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After plugging my headphones out, suddenly there is no sound from the internal speakers.
When I press volume buttons, I see a circle-backslash symbol below the speaker icon.

Restarting doesn't help. However I do hear the startup chime.
What should I do?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Gently pluginng the headphones in and out of the jack solved the issue.

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There is a relatively well known issue on older MacBooks, and a bit of robust plugging/unplugging can sort things out. – stuffe Feb 4 '12 at 16:33

The pins in the 3.5mm jack probably got stuck and gently reseating them should have resolved it for good.

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Q20 worked like a charm on my wife's late 2009 iMac. Small squirt, barely pressed the nozzle, then plugged the earphones in and out a few time... and pop, the sound is back

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The only thing that worked for me was a small amount of WD40 (lubricant) on a 3.5mm plug and plugging it in and out a few times aswell as twisting it while plugged in. Problem solved!!!

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Uhh, you really think it's a good idea to put oil into the audio jack? – patrix Oct 14 '12 at 15:12
Not bad idea, since there is a bunch of tiny spring loaded contacts in there, and one got stuck. I would be very limited with the Oil part, or try to use a duster can to blast dirt first. – Buscar웃 Sep 9 '13 at 8:11

protected by patrix Jan 24 '15 at 22:07

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