iPod iconology or what does this picture on my iPod mean?

See an icon on your iPod and don't know what it means or what you should do? Note: Some icons remain black and white even on an iPod with a color display.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Folder with exclamation point

This can happen for a number of reasons--most of them easily resolved. Click here for specific steps to take if you see this icon on your iPod.

Battery with exclamation point

This mainly happens when the battery needs to be recharged. Connect iPod to the power adapter to charge it. You can probably also charge it by connecting it to your computer. If you have tried recharging and iPod still shows this icon, then click here for more steps to try. Newer iPod models will see this, but it means the same thing:

Monochrome low battery

For some iPod models, if your battery has been fully or nearly discharged, a monochrome non-animated version of the battery icon, shown above, appears on the screen when connected to your computer's USB port (even with a color display). In this state, the iPod will not be able to communicate with your computer. Simply leave the iPod connected; when the iPod is sufficiently charged it will turn on enabling you to sync it with iTunes. For more information see document HT1435, "iPod: About the battery charge status icon"

Connect to your computer. Use iTunes to restore

When you try to use your iPod, its screen displays this message, connect the iPod to your computer and restore it. For more information see document TS1441, "iPod displays "Use iTunes to restore" message."

Sad iPod icon with exclamation point

This also relates to the diagnostic software noted above. The icon means that the disk scan was not able to recover the hard disk data. When this happens, try the steps here first.

Apple logo

The Apple logo normally appears briefly when iPod is reset or turned on after being off for several days. If the logo does not go away after being charged, click here for steps to take.

Do not disconnect

The "Do not disconnect" message appears when iPod is configured to manage songs manually. See "Safely disconnect iPod" for steps to disconnect iPod.

If the steps you normally take to eject iPod aren't working, then click here.

Power adapter plugging into wall

This icon appears on the screen during an update or restore that occurs when iPod is connected to the computer via a low or no-power connector. This can include some USB ports and 4-pin FireWire ports. When this appears, disconnect iPod from the computer and connect it to the power adapter. Then plug the power adapter into a power outlet. The update or restore will complete and iPod will restart to the main menu.

Disk platter icon with a magnifying glass (or disk icon with exclamation point, checkmark, "x", or arrow)

These icons all relate to built-in diagnostic software that checks the hard disk for damage and tries to repair it if necessary. The checkmark indicates all is well with your iPod. Click here to find out what the other icons mean and what you can do.

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