(2021 Fix) Alienware Headphone Jack Not Working

Recently, many Alienware users have reported they’re having problems with the headphone jack. Whenever they plug headphones to the computer, the sound comes through the speakers instead of the headphones. Since you’re reading this post, you may have the same issue but haven’t solved the issue yet. Not to worry. You can fix it with the methods below.

I’ve included six methods below for you to fix the problem. You can try them one by one from the top of the list until you find the one that works for you.

Method 1: Restart the computer with the headphones plugged in
Method 2: Set headphones as default output device
Method 3: Enable the headphone device in Playback
Method 4: Enable Disable front panel popup dialog in Realtek Audio Console
Method 5: Reinstall the audio driver
Method 6: Update the audio driver


Method 1: Restart the computer with the headphones plugged in

To fix the Alienware headphone jack not working issue, the easiest fix you should try is restart your computer when you have the headphones plugged in. To do so:

1) Plug your headphones to your Alienware computer.
2) Restart the computer.
3) Check to see if the headphone jack works.


Method 2: Set headphones as default output device

When the headphone jack stops working, it’s possible that the headphone device is not set as the default output device. In that case, you need to set it as the default output device manually. To do so:

1) On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type ‘control panel’ into the Run box and click OK to open the Control Panel window.

3) View by Category and click on Hardware and Sound.

4) Click on Sound.

open the sound window from control panel

5) Select the Playback tab. Then check if the Headphones or Headphones/speakers device is set as default. If it’s not set as default, select it and click Set default, then click OK to save the changes.

set headphone device as default

If you don’t even see Headphones listed under the Playback back, the device may be disabled. Move on to try Method 3.


Method 3: Enable the headphone device in Playback

If headphones are disabled, you cannot hear sound from your headphones. You can follow the below steps to enable it.

1) Open the Sound window again.

2) Under the Playback tab, right-click on the blank place and select Show Disabled Devices. After that, check if the headphone device shows up.

show disabled devices

3) If the headphone device shows up, check to see if your Alienware headphone jack not working issue resolves.


Method 4: Enable Disable front panel popup dialog in Realtek Audio Console

If you’re using a Realtek audio sound card, you probably have Realtek Audio Console installed on your computer (Not sure what sound card you have?). Then you need to enable ‘Disable front panel popup dialog’ in Realtek Audio Console. Here’s how to do it:

1) Open Realtek Audio Console.

2) Select Device advanced settings

3) Ensure Disable front panel popup dialog is On (in Realtek Audio Manager, the option is Disable front panel jack detection). If it’s Off, click the toggle button to turn it on, then check to see if the problem resolves.


Method 5: Reinstall the audio driver

Reinstalling the audio driver may help resolve the Alienware headphone jack not working issue. You can reinstall the audio driver with the driver setup file. To do so:

1) Open File Explorer.

2) Go to C:\Program Files (x86). Then in the Program Files (x86) folder, locate the folder that stores the audio driver files. The folder’s name depends on what sound card you have. In my case, I have a Realtek sound card installed on my computer, the folder’s name is ‘Realtek’ (see below screenshot).

3) Open the folder then find the Drivers folder.

4) Double-click on the setup file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.


Method 6: Update the audio driver

Outdated audio drivers could cause the Alienware headphone jack not working issue. To resolve the problem, you can try to update the audio driver.

You can refer to the steps below to download and update the audio driver for your Alienware PC.

1) Google with the keyword combination ‘Alienware PC model + driver’. Then click the Dell link that guides you to the driver download page. I take Alienware M17 as an example in the following screenshot.

alienware driver download

2) On the driver download page, search with the keyword ‘audio’ and select the Operating system. Once you locate the audio driver, click Download to download it to your computer.

3) Double-click on the downloaded file (EXE file) and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver

4) Check to see if the headphone jack works.

Hopefully you find this article helpful. If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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