My iPod Went Black: What Do I Do?

by Travis Meyer

When an iPod touch's screen goes black, you're not just losing an MP3 player, you're losing your Wi-Fi access to news, social networking, directions and email. In short, you're losing a major part of your daily routine. Fortunately, most cases of iPod screens going black are due to minor firmware issues that require a little effort to repair.

Charge the iPod

The most common reason for an iPod's screen going black is that the device has run out of battery power. If the device has been running for some time and is completely dry of battery life, it'll remain unresponsive even after plugging it into your computer or an outlet, making it seem as though something is seriously wrong. Using the device's USB connector cable, plug the iPod into the wall with the wall adapter or connect it to your computer's USB port. After a few minutes the device should chirp and display at battery icon with a low, red progress bar.

Reset the iPod

In some instances, a firmware error on your iPod causes the device to freeze while the screen display is in sleep mode. To solve the issue, perform what's called a "Reset." Plug the iPod into your computer or a wall outlet. After a few moments, hold down the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button simultaneously for 10 seconds. As long as it was only a firmware freeze, your iPod will let out a chirp, display the silver Apple logo and load the Home screen.

Restore the iPod in Recovery Mode

When the iPod has encountered a serious firmware error, you need to perform a restoration in recovery mode, which completely wipes the iPod's data and restores the device to factory settings. To restore your device in recovery mode, launch iTunes on your computer and plug your USB connector cable into your computer without the iPod connected at the other end. After a few moments, connect the USB cable to your iPod and hold the Home button and Wake/Sleep button simultaneously for 10 seconds. After releasing the buttons, an alert should appear in iTunes telling you it has detected an iPod in recovery mode. Click "OK" to restore the device to its factory settings. Keep in mind that this wipes all the applications and user data from your iPod.

Bring iPod to Apple Store

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If your iPod continues to be unresponsive, then you likely have a hardware issue. Unfortunately, iPods are designed in a way that requires a specialized tool kit to open them up and examine the internal hardware. You essentially have two options: you can take it in to an authorized Apple service provider or you can schedule an appointment with the Genius Bar at your local Apple store (see "Resources"). Although repairs through the Apple store are often expensive, the technicians are usually capable of providing an cost estimate for free.

About the Author

Travis Meyer is a co-editor at Poor Claudia and Pocket Notes. Also a front-end web developer, he specializes in server-side content management systems, web-based business solutions and graphic design.

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images