Headphone jack disabled

I have an HP computer that upgraded to Windows 10 last month. It has a front headphone jack. Before installing Audacity, if I plugged in the headphones, the speakers were muted and I heard sound through the headphones. That’s the behavior I wanted.

Yesterday, I installed Audacity 2.1.1. with audacity-win-2.1.1.exe downloaded from the Audacity site. It didn’t seem to have a problem running, but I did not check it thoroughly; neither have I had much opportunity to learn to use Audacity yet. After exiting Audacity, I wanted to listen to something with the headphones rather than the speakers. With the headphones plugged in, the sound still came solely from the speakers. Restarting the computer did not change things.

I reported this as a bug but got the response:

From your description, I don’t believe your problem is caused by Audacity.
You may possibly try to clean the headphones port with a soft cloth, in case
dirt is preventing the headphones engaging. Or gently take the headphones
in and out several times.

If the problem is anything to do with having inappropriate audio drivers, please
see this page:
http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Windows_10_OS#drivers > .

Maybe it’s not Audacity, but the timing makes it seem quite likely. I don’t understand drivers well, but I didn’t find anything useful on the link given. If I go to the device manager and make the headphones the default device, the headphones work, but I can’t get sound from the speakers until I set the speakers back to the default device. Unfortunately I did not set a system restore point before installing Audacity, and I was disappointed to find that Windows 10 had not automatically set any restore points.

A search showed there was a similar bug with Audacity on the Ubuntu operating system in the past: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/alsa-driver/+bug/1257956.

I would be thankful for any suggestions.

It used to be a hardware switch. The headphone socket would interrupt the speaker sound, full stop.

Now it’s a Software Controlled Transition, so all the moons and stars have to line up exactly right to work. My machine does it that way. When I plug in headphones, the machine decides whether I’m worthy before switching. But mine actually does switch.

We should wait for a Windows elf.


Especially as you said to feedback@ “A reboot does not correct the problem, even without opening Audacity”, it still does not look like an Audacity bug to me. No-one else on Windows 10 has reported similar problems, but you did not give us much detail when you wrote to feedback@.

The Linux issue you cite appears to be specific to Linux and specific to machines that only have one audio port, so can be headphones or mic input, but not both at once. Do you have only one audio port that is both input and output? If you have separate inputs and outputs, then that bug is totally unrelated to your issue.

What is the exact model number of the HP computer? Does it support Windows 10? If it does, have you been to the HP site and installed the Windows 10 audio drivers for that exact computer model? The point of that is that if you don’t have correct audio drivers then your audio devices may behave unpredictably, and may interact with other apps in unexpected ways.

In what app can you not get sound from the speakers unless they are default device? If you mean a web browser or a player, most of them cannot choose their audio playback device, so use the Windows default playback device.

So, if there is no “Speakers and Headphones” device in Windows Sound, only “Speakers” or “Headphones”, then those apps will not play to the speakers when the “Headphones” are default device.

Please launch Audacity, click Help > Audio Device Info… top right, save the information and attach the text file. Then we can see specifics of what devices you have. Please see here for how to attach files: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/how-to-attach-files-to-forum-posts/24026/1


I have separate mike & headphone jacks. I find this discussion of a similar problem with Windows 10 where Audacity is not mentioned: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_devices/windows-10-will-not-automatically-switch-between/1bd5fbc9-940f-4efa-8a25-ab7ec71de5e9?auth=1. I didn’t find an answer there yet. But the headphone/speaker situation was not a problem until after I installed Audacity.

The model is HP Compaq dc5800 Desktop PC - Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0GHz, 4GB DDR2, 1TB HDD, 64-bit.
HP Support Assistant says there are no updates available. The device manager says the same. There is no old driver to roll back to.

I tested the speakers with the utility connected with the speaker icon on the right side of the Windows 10 taskbar. Right clicking brings up the Sounds box. Right clicking on headphones gives option to test. That plays a sound in the headphones. I have not found another way to get sound in the headphones without the headphones being the default device. I’ve tried windows media player and Mozilla mp3 files and YouTube.

There are only “Speakers” or “Headphones”. I can’t find how to get a “Speakers and Headphones” device.

The file is attached as audio.txt

Thanks for being willing to try to help!
audio.txt (7.38 KB)

It’s stated in that post that when plugging in headphones and the speakers remain enabled and the headphones are not enabled, both a Speaker device and a Headphones device are visible in Windows Sound.

When it used to work for you, would the Speaker device disappear when you plugged in the headphones?

Indeed. That machine does not support beyond Windows 7. You must expect the possibility of problems if you upgrade to a version of Windows that your computer does not support.

If in Device Manager you right-click over that sound device > Properties then look at the “Driver” tab, who is the driver provider?

I don’t have any answers, but there are some things you could try.

Do a “cold boot” if you have not already done so. To do that, Windows button, click Power, then hold SHIFT and click Shut Down. This will completely re-initialise the drivers.

In the Windows Control Panel, is there a control panel for your sound card? If so, look in there for any relevant options. There won’t be a control panel if you are using generic Microsoft drivers for your sound device.

You could try installing R2.79 Generic Realtek Windows 10 drivers or Realtek 6.0.1.x Beta drivers from TweakTown forum. Note you should not install generic audio drivers as a general rule because they are not matched to your audio device. But it might help if there is no other solution.

There are some issues with Audacity 2.1.1’s support for Windows 10, although they have never manifested themselves as your issue. If 2.1.1’s Windows 10 support is anything to do with this problem, which I still think unlikely, you can try Audacity 2.0.3 from http://www.oldfoss.com/Audacity.html.