iPod displays "Use iTunes to restore" message


When you try to use your iPod, its screen displays one of these messages:

  • Use iTunes to restore
  • Connect to your computer. Use iTunes to restore.


Earlier iPod models display a folder with an exclamation mark when they experience this issue.


  1. Connect the iPod to your computer. One of these messages should appear on your computer:
    • Windows: iTunes has detected a Macintosh-formatted iPod. You must restore this iPod before you can use it on Windows.
      Windows 8 alert
    • Mac: iTunes has detected an iPod in recovery mode. You must restore this iPod before it can be used with iTunes.
      Mac alert
    If you don't see one of these dialogs, install the latest version of iTunes on your computer.
  2. Click OK. iTunes will give you the option to restore or update your iPod.
  3. Click Restore to restore the iPod.
  4. If your iPod displays this message after you restore it, reset the iPod.
  5. After you reset your iPod, try to restore it in iTunes.
  6. If you continue to see the issue, your iPod may need to be repaired. You can arrange for service.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Apr 8, 2014
  • Last Modified: Apr 8, 2014
  • Article: TS1441
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