Reformatting an iPod

| Tips

After applying the iPod updater 2006-03-23 to my 4GB iPod nano, I found that its firmware was hopelessly scrambled, and no amount of cajoling on my part, or Appleis iPod experts, was able to bring it back to life. Lucky for me, my nano was still under warranty, so Apple replaced it without any fuss or hassle. When my replacement iPod showed up in the mail, it was formatted for Windows, and did not go through the usual process of resetting itself when I plugged it into my Mac.

Since I need my nano formatted for Mac OS X, I had to force it to reset myself. Hereis how:

  • Make sure you have the latest iPod Software Updater application installed on your Mac. You can download it from here.
  • Launch the iPod Software Updater application. Itis in Applications > Utilities > iPod Software Updater.
  • Plug your iPod into your Mac.
  • Click the Restore button.
  • Enter your Administrator name and password to verify that you want to reset your iPod to factory settings.
  • After the process finishes, a dialog asks if you want to quit the updater and launch iTunes. Go ahead and click the Quit button.
  • Your iPod will automatically reset itself to work on your Mac.


Click the Restore button in iPod Updater to reformat a Windows iPod for your Mac.

The reason I needed to format my iPod is because the iPod shuffle is the only model that works correctly with a Windows format in iTunes on a Mac. Other people reset their iPod because it isnit working reliably, or because they are selling it.

Remember: Resetting your iPod to factory defaults deletes every file, song, and picture from your music player. If your iPod has important information on it, be sure to back everything up before resetting it.

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