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Archived - Understanding iPod shuffle (1st generation) status lights

This document explains the status lights of the original iPod shuffle.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

The original iPod shuffle has a status light on both its front and back. The front status light displays green to indicate iPod shuffle's play activity or orange to show its connection status. The back status light displays green, orange, or red to indicate the battery charge when you press the rear button, and will display orange when iPod shuffle is connected to a computer.

You'll find a quick reference card inside your iPod shuffle box that explains status light behavior in detail. Here is some additional information on status light activity.

Disconnecting iPod shuffle from a computer

When it's connected, the iPod shuffle's front and back status lights will display orange. Here are the deeper meanings:

Orange and not blinking not in use, OK to disconnect, charging You can safely disconnect iPod shuffle from your computer.
Orange and blinking in use, do not disconnect
  • iPod shuffle is in use by your computer and should not be disconnected. If you want to disconnect iPod shuffle while in this state, use iTunes to eject iPod shuffle (or quit all applications and eject iPod shuffle from Windows Explorer or the Finder), wait for the status light to stop blinking, and then disconnect iPod shuffle.
  • To determine whether iPod is fully charged or charging, eject iPod in iTunes or from Finder/Windows. If the light turns solid orange and it is not blinking, it is charging. If it is green, it is fully charged.
Green and not blinking not in use, OK to disconnect, fully charged You can safely disconnect iPod shuffle from your computer.
No lights not in use, OK to disconnect, not charging You can safely disconnect iPod shuffle from your computer.

Checking the battery while connected

If you want to check the battery while iPod shuffle is connected to a computer, make sure the computer is not asleep before you press the battery status button.

Green good charge
Orange low charge
Red very low charge
No light no charge

Using iPod shuffle to play music

Turn on iPod Shuffle Front status light glows green for up to 3 seconds and then turns off. The back status light will also turn on to show you the battery status for a few seconds and then turn off. If you're not sure if iPod shuffle is on, look at its back; if you see a green strip at the top of the switch, iPod shuffle is on.
Play music The front status light glows green.  
Play/Pause button to start a song Front status light glows green for 2 seconds and then turn off.  
Play/Pause button to pause a song Front status light blinks green for 1 minute. If iPod shuffle is paused for more than a minute, the front status light will turn off.
Press any button on the front of iPod shuffle Front status light glows green as long as you hold down the button. This doesn't apply when Hold is activated.
Turn Hold on Front status light blinks orange three times quickly. Hold temporarily disables the buttons on the front of iPod shuffle. You can turn Hold on by pressing and holding the Play/Pause button for 3 seconds. If you press any front button while Hold is on, the front status light will glow orange.
Turn Hold off Front status light blinks green three times quickly. To turn Hold off, press the Play/Pause button for 3 seconds, or move the switch on the back of iPod shuffle to the Off position. iPod shuffle is off when the green strip at the top of the switch is not visible.
Volume Up (+ button) Front status light glows green until you release the + button. Will stop glowing when you reach maximum volume.
Volume Down (- button) Front status light glows green until you release the - button. Will stop glowing when you reach minimum volume.
Rewind a song Front status light glows green until you release the button or reach the beginning of the song. You rewind a song by pressing an holding the Previoius/Rewind button.
Fast-Forward a song Front status light glows green until you release the button or reach the end of the song. You fast-forward by pressing and holding the Next/Fast-Forward button.
Jump to beginning of playlist Front status light glows green for 2 seconds. You make the jump by pressing the Play/Pause button three times quickly. iPod Shuffle will begin playing the first song in the playlist. If the rear switch is in the shuffle position, iPod Shuffle will start playing the first shuffled song.

Error light

If iPod shuffle has an error, the front status light will blink orange and green when you press any button. If you see this, try turning off iPod shuffle, waiting a few seconds, and then turning it back on. If you still see the front status light blink orange and green, it could indicate that you have no songs on your iPod shuffle to play. Use iTunes to add songs to iPod shuffle and make sure the songs you are adding are compatible.

If you still see a blinking orange and green light, use iTunes to Restore iPod shuffle, and then use iTunes to add songs. If you still see orange and green, your iPod shuffle may need service.

Last Modified: Apr 24, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Apr 24, 2014
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