What Do I Do if My iPod Freezes? How to Unfreeze a Locked-up iPod

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iPods Aren’t Perfect

iPods are great for music, movies, and more, but they are not perfect. What do you do when things go wrong with your iPod? It might lock up, or not turn on at all. Here are some steps to follow when your iPod needs some help.

With the iPod universe always growing, there are two types of iPods I will cover in this article. The click wheel iPod (currently the Classic and Nano) and the iPod Touch.

Help for Click Wheel iPods

First up: the click wheel iPod. When your iPod freezes or blacks out or just goes crazy, the first thing to try is resetting. Resetting is the easy to do. Push and hold the MENU button while pressing the SELECT button (the round button in the middle of the click wheel) until you see the Apple logo on the screen. This can take about ten seconds. After the logo appears, let go of the buttons and the iPod should reboot. At times resetting the iPod needs some more power. Connect the iPod to a power source and try resetting. If resetting does not help you, visit the Apple Forums and leave a post. People in the Apple community are constantly helping others out in the forums and usually have some advice. The great thing about Apple’s forums is you usually get someone posting a response within an hour of making your post

Unfortunately, one of the suggestions you will get from the forums is to reformat your iPod. This should be a last resort for self-troubleshooting. Reformatting your iPod will erase your iPod and reinstall the system software. After reformatting you will have to reload you iPod with all of the content.

To reformat your iPod connect it to iTunes. When it appears (hopefully it appears) click the iPod icon. In the first tab of iTunes for your iPod will be an option to reformat the iPod and reinstall the system software. Click that option and follow the steps. DO NOT REMOVE YOUR IPOD FROM THE COMPUTER WHILE IT IS RESTORING. If none of the above steps works it might be time to call AppleCare or visit your local Apple Store. Keep in mind that a visit to the Apple Store will require an appointment. Even with an appointment you might be waiting in line. You can make an appointment by finding your local Apple store at this website.

Help for the iPod Touch

If you have an iPod Touch you don’t have a click-wheel. While reformatting the Touch will work and, of course, calling AppleCare or visiting the Apple Store are definite options, there are a few different troubleshooting techniques to try.

If an app on your Touch locks up, you can force-quit the app by holding the Home button on the Touch for about 5-10 seconds. This will terminate the app and return you to the app screen.

If you can’t quit the app, you can try turning of the iPod. Press and hold the power button at the top left of the Touch for about ten seconds. Hopefully, the on/off slider will appear. If it does, turn the iPod off. Once the iPod shuts down, turn the iPod back on.

If the above steps do not work you will want to reset the Touch. Do this by holding down the power button and the Home button at the same time. After about ten seconds, the Apple logo should appear on the screen and the unit will reboot.

As with the click wheel method, sometimes connecting your iPod to a power source helps resetting. The other day my Touch completely locked up. Quitting the app did not work and resetting did not work. All I got was a screen with the Apple logo that would not go away. Before heading to the Apple store, I connected the iPod to my Mac. I reset the iPod and waited. After about one minute, iTunes saw the iPod and it rebooted.

Hopefully one of the methods above will work. If not, I hope your iPod is still under warranty for repair or replacement. Apple’s warranty is one of the best out there and you can always purchase AppleCare for the extended warranty.

If you have a dead iPod and all options have been used you might have to buy a new iPod. Not the best solution, but you will be able to get the latest and greatest! Good luck!


• Article based on writer experience

• For more help with your iPod visit here: https://www.apple.com/support/ipod/five_rs/