How to Restore your iPod to Factory Settings

You can quickly and easily erase your iPod and load it up again by restoring it to the original factory settings.


Up next in How to Use an IPod (23 videos)

Sync, customize, clean, and troubleshoot your iPod without having to head to the Apple store with the advice in these Howcast videos.

You Will Need

  • iTunes software
  • FireWire cable
  • iPod power adapter
  • Administrator's name and password (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Open iTunes and connect your iPod

    Open iTunes on your computer and connect your iPod using a FireWire cable.

  2. Step 2

    Download latest version of iTunes

    Wait for iTunes to open. If you don't have the latest version of the program, a dialog box will open and ask you to download it. Wait for the download to complete before continuing.

  3. Step 3

    Select your iPod

    Find and select your iPod in iTunes. Information about your iPod will appear in the Summary tab of the main iTunes window. Click the Restore button.

  4. If you are using a Mac, you will be asked to enter an administrator's name and password.

  5. Step 4

    Follow screen instructions

    Check your computer's monitor for a progress bar, indicating stage 1 has begun. At the completion of stage 1, if you have an older model iPod, you will be instructed to disconnect your iPod and connect it to an iPod power adapter. If your iPod is newer, you will be instructed to leave it connected to complete the restoration process.

  6. Step 5

    Watch your iPod display

    Check your iPod display for the Apple logo and a progress bar, indicating stage 2 has begun. It is important that you leave your iPod connected to the power adapter or computer during this stage.

  7. Step 6

    Name and sync your iPod

    Wait for stage 2 to finish. Once it has, the iTunes Setup Assistant window will open on your computer. You will be asked to name your iPod and choose your syncing preferences. When you have indicated your preferences, your iPod will be restored to factory settings.

  8. In the iPod's first full year on the market it sold 378,000 units.