[9 Ways] iPhone Headphone Controls Not Working

When your iPhone headphone controls are not working, 9 ways in this article can help you a lot. If all ways cut no ice, you can use the professional software to factory reset iPhone without losing any data.

Kathy by Kathy Updated September 25, 2023
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Why are iPhone headphone controls not working?

When your iPhone headphones aren't functioning correctly, it can disrupt making calls, using Siri, and controlling music playback. This can be highly inconvenient for headphone users. And several factors could be responsible for this problem.

⛔ The headphones may not be fully compatible with your iPhone model.
⛔ Poor headphone connections, such as a loose or damaged cable or a dirty headphone jack.
⛔ Software glitches or bugs are in your iPhone's operating system.
⛔ Physical damage to your headphones, such as a broken cable or damaged control buttons
⛔ Some apps may not fully support headphone controls, especially third-party or non-standard apps.

How to fix iPhone headphone controls not working

When the issue occurs, you can clean the Volume button, check the port/headphone jack, restart your iPhone, switch to another headphone, or use the Ring/Silent button/Assistive Touch to solve the problem.

Updating software and factory resetting the iPhone are also available. But don’t forget to back up iPhone data before the process.

Solution 1. Clean the Volume Buttons

Sometimes, dust and debris accumulate around these buttons, impeding their functionality. You can use a cotton swab and alcohol to clean the volume buttons first.

volume button

Solution 2. Examine the Charging Port and Headphone Jack

Now you can shift your attention to the charging port and headphone jack. Using a toothpick to remove any dirt or debris present. Ensuring that these connectors are entirely free of obstructions often restores proper headphone control functionality.

Solution 3. Restart your iPhone

Restart your iPhone is another way to troubleshoot your problem.

For iPhone X/11/12/13 or later: Press and hold either volume button and the side button simultaneously until the power-off slider appears > Drag the power-off slider to the right to turn off your device.

restart iPhone

For iPhone 6/7/8 or SE(2nd or 3rd generation): Press and hold the side button until the power-off slider appears on the screen > Drag the slider to the right to power off your iPhone.

For iPhone SE (1st generation), 5, or earlier: Press and hold the top button > When the power-off slider appears, drag the slider to turn off the device.

After a while, press and hold the top/side button to turn on your iPhone.

Solution 4. Press the Volume buttons

Another straightforward solution is to repeatedly press the volume buttons. Occasionally, the physical buttons on the headphones or the connected device, like the iPhone, can become stuck or unresponsive.

Solution 5. Switch to another headphone

Using headphones specifically designed for your iPhone or reputable earphones with built-in volume controls can help determine if the problem is headphone-related. If the controls function correctly with these headphones or earphones, it suggests that the issue may be with the original set of headphones you were using.

swicth to Airpods

Solution 6. Use the Ring/Silent button

Another potential solution to address the issue of iPhone headphone volume control not working is to toggle the Ring/Silent button. You can switch it back and forth between Ring and Silent modes a few times and test the headphone controls to see if they have started working again.

Solution 7. Use the Assistive Touch

When your iPhone 15/14/13/12/11 headphone volume control not working, you can also use the Assistive Touch feature to address the issue: Open the Settings app > General > Accessibility > Toggle the Assistive Touch switch to enable it.

Then a virtual button will appear on your screen. Tap on it to open the Assistive Touch menu > Choose Device > You will see the Volume Up and Volume Down options on the screen. Tap on these options several times and close the dialog box.

assistive touch

Next, you can check if the volume controls work.

Solution 8. Update software

The issue might be initiated by a glitch with the iOS system. You can go to Settings app > General > Software Update. If there is any available software update, select it and click Install or Download and Install to update your iOS to the latest version.

update software

If your iPhone is unable to check for update, then you need to find other solutions to fix the issue.

Solution 9. Reset iPhone to factory settings without losing data

If you've tried all the methods mentioned earlier and you're still facing issues with your iPhone headphone controls not working, there's another option you can consider. FoneTool can assist you in performing a factory reset on your iPhone.

What can you get from this rich-feature app?

yesSelective or Full Backup: Before the erasing, you can choose to selectively back up your photos, videos, music, contacts and messages or fully back up all iPhone data.
yesUniversal Restore: You can simply restore all your iPhone backup to another iOS device.
yesTransfer data between different Apple IDs: You can easily selectively transfer files between two iPhones or move all old iPhone data to your new iPhone with different Apple IDs.
yesDeep Erase Technology: With this feature, you can delete iPhone data permanently. And it can’t be recovered anymore.
yesErase Private Data: Except for factory resetting iPhone, you can also choose to delete photos, videos, contacts, Safari History and more on your iPhone.

Now you can download FoneTool to learn how to back up and factory reset your iPhone.

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Fully Backup iPhone

Step 1. Launch FoneTool on your PC > Connect your iPhone to the computer with the USB cable.

Step 2. From the left pane, choose Phone Backup. Go to Full Backup and click Get Started.

start to fully back up iphone

Step 3. Check Enable Backup Encryption as you like. Then select a storage path to save the backup and click Start Backup to continue.

confirm to back up

Now you can erase your iPhone without any data loss.

Factory Reset iPhone

Step 1. Click Toolbox on the main interface > Choose Data Eraser.    

erase iPhone data

Step 2. Choose Erase all data and tap Get Started.

erase all data

Step 3. Check the instructions on the screen > Tap the Erase Data button to confirm the choice.

erase data

After the erasing, the issue may be solved. Then you can go to Backup History to restore your iPhone backup.

restore backup


There are 9 ways for you to fix the iPhone headphone controls not working issue. You can try them one by one to check if any way works. If all ways have no effect, you can try to factory reset your iPhone with FoneTool without data loss.

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