I like to switch back and forth between my stereo headphones and computer speakers quite frequently, depending on what application I’m using. For example, when I’m listening to music I prefer the sound quality of my headphones, but for general web surfing I would rather take the headphones off and switch to the speakers.
The easiest way to do this is to simply plug in your headphone jack or USB when you want to use it, and remove the connection when you want to use the speakers. Windows will automatically use the headphones if they are plugged in.
But if you’re like me, you switch between the two quite frequently and would prefer to do this with a mouse click rather than having to physically remove/plug-in a USB connection or line jack repeatedly. Thankfully there is an easy way to do this in Windows 10 with a couple clicks of your mouse.
How to turn your headphones on and off in Windows 10 with three clicks
In Windows 10 there is an easy way to switch the audio back and forth from your headphones to computer speakers without having to unplug your headphones. The method is native to Windows 10, and therefore there is no need to install any third-party software in order to do this.
First, locate the volume icon in the Windows taskbar. It looks like a single speaker with three sound waves emanating from it. You may need to click on the upward pointing arrow on the taskbar, which if you hover your mouse over it will read “show hidden icons”.
Right-click on the volume icon and click on “playback devices” in the drop-down menu. This will bring up a pop-up box showing all of the available hardware connected to your computer. To change the audio output year headphones, simply highlight that device and click “set to default”.
The same process is used to change your computer’s audio output to the speakers. Obviously, this is much better than having to install software from un-trusted third parties, which was necessary to do this in previous versions of Windows.
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