How to Download Songs to an iPod Nano

Pack your iPod nano with your favorite music

What to Know

  • Connect the iPod to the computer with its cable. Open iTunes. Select the iPod icon in the upper-left corner to open the Summary screen.
  • Choose Music. Check the box next to Sync Music and then check the boxes next to any of the offered options.
  • Select Apply. When the sync is complete, choose Eject next to the iPod nano icon in the left sidebar.

This article explains how to download songs to an iPod nano by syncing it with iTunes on your computer. Apple discontinued the iPod nano in 2017, but you can still sync it with a Mac running macOS Sierra (10.12) or earlier or a PC running iTunes for Windows 10, 8, or 7.

How to Download Music to an iPod Nano

To download or add songs to an iPod nano, you use a process called syncing, which moves music from your iTunes library to your iPod. You must have iTunes installed on your Mac or PC to download music to an iPod nano. iTunes. Windows doesn't include it, but you can download iTunes for Windows from the Apple website.

Ipod Nano
CorbisHistorical-Kim Kulish / Getty Images
  1. Connect your iPod nano to your computer using the cable that came with the device. Do this by plugging one end of the cable into the Lightning or Dock Connector on the iPod nano and the other end into a USB port on your computer. The iTunes program should automatically launch when you plug in the iPod; if it doesn't, launch iTunes.

  2. If you haven't already set up your nano, follow the on-screen instructions in iTunes to set it up.

  3. Click the iPod icon in the upper-left corner of iTunes, beneath the playback controls, to open the iPod management screen.

  4. The Summary screen shows information about your iPod nano and has tabs in a sidebar at the left side of the screen for managing different kinds of content. Click Music near the top of the list. 

  5. In the Music tab, check the box next to Sync Music. Then, check the boxes for any of the available options:

    • Entire Music Library — syncs all the music in your iTunes library to your iPod nano, assuming the size of your iTunes library is smaller than your nano's capacity. If it's not, only a portion of your library syncs to the iPod.
    • Sync Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres — gives you more choice about the music that goes on your iPod. You specify which playlists, genres or artists you want in the sections on the screen.
    • Include music videos — syncs videos if you have any.
    • Include voice memos — syncs voice memos.
    • Automatically fill free space with songs — keeps your nano full.
  6. Click Apply at the bottom of the screen to save your choices and sync the music to your iPod. 

When the sync is complete, click the Eject icon next to the iPod nano icon in the left sidebar of iTunes, and you're ready to use your nano.

Each time you plug the iPod nano into your computer in the future, iTunes syncs with the iPod automatically, unless you change the settings.

How to Sync Content Other Than Music to the iPod Nano

Other tabs in the sidebar of iTunes can be used to sync different types of content to the iPad. In addition to Music, you can click Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Photos (not every iPod nano model supports all of these options). Each tab opens a screen where you set your preferences for the content you want to transfer to your iPod.

Did you know that some older versions of iTunes allowed you to sync music to MP3 players that were made by companies other than Apple? Learn about the non-Apple MP3 players that are compatible with iTunes.

Manually Adding Music to the iPod Nano

If you prefer, you can manually add music to the iPod nano. Click the Summary tab in the sidebar and check Manually manage music and videos. Click Done and exit the program.

Plug your iPod nano into your computer, select it in the iTunes sidebar and then click the Music tab. Click on any song and drag it to the left sidebar to drop it on the iPod nano icon at the top of the sidebar. 

Was this page helpful?