How to Restart Every Frozen iPod

Restart iPod Mini, iPod Video, iPod Classic, iPod Photo, and More

iPod classic
image copyright Apple Inc.

It's frustrating when your iPod gets stuck and stops responding to your clicks. You may worry that it's broken, but that's not necessarily the case. We've all seen computers freeze up and know that restarting them usually fixes the problem. The same is true for an iPod.

But how do you restart an iPod? If you've got any iPod from the original series—which includes the iPod Photo and Video, and ends with the iPod Classic—the answer is in the instructions below.

How to Reset iPod Classic 

If your iPod Classic isn't responding to clicks, it's probably not dead; more likely, it's frozen up. Here's how to restart your iPod Classic:

  1. First, make sure that your iPod’s hold switch isn't on. This is crucial, since that button can make the iPod appear to be frozen when it's not. The hold button is the little switch at the top left corner of the iPod video that "locks" the iPod’s buttons. If this is on, you'll see a little orange area at the top of the iPod video and a lock icon on the iPod's screen. If you see either of these, move the switch back and see if this fixes the problem. If it doesn't, continue with these steps.
  2. Press the Menu and center buttons at the same time.
  3. Hold those buttons for 6-8 seconds, or until the Apple logo shows up on the screen.
  4. At this point, you can let go of the buttons. The Classic is restarting.
  5. If the iPod still isn't unfrozen, you may need to hold down the buttons again.
  1. If that still doesn't work, make sure the iPod's battery has a charge by connecting the iPod to a power source or computer. Once the battery has charged for a while, try again. If you're still unable to restart the iPod, there's likely a hardware problem that needs a repairperson to fix. Consider making an appointment at the Apple Store. However, keep in mind that as of 2015, all clickwheel models of the iPod are not eligible for hardware repair by Apple.

    Reset or Restart an iPod Video

    If your iPod Video isn't working, try restarting it using these steps:

    1. Try the hold switch, as described above. If the hold switch wasn’t the problem, continue through these steps.

    2. Next, move the hold switch to the on position and then move it back to off.

    3. Hold down the Menu button on the clickwheel and the center button at the same time.

    4. Keep holding for 6-10 seconds. This should restart the iPod video. You'll know the iPod is restarting when the screen changes and the Apple logo appears.

    5. If this doesn't work at first, try repeating the steps.

    6. If repeating the steps doesn't work, try plugging your iPod into a power source and let it charge. Then repeat the steps.

    How to Reset a Clickwheel iPod, iPod Mini, or iPod Photo

    But what if you've got a frozen Clickwheel iPod or iPod Photo? Not to worry. Resetting a frozen Clickwheel iPod is pretty easy. Here’s how you do it. These instructions work for the clickwheel iPod and iPod Photo/color screen:

    1. Check the hold switch as described above. If the hold switch wasn’t the problem, continue on.

    2. Move the hold switch to the on position and then move it back to off.

    3. Press the Menu button on the clickwheel and the center button at the same time. Hold these together for 6-10 seconds. This should restart the iPod video. You’ll know the iPod is restarting when the screen changes and the Apple logo appears.

    1. If this doesn’t work at first, you should repeat the steps.

    2. If this doesn’t work, plug your iPod into a power source and let it charge to make sure it has enough power to work properly. Wait an hour or so and then repeat the steps.

    3. If this doesn’t work, you may have a bigger problem, and ought to consider a repair or upgrade.

    How To Reset a Stuck 1st/2nd Generation iPod

    Resetting a frozen first or second-generation iPod is done by following these steps:

    1. Move the hold switch to the on position and then move it back to off.

    2. Press the Play/Pause and Menu buttons on the iPod at the same time. Hold these together for 6-10 seconds. This should restart the iPod, which is indicated by the screen changing and the Apple logo appearing.

    1. If this doesn’t work, try plugging your iPod into a power source and let it charge. Then repeat the steps.

    2. If this doesn't work, try pushing down each button with only one finger.

    3. If none of this works, you may have a more serious problem and should contact Apple.​

    Restarting Other iPods and iPhones 

    Your iPod not listed above? Here are articles for restarting other iPod and iPhone products: