Switching Between Speakers and Headphones in Windows 10

Last Edited: November 12, 2017 | Published: November 12, 2017 by

Switching Between Speakers and Headphones in Windows 10

If you have a laptop, there’s a good chance that you take it with you on the road. When you do, you probably like to connect headphones to it while you are using it. Whether you are watching movies, listening to music, or just trying to get a little work done on the plane, you don’t want to disturb other travelers around you. By using headphones, you can listen to your laptop’s sound without the whole world seeing it.

Why You Need It

Now, in most cases, when you connect a pair of headphones to a Windows 10 laptop, it switches the audio to them automatically. In practice, this works pretty well. However, sometimes, Windows 10 fails to make the switch. I can’t really tell you why, just that it doesn’t. In this case, you will have to manually make the switch in order to start listening to your audio through your headphones.

Sometimes, you may want to keep your headphones plugged into your laptop but for whatever reason you want to switch to your speakers and not use them. If you want to do this, you will have to manually switch them.

Switching Between Speakers and Headphones

Both of these scenarios are handled by the same audio control panel in Windows 10. To switch between speakers and headphones in Windows 10, just follow this short and easy to use guide.

1. Plug your headphones into your laptop.

2. Right-click on the audio icon in your system tray (bottom right corner).

3. Select Playback devices.

4. In the list, you should see your headphones and speakers. There will be a green check mark beside the one being used. Verify that you see all the devices you are currently using for playback.

5. Click on the one you want to use and select Set Default or highlight the one you want to use to select it for one play session.

6. Click Apply, then click OK.

That’s all there is to it. Now that you know how to do it, you can easily switch back and forth whenever you want. Alternatively, if you want something that isn’t quite as a clunky to use, you could try a third party piece of software such as Audio Switch. It’s free software and will allow you to easily switch back and forth at will. If you have multiple playback devices connected to your laptop, this is the best way to do it.

Parting Thoughts

In most cases, Windows 10 does a pretty darn good job of switching back and forth between your playback devices, especially when you connect headphones. However, sometimes, it just decides not to do it or you may want to keep your headphones plugged in but use your speakers. When this happens, you will need to manually switch the playback device so you can listen through the speakers or headphones you choose. Overall, the process is quick and easy, and you shouldn’t have any trouble making the change.

Do you change your playback devices on Windows 10 yourself when you plug in headphones or do you let it make the switch for you? Tell me about your experiences in the comments below.

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