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Optical out won't turn off. Internal speakers won't work. How to fix?


in my MacBook, the optical out is always on, as long as I don't have anything in the line out. Headphones just work well, but if I unplug the headphones or external speakers, my optical out will turn on and so the internal speakers of my Mac Book will still be turned off.

Is there any way to fix this, without replacing the whole logic board? I already tried to reach the little contact in the line out that keeps the optical out on, but without success.

Also I don't need the optical out at all, so it would be perfectly ok to just tell my Mac Book to stop using the optical out at all, if there is no hardware solution for the problem.

Best regards,


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Sounds like the analog switch inside the headphone socket is damaged (stuck).

Is your system still under warranty? Even if it's not, can you get to an Apple store near you? They might be nice and exchange out your logic bd.

HINT: Show them your sad game face, hopefully they show you some pity ;-}

Otherwise Ouch!

You might be able to bend the contact down if you can get to the contact. Sorry to say you'll need to get pretty deep in the disassembly to reach it.

Check out step 26 image:

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 Logic Board Replacement

And step30 image:

MacBook Pro 15" Unibody Mid 2010 Logic Board Replacement

As you can see the ports are fully shielded so you'll need to open it up to get to the contact. This is not something for a first timer to try (even I won't try).

One possible option here is to jumper across the switch which I've done on older systems, in this case I don't think thats an option as I don't see any feed though's for the connector to access the needed contacts from the bottom (maybe someone can help us here with a better pic or experience).

As to killing the optical services (getting around the switch that way) through software is not possible.

You may also want to check your plugs as one clearly damaged the port. Get a pair of Apple ear buds to compare with your other plugs. Note the location and size of the detent (where the shaft gets thiner) and the full length of the plug.

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I'm not saying this is a good idea in any way shape or form.... but, I tried something a little different. The way I see it, I was without warranty and was going to have to replace the art anyway. My optical was always stuck on on and that was an issue that couldn't be resolved by any of the above methods, short of replacing the part myself.

The way I see it is, if it's stuck there is a reason, perhaps it's just dirty. I took a pretty big risk... I think... First I turned off my laptop. Then I grabbed a Q-tip removed some of the cotton at the end so that it would fit inside the audio port. I then put some rubbing alcohol on it. I then made sure there was only enough on it to do some cleaning. I didn't want it to be so soaked as to drip alcohol into the computer as that could do some serious damage. I stuck it in and spun it and made sure to give a small bit of pressure to the insides of the port. I did that one time and turned the lap top back on. It was still stuck, so I just did it again, with my mac running, and it worked immediately. The port now works great.

Even though this method worked for me, I would not suggest using it.

If you decide to use this method, you do so at your own risk. I am not reliable for anything that happens to your mac and do not suggest using this method.

I only used this method because I was going to have to replace the part anyways and had exhausted all other free options. It was a last resort to save money that could have cost me a whole mac.

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I had this problem too - it was the optical output "switch" in the headphone jack. I solved it by carefully sticking a match in the jack and jiggle it around a bit - this did it - no more3 red light and sound back on. Proceed at your own risk (:


did what G4V1N did, except i cut off the tip of the qtip so not to risk getting cotton stuck in there. worked after everything else failed.


If you take the ink reservoir out of a common Bic pen, it is a plastic tube of the correct size. stick the tube (hollow side, not writing side, of course), into the port. Then, very gently apply a downward force on the tube, to create a lever action. with experimentation, this will flick the switch off.


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i just had the same problem, i replugged my headphones and took them out again, that seemed to have solved it.

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I am adding this to my knowledge base of Mac fixes and I thought I'd share it with you.

Recently, my MacBook Pro got "confused" and I could not turn the speakers on. I used a "System Management Control Reset" or "SMC Reset" to fix it.

This will work on Macs as far back as 2005.

Here is the procedure:

Shut down the computer. Make sure the power supply is plugged in (If a MacBook or MacBook Pro).

Hold down the keys "Shift+Control+Option+Power" at the same time for 10 seconds.

If done correctly, the computer does not power on at this time and stays dark.

Next, hit the power key to turn and the computer, and immediately

reset the PRAM by holding down the keys "Option+Command+P+R"

and continue to hold them done until you hear the startup chime a second time.

Then release the keys. The system should be back to normal now.

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I put a paper clip in and give it a good shove and wiggle. I found that there is a little bit that pops out to grab the headphone/optical lead. If you scrape around the deepest part of the headphone jack you can pop it back in... then get some Bluetooth headphones because it just gets worse the more you use the port.

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Michael Ochs will be eternally grateful.
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