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What Do I Do if My iPod Nano Freezes?

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 1/10/2011

The Apple iPod Nano will freeze up sometimes, and here's what you can do to fix it.

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    Apple iPod Nano Frozen

    I love my iPod Nano and keep it in my truck to listen to music and audiobooks instead of fumbling with CD's while I am driving. I have an older model Nano and have found it to be pretty stable despite the hot and cold temperatures that range throughout the year while it sits inside my vehicle. Sometimes, though, the iPod Nano will freeze up and not respond to regular inputs. Since the Nano only has a few different buttons, you could be left wondering, "what do I do if my iPod Nano freezes?" Thankfully, there are several ways you can unlock a Nano from its frozen state.

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    Reset your iPod Nano

    The following steps will allow you to reset your iPod Nano. Please make sure you know which generation iPod you have before you begin.

    iPod Nano 6G 6th Generation iPod Nano:

    If you have the most current (6G) model iPod Nano, then you need to simultaneously press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons for about eight seconds or until you see the little Apple logo screen show up.

    1st through 5th Generation iPod Nano:

    First, check to make sure the Hold switch is not turned on, as this will prevent all the other buttons from responding. Once you have verified that Hold is not activated, you can reset the older Nano by simultaneously pressing and holding the Menu and Center buttons until you see the Apple logo screen. It should appear after about eight seconds.

    Regarding all Nano Models:

    You may need to try a couple of times in case the reset doesn't work the first time because you may not be hitting the buttons at the same time. If after several tries it won't respond, Apple suggests connecting the iPod to your computer or another power source and then trying again.

    For more information, be sure to check Apple's support site regarding how to reset any model iPod.

    (Image Source:

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    Check for Updates

    Nearly every article you will find on Bright Hub regarding iPod problems will include the suggestion to check for software and firmware updates, and the reason is that it often fixes the problem. When an iPod Nano freezes, it happens because something has gone wrong, and it's usually something associated with the software. Apple updates both the iTunes software and iPod firmware fairly regularly, so if you are having technical problems it could simply be that your iPod is using older software that contains errors which have been fixed with software updates.

    After you have followed the steps above to reset your frozen Nano, you should check for software updates.

    • To make sure you have the latest version of iTunes, open it up and go to Help - Check for Updates.

    • To update your iPod Nano software, first make sure you have the current version of iTunes and then connect the device with the USB cable. The iTunes software will then automatically check for iPod updates and will prompt you if a newer version needs to be installed.