Removing a broken headphone jack from a Macbook – Solved

Several weeks ago my daughter updated to a new MacBook Air after using a MacBook for six years. I inherited the MacBook for general use and since I don’t normally use Macs, I was happy to get a chance to play with one.

But there was a problem. A headphone jack tip broke off inside the Macbook. Peering inside I could see a very small stem of the piece where it was broken.

What didn’t work.

My first thought was to try to pull it out with a pair of tweezers. But I was not successful with this approach as the width of the headphone jack port wasn’t large enough to maneuver the tweezers to grasp the broken tip.

So I searched google for tips on removing a broken headphone jack inside a computer. I was surprised to find that this was a very common problem. There are numerous blog posts and youtube videos with tips on how to remove the broken piece.

Most of the articles I read suggested using some type of super glue or epoxy with a thin applicator such as a Q-Tip or paper clip. I attempted this several times but could not lift the piece out of the socket.

Then I took the MacBook apart with the hopes of getting a better angle to the broken tip. This doesn’t work as the headphone jack port is completely enclosed in it’s own casing. Even without the white plastic casing of the Macbook I was unable to get the tweezers in with enough grasp to pull it out.

What finally worked.

Out of desperation I went to a neighbor’s house to ask for him for some ideas. After various trials and failures we did what we probably should have done at the beginning; we asked a woman. My neighbor’s wife brought us a pair of Craft Tweezers that she uses for scrapbooking.

craft tweezers

These tweezers operate in reverse from traditional tweezers in that they start in the closed position. If you apply pressure to the tool the ends open. Additionally the tip of the tool is razor thin. This type of construction allowed me to insert the tool in the jack cavity and then apply a bit of pressure to slightly open the ends. With that I was able to grasp the tip of the broken headphone jack and pull it out.