TNR Tip: MacBook and red light coming out of headphone/mic jack
If you’ve ever noticed a red light coming out of your Apple MacBook’s headphone or microphone jacks, here is what’s happening and why. As you are well aware, the 13″ MacBook and both of the MacBook Pros (15″ and 17″) – not the 13″ MacBook Air – have two jacks that deal with sound: one for taking sound out and one for listening to sound coming in. Both of these jacks are capable of performing under analog and digital (optical) modes. Sometimes, however, the optical (digital) part of the jacks malfunctions and causes the (optical) light to remain on. Ever see the underside of an optical mouse? It’s red, isn’t it? The same technology is used here with optical/digital
jacks. (PS: the optical light isn’t always the color red; there are blue ones from Microsoft).
So how do you put an end to this red light so your prized laptop doesn’t emulate a Terminator laser beam? The goal is to tell the sensor that whatever was plugged into it is no longer there. If you see the red light, the sensor still thinks that something is plugged into it.
- Try to slowly insert a headphone or speaker plug. Slowly take it out. If that didn’t turn the light off:
- Take a toothpick or a Q-tip and slowly poke it into the jack. Slowly take it out. Be careful not to poke it too far as that may damage the optical sensor.
- Did you notice the emphasis on slowly? Slowly does it!
- If you are seeing the red light coming out of the jack on a non-Mac OS (such as when running BootCamp with Windows or Linux), make sure you have all the drivers installed. And make sure they’re installed correctly.
- If none of the above helped, take the machine into an Apple store or call up Apple support as you may have a faulty sensor inside that jack.
TechNest Report or Alex Luft are not responsble for any undesirable changes, or otherwise, you make to your machine.
That’s it, folks; good luck and let me know how it goes in the comments!
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Full disclosure: Alex Luft owns a very small amount of shares in Apple, Inc.
Posted in Exteme Geek, Mac, TNR tip