Fixing a Frozen iPod

I’ve seen a number of questions on the web related to frozen iPods which either get stuck on or off. Holding the Hard Reset buttons indicated in the previous post will — if the iPod is accepting any input at all — force it to do a full reboot. In most cases, the freeze is a one-time issue, and this solution will get you out of the situation.

However, if the iPod reboots and gets stuck again, try resetting it yet again and holding the Disk Mode buttons to force the iPod to become a simple external hard drive. When connected via USB or FireWire, it can be Restored with Apple’s latest iPod Updater software. Sometimes a Restore is the best way to get your iPod working again, as it wipes the device clean and reloads all the factory settings. The Restore function is so deep that it will even fix an iPod hard drive which has been completely written over with zeroes!

If the iPod is still locking up, it may be the result of a more serious problem that can be determined by thoroughly testing the hard drive. Stay tuned for more iPod fixing tips in the very near future.

Fixing a Frozen iPod

431 thoughts on “Fixing a Frozen iPod

  1. Melly says:

    Not sure if my ipod problem is one that’s already on here, but I couldn’t read thru all 400 posts… I have a 5th gen ipod nano. I was listening to it my car today and then all of a sudden it stopped playing. When I got home I connected the ipod to my Itunes and it said “itunes has detected an ipod in recovery mode. You must restore ipod before it can be used with Itunes.” I clicked ok, then restore, and after a few seconds of it trying to restore something pops up that says “The ipod “ipod” cannot be restored. An unknown error occurred (1437)”. Any ideas what to do??? Thank u!!


  2. Jonathan says:

    Hello, my ipod is frozen and i need help to unfreeze it. i was uploading music and den my computer freezes so i had to turn it off. when i did, the ipod said “connected, eject before diconnecting.” and when my computer froze i had to turn my computer off so myipod is now stuck like that. i turned my computer back on later and now its like still on that. when i plug it in, the sound comes up that something is plugged but it wont read it in itunes… what should i do?


  3. jason says:

    I have a4th gen ipod. It went out of batts and i left it hanging without a charge. then when i went to recharge it, there is no response. I use a wall outlet to recharge it and still nothing. I tried all the various resets and it still doesn’t work. can anyone advise on how I can get this damn thing to work again?


  4. Patrice says:

    ok i have 8GB nano, and up to recently has been workin fine, have it about a year and half…..the other day certain songs were skipped and wouldn’t play…had same problem with the same songs on itunes, but then today my ipod would play songs and randomly just cut off in mid song and reset itself….bt now its blank and wont respond to anything, i have plugged it into my pc, a plug in charger and nothing.
    Have tried reseting and whackin nothing is working :(


  5. Emily says:

    Ipod Shuffle 4th gen would get absolutely stuck on pause regularly–no response at all w/the controls. It seemed random. Restore worked, but that didn’t make sense as a real solution. After reading response 04/05/06, I realized the perma-pause would happen when I used up to a certain storage point (waaay below the max), so I deleted some podcasts and sure enough, it’s unstuck. So there must be HD blocks somewhere up the line. Well, I guess I’ll have to decide if I care enough to try and get it replaced.


  6. august west says:

    Just wanted to add one more positive experience:
    My ipod has forzen twice now, sad. The first time it came back on its own, but this time, thanks to advice here, I held down the menu and middle button and it’s alive again. Might be worth trying


  7. Jordan says:

    I unplugged my ipod when it said synchronizing do not dissconnect, which was pretty dumb. Anyway it is now stuck on the sychronizing do not disconnect screen.
    What can i do to fix this


  8. Bob says:

    That wack the iPod on its side thing worked! Holy crap! A 160 Gig iPod I hadn’t used in over a year is ALIVE!. . . That was awesome!


  9. Jacob says:

    My Ipod nano froze and I’ve tried everything, but opening it up and remozing the memory thing and nothing has worked at all. PLZ help me


  10. Bill says:

    I still don’t believe it but . . . I toggled hold swith, I pushed the menu and center buttons at same time, I reloaded, I updated, I did everything known (or at least documented) to try to snap my ipod out of its hibernation. No luck. It would charge, it would sync with computer, but it would not budge from the language screen. I even tried the ridiculous scotch tape idea. It sat this way for a year literally. I even ended up buying a new ipod out of frustration, but this frozen nano just ate away at me. The only thing I hadn’t tried was slamming the unit down on a flat surface. I did it on my knee a few times and on my desk top a couple of times, somewhat afraid that the screen might break or the whole thing would simply disintegrate. No change. After exhausting my efforts and patience, I slammed the little nano down with quite a bit of force atop my desk (mostly out of anger and frustration). Imagine my surprise when the unit sprang back to life. I’m still amazed! Seems to work just fine now. I don’t understand the what’s or why’s but the “slamming” technique actually worked for me. Go figure


  11. Lozz says:

    Help me please guys. I have a 160gb IPod Classic and it’s doing the ‘click of death’. I have tried hitting it and it does come up with a black screen, but when I press a button, the apple icon comes back up. I try connecting it to my ITunes, yet, the screen comes up with ‘OK to disconnet’ and the ‘click of death’ starts again. I really need to fixed for a trip I’m going on… please help!


