iPod: About Sleep, Deep Sleep, Hibernation, and Sleep Timer

Learn about the different sleep modes for some iPods. 

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.


When not playing music, iPod sleeps after a few minutes of inactivity. Sleep is the same as if you turned iPod off by pressing the Play/Pause button for a few seconds. To wake iPod from sleep, press any button and the iPod will wake quickly to the menu. By falling into sleep, iPod goes into a power conservation mode but can wake quickly.

If iPod sleeps while powered, the charging status appears on the screen. When iPod is not powered and sleeps, the screen is blank.

Deep Sleep

If the iPod or iPod mini is left in sleep for about 36 hours, it will fall into deep sleep. To wake iPod from deep sleep, press any button. To wake iPod mini from deep sleep press the Select button. When the iPod wakes from deep sleep, you will see the Apple logo displayed for a short period of time before the menu appears. By falling into deep sleep, the iPod goes into a power conservation mode that requires less power than sleep, but requires more time for the iPod to wake than from sleep.

The following iPod models support deep sleep:

  • iPod (dock connector)
  • iPod (Click Wheel)
  • iPod mini
  • iPod mini (Second Generation)
  • iPod with color display (also known as iPod Photo)

Determine which iPod model you have.


Some iPod models support a feature called hibernation. This allows the iPod to go into a power conservation mode after 14 hours of inactivity but resume operation in the same state as when it was last used. The following iPod models support hibernation:

  • iPod nano
  • Fifth Generation iPod

When the iPod wakes from hibernation, you will see the Apple logo displayed for a moment before the menu appears.

Sleep Timer

When playing music, iPod sleeps after the amount of time set in the "Sleep Timer" preferences. The default setting for this feature is to never sleep or Off. If you set the timer to go off after a certain amount of time, iPod sleeps after that time has lapsed. The preference is then reset to its default of Off. You will need to reset it to an amount of time if you wish it to go to sleep again.

The sleep timer feature can be accessed in the "Extras" section of the iPod main menu.

Hold Switch

If you wish to have the iPod stay in sleep while it is in your pocket you should deactivate all the buttons by sliding the Hold switch on the top of the iPod to the center.

iPod hold switch when turned on

iPod mini hold switch on left side

While iPod shuffle has a hold function, you should move the back switch to off if you're not using it.

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