Languages

Archived - Installing and Updating iPod Software

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

All iPods have their own internal software that allows them to sync with your computer and deliver the great features and performance that iPod engineers so lovingly create.

When you first get a new iPod, you'll need to install iTunes to get started. iTunes allows you to import, play, and buy music, and sync your tunes, audiobooks, and podcasts with your iPod (and it burns CDs too!) You'll want to make sure to keep your iTunes up to date to ensure that you're getting all the latest features.

Previous iPods came with a CD that contained the iPod Software—which bestowed all the powerful features to iPod—and iTunes. If you can’t use or install iTunes 7 and need to install software on an older iPod that came with a CD install disc, go to Installing on an Older iPod.

If you have an iPod with a color display, the iPod Software allows your iPod to display images. And if you have a Fifth Generation iPod or iPod nano, you get a few bonus features, including a stopwatch and world clocks.


Do I need to install iTunes?

Be sure to install the latest version of iTunes if you want to take advantage of its latest features.

You will need iTunes 7 to set-up your iPod, so your first order of business is to get up-to-date with iTunes 7 on your computer. All Macs come with iTunes already installed. However, if you have a PC that hasn’t had iTunes installed, or if your Mac no longer has iTunes, or if your version of iTunes is not up-to-date, you will need to install iTunes. To make sure that you install the latest version of iTunes, use Software Update or visit the page.

If you have a Fifth Generation iPod, make sure that you also install QuickTime 7.0.3 or later to view and purchase videos from the iTunes Store (both iTunes and QuickTime are free downloads).

Installing Software for the First Time

If you just got your iPod and have yet to install the software onto your computer and iPod, follow the instructions for your platform below. If you've already installed the software, jump ahead to "Updating Your Software" if you need help updating your iPod or iTunes software. (To make sure your Mac or Windows PC meets iPod system requirements, check the requirements for the current iPod models on the iPod Technical Specifications page.

Mac users

  1. Visit the Download iTunes page, download iTunes, install it and start it up.
  2. Connect your iPod to your computer as follows:
    • To connect iPod, iPod nano, or iPod mini: Connect the Dock Connector side of the cable that came with your iPod to the Dock Connector on the bottom of your iPod (the rectangle with horizontal line icon should be face up). Connect the USB side of the cable to a high-powered USB port on your computer.
    • To connect iPod shuffle: Plug the USB connector side of the Shuffle Dock into a high-powered USB port on your computer. Plug the iPod shuffle into the dock.
    • Note: High-powered USB ports are generally the ones that reside on your computer or on a powered USB hub. If you want your iPod battery to charge while connected, avoid using the USB port on your keyboard or non-powered USB hub.

  3. While iTunes recognizes your iPod, you may see messages that your iPod is being updated or restored, simply wait for the iPod Assistant to help you set up your iPod. When the iPod Setup Assistant appears, type a name for your iPod in the top field.
  4. Choose the "Automatically update songs on my iPod" checkbox if you want to sync your entire iTunes music library and playlists to your iPod each time you plug it in. If you want control of what goes onto your iPod, deselect this checkbox.
  5. If you have an iPod with a color display, you can have iTunes automatically copy your photos to your iPod (using your settings in iTunes preferences) to fill any remaining space by choosing the "Automatically copy photos to my iPod" checkbox. If you prefer to copy photos manually, deselect this checkbox.
  6. Click Next to go to the next screen. If you'd like to register your iPod at this time, click Register My iPod. Click Done to end the setup process and open iTunes (you should see your iPod hanging out in the iTunes Source pane).

Windows users

  1. Visit the Download iTunes page, download iTunes, install it and start it up.
  2. Connect your iPod to your computer as follows:
    • To connect iPod, iPod nano, or iPod mini: Connect the Dock Connector side of the cable that came with your iPod to the Dock Connector on the bottom of your iPod (the rectangle with horizontal line icon should be face up). Connect the USB side of the cable to a high-powered USB port on your computer.
    • To connect iPod shuffle: Plug the USB connector side of the Shuffle Dock into a high-powered USB port on your computer. Plug the iPod shuffle into the dock.
    • Note: High-powered USB ports are generally the ones that reside on your computer or on a powered USB hub. If you want your iPod battery to charge while connected, avoid using the USB port on your keyboard or non-powered USB hub.

  3. When iTunes recognizes your iPod, the iPod Setup Assistant appears to help you set up your iPod. Type a name for your iPod in the top field
  4. Choose the "Automatically update songs on my iPod" checkbox if you want to sync your entire iTunes music library and playlists to your iPod each time you plug it in. If you want control of what goes onto your iPod, deselect this checkbox.
  5. If you have an iPod with a color display, you can have iTunes automatically copy your photos to your iPod (using your settings in iTunes preferences) to fill any remaining space by choosing the "Automatically copy photos to my iPod" checkbox. Then choose a folder from the Synchronize photos from menu. If you prefer to copy photos manually, deselect this checkbox.
  6. Click Next to go to the next screen. If you'd like to register your iPod at this time, click Register My iPod. Click Finish to end the setup process and open iTunes (you should see your iPod hanging out in the iTunes Source pane.

Syncing your iPod

When the iPod Setup Assistant finishes, if you elected to “Automatically update songs on my iPod”, iTunes immediately begins transferring your songs to your iPod—assuming you have songs in your iTunes library. If you did not choose to automatically update, you need to set up manual options for syncing your iPod.

