How to Restore an iPod touch to Factory Settings

Close-up of man's hand holding iPod Touch
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Restoring your iPod touch to its factory settings is a troubleshooting process that is advised to fix problems when simpler solutions have failed. Because part of the restore process erases the iPod touch completely, leaving none of your personal data or information on the device, a Restore is also recommended before selling or giving away the device.

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Preparation: Back Up the iPod touch

Before you begin, make a backup of your data on the iPod because it will all be erased during the Restore process. First, check for any iOS software updates and install the updates on your iPod touch. Then make the backup. You can backup to iCloud or to iTunes on your computer. 

Backing Up to iCloud

  1. Connect your iPod touch to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Tap Settings. Scroll down to iCloud and tap it.
  3. Tap Backup and confirm that iCloud Backup is turned on.
  4. Tap Back Up Now
  5. Do not disconnect the iPod from the Wi-Fi network until the backup is complete.

Backing Up to iTunes on a Computer

  1. Open iTunes on your desktop or laptop computer.
  2. Connect your iPod touch to your computer with a cable.
  3. Enter your device passcode when prompted to do so.
  4. Click Library in iTunes and select your iPod when it appears at the top of the iTunes screen. The Summary screen opens.
  5. Select the radio button next to This Computer to make a full backup that is stored on your computer. 
  6. Select the box titled Encrypt iPod Backup and enter a memorable password if you are backing up Health and Activity data, Homekit data and passwords. Otherwise, encryption is an option.
  7. Click Back Up Now.
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Erase the iPod touch

Turn off the Find My iPhone/iPod feature if it is enabled. To take the iPod touch back to its original factory settings:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Reset.
  4. Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. In the pop-up confirmation screen that states "This will delete all media and data, and reset all settings," tap Erase iPod.

At this point, your iPod touch displays a Hello screen. It has been returned to its original factory settings and no longer contains any of your personal information. It is ready to be set up as a new device. If you are selling or giving away the iPod touch, don't go any further in the Restore process.

If the Restore was part of troubleshooting to fix a problem with the device, you'll  want to reload your data on the iPod touch. Two Restore options are presented. Select the method that matches your backup.

  • Restore from iCloud Backup
  • Restore from iTunes Backup
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Restore the iCloud Backup to the iPod touch

From the Hello screen, follow the setup steps until you see the Apps & Data screen.

  1. Click on Restore from iCloud Backup.
  2. Enter your Apple ID when requested to do so.
  3. Select the most recent backup from the backups displayed.
  4. Keep the device connected to the Wi-Fi network for the entire time the backup downloads.

At this point, the Restore of your personal data is complete and you can use the device. Because iCloud keeps a record of all your purchased music, movies, apps and other media, it isn't included in the iCloud backup. Those items download automatically from iTunes over the next few hours.

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Restore the iTunes Backup to the iPod touch

To restore from a full iTunes backup on your computer:

  1. Launch iTunes on the computer you used to make the backup.
  2. Connect the iPod touch to your computer with its cable.
  3. Enter your passcode if prompted to do so.
  4. Click on your iPod touch in Tunes.
  5. Select the Summary tab and click Restore Backup.
  6. Pick the most recent backup and click Restore.
  7. Enter your encrypted backup password, if you encrypted the file.

Wait until the backup is restored to the iPod touch. Your device restarts and then syncs with the computer. Don't disconnect it until the sync is complete.