How to Get the Tip of a Headphone Out of a Computer

By Charles Clay

A broken headphone plug stuck inside a jack is a tricky and delicate repair. If the plug snapped off close to the end of the jack, you may be able to retrieve it with a pair of needle-nose pliers or sturdy tweezers. If the headphone jack itself is relatively easy to take apart, you can easily retrieve the plug and reinstall the jack. However, removing the jack from a laptop computer may require a surprising amount of work and expertise. If all else fails, there is a simple and effective but risky solution.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothpick
  • Superglue
  • Broken headphone plug

Step 1

Apply a tiny bead of superglue to the end of a sharp toothpick. Use the toothpick to apply an even tinier amount of glue to the free end of the broken headphone plug (the end that's not stuck inside the jack). Try to keep the glue away from the edges of the broken face, and apply the smallest possible effective amount.

Step 2

Insert the plug into the jack, being careful not to touch the interior of the jack with the glue. Press the plug firmly into the jack so that the halves of the broken plug are pressed together. Allow the glue to dry. Refer to the package of the glue for drying times.

Step 3

Pull the broken plug straight out of the jack. Don't twist, and don't allow the plug to touch the sides of the jack if possible.

Step 4

Repeat steps 1-3 until the broken tip is retrieved.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always put the smallest amount of glue possible on the end of the broken plug. Using a series of small applications will build up a rough surface on the ends of the plug, making it more likely that the next bond will hold. Adding more superglue will just make it more likely that it'll squeeze out the sides and permanently damage your jack.
  • When choosing your superglue, get the thickest gel with the lowest drying time available. Control gel formulations are less likely to leak into the jack, while a low drying time will keep you from getting frustrated and using too much glue.
  • Getting glue in your headphone jack will almost certainly void your computer's warranty. When in doubt, take your computer to a repair shop.