The buttons on your Apple headphones can be very useful, but when they break, the solution may be simpler than you think.

I use the buttons on my iPhone’s headphones constantly, for skipping tracks, pausing, changing the volume, I’m a big fan of the voice control function. That is, I hold down my headphone’s centre button and I say “Play Album, Mad Season” and off it goes.

My problem, it stopped working, pressing buttons on my iPhone headphones did nothing, it started a few months ago when it would just stop working and then get better and steadily got worse. My Headphones were starting to deteriorate as headphones do over time so I took them back to the shop I bought them at and got them replaced (always keep the receipt boys and girls, this is my third set of official apple headphones on this one receipt). New headphones made no difference to the buttons problem though.

So I tried the headphones in a friend’s iPhone, no problem, it was definetely the iPhone, not the headphones!

So today I took my iPhone to the O2 shop. I didn’t expect much hope as my iPhone is currently out of warranty. I showed the guy in the shop my problem and he took my phone and produced a paper clip from his pocket which he straightens. I’m worried at this point that he’s going to remove the sim card and send it off for a costly repair, then, he plunges the piece of wire into my headphones socket, I’m in great shock now, this surely, is not a method supported by Apple but then, he pulled it out slowly. On the end, a piece of fluff.

He does this a few times and explains that people who keep their iPhone in their jeans like myself, fill the socket up with fluff which makes the buttons stop working. Simple and frankly, something I probably should have checked.

So, if your headphone buttons have stopped working, get a straightened paper clip and remove the fluff from the headphones socket, problem solved.