How to Force Restart a Frozen iPod

Hard reboot an unresponsive iPod to fix many problems

iPod Nano (3rd generation)

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If you've used a computer or other tech device and seen it freeze up, you know that restarting it usually fixes the problem. The same is true for an iPod, too.

Information in this article applies to iPod touch, iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod mini, iPod classic, iPod with video, iPod photo, and 1st through 4th generation iPods.

If your iPod has a Hold switch, before anything else, make sure the switch is in the off position. If the Hold switch is on, your iPod may appear frozen when it's not.

How to Restart an iPod touch

To restart an iPod touch, do a hard reboot. To hard reboot the iPod, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button (the power off slider briefly appears while holding the buttons) until you see the Apple logo. This may take at least 10 seconds.

How to Restart an iPod nano

Forcing a hard reboot on an iPod nano differs depending on the generation of the device.

  • iPod nano 7th generation: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons until the iPod restarts.
  • iPod nano 6th generation: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons until the Apple logo displays. This process may take at least 8 seconds.
  • iPod nano 5th generation or older: Set the Hold switch to the Off position. Press and hold the Menu and Center buttons until the Apple logo appears. This process may take at least 8 seconds.

If the first attempt does not work, plug in the iPod nano to the power and try another hard reboot.

How to Restart an iPod Shuffle

To force restart an iPod shuffle, disconnect it from the power outlet or from your computer. Slide the power switch to Off. Wait 10 seconds, then switch the power to On.

How to Restart an iPod Classic 

If your iPod classic isn't responding, try restarting it following these steps.

  1. Press and hold the Menu and Center buttons at the same time for 6 to 8 seconds. The Apple logo appears on the screen.

  2. Release the buttons while the iPod classic restarts.

  3. When the iPod has started again, check to see if it is responsive. If it's still frozen, repeat the first two steps.

  4. If that doesn't work, make sure the iPod's battery has a charge. Connect the iPod to a power source or computer. After the battery has charged for a while, try steps 1 and 2 again.

  5. If you're still unable to restart the iPod, there may be a hardware problem that needs a repair person to fix. Consider making an appointment at the Apple Store.

As of 2015, click wheel models of the iPod are not eligible for hardware repair by Apple.

How to Restart an iPod Mini, iPod with Video, iPod photo, or 4th Generation iPod (Click Wheel)

If your iPod with video, iPod Photo, or iPod (click wheel) isn't working, restart it by following these steps.

  1. Move the Hold switch to the On position, then to the Off position.

  2. Press and hold the Menu button and the Center button at the same time for 6 to 10 seconds.

  3. The iPod restarts and the screen displays the Apple logo. When it's finished restarting, check to see if the iPod is responsive.

  4. If the iPod is still frozen after the first restart attempt, repeat steps 1 through 3. If repeating these steps doesn't work, plug the iPod into a power source to charge. Once charged, repeat the steps.

How to Restart a 3rd Generation iPod (Dock Connector), 2nd Generation iPod (Touch Wheel) and 1st Generation iPod (Scroll Wheel)

A restart of a frozen first- or second-generation iPod is done by following these steps.

  1. Move the Hold switch to the On position, then move it to Off.

  2. Press and hold the Play/Pause and Menu buttons on the iPod at the same time for 6 to 10 seconds. The iPod is restarting when the screen displays the Apple logo.

  3. If this doesn’t work, plug the iPod into a power source and charge it fully. Repeat these steps.

If the instructions for your model of iPod do not work after a few attempts, there may be a more serious problem and you should contact Apple.​