How to Reset Factory Settings on a iPod

Updated February 21, 2017

Resetting an iPod back to its original factory settings is an "if all else fails" method of troubleshooting the iPod. Reformatting an iPod is also recommended before you use a previously owned iPod. When you "Restore" an iPod to factory settings using the Apple software iTunes, the portable media player's hard drive will be wiped clean as if the device had never been used.

Plug the iPod into the computer using the cord that came with the iPod.

Open iTunes.

Click the iPod name under "Devices" on the left portion of iTunes.

Click on the "Summary" tab that is located near the top of iTunes. A pair of buttons will be made visible in the centre of iTunes.

Click the "Restore" button and an alert window will open. Click "Restore" in this window.

Choose one of the four listed restore options. The option that you select will be based upon your personal preference.

Click "Restore" once more and the iPod will be reset to factory settings.

Unplug the iPod from the computer after a "Safe to Disconnect" message appears either at the top of iTunes or in the middle of the program.


Resetting an iPod to factory settings erases all songs and videos from the device.

Things You'll Need

  • iTunes
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About the Author

Andrew Smith has been a freelance writer since 2006, specializing in sports and technology. His work has appeared on various online sites. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Pennsylvania State University.