Fixing Windows iTunes playing only through speakers and not through headphones

If you notice in your Windows installation that iTunes audio is coming out of the speakers for iTunes even when you plug in headphones, try this tweak, which should fix the behavior to be the normal expected behavior (no headphones, play through speaker; headphones, play through headphones).

itunesaudio01 In iTunes, go to Preferences.

itunesaudio02 Click on the Playback tab.

itunesaudio03 Under Play audio using, select Direct Sound instead of Windows Audio Session.

Restart iTunes after saving your changes.

Big shout-out to my colleague Jerold Malone for finding this fix.

16 comments

  1. how about doing the opposite of this? I would like itunes to play out of my speakers and not my headphones

  2. I am in windows 10 but in iTunes can’t find the preferences tab. My music is playing out of my iPhone and I at the moment want it playing directly out of laptop speakers. This happened after I synced laptop and iphone

  3. Awesome! Thank you SO much! Transferred iTunes to new computer and could not get the headphones to work without your help.

  4. Awesome. Didn’t work on first attempt but after a little bit of patience and a couple of retires it came though the headphones.

  5. The problem was that whatever was set as the default output in Windows when iTunes was started, remains iTunes’ output. An inelegant method was to change Windows’ output (left-click on audio icon, then select) and then start iTunes. This method allows you to switch outputs while iTunes is running.

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