Updating your Software

Now that you've got iPod software and iTunes installed on your computer, you should make it a point to periodically check for the latest software updates from Apple. Oftentimes, these updates bring new features to iPod and iTunes that you certainly won't want to miss out on now, would you?

And it couldn’t be easier to update iTunes, just choose “Check for Updates” under the iTunes menu on a Mac, or from the iTunes Help menu on a PC. This checks both your iTunes software and your iPod software for updates. If both are up to date, you’ll be told that iTunes is up to date, if updates for either are available you’ll be offered the appropriate update.

On a Mac you can even use “Software Update…” under the Apple Menu from your desktop.

To check just for iPod software updates, connect your iPod to your computer, launch iTunes, and choose the iPod in the Source pane. From the iPod Settings Summary tab that appears, if the Update button is available—black, not grey—then new iPod software is available. Just click the Update button and follow the directions.

Installing Software on Older iPods

If you can’t use iTunes 7 to install your iPod software and have an older iPod that came with a CD install disc, follow the instructions for your platform below.

Mac users

  1. Insert the CD that came with your iPod into your computer.
  2. Double-click the iPod CD icon on your desktop to view its contents.
  3. Open the iPod Installer folder, then double-click the package (.pkg) file within it.
  4. Follow the instructions in the iPod Installer to install the iPod software onto your computer (by default, it installs at /Applications/Utilities/iPod Software Updater).
  5. When the installer finishes the installation, it displays a dialog, asking you to plug your iPod in to your computer.
  6. Connect your iPod to your computer as follows:
    • To connect iPod, iPod nano, or iPod mini: Connect the Dock Connector side of the cable that came with your iPod to the Dock Connector on the bottom of your iPod (the rectangle with horizontal line icon should be face up). Connect the USB side of the cable to a high-powered USB port on your computer.
    • To connect iPod shuffle: Remove the USB cap and plug the USB connector into a high-powered USB port on your computer.
    • Note: High-powered USB ports are generally the ones that reside on your computer or on a powered USB hub. If you want your iPod battery to charge while connected, avoid using the USB port on your keyboard or non-powered USB hub.

  7. When your Mac recognizes your iPod, the iPod Setup Assistant appears to help you set up your iPod. Type a name for your iPod in the top field.
  8. Choose the "Automatically update songs on my iPod" checkbox if you want to sync your entire iTunes music library and playlists to your iPod each time you plug it in. If you want control of what goes onto your iPod, deselect this checkbox.
  9. If you have an iPod with a color display, you can have iTunes automatically copy your photos to your iPod (using your settings in iTunes preferences) to fill any remaining space by choosing the "Automatically copy photos to my iPod" checkbox. If you prefer to copy photos manually, deselect this checkbox.
  10. Click Next to go to the next screen. If you'd like to register your iPod at this time, click Register My iPod. Click Done to end the setup process and open iTunes (you should see your iPod hanging out in the iTunes Source pane.

Windows users

  1. Insert the CD that came with your iPod into your computer.
  2. Open My Computer, then double-click the iPod CD to start the installation.
  3. In the resulting dialog, choose your preferred language from the menu choices, then click OK.
  4. The iPod for Windows Install Wizard starts up. Follow the instructions to install iPod software onto your computer, connecting your iPod to your computer (if asked) as follows:
    • To connect iPod, iPod nano, or iPod mini: Connect the Dock Connector side of the cable that came with your iPod to the Dock Connector on the bottom of your iPod (the rectangle with horizontal line icon should be face up). Connect the USB side of the cable to a high-powered USB port on your computer.
    • To connect iPod shuffle: Remove the USB cap and plug the USB connector into a high-powered USB port on your computer.
    • Note: High-powered USB ports are generally the ones that reside on your computer or on a powered USB hub. If you want your iPod battery to charge while connected, avoid using the USB port on your keyboard or non-powered USB hub.

  5. When your computer recognizes iPod, it may update software on your iPod if needed (click Update if you get a dialog that says your iPod needs to be reformatted or restored). When finished, your iPod software will be installed at the default location, C:\\Program Files\\iPod\\ (unless you choose another folder).
  6. The installer will then install iTunes if it isn't already installed on your computer, or if you have an older version installed than the one that came on your iPod CD.
  7. When the installation is complete, follow the instructions to restart your computer.
  8. Once your computer is back up, you should be greeted by the iPod Setup Assistant (if your iPod is still connected). Type a name for your iPod in the top field.
  9. Choose the "Automatically update songs on my iPod" checkbox if you want to sync your entire iTunes music library and playlists to your iPod each time you plug it in. If you want control of what goes onto your iPod, deselect this checkbox.
  10. If you have an iPod with a color display, you can have iTunes automatically copy your photos to your iPod (using your settings in iTunes preferences) to fill any remaining space by choosing the "Automatically copy photos to my iPod" checkbox. Then choose a folder from the Synchronize photos from menu. If you prefer to copy photos manually, deselect this checkbox.
  11. Click Next to go to the next screen. If you'd like to register your iPod at this time, click Register My iPod. Click Finish to end the setup process and open iTunes (you should see your iPod hanging out in the iTunes Source pane.

Updating an Older iPod

Make it a point to check for and install the latest iPod software updates, which may include new features and enhancements.

If you've got an older iPod, or must use an older version of iTunes on your computer, you should still make it a point to periodically check for the latest iPod software Updaters from Apple.

Last Modified: Oct 4, 2008
  • Last Modified: Oct 4, 2008
  • Article: TA38529
  • Views:

    34516

Additional Product Support Information