Smart & Connected Life iPods & MP3 Players How to Restore Your iPod Touch to Factory Settings Wipe it clean or restore from a backup by Sam Costello Writer Sam Costello has been writing about tech since 2000. His writing has appeared in publications such as CNN.com, PC World, InfoWord, and many others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Sam Costello Updated on September 11, 2020 iPods & MP3 Players Working From Home Headphones & Ear Buds Smart Home Smart Watches & Wearables Travel Tech Connected Car Tech iPods & MP3 Players Tweet Share Email The iPod touch is still a useful and in-demand gadget, serving as a kids' gaming device, mobile register for businesses, and even a records tracker for hospitals. If you're preparing to sell your iPod touch or the device isn't functioning properly, it's easy to restore an iPod touch to factory settings or restore its contents from a backup. Here's a look at what's involved in both processes. For restoring an iPod touch from a backup, this information applies to iPod touch devices running iOS 12 or later. For restoring an iPod touch to factory settings, we've included instructions using a computer or using the working device itself. Cate Gillon / Getty Images Restore an iPod Touch to Factory Settings When you restore an iPod touch to factory settings, you're returning the device to its original state, fresh out of the box, wiping away all your personal data and settings. There are two ways to do this. One involves using a Mac or PC running the latest version of iTunes, and the other involves using just your working iPod touch. Restoring your iPod touch to factory settings erases data and settings while also installing the latest compatible iPod software. Restore to Factory Settings Using Mac Finder and macOS Catalina When Apple removed iTunes from macOS Catalina, you might have thought you could connect your iPod to the Music app that replaced iTunes, but no. Instead you use the Finder to back up and restore your iPod touch using the Mac. Open the Finder by clicking its app in the Mac Dock. Connect the iPod touch to the Mac via cable. Select iPod touch in the Locations section of the Finder sidebar. Select Restore iPod touch. Select Restore again to confirm. The computer erases your iPod touch and installs the latest iPod software. Your iPod touch restarts and you can set it up as new. Restore to Factory Settings Using a Mac or PC With iTunes Before you begin, if there's any information on your iPod touch you want to save, make a backup and turn off the Find My tool. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier (or on a PC), open iTunes. Connect your iPod touch to your computer and unlock it, entering your passcode if prompted. Select the small icon representing your device in the upper left corner of iTunes. Select Restore iPod touch. Select Restore again to confirm. The computer erases your iPod touch and installs the latest iPod software. Your iPod touch will restart and you can set it up as new. Restore to Factory Settings Without a Computer If you don't have access to a computer but your iPod touch is still functioning, here's how to restore it to factory settings. Tap Settings on your iPod touch. Select General. Scroll down and tap Reset. Tap Erase All Content and Settings. If prompted, enter your Apple ID or passcode. Wait a few minutes, and then your iPod touch will be reset to factory settings. Restore iPod Touch From Backup If your iPod touch isn't working correctly, restoring the device from a backup might solve the problem. Or, if you buy a new iPod touch, restoring from a backup will load your data and settings onto the new device. There are two ways to do this: restore from an iCloud backup or restore from a backup on your computer. Restore an iPod Touch From an iCloud Backup Before you can use these steps, you have to erase all the content on your iPod touch. See the above instructions on restoring your iPod touch to factory settings. Turn on your device. You should see a Hello screen. Follow the on-screen setup steps until you reach the Apps & Data screen. Tap Restore from iCloud Backup. Use your Apple ID to sign in to iCloud. Choose a backup. Once you select a backup, the transfer begins. If you see a message indicating that a newer software version is required, follow the onscreen steps to update. When prompted, sign in with your Apple ID to restore your apps and purchases. You'll see a progress bar with the message Restore from iCloud. Stay connected to Wi-Fi during this process. When this process is complete, finish the rest of the setup steps and enjoy your iPod touch. Content such as apps, photos, music, and more will continue to restore in the background for the next several hours or days, depending on how much data there is. Restore an iPod Touch From a Computer Backup If you're using a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15, open Finder. On a PC or with a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes. Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable. If prompted, enter your device passcode. Select your iPod touch when it appears in the Finder window or iTunes. Select Restore Backup. Carefully choose the backup you want, paying attention to dates and times. Select Restore and wait for the process to finish. Keep your iPod touch connected. The device will restart and sync with your computer. Disconnect only after it's done syncing, and enjoy your restored iPod touch.