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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook - Broken Headphone Plug Stuck in Jack

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Member Since: Sep 21, 2008
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Somehow someone seems to have knocked my macbook over during the night, and broken off the headphone jack plugged into it. So now my laptop has half of a headphone connecter stuck inside the jack, with no way to pull it out.

So I need to take apart my whole laptop and take out the logic board in order to gain access...or is there some way I could do it without going into surgery. It is still covered under waranty until Dec and I don't want to void that...but they also wanted $95 to fix this...

Thanks for all the help.
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Member Since: Mar 06, 2006
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Taking the computer apart won't gain you meaningful access to the plug.

Use a broken toothpick and a bit of glue to stick to the plug remnants (being careful not to get any on the computer). Let it dry and pull.
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Member Since: Oct 09, 2006
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I used a metal tooth pick sorta like the ones that they use at the dentist's office. It took about 20 min to finally pull the connector out of my friend's Macbook.

Good luck, just be patient.

-13.3 Macbook Pro Retina / 64GB iP5 / 16GB iPad Mini
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Wonder if some clay or gum would work? >_>"??
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Member Since: Jul 06, 2009
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Took me 5 - 10 minutes, after thoroughly researching. Don't open the computer and don't use magnets - risk of damage and it won't get you anywhere. Glue probably works, but you need the right kind, a REALLY steady hand, and time for it to cure; you risk getting glue in the jack - not good! Here's how I did it: take a paperclip and straighten out the first loop, leaving a loop to act as a handle. The opened out loop is about 4.5cm (nearly 1.5 ins) long. With pliers, bend about 2mm (about 1/16 in.) at the end about 45 degrees to the side. Look in the jack (torch/flashlight helps) and see where the holding/contact springs are. (Mine were on the side of the jack towards the back of the laptop. You can only see the 1st one.) Insert the opened out paperclip so that the bent end points away from the springs (on mine, towards the front of the laptop), and push gently until you reach the end. (The broken audio plug tip is hollow, so your extraction tool is now inside the tip.) Apply pressure away from the springs and pull gently back. The broken tip will clear the first spring, and your extraction tool will probably lose grip. Now gently repeat to clear the 2nd and 3rd springs, without pushing the broken plug back in. After the 3rd spring is cleared, the broken tip falls out and you experience a great feeling of well-being! You also saved yourself a lot of cash! It's good practice to switch off the laptop and remove the battery first, of course.
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Member Since: Oct 26, 2009
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I have also gotten myself into the same predicament. Your instructions are very thorough but I don't think my jack has broken the same way. It looks as if there is a tiny bit sticking out (no hollow bit to insert a paper clip) but it's not enough to grip onto with pliers. I'm going insane - I haven't had sound for about 5 weeks. I'd like to reconfigure the computer so that sound comes through the speakers but from what I've read this isn't possible. It's annoying because the start up sound still comes through the in built speakers. I've got the 'no smoking' type symbol coming up when i press the volume control keys which is disturbing too - like even if I get the jack tip out it's going to be mute anyway. Any more thoughts or advice?!
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have you tried gluing the original jack back in? My friend and I were very successful at this with while using a paper clip and JB weld! I would dab a little jb on the tip...very little so it doesn't spread out...then hold the original broken jack into the broken piece stuck inside. Since you said there is a little tip sticking out, there should probably be a cavity on the wire jack, which would help it stick. Good luck! Soldering also works, but few people know how to do glue let alone soldering
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Member Since: Sep 18, 2010
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I was giving a lecture yesterday which needed sound from my Keynote presentation. Flew home, turned on the Mac today and no sound ...

The advice to use a paper clip was fantastic! It took about an hour of fiddling and suddenly the broken tip came free in one sweep.

This post is just to say THANK YOU!
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You're lucky. If it fell with enough force to snap a headphone jack, it could have been alot worse for the MB.
If none of the above advice works - and if you can get into the hollow bit - carefully use a thin self-tapping screw. Screw it (again, carefully) into the broken end of the plug until it catches, then pull the whole thing out.
Don't screw it in too far, as it could expand the plug and cause more damage - although this is unlikely as the plug itself will start to turn once the screw has purchase.
Final repeat of the word: carefully!
Good luck.

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Member Since: Sep 15, 2010
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My situation:
Jack was broken off halfway through, in my 2-year-old MacBook. It broke off at the end of the second metal section of the jack (starting from the tip). The metal sleeve of the second actually separated and came off, when trying to remove the broken jack (see pics).

