How to Restore Your iPod Touch to Factory Settings

Wipe it clean or restore from a backup

What to Know

  • Computer: Open iTunes > connect iPod touch to computer > select device icon > Restore iPod touch > Restore.
  • No computer: Open Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings > enter Apple ID or passcode.
  • You can also restore your iPod Touch from an iCloud or computer backup.

This article explains how to restore your iPod Touch to factory settings, as well as how to restore it from an iCloud or computer backup. Information applies to iPod Touch devices running iOS 12 and later.

How to Factory Reset an iPod Touch With Mac Finder (macOS Catalina and earlier)

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:

  1. Open the Finder by clicking its app in the Mac Dock.

    Finder icon in Mac Dock
  2. Connect the iPod Touch to the Mac via cable.

  3. Select iPod Touch in the Locations section of the Finder sidebar.

    The iPod touch selected in the Finder sidebar
  4. Select Restore iPod Touch.

    Restore iPod touch option in Mac Finder window
  5. Select Restore again to confirm. The computer erases your iPod Touch and installs the latest iPod software.

Your iPod restarts and you can set it up as new.

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. It will also install the latest compatible iPod software.

How to Factory Reset an iPod Touch With iTunes (Mac or PC)

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.

  1. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier (or on a PC), open iTunes.

    The Mac Dock with iTunes selected
  2. Connect your iPod to your computer and unlock it, entering your passcode if prompted.

  3. Select the small icon representing your device in the upper left corner of iTunes.

    iPod touch icon at top of iTunes screen on Mac
  4. Select Restore iPod Touch.

    Restore iPod touch selected in iTunes
  5. Select Restore again to confirm. The computer erases your iPod and installs the latest iOS version.

  6. Your iPod Touch will restart and you can set it up as new.

How to Factory Reset an iPod Touch 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.

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Select General.

  3. Scroll down and tap Reset.

  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.

    Path to restore iPod touch to factory settings
  5. If prompted, enter your Apple ID or passcode.

  6. Wait a few minutes, and then your iPod will be reset to factory settings.

How to Restore an iPod Touch From a 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.

iCloud Backup

Here's how to restore an iPod Touch from an iCloud back up:

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.

  1. Turn on your device. You should see a Hello screen.

  2. Follow the on-screen setup steps until you reach the Apps & Data screen.

  3. Tap Restore from iCloud Backup.

  4. Use your Apple ID to sign in to iCloud.

  5. 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.

  6. When prompted, sign in with your Apple ID to restore your apps and purchases.

  7. You'll see a progress bar with the message Restore from iCloud. Stay connected to Wi-Fi during this process.

  8. 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.

Computer Backup

To restore an iPod from a computer backup:

  1. 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.

  2. Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable. If prompted, enter your device passcode.

  3. Select your iPod Touch when it appears in the Finder window or iTunes.

  4. Select Restore Backup.

  5. Carefully choose the backup you want, paying attention to dates and times.

  6. Select Restore and wait for the process to finish.

  7. 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.

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