How to Change the Battery in a 4GB iPod

Written by nick grimes
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If you're using a 4GB iPod nano or iPod mini whose battery life is beginning to decline, it may be time to consider changing the battery. While Apple offers battery replacement for free for units under warranty, it's possible to replace the battery yourself with a little know-how, saving you time, potential money and the hassle of being without your iPod. The procedures vary a little between the iPod nano and iPod mini models: The main difference is the soldering required for the iPod nano.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • iPod opening tool
  • Philips #00 screwdriver
  • Soldering iron
  • Replacement battery
  • 1-inch iron rosin core solder

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  1. 1

    Use an iPod opening tool on the housing in the top end of the iPod. Work the tool between the housing and the iPod's shell until you pry it loose.

  2. 2

    Lift the plastic housing out of the top of the iPod. It is glued in place, so you may need to pull it out with your fingers. Repeat with the housing in the bottom end of the player.

  3. 3

    Remove the four small Philips screws from inside the iPod: two inside the top end, two at the bottom.

  4. 4

    Use the iPod opening tool to pry the headphone jack out of the top of the iPod. Be careful not to break the cable connecting the jack to the iPod.

  5. 5

    Remove the Philips screw underneath the headphone jack.

  6. 6

    Lift out the metal bracket surrounding the dock connector on the bottom side of the iPod.

  7. 7

    Disconnect the headphone and the click wheel cable from the iPod's motherboard. This is done by pushing the iPod opening tool under the cable and lifting the cable carefully away from the motherboard.

  8. 8

    Push the iPod's motherboard out of the top of the shell, using gentle pressure on the bottom end of the motherboard. Be careful not to catch any of the attached jacks or cables as you push them up and through the shell.

  9. 9

    Turn the motherboard over to reveal the battery. De-solder the battery from the motherboard. Be careful not to damage the motherboard.

  10. 10

    Lift out the battery and the metal frame holding it in place.

  11. 11

    Place the new battery on the metal frame.

  12. 12

    Solder the new battery onto the white, red and black connectors on the iPod motherboard and replace the battery and frame on the motherboard.

  13. 13

    Slide the motherboard board back into the shell and reconnect the headphone and click wheel cable.

  14. 14

    Return the docking connector to its position in the iPod's bottom end, and replace the screw beneath the headphone jack in the top end.

  15. 15

    Slide the headphone jack back into position. Replace the four screws at the corners of the iPod.

  16. 16

    Replace the plastic housing at the top and bottom of the iPod. The existing adhesive will hold it in place.

  1. 1

    Use an iPod opening tool to pry the plastic housings from the top and bottom of the iPod. You may need to pry with your fingers, as the housings are glued in place.

  2. 2

    Use a Philips screwdriver to remove the two small screws in the top end of the iPod.

  3. 3

    Use the iPod opening tool to pry the metal clip out of the bottom of the iPod.

  4. 4

    Use the iPod opening tool to disconnect the jumper linking the motherboard to the shell. This jumper is located on the bottom edge next to the dock connector.

  5. 5

    Push up on the dock connector to slide the motherboard out of the shell.

  6. 6

    Disconnect the battery from the underside of the motherboard, unplugging the cable from the battery connector at the top of the board.

  7. 7

    Connect the new battery's cable to the battery connector. Place the new battery in the same position as the original and slide the motherboard back into the iPod, tucking the battery cable in as you go.

  8. 8

    Replace the screws at the top and bottom of the iPod and reconnect the motherboard cable.

  9. 9

    Push the metal clip back into its place at the bottom of the iPod.

  10. 10

    Push the plastic housings back into the top and bottom of the iPod. The existing adhesive will hold them in place, but you can use a small amount of glue if desired.

Tips and warnings

  • If your iPod is still under warranty, it's worth contacting Apple before performing any repairs yourself. Apple should replace the battery for free within the warranty period, and any attempts to replace the battery yourself will void this warranty.
  • It's possible to use a screwdriver for opening your iPod, but this will damage your player's housing: It's much better to use an iPod opening tool.
  • iPod opening tools and replacement batteries can be purchased from the sites in the Resources section.
  • Make sure your iPod is turned off and the "Hold" switch activated before taking the player apart.

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