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iPod nano: Error message saying that iPod 'could not be identified properly'

Symptoms

An error message may appear when connecting an iPod nano (5th generation or 6th generation) to iTunes for Windows:

"An iPod has been detected, but it could not be identified properly. Please disconnect and reconnect the iPod, then try again."

Resolution

If your iPod doesn't appear in iTunes but you don't see the error message previously mentioned, refer to one of these two articles instead:

Verify that your computer meets the minimum system requirements

iPod nano (5th and 6th generation) requires the following minimum versions of Windows:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7

If you have one of these versions of Windows, verify that Windows is fully up to date by downloading and installing software updates from Microsoft. If you have Windows XP with Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2, download and install Service Pack 3 using Windows Update.

Verify that iTunes is installed and updated

Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes by running Apple Software Update or by downloading and installing iTunes from the downloads page.

To confirm whether you have a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of Windows, follow the steps in this article. In the window to which that article directs you, look for the heading entitled "System Type". This will specify a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system. If you have a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7, be sure you are using the 64-bit version of iTunes, which is available in a separate link on the downloads page.

Restart the computer

Sometimes, simply restarting the computer can resolve this issue.

Verify that Apple Mobile Device Support is installed

iPod nano requires Apple Mobile Device Support, which should be automatically installed with iTunes. To verify whether it is installed, follow the steps appropriate for your Windows operating system below.

  • Windows XP: Click Start and select Control Panel. Open the Add or Remove Programs control panel and verify that Apple Mobile Device Support is visible in the list of currently installed programs.
  • Windows Vista and Windows 7: Click Start and select Control Panel. Click Uninstall a program (or if using Windows Vista's Classic View of the Control Panel, click Programs and Features) and verify that Apple Mobile Device Support is visible in the list of currently installed programs.

If Apple Mobile Device Support is not listed, remove iTunes, QuickTime, Apple Software Update, and Apple Application Support, and then reinstall iTunes. Follow the steps appropriate for your Windows operating system below.

If Apple Mobile Device Support is still not installed, follow the steps in this article.

Verify the device's USB connection

  1. Disconnect all USB devices from the system with the exception of the iPod nano and any USB keyboard and mouse. Then restart your computer.
  2. Verify that you are using a high-powered USB 2.0 port. Do not use a USB hub to connect your iPod. Determine whether your computer has USB 2.0.
  3. Test with an alternate iPod USB cable if one is available. Remove any USB extension cables, and verify that the iPod USB cable is connected directly to the computer.

Verify that the Apple Mobile Device Service and iPod service are both running

iPod nano (5th and 6th generation) require both the Apple Mobile Device Service and iPod service.

  1. Refer to this article to restart the Apple Mobile Device Service.
  2. Next, refer to this article in the section titled "Restart the iPod Service".

Verify that the Apple Mobile Device Driver is installed

iPod nano (5th and 6th generation) requires the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver (usbaapl.inf or usbaapl64.inf for 64-bit). In some cases, you may need to update or reinstall this driver. Follow this article, in the section titled "Verify that the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is installed".

If the issue remains, repeat this step in safe mode. To start your computer in safe mode, see the appropriate Microsoft article below, depending on which version of Windows you have:

Once in safe mode, repeat the steps in this article in the section titled "Verify that the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver is installed." Once complete, restart your computer as usual to get out of safe mode.

Remove and reinstall iTunes

Removing iTunes, QuickTime, Apple Mobile Device Support, Apple Software Update, and Apple Application Support and then reinstalling iTunes may resolve the issue in some cases. Follow the steps appropriate for your version of Windows:

If the issue continues, gathering iPod Diagnostics may be helpful for you or for support personnel in identifying the issue.

Learn more

Certain phone connectivity software from vendors such as Samsung, Nokia, Bora, Novatel, and Sony may also cause this issue. If you have such software on your computer:

  1. Uninstall your Samsung, Nokia, Bora, Novatel, or Sony phone connectivity software and test. Contact the manufacturer of this software for assistance in doing this.
  2. Remove iTunes and all related Apple software by following this article (for Windows XP), or this article (for Windows Vista and Windows 7).
  3. After reinstalling iTunes, test the iPod nano.
  4. If you still need your phone connectivity software that was removed, reinstall this software and test your iPod nano to ensure it still functions with iTunes. Contact the vendor of your phone connectivity software if the issue returns.
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Last Modified: Jul 24, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jul 24, 2014
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