By Tony Bove

You probably won’t be too surprised to discover that, on the off chance your iPod gets confused or refuses to turn on, you can fix it by resetting it and restarting the system — just like computers and other iPods. Resetting does not restore the iPod touch to its original factory condition, nor does it erase anything — your content and settings remain intact.

To reset the iPod touch, touch and hold the sleep/wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least 15 seconds, ignoring the red Slide to Power Off slider, until the Apple logo appears.

After you reset the iPod touch, everything should be back to normal, including your music and data files.

Resetting your iPod touch settings

You can reset all or part of your iPod touch settings while leaving your content and personal information intact. To see your resetting options, choose Settings→General→Reset from the Home screen (Reset is at the very bottom of the General settings screen). The Reset screen appears with the following options:

  • Reset All Settings: To return your iPod touch to its original condition with no preferences or settings while still keeping your content or your personal information (including contacts, calendars, and e-mail accounts) intact, tap Reset All Settings.
  • Erase All Content and Settings: To erase everything, first connect the iPod touch to your computer or a power adapter, and then tap Erase All Content and Settings. This operation can take a while, and you can’t use the iPod touch until it finishes.
  • Reset Network Settings: You can reset your network settings so that your previously used networks are removed from the Wi-Fi list. This type of reset is useful if you can’t find any other way to stop a Wi-Fi network from connecting automatically to your iPod touch — just tap Reset Network Settings, and you’re automatically disconnected from any Wi-Fi network. (Wi-Fi is turned off and then back on.)
  • Reset Keyboard Dictionary: To reset the keyboard dictionary, tap Reset Keyboard Dictionary. This erases all words that have been added to the dictionary. (Words are added when you reject words suggested by the onscreen keyboard and type the word.)
  • Reset Home Screen Layout: If you rearranged the icons on your Home screen, you may want to set them back to their original positions. To reset your Home screen to the default arrangement, tap Reset Home Screen Layout.
  • Reset Location & Privacy: You can reset your location and privacy settings by tapping Reset Location & Privacy.

Resetting an iPod nano and iPod classic

To reset an iPod nano, press the sleep/wake button and the Home button for six seconds, until the Apple logo appears.

To reset the iPod classic, follow these steps:

  1. Toggle the hold switch.
    Slide the hold switch to the right, exposing the orange layer, to lock the buttons, and then slide it back to unlock.
  2. Press the Menu and select buttons simultaneously and hold for at least 6 seconds or until the Apple logo appears; then release the buttons when you see the Apple logo.
    The appearance of the Apple logo signals that your iPod is resetting itself, so you no longer have to hold down the buttons.

Release the Menu and select buttons as soon as you see the Apple logo. If you continue to press the buttons after the logo appears, the iPod displays the low battery icon, and you must connect it to a power source before using it again.

To reset iPod nano or iPod classic settings, choose Settings→Reset Settings from the iPod nano Home screen or iPod classic main menu, and then select Reset (or Cancel to cancel). This resets all the items on the Settings menu to their default settings.

Resetting an iPod shuffle

To reset the iPod shuffle, first disconnect it from your computer (if you haven’t already done so) and then slide the three-position switch to the Off position. The green stripe under the switch should not be visible. Wait 5 seconds and then switch the slider back to the Shuffle Songs or Play in Order position.

After resetting, everything should be back to normal, including your music and data files.