  12. julie(: says:

    help mee!!! i have a 160gb ipod classic and its completely frozen. ive connected it to the computer and nothing happens. i tried charging it but once again nothing happens. it says its on lock but its not. ive also held the reset buttons for a while and still nothings happening. please help!!!!!


  13. Mitch says:

    Holy cow…I was reading all these posts about knocking on the knee thinking it was a joke. But it seriously worked!!!!


  14. mkwande says:

    My 3rd gen ipod has done the sad icon/frozen charge thing a few times. reset usually works. just happened again. no luck on charging, reset, etc… found the “turn hold on, and hit the ipod on hard surface a few times” entry way back in 2006. worked on 1st try! thanks!!!



  15. Gwyno says:

    Hahahaha, Dan I loved the click of death explanation and also the slam technique… it works after having tried nearly everything ;)


  16. Kira says:

    For those of you who are still confused on how to get the ipod with the blinking apple logo, simply connect your ipod with computer,put it in a disk mode by holding down the action and play/pause button, and then format and scan it from your computer. When your ipod is finished formatting, eject it and from the computer, and it will automatically works just fine again. this works for my 4th generation nano


  17. Bruce says:

    I tried smacking it around, but lost patience. I threw the damn thing on the hardwood floor, and it lit up, ready to go. Looks like the nasty nano responds only to a little tough love.


  18. Alex says:

    My iPod nano 5G is completely unresponsive. The buttons don’t work neither does the click wheel or the toggle hold switch. So I cannot try the reboot program. I cannot even turn it off! Help Please!!!


  19. yer, i plugged my 80g classic in. The interface went all old skool mac and stuck on ok to disconnect. did reset but back to silver apple logo. a ouple a slaps off the knee, not too hard and back, everything ther – good advice, ty all


  20. em says:

    Well i dropped my iPod in the toilet by accident and it immediately got flooded with water…. the screen got all fuzzy with black and white lines all over it- i shook my iPod up and down to get some of the water out; it worked a little then it got even fuzzier….my iPod is sitting in a jar of uncooked rice right now- my iPod is like dead-


  21. Declan says:

    One day I disconnected my Ipod (possibly without waiting for the disconnection loading bar to finish) and all my Ipods songs and album artwork where deleted (everything that i had put in up till this point) but when I go over the settings options it still says I’ve only got 3.9 GB left in a 8 GB Ipod. this suggests that the data is still on the Ipod but just isn’t recognised. The ipod also doesn’t register on Itunes when I have the Ipod plugged in. I’ve tried multiple things including letting it run out of battery and trying to wipe the whole thing with the key combinations suggested in the other post but nothing has worked so far (maybe I havn’t used the combinations correctly?).
    Can anyone help?


  22. blessy says:

    i have a 5th gen ipod.. i was syncing some pictures. and my ipod was still plugged to the computer. i was scanning some pictures then when i got to the last pic, i clicked the center button, then it all went blue-ish, the kind when there’s a little light on the sides.. and everything froze there. can anyone help me, please??


  23. blessy says:

    i read all your posts here, and i tried holding the menu and center button, after a while, an apple icon appeared and it all went back to normal… thank god! what a relief!


  24. mm* says:

    Heeeey. Ipod is doing my head in..
    its a 4th generation nano, randomly listening to music..and it just froze on the current song, plus when i had it on the dock, it randomly shuffled ALL the time. Apparently its shuffle is better -_-
    So i tried the reboot, menu + center button, but when it restarts all it shows is the apple icon, or sometimes the dead battery symbol, put it on the charger its just freezes…FML -_-
    Literally tried everything, cd mode, whacking it a lot, which will likely bugger it up even more, a million and one websites, it sucks.
    If anyone has any new sugestions :/ it would be fab because im going crazy. Feel like chucking it in the bin…cheers :)


  25. Kim says:

    1. turn off lock
    2. hold menu and center buttons
    3. dont let go for 6-10 seconds
    4. see if apple sign is on screen
    5. Hopefully you will be able to play


  26. Kevin says:

    The other day I was listening to music, and my ipod fell off my lap. Right after it froze, on a black screen with apple logo, however my music was still playing.After I unplugged the headphones the ipod refused to move. Menu and select doesn’t work. Nothing does, I’ve put it in itunes and tried to restore it, but still it’s still stuck on the apple logo. I really don’t know what to do anymore, the smacking technique doesn’t work neither does putting it into disk mode. Any help would be appreciated.


  27. my years old but otherwise reliable ipod 20gb froze up and i could hear the “click of death”. apple support pages no good as couldnt reset it or reboot it.only getting apple logo followed by sadface etc. ipod not being recognised by itunes so i’m looking at a new ipod.didnt think smacking it around would work but i thought what the hell its broke anyway so what further damage can i do. smacked it a few times on my knee and hey presto its now working glad i looked at this webpage although my knee it a good smack really does work


  28. Jamie says:

    The banging on the knee technique worked and I am not kidding. I know little to nothing about my ipod so when i saw that post that was the only thing i knew how to do lol. I smacked it on my knee and my hand a few times and bam it works again!


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