Hidden iPod Commands

I grew tired of Googling each time I needed the correct button sequence to put iPods into their various modes, so I’ve put together this little table.

iPod Generation Hard Reset Diagnostic Mode Disk Mode
1st Generation “Scroll Wheel” Menu + Play Previous + Center + Next Previous + Next
2nd Generation “Touch Wheel” Menu + Play Previous + Center + Next Previous + Next
3rd Generation “Touch Wheel” Menu + Play Previous + Center + Next Previous + Next
4th Generation “Click Wheel” Menu + Center Previous + Center Center + Play
5th Generation “Click Wheel” Menu + Center Previous + Center Center + Play
Hidden iPod Commands

411 thoughts on “Hidden iPod Commands

  1. Peter Ireland says:

    Thanks a lot for the work you put into this site.I have a 2nd gen Ipod still going strong after all these years,apart from the odd freeze now and then.This is now bookmarked in case of further accidents.


  2. Danielle says:

    Oh my freaking gosh. I love you :D I have to take a 3 hour trip today, and my iPod froze and I was panicking, and I found this and it worked like a charm. THANK YOU!!!!!


  3. Jorle says:

    hey there
    Knocked my 80gb 5G ipod off my desk last night whilst it was syncing. It disconnected from the computer and went into the apple logo reset screen.(it did not hit the floor only came half way unconnected)
    Once it had restarted my whole libary had been wiped, The ipod stated that there was no music on it.
    (yet the space on the harddrive still says its full)
    When connected back into the computer it is the same story, Itunes only wants to restore the ipod and doesn’t find any songs.
    IS there anyway of getting these songs back, any help would be much appreciated.


  4. Thanks for the information. Just had to reset and reformat an ipod nano 5th gen. After using the resets had to restore on my netbook as it would not restore on main PC. Then re-synced the music. Now we have a happy 14 year old!


  5. Allie says:

    Trying to restore my 4gen ipod nano without i-tunes as the ipod shows up on the Mac but not in i-tunes. I-tunes opens up when ipod is plugged in. Tried all the usual fix-its… reset via settings on ipod, uninstalled and re-installed itunes, made sure Mac OS X software was up to date… is there any way i can restore it??


  6. julyan says:

    after visiting your site i have a glimmer of hope for my 30gb video, as the sad face logo came on i have failed to get it to reset or go into disc mode . i have got it into diagnostic mode but nothing happens after the program has run itself. anything i can do or try . auto diag comes up blank


  7. Bill says:

    “I am having this problem too, and I do not see a response.
    I run the diagnostic check and I get to “HP Dectect Test” and I can’t continue. The screen says HP DETECT :0
    Any Ideas???”

    Maybe a bit late but, this step is the Headphone Detect – to progress, plug your headphone in and then take it out and press Menu to continue.


  8. pob says:

    great stuff, 4 years on and your work’s still helping people. 4th gen ipod that was frozen and i was gonna smash it with a hammer, now i’m going to have to find something else to beat my frustration out of.


  9. Alex says:

    Hello to all.

    I have an 80 Gig Ipod (6th gen) and I’m going through the steps of restoring the ipod. however whenever I get to the step where itunes says “restoring ipod” it stays in that mode and I can’t do anything. It’s been about 2 hours and no luck!!! Any suggestions?


  10. Rob says:

    Thank You! My ipod (5th Gen. ipod video) was stuck in a monochrome restore loop and I could not snap it out of it no matter what I tried (and I tried alot of options/d.i.y. tips). Even Apple’s itunes.com trouble shooting pages could not help. The sad thing is that Apple can not help at all once your warrantee has expired. This is sad but true because thats when you need tech support the most. When all other options (itunes support pages/tech support) don’t even cover/inform you about what to do in this situation you feel like you have just been taken for a ride and are left helpless.
    They should at least point you in the right direction (a link to this site would do). Its a bad sign when their tech support can’t/won’t help and people have to turn to other means to solve their problems. I understand the issue with “expired warrantee” but at the very least they could have sent a link to this site in an email or post it on their troubleshooting pages. This would not have taken much time and would probably have save me (and others) some time. If nothing else it would restore my faith in “company tech support”.
    You should recieve an award/recongition for stepping in when all others (itunes/ipod tech support) fail/refuse to help. This info has saved my once bricked ipod. Its good hearted people like you that allows the rest of us to continue on with “business as usual” in our daily lives.
    I use my ipod for a lot more than just listening to music. For me its more of a training tool that allows me to learn my craft in a more faster, compressed amount of time. The info you’ve shared is more helpful than anything that I got from Apple Inc. Once again THANK YOU for all your excellent info, it saved my ipod and made my daily life a bit more easier to cope with.


  11. Mikomi says:

    And I thought my iPod nano was broken… but all it needed was a hard reset. What a relief… Thanks so much for this info. :)


  12. Comandos ocultos para restaurar un Ipod…

    Necesitas restaurar tu iPod y no lo reconoce iTunes? se reinicia constantemente? o simplemente quieres explorar el modo diagnostico? El siguiente enlace nos enseña como habilitar los modos “Diagnostic”, “Hard Reset” y “Dis…


  13. Mariel says:

    You are the best. I thought my ipod was dead!! It was frozen in diagnostic mode, and the reset worked well on my nano. Thanks for being excellent, smarty pants :)


  14. champion says:

    this didn’t work. I’ve tried for over a week now to get my ipod to “restore” but everytime I do it and it appears it is going to it goes back to the start and tells me I need to restore it. This happens over and over again. I recently used disk mode (as you suggested)and I got everything back but I couldn’t get it back to normal. I did hard reset as you say to after this but then that just wiped the slate clean again and I had to restore my ipod…

    thank you


  15. cherl says:

    please can you help i have an ipod classic 80gb, the screen keeps saying firewire connections are not supported to transfer songs connect the usb cable provided. It also will not play on a docking statino ut will play through head phones…………….please help


  16. TOm says:

    Awesome, searched for over an hour for this information (Hard Re-set) this was the first time it really worked. Great stuff TY!


  17. Chibi says:

    OMG you don’t know ow much time i invested in this danm Ipod you rule !!!! ^?^ brownie points for you


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