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How To: Fix Headphones Not Working Chromebook

Question – On a Chromebook wired and wireless headphones won’t work. How Do You Fix That?

The support question from a Chromebook user. The issue involves the Chromebook not recognizing either wired or wireless headphones.

Asus Chromebook

Today’s post will cover steps you can take to resolve both the wired and wireless headphones not working.


Fixing Wired Headphones

For starters, let’s go over the steps you should try to address the wired headphone not working. I will tell you these steps may sound strange they work. These steps will force your Chromebook to rescan for connected headphones.

  • Step 1: Unplug all connected devices from your Chromebook (this includes USB drives, SD cards, and any connected earbuds or headphones.)
  • Step 2: Turn off your Chromebook
  • Step 3: Plugin just your audio device
  • Step 4: Power on your Chromebook This will force your laptop to scan for any connected devices during the boot sequence. If there was any caching issue or bugs, it should be cleared so it can look for your earbuds or headphones.

wired headphones


Fixing Wireless Headphones 

On the wireless side, there are a couple of things that need to be looked at if your headphones aren’t working. First thing, there is a small icon on the lower right (by the clock) status bar, when you click it a small window should appear. Within that window

  • Make sure Bluetooth is enabled. If it isn’t click on it, to enable it. You don’t know how often IT gets a call, only to find out the problem is that “device isn’t turned on.

Chomebook bluetooth

  • Once Bluetooth is enabled, you should be able to select the headphone icon to select your audio output and select headphones.

chromebook audio output

Make Sure Your Headphones Are Paired To Your Device

Another thing to look at, especially if this is a new pair of headphones, make sure that they are paired (connected) to your Chromebook. You do so by doing the following.

  1. Select Bluetooth .
  2. If Bluetooth is off, turn on Bluetooth.
  3. On the headphones themselves, set them up to be discovered. That usually means hold the power button until it starts flashing or changes color (depending on your device)
  4. Select the device you want to connect to. That would be your headphones (duh).
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish connecting.
  6. To check if your accessory is connected, look under “Paired devices.”


Additional Steps For Both Wired And Wireless Headphone Issues 

Make Sure Your Chromebook Isn’t Stuck / Reboot

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Chromebook, Windows machine, or Mac, sometimes an app or other function you select gets “stuck”. That means it did not complete whatever it is was supposed to happen. When that happens machines usually start running slower, or things just don’t seem to work properly. To fix that, or to make sure that isn’t happening, REBOOT the machine.  That will clear anything that may be hung up.

Check Your Chromebook For Possible Missing Updates

  1. Connect your Chromebook to Wi-Fi.
  2. At the bottom right, select the time.
  3. Select Settings . in the box that appears
  4. At the bottom of the left panel, select the About Chrome OS.
  5. Under “Google Chrome OS,” you’ll find which version of the Chrome operating system your Chromebook uses.
  6. Select Check for updates.
  7. If your Chromebook finds a software update, it will start to download automatically.

There are times where updates are released that are required for your Chromebook or the devices that connect to your Chromebook.  And for you conspiracy theory people out there, it is safe to do updates. When the Chromebook checks for updates, it sends some information to Google, like the computer’s version number and language. This information isn’t associated with you or your Google Account. So NO the computer isn’t sharing your life with Google (or Microsoft or Apple), whenever you do a computer update.


Final Thought 

Most people see their computers the same way they see their tv.

  • On the tv, there is an on/off switch I turn it on and flip channels, then turn it off.
  • On the computer, there is an on/off switch I turn it on and flip websites or email, then turn it off.

In fact, you should actually be seeing your computer like your car. Your computer needs regular maintenance, it needs system updates (equivalent to an oil change), it needs periodic reboots (like taking a car to be washed and cleaned), it sometimes needs need new software (like buying tires or replacing brakes on your car). If you see and treat your computer like your car, you will get longer life and more benefit out of it.







24 Yrs. of professional experience in Technology. Experience with technology implementation and systems management at numerous 5 Star Hotels, and Stadiums across North America. Head of Tech Geek and More since 2009


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