Using iPod Disk Mode for File Storage and Backup

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Introduction to iPod Disk Mode

Disassembled iPod
Joseph Clark/Getty Images

Last Updated 2009

Your iPod can store a lot more than just music. You can also use your iPod as an easy way to store and transfer large files by putting the device into iPod Disk Mode. Here's how, using iTunes 7 or higher.

Start by syncing your iPod with your computer. In the iTunes window, select your iPod in the left-hand menu.

       Related: Curious about whether the iPhone has disk mode? Read this article.

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Enable iPod for Disk Use

Enabling iPod Disk Use, step 1

Make sure that "Enable disk use" is checked (highlighted here in green). This will let your computer treat your iPod just like any hard drive, CD, DVD, or other removable storage device.

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Open the iPod on Your Desktop

Enabling iPod Disk Use, step 2

Now go to your desktop on a Mac or to My Computer or your desktop on Windows. You should see an icon for your iPod. Double click it to open it.

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Drag Files to Your iPod

Enabling iPod Disk Use, step 3

When this window opens, you'll see whatever data (other than songs) your iPod has on it. Many iPods ship with games, notes, or address books, so you may see that.

To add files to your iPod, simply find the file you want and drag it into that window or onto the iPod icon. You will see your computer's regular file transfer progress bar and icons.

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Your Files Are Loaded

Enabling iPod Disk Use, step 4

When the move is complete, your iPod will have the new files on it. Now, you can take them anywhere and transfer them to any computer with a USB or Firewire port! Just plug in your iPod and go.

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Checking Your Disk Space

Enabling iPod Disk Use, step 5

If you want to see how much space on your iPod is being taken up by music and data, and how much free space you have, go back to iTunes and choose your iPod from the left-hand menu.

Now, look at the blue bar on the bottom. The blue is the space taken up by music. Orange is space taken up by files. White is the available space.