How to Reset an iPod With iTunes

by Jared Huizenga
An iPod can be reset to its factory settings with the iTunes software.

An iPod can be reset to its factory settings with the iTunes software.

Perhaps your iPod is having some problems that you can't seem to correct. Or maybe you're getting a new one and want to remove all the files from your old iPod so the next owner can personalize it. No matter your reason, you can restore your iPod to its factory settings by going through the iTunes software. The process of restoring an iPod erases all content from the unit and restores the settings to their factory defaults --- essentially giving the iPod a fresh start.

Plug the dock connector end of the supplied cable into the dock connector port on the bottom of your iPod --- the port is next to the iPod's headphone jack.

Plug the USB end of the cable into a high-speed USB port on your computer --- high-speed USB ports are typically those found on the front and back of your computer, while the USB ports on peripherals, such as a keyboard, are typically low-speed ports.

Open iTunes on your computer.

Click the iPod icon, which will appear on the left-hand side of iTunes in the "Device" section when your computer begins reading your iPod. Clicking the icon will display an overview of your iPod --- available memory, current software version and memory used for songs, videos and photos --- in the main iTunes window.

Click "Restore" to reset your iPod to its factory settings.


  • Regardless of what kind of iPod you have --- Shuffle, Nano, Classic or Touch --- you can use the iTunes software to reset the unit using this method.


  • Resetting your iPod to its factory settings will erase all the content. Those items will not, however, be erased from your iTunes library or computer.

Items you will need

  • iTunes 9 or later
  • USB-to-dock connector cable (supplied with iPod)

About the Author

Jared Huizenga is a journalist living in Minneapolis where he works for one of the nation's largest weekly newspaper groups, covering city government and school news. While in college he managed two weekly entertainment newspapers in central and southern Minnesota and has contributed to many entertainment websites. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communication.

Photo Credits

  • sing or not? image by Christophe Schmid from