iPod does not appear in iTunes or iPod updater in Mac OS X

Under some circumstances, iPod appears in the Finder in Mac OS X, but does not appear in the iTunes Source list.

If iPod is not showing up anywhere, then try these steps first.

One or both of the following may occur:

  • An error message appears when connecting your iPod that says, "An iPod has been detected, but it could not be identified properly. Please disconnect and reconnect the iPod, then try again."
  • iPod's disk icon appears in the Finder, but it does not appear in the iTunes Source list.

Important: Different iPod models have different system requirements. See this document for complete requirements.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

iPod nano

Certain models of single processor Power Macintosh G5 computers may show iPod nano mounted in the Finder but not recognized in iTunes. If this happens to you, try restarting your computer and Setting Energy Saver to highest performance and turn off hard disk sleep. If you have an iPod nano, but don't have a G5, then follow the other steps below.

Mac OS X 10.5.x

  1. Insert your Mac OS X 10.5 install disc.
  2. Open the "Optional Installs" folder.
  3. Double-click Optional Installs.mpkg.
  4. On the Custom Install window of the Installer, select the option to install iPod Support.

Mac OS X 10.4.x

Install the latest available Mac OS X 10.4.x update. If you are already using the latest version of Mac OS X 10.4, or if updating does not help, perform an archive installation of Mac OS X 10.4.

Mac OS X 10.3.x

  1. Navigate to /System/Library/Extensions.
  2. Drag the iPodDriver.kext file to the Trash (you will be required to enter an administrator account password).
  3. Download and install the Mac OS X Combined Update 10.3.9.
  4. Restart the computer when prompted to do so by the installer.
  5. Connect the iPod.

Mac OS X 10.2.8 and earlier
To resolve this issue with earlier versions of Mac OS X, you'll need to delete one file and reinstall iTunes. Follow each of the steps below.

Step 1
Delete the file using Terminal

Warning: The steps below describe how to remove a file by entering commands in the Terminal application (located in the Utilities folder inside of the Applications folder). Users unfamiliar with Terminal and UNIX-like environments should proceed with caution. The entry of incorrect commands may result in data loss or unusable system software.
  1. Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities).
  2. Type: sudo rm -R /System/Library/Extensions/iPodDriver.kext
  3. Press Return.
  4. Enter the administrator account password when prompted.
  5. Quit Terminal.
  6. Restart the computer (From the Apple menu, choose Restart).

Step 2
Reinstall iTunes

  1. Download the latest version of iTunes from the iTunes download page.
  2. Install iTunes.
  3. Restart the computer after the installation has completed.
  4. Connect iPod.

Step 3
Delete the iPod.plist file

Remove the following file in the your home directory and open iTunes again.

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