My iPod Won't Turn on or Reset

Updated February 21, 2017

One way for you to troubleshoot an iPod that will not turn on is to reset the player. If the iPod will not turn on or reset, however, you may think about giving up and buying a brand new iPod or taking the iPod to a store in order to get the device repaired. Neither of these steps may be necessary. There are fixes that may allow you to turn on or reset the iPod, saving you time and money.

Check that the "Hold" switch on the iPod is switched to the "Off" position. The location of this switch will vary based upon the iPod model. If the switch was set to "On," try to turn on or reset the iPod after you've moved the switch to "Off."

Connect the malfunctioning iPod to a computer or wall charger via the iPod's USB cable. Leave the iPod plugged in for 30 to 60 minutes so the device can charge. Watch the screen of the iPod for a "charging battery" icon or check the light on the iPod (depending on the device you own) in order to make sure the device is charging. Try to turn on or reset the iPod after disconnecting the player.

Connect the malfunctioning iPod to the computer (or leave the device plugged in if you connected it previously) and open iTunes on the computer. Click on the iPod listed underneath "Devices." Click the "Check for Update" button in the centre iTunes window. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install any available iPod software updates. Once these updates have been installed, disconnect the iPod and try to turn on or reset the iPod.

Put the iPod into "Disk Mode." Start by flipping the iPod's "Hold" switch to the "On" and then "Off" positions. Hold down the "Menu" and "Select" (for click-wheel iPods) or "Play/Pause" and "Menu" buttons (for non-click-wheel iPods) on the iPod for no less than six seconds. The Apple logo will show up on the iPod's screen. When this happens, immediately press and hold the "Play/Pause" and "Select" buttons (for click-wheel iPods) or the "Previous" and "Next" buttons (for non-click-wheel iPods) until the "Disk Mode" screen appears on the player.

Connect the iPod to the computer. Leave the player connected until the "OK to Disconnect" message shows up on the player's screen. You should then be able to reset the iPod, which will eventually allow you to turn the player on.


Take the iPod to an Apple or electronics store if none of the above fixes work as there may be a serious problem with the device's hard drive. Do not restore the iPod until you've taken the player in to be serviced, however, as doing so will erase all information from the iPod. A store may be able to fix the problem without having to completely erase the iPod's hard drive.

Things You'll Need

  • iPod cord
  • Computer/iPod wall charger
  • iTunes software
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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.