Solutions attempted (In order tried, all FAILS):
1) Fishing it out with a pin or toothpic (the metal sleeve came off at some point here)
2) Crazy gluing the other half of the jack that broke off and tying to pull it out.
3) Crazy gluing a toothpick to the lodged in piece and trying to pull it out.
4) Taking it the MAC store and having them try to remove it with some sort of pliers or tweezers for about 25 min. The 'genius' even got his manager to try.
5) Trying to remove it myself with small pointy tweezers

Solution that WORKED:
Took a small safety pin and fashioned it ever so slightly at the very tip, such the very tip was sticking out roughly 90 degrees from the shaft of the safety pin (see pic). Slid the tip down the side until the shaft of the safety pin is parallel to the wall and the tip is sticking in side of the broken jack. I then pulled it out. It took 2-3 pulls, but it was out in 2 mins, first try with the modified safety pin.

Keep in mind that the pin was pushing into plastic b/c the metal sleeve have come off in my case.

The MAC store recommended I try a hobby shop or maybe a different computer shop. They said that taking it apart is of no use b/c it's not accessible that way. If it can't be somehow pulled out they would have to replace the logic board which would cost $600CAD, plus labour.

This is an extremely frustrating problem. Best of luck.
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Member Since: Oct 07, 2010
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In our case:
Pulled the jack out but the tip stayed in.
The tip is hollow, so I inserted a small drill bit to grab pull it right out.

In our case a small drill bit worked like a champ!
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Member Since: Oct 24, 2010
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sort of the same problem, but mines in my iPod Touch, and it isnt hollow, its got a little peice sticking out, so glue wont work. Any ideas?
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Member Since: Sep 04, 2010
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Originally Posted by Billy View Post
sort of the same problem, but mines in my iPod Touch, and it isnt hollow, its got a little peice sticking out, so glue wont work. Any ideas?
Pliers, needle nose variety. there should be more exposed on the back so look there.
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Member Since: Nov 03, 2010
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My daughters snapped off their headphone jacks in their Mac Book sockets twice over the past year. The first time I was able to remove the broken off plug by carefully inserting a flathead nail, flathead side first with a dab of Superglue, into the socket. Once that had dried overnight I was able to pull out the nail with the broken jack attached.

That didn't work the second time. Took it into the local Apple shop and the resident Genius tried for half an hour with a pair of tweezers, but no luck. However he recommended I try the Griffin iMic USB adaptor, which costs around £25 in the UK from Amazon. You just plug in your headphones or speakers into this adaptor and it bypasses the onboard sound. Invaluable! And much more sensible than a new £400 motherboard.
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Member Since: Nov 23, 2010
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My ear phone adapter plug broke off leaving just the tip securely held by the retaining springs deep inside the socket. Using a bright light I was able to determine that this tip had a recessed center. I confirmed this through probing with an unfolded paperclip. I measured the depth of the socket to the jammed tip using a toothpick, and then cut a piece of paper about 1 cm wide and about 1.5 cm long. I then rolled this piece of paper so that I had a 1.5 cm long tube, which I eased into the socket hole until it touched the tip, and there was about half a centimetre or less protruding.

I then tested with toothpicks (round types with a tapered sharp point) and their fit into the recess in the center of the stuck tip. If it was loose, using a pair of scissors I cut off a very slight part of the point of the toothpick, and retried until I could feel a reasonably tight jam. I confirmed the fit by looking at the extracted modified toothpick to see that an indentation of the toothpick wood had occurred.

Next, I had purchased some “superglue" (I'm not quite sure what this is called in other countries, but this is the name in Australia for a fast drying and very strong glue). The superglue variety I had chosen was advertised as being exceptionally good for metal in that it allowed some flexibility. I placed a very small drop on the tip of my modified toothpick, and wiped off any excess so that just a minimal smear was present. Then, using two hands I descended the toothpick into the center of the socket, the paper tube providing protection should I inadvertently touch the wall (the glue dries pretty well instantly on contact). When I felt resistance I jammed the toothpick in making sure it was standing vertical, and in the centre of the socket.

The instructions advised the glue would dry in 2 to 3 seconds, that full strength would be achieved in 12 hours, and that it would continue to dry for 48 hours. I couldn't wait! So, one hour later, in a lather of sweat, with both hands to ensure a straight extraction I applied pressure. It took slow increasing pressure, to the point that I start to worry, until I felt a release, and on fully extracting the toothpick, to my delight the tip was attached. I removed the paper sleeve, check to see that no other objects or damage had been done. Tested the computer. Presto!
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