The tip of the headphone jack got stuck in the headphone socket of my MacBook Pro and I have the following question:

The "Sound" option in the System Preferences displays sound output through the "Headphones"

However as the headphone's jack is broken, the headphone doesn't work.

If I pull the headphone out, the "Speaker" icon in the menu bar greys out and sound seems disabled.

If I plug in the headphone in, the "Speaker" icon in the menu bar appears as working however as the headphone itself is broken, there is no sound.

Where I live, it is not possible to buy a micro screwdriver to open the MacBook Pro and push away the headphone jack from the headphone plug.

As a temporary solution I would like to use some AppleScript or other program code to force sound output through the MacBook Pro's speakers instead of the headphones, while the headphones are plugged in.

  • Apple sucks. This is a very easy problem to solve in software, if only their engineering team did not assume the hardware infallible. iOS has the same problem, but I had hoped macOS was more open.
    – HappyFace
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 17:14

3 Answers 3


Depending on the breakage, you may not be able to control the software if the "jack detection" sensor is intermittent. It will over rule whatever software setting you have made and send output to the headphone jack each time it senses an insertion.

Often taking this to Apple at a genius bar is no cost if they can dislodge the broken piece with experience (and same for reputable repair shops). Also, you might only pay labor if the jack isn't broken. Usually there is more damage since why would a protected piece break off inside a perfectly functioning receptacle, but it's possible you broke the jack mostly or entirely before inserting it.

Give a shot at setting the sound in the System Preferences, but most of the times this happens, you'll need to get a repair if you can't use software to switch the output once and have it stick.

  • 1
    Hey! Thank you very much! That was very helpful, I am going to seek professional assistance in sorting this out, as I can't have myself tinkering with me lovely MacBook Pro, inexperienced me.
    – meh
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 16:46
  • 1
    It's a little easier to get inside a Mac than it is an iOS device where this sort of issue is far more common, but having someone who confronted this dozens of times is a good idea. Luckily, getting a headphone jack out seems more likely to succeed than silica gel beads - they are much harder to remove in my experience.
    – bmike
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 17:36

if you get a 3.5mm jack broken inside the headphone socket, to remove the broken jack, take out the ink tube from a bic pen, you gently push the ink tube into the headphone socket, (use the end that is not used for writing). i would push about 1/2 to a inch in, then pull it out the ink tube and out comes the broken jack.


To force output through the speakers, open System Preferences > Sound (Easy keyboard shortcut, Option-Mute Key). In the 'Output' tab, you can choose the device for sound output. Pick "Internal Speakers".

If that doesn't work, at the bottom of the window there is a "Use audio port for" drop-down. Pick "Sound Input".

  • 5
    "The selected device has no output controls" is the text displayed under "Settings for the selected device". Also, the "Use audio port for" drop-down doesn't have a drop-down.
    – meh
    Commented Jan 28, 2013 at 16:48

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