iPod troubleshooting basics and service FAQ

Having trouble with your iPod? These troubleshooting steps will show you the smoothest path to resolving your issue. Be sure to perform troubleshooting before having your iPod serviced.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Please see one of the following articles for troubleshooting information if you have one of these iPod models:

Start with these first

  • Make sure that your computer meets the system requirements for the iPod.
  • In some cases, simply updating to the latest versions of iTunes and iPod Software may resolve your issue.
  • Visit the iPod Support page if you have questions about using your iPod or need help with an issue.
  • Check out these helpful tutorials for more information on updating and troubleshooting your iPod.

Your iPod doesn't respond, won't turn on, or the display remains blank

If your iPod doesn't respond, is "frozen", won't turn on, or nothing appears on the LCD screen check for these possible causes:

  • If your iPod has a Hold switch, it may be on. Check the Hold switch to make sure it's not in the locked position. If it is, unlock it and try using iPod again.

    iPod with hold switch on

    Tip: Even if the Hold switch is already in the unlocked position, it's sometimes helpful to toggle it so it's locked and unlocked again.

  • You may need to reset your iPod. Resetting your iPod does not affect your music or data files.
  • Your iPod's battery may not be charged. Plug your iPod in, wait for a moment, press a button to turn it on, and check the screen. Here are some easy steps to get the most out of your battery. Note: On recent iPod models, when the battery is completely empty, your computer may not recognize your iPod for up to 30 minutes even though it's connected and charging.
     Battery less than 20% charged icon  Battery less than 20 percent charged
     Battery halfway charged icon  Battery about halfway charged
     Battery fully charged icon Battery fully charged
     battery charging icon  Battery charging (lightning bolt)
     battery fully charged icon  Battery fully charged (plug)

Songs do not transfer to your iPod

If you've recently downloaded the latest version of iTunes and songs do not copy to your iPod, your iPod may require a specific or later version of iPod software. Use iTunes 7 or later to determine if your iPod's software needs to be updated.

You see a folder icon with an exclamation point

Some iPod models require a specific or later version of iPod software. Try updating or restoring iPod. If you still see the exclamation point, try these additional troubleshooting tips. If you see a sad iPod icon with an exclamation point, see this article.

iPod doesn't appear in iTunes, on the desktop, or in Windows Explorer

Several things could keep iPod from appearing in iTunes or on the desktop when you connect it to your computer. For Mac, find an answer here. If you use Microsoft Windows, try these solutions.

"Do not disconnect" screen

The "Do not disconnect" screen is normal. Find out how to safely disconnect iPod.

iPod do not disconnect screen

The headphones don't work

If your iPod's headphones don't work or have static or garbled audio, try connecting them to any other 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, like the one on your computer. If the issue with the headphones persists, replace them. For an iPod under warranty, you can order a replacement online. Otherwise, check out the cool headphones at the Apple Online Store. If the issue appears to be with the iPod, try resetting it. If that doesn't work, then restore iPod with the latest iPod software using iTunes 7 or later.

Gather information for service

To order service for your iPod, you'll need to know its serial number and purchase date. If service for your iPod is not covered under Apple's one-year limited warranty or AppleCare Protection Plan for iPod, there will be a fee.

How to get your iPod serviced

It's easy! Additional answers to common service questions can be found in the iPod Service FAQ.

What is the status of my iPod repair?

Just go to our Repair Status page any time you want to find out the status of your iPod repair.


Additional information about service for your iPod is available in the iPod Service FAQ and the iPod out-of-warranty Battery Replacement Program FAQ:


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