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How To Factory Reset the iPod Touch

Posted by Jamie on March 26, 2018

The iPod used to be everywhere. You couldn’t walk down any street without seeing the signature white headphones or someone holding their tiny iPod Touch in their hand as they managed their music. With the rise of the smartphone, the iPod has largely gone the way of the Dodo and is now rarely seen in public. If you still have one and want to know how to reset the iPod Touch, this tutorial is for you.

The iPod changed the way we listened to music forever. Much like the Sony Walkman made music portable, the iPod made digital music part of our everyday lives. For that we have a debt of gratitude. Smartphones may have taken over and do a very good job of managing every aspect of our lives there are still lots of iPods out there in daily use.

There are a couple of reasons you might want to reset your iPod Touch. It may freeze, intermittently become unresponsive or you may want to return it to factory defaults so you can store or sell it.

A reset can be soft, hard or include a full factory reset. Each does something slightly different. A soft reset is like a reboot and is the one we would choose first to fix an unresponsive unit or for an iPod Touch that wasn’t behaving as it should. A hard reset is for when a soft reset doesn’t work or when iOS isn’t responsive at all. Finally, a factory reset is for when you are selling or storing your iPod Touch.

Soft reset an iPod Touch

A soft reset is essentially a restart of your iPod Touch. It is the first thing we would usually do when troubleshooting the device or an app running on it. A soft reset does not affect any of your files and settings.

  1. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the device until the power slider appears.
  2. Slide the power off slider on the screen to the right to power off.
  3. Once off, press the Sleep/Wake button again until the device starts.

From here, retry whatever it was causing the issue and see if it has been fixed. If so, no more action needed. If the iPod Touch is still misbehaving, try a hard reset.

Hard reset an iPod Touch

A hard reset is for when the iPod Touch really isn’t responding very well. It could be frozen, intermittently unresponsive or stuck in an app. A hard reset does not delete any data or settings either.

  1. Press and hold the home button and the Sleep/Wake button.
  2. Continue to hold them even when the power off slider appears.
  3. Hold the buttons while the screen flashes, goes dark and then flashes again.
  4. Let go once the Apple logo appears.

The iPod Touch should now boot as normal and with any luck, should now work properly. Your music and settings will all still be there but hopefully now the device works as normal.

Factory reset an iPod Touch

A Factory reset is what you do if you are selling or otherwise disposing of your iPod Touch. It wipes all your data and settings and returns it to the condition it was in when you first unboxed.

  1. Back up all of your music and data from your iPod Touch using iTunes.
  2. Open your iPod Touch and navigate to the Settings menu.
  3. Select General and Reset.
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings.

This will do exactly what it says it will do. It will delete all of your settings, any personal data you loaded onto your iPod Touch and all the music it contains. It essentially wipes it clean and returns it to factory settings, hence the name.

You can perform this process using iTunes if you prefer. As you will likely connect your iPod Touch to iTunes to save your data, you may find it easier to do the reset there and then.

  1. Connect your iPod Touch to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Open iTunes and get it to recognize the iPod Touch.
  3. Save all of the data from your iPod Touch before you do anything else.
  4. Select the device and then Summary in the left pane of iTunes.
  5. Select Reset device from the center and let iTunes do its work. You will need to confirm your choice before it wipes the device.

Whichever method you choose, the end result is a completely fresh iPod Touch that looks and feels just like new. Now you can be confident that if you sell it, you’re giving nothing of yourself away with your device!

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