Removing A Broken Headset Plug from Nintendo Switch Jack Socket

The Nintendo Switch has a 3.5mm audio socket on its top edge, allowing a gaming headset to be plugged in so that players can talk to (or scream at) each other. Although Nintendo did eventually add Bluetooth Audio support to the switch, for quite a while, only wired headsets were originally supported.

The problem is the player is attached to the console, leading to accidents if they become overly animated.

If the Switch falls off a high enough surface, the headphone plug sometimes breaks off within the socket:

Picture of a Nintendo switch with a broken off headset plug in the jack

This post details how to remove the broken plug without needing to dissassemble the switch

Things you'll need

Ideally you want a pair of electrical tweezers: they're very fine tipped and designed for precision work

Thin nosed precision electrical tweezers

If you don't have these then you might be able to get away with a (very) fine-tipped pair of pliers and a small electrical screwdriver.

You'll also want an old ballpoint pen, some boiling water or a lighter as a contingency plan.


Although it's tempting to try and grip the plug, it's unlikely that this will work and you risk slipping and damaging something.

If you can see an edge on the plug, it's better to try and press against that to create friction whilst pivoting slightly to slide the connector up.

Depending on where the plug snapped, you'll likely find the first sleeve slides up quite easily Picture of a Nintendo switch with a broken off headset plug in the jack - the first sleeve has slid up and is almost grabbable

Eventually it should just slide out

First sleeve has been removed

With the first sleeve removed, there should now be a little more space to work in, so sliding the second sleeve out should be easier

Second sleeve removed

This just leaves the tip of the plug. By now, there should be plenty of room to get the tweezers/pliers around the pin at the centre in order to pull it up and out.

Picture of a Nintendo switch with a broken off headset plug in the jack


If you're unlucky, the plug may have broken off much further in the socket, making it harder to get at (or maybe you just don't have tools that can fit).

It is possible to use an old ballpoint pen as a rudimentary grabbing tool. You'll need one that's empty (or one low enough that you can cut the ink-containing section off whilst still having plenty of tube to play with).

Once you've got it:

  1. Break the pen apart and remove the ink tube.
  2. Put the kettle on and fill an old mug with boiling water.
  3. Put the tube into the boiling water for a couple of minutes so that the plastic softens
  4. Remove it and give it a quick shake to get water droplets off
  5. Carefully push it into the socket and over the end of the broken plug
  6. Leave it in place for 5-10 minutes while the plastic cools
  7. Gently pull (don't yank) it up and out, hopefully bringing the plug with it

You can also soften the plastic with a lighter rather than water, but there's a much higher risk of breathing in carcinogens.

If the biro trick doesn't work, there are other - increasingly risky - techniques that be used.

  • dip a toothpick into some superglue gel and then push it into the jack port until it makes contact with the plug, wait a few seconds for the glue to bond, and then pull back out
  • Heat a paperclip until red and then push into whatever exposed plastic there is on the plug

Care is needed though, to make sure that you don't accidentally glue or melt the very port you're trying to fix - it's almost always better to be patient and retry the safer routes.