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How to Enable an iPod for Disk Use Without iTunes

Updated April 17, 2017

Among the many uses for an iPod device is the ability to use it as a portable hard drive. By placing your iPod into Disk Mode, your computer will recognise it as a drive. You can transfer and store files you normally wouldn't be able to load onto your device. You can enable disk use using iTunes software, but you may also manually enable Disk Mode by pressing a few buttons.

Verify that your iPod is charged before attempting to put it into disk mode.

Slide the hold switch to the off position, then back to the on position.

Press the "Menu" button with one thumb while pressing and holding the "Select" button with your other thumb. Hold both buttons for about six seconds until the screen goes blank and the Apple logo appears on the display.

Release both buttons when the logo appears, then immediately press and hold both the "Select" and the "Play/Pause" buttons. Hold both buttons until the "Disk Mode" screen appears. You can now use your iPod device as a portable hard drive by connecting it to your computer via the USB cable. Your computer will recognise it as an external hard disk.

Reset the iPod to return it to its normal mode. Reset it by sliding the "Hold" switch off and on, then by pressing and holding the "Menu" and "Select" buttons until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Verify that your iPod is charged before attempting to put it into disk mode.

Slide the hold switch to the off position, then back to the on position.

Press the "Play/Pause" button with one thumb while pressing and holding the "Menu" button with your other thumb. Hold both buttons for about six seconds until the screen goes blank and the Apple logo appears on the display.

Release both buttons when the logo appears, then immediately press and hold both the "Previous" and "Next" buttons. Hold both buttons until the "Disk Mode" screen appears. You can now use your iPod device as a portable hard drive by connecting it to your computer via the USB cable. Your computer will recognise it as an external hard disk.

Reset the iPod to return it to its normal mode. Reset it by sliding the "Hold" switch off and on, then by pressing and holding the "Menu" and "Select" buttons until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Warning

You will not be able to listen to music on your iPod while it is in Disk Mode. You can access your music once you reset the device.

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About the Author

Brad Maddy graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and a doctorate degree in physical therapy. Maddy previously worked as a computer/printer technician for 10 years. His interests include health and wellness, traveling and electronics. He currently works as a physical therapist.