How to Restore Your iPod Touch

Tips on restoring an iPod Touch to factory settings and from backup

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There are a number of situations in which you might want to restore your iPod Touch, including when its data gets corrupted or when you're getting a new one. There are two types of restore: to factory settings or from backup.

Restore iPod Touch to Factory Settings

When you restore an iPod Touch to factory settings, you're returning the Touch to the original state that it came from the factory in. This means deleting all your data and settings from it.

You may want to restore to factory settings when you're selling your Touch, sending it in for repair and don't want any personal data on it to be seen by strangers, or its data is so messed up that it needs to be deleted and replaced. Follow these steps to restore your iPod Touch to factory settings:

  1. To start, back up your Touch (if it's operable). A backup is created whenever you sync your Touch, so sync it to your computer first. Your backup will contain your data and settings.

  2. With this done, there are two options for restoring your Touch.

    • On the iPod management screen, click the "Restore" button in the Version box in the middle of the screen and follow the instructions.
    • On the iPod touch itself, follow the instructions below.
  3. Find the Settings app on your home screen and tap it.

  4. Scroll to the General menu and tap it.

  5. Scroll to the bottom of that screen and tap the Reset menu.

  6. On that page, you'll be given six options:

    • Reset All Settings: Tap this to delete all your custom preferences and reset them to the defaults. This does not erase apps or data.
    • Erase All Content and Settings: To completely restore your iPod Touch to factory settings, this is your option. It not only erases all your preferences, it also erases all music, apps, and other data.
    • Reset Network Settings: Tap this to return your wireless network settings to the defaults.
    • Reset Keyboard Dictionary: Remove any words or custom spellings you've added to your Touch's spellchecker by tapping this option.
    • Reset Home Screen Layout: Undoes all app arrangements and folders you've set up and returns the Touch's layout to the original.
    • Reset Location Warnings: Each app that uses location awareness lets you determine whether or not it can use your location. To reset those warnings, tap this.
  7. Make your choice and the Touch will pop up a warning asking you to confirm it. Tap the "Cancel" button if you've changed your mind. Otherwise, tap "Erase iPod" and go ahead with the reset.

  8. Once the Touch completes the reset, it will restart and the iPod Touch will be like it just came from the factory.

Restore iPod Touch From Backup

The other way to restore an iPod Touch is from a backup of its data and settings that you've made. As noted above, every time you sync the Touch, you create a backup. You may want to restore from one of those backups when you buy a new Touch and want to load your old data and settings or want to revert to an older state if your current one is having problems.

  1. Begin by connecting your iPod Touch to your computer to sync it.

  2. When the iPod management screen appears, click the "Restore" button.

  3. Click past the introductory screens that pop up.

  4. Enter your iTunes account information.

  5. iTunes will show a list of available iPod Touch backups. Choose the back up you want to use from the drop-down menu and continue.

  6. iTunes will begin the restoration process. It will display a progress bar as it works.

  7. When the restore is complete, you'll want to double check your iTunes and iPod Touch settings. Sometimes the process fails to restore all settings, especially those related to podcasts and email.

  8. Lastly, your music and other data will sync to your iPod Touch. How long this takes will depend on how much music and other data you're syncing.