and get the ink tube out. You may have to play around with different ball pens until you find one with an ink tube that is just the right size.
- Hold the pen by its nib and pull the inner ink tube out.
- Insert the end of the tube into the socket and push it firmly down until it grips the broken jack.
- Pull the tube out quickly. This should get the broken jack out with it.
If it doesn’t work:
If simply inserting a ball pen tube doesn’t work, try one of the following workarounds.
- Widen the tube with a nail or the tip of the knife. You can also heat the end of the plastic tube with a lighter. Just heat it enough to make it malleable but not enough for the plastic to deform.
- Lightly tap the tube with a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a shoe—whatever you have lying around—to push it down.
- Apply a small amount of superglue into the inside of a tube. Use the edge of a toothpick to make sure you don’t get glue on the outside.
- Roll a small amount of chewing gum and insert it into the tube. The glue or the chewing gum should add grip and get hold of the headphone jack more easily.
Method 2: Use a Toothpick or Paperclip with Superglue
If the ball pen method doesn’t work, use a single-sided toothpick or a paperclip. Both items are small enough to fit inside the socket and, with a tiny amount of glue, can get the broken jack out.
- If using a paper clip, straighten it out until you have enough of it to insert into the socket.
- Dab a small amount of superglue to the flat end of the toothpick or the paperclip.
- Let it dry slightly for a few minutes. Check the superglue’s instructions to find out how long it needs to get tacky.
- Insert the toothpick or paperclip into the socket until it touches the headphone jack. Wait for it to cool for a few minutes.
- Pull off the broken jack using the toothpick or paperclip.
If you get glue anywhere else aside from the headphone jack, use a Q-tip and apply rubbing alcohol to get the glue off immediately.
If it doesn’t work:
If glue doesn’t work or if you don’t have glue around the house, use heat instead.
- Heat the tip of the paperclip with a lighter only just enough to soften it.
- Insert the paperclip into the socket and push it right down the middle until it reaches the headphone jack.
- Let it cool for a few minutes and then pull it out firmly.
Method 3: Use a GripStick
A GripStick is a headphone jack removal tool designed for professionals. It’s not the cheapest solution and must only be a last resort if none of the methods we described above work and you still don’t want to go to a repair center.
If you plan on repairing broken devices for a living, a GripStick can be a great investment.
- Slide the GripStick’s cylinder into the socket.
- Squeeze the lower end of the cylinder with your thumb and forefinger. This should grip the headphone jack.
- Pull the GripStick out along with the broken jack.
If it doesn’t work:
You may need to do some extra work if using the GripStick alone doesn’t work.
- Use a pair of pliers to lightly tap the GripStick into the socket.
- Use the same pliers to squeeze the GripStick while pulling it out.
6 Tips to Prevent Headphone Jacks from Breaking
The best way to get a broken headphone jack out of a socket is to keep it from getting stuck there in the first place.
There are little things we do that we’re probably not aware of that can break the headphone jack in half and leave it inside the socket.
If you take care of your headphones, you not only keep the jack in one piece, you also prolong the lifespan of the headset.
1. Do not buy low-quality headphones.
It goes without saying but you should go for the highest-quality headphones you can afford.
Cheap headphones are made with flimsy components that fall apart more quickly.
If you want something that’s going to be around for a while, you need to look for a pair of headphones that won’t break the bank but will not break down easily.
2. Pull on the plug, not the cable.
Use your thumb and forefinger to grip the plug and pull it out firmly.
Never, under any circumstance, yank on the cable. This puts extra stress on the plug, making it more prone to damage and breaking off.
3. Pull out the plug straight out of the socket.
Do not pull the plug at an angle. If you do, you risk snapping the headphone jack into two inside the socket and get it stuck in there.
4. Unplug your headphones when not in use.
Leaving the headphones plugged into your smartphone or laptop all the time can cause accidents. If the cable is lying around, you can get caught in the cord and accidentally jerk it away from the socket.
5. Buy headphones with an L-shaped jack.
This will literally prevent you from pulling on the cable to take it out of the socket. You’ll need to hold the connector firmly, sometimes with more than two fingers, to get it out of the jack.
6. Switch to Bluetooth headphones.
If you’re fed up with the tangly mess that is a pair of wired headphones, get Bluetooth headphones instead.
They completely eliminate all worries about getting the jack stuck inside the socket. Plus, you get to move around more easily without cables getting in the way.
We hope we’ve equipped you with the right information to help you remove a broken headphone jack and helped you save time and money by skipping the repair center.
With household items you already have, you can go back to using your device the way it was intended within minutes. Make calls, listen to your favorite tunes, and watch videos with crystal clear sound again.
Did we help fix your broken headphone jack? Did you do something else aside from the methods we suggested above? Let us know in the comments below.