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.

This article covers force restarts for 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 this is switched On it can seem as if your iPod is frozen when it's not.

How to Restart an iPod touch

The iPod touch has been through numerous generations. You can do a hard reboot on an iPod touch easily.

Simply press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button (you will briefly see the power off slider while holding the buttons—continue holding them) until you see the Apple logo, at least 10 seconds.

How to Restart an iPod nano

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

  • iPod nano 7th generation. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons until it restarts.
  • iPod nano 6th generation. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons until the the Apple logo is displayed, 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, 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

Force restarting an iPod shuffle is simple. Disconnect it from power or your computer. Slide the power switch to Off. Wait 10 seconds, and then switch the power back 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 6-8 seconds. The Apple logo will appear 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 is still frozen, repeat the first two steps.

  4. If that still doesn't work, make sure the iPod's battery has a charge by connecting the iPod to a power source or computer. Once the battery has charged for a while, try steps 1–2 again.

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

Note that as of 2015, all Clickwheel 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, try restarting it by following these steps.

  1. Move the Hold switch to the On position and then back to the Off position.

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

  3. The iPod Video will restart and the screen will display the Apple logo. When it is finished restarting, check to see if your iPod Video is responsive.

  4. If the iPod Video is still frozen after the first restart attempt, repeat steps 1–3. If repeating the steps doesn't work, try plugging your 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)

Restart a frozen first- or second-generation iPod is done by following these steps.

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

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

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

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