Cause for iPod nano spontaneous reset?

by Todd Ogasawara

iPod nano with iSkin case
My iPod nano starts to reset when I press Select on the Music menu item (and no other item) every few months. The first time it started happening, I sent the nano to Apple for repair. However, it was sent back with a note saying that no problem was found with the unit. So, here's a couple of theories...


2006-05-11 07:15:29
I can't speak for the nano, but my 4th gen iPod reboots every time the headphone jack gets tapped (presumably because it shorts something in the socket)
2006-05-11 07:59:27
do you have any files gotten from I don't mean Audible content from the iTunes Music Store, but from Audible directly. I've seen the presence of such files cause that behavior on more than one iPod.
2006-05-11 10:19:44
my nano does the same thing... every few days or weeks... it happens a lot. very annoying... happens when ppl touch it! too much static... when I plug in a line out for a speaker system, or when the battery is low. weird. but works most of the time...
2006-05-11 13:05:25
I experienced similar problems with a 4gb nano. But eventually it 'died'. I did a factory reset and it seemed to bring the thing back to life. Hooray! But then it had new wierd problem: it would not power completly down. When I turned it off you could see a dim 'battery recharge' screen. Eventually it died. I sent it back for repair and they replaced it.

But I too am worried about what to do to prevent this problem. Should factory resets be done every few months just for good housekeeping?

Whats dissapointing to me is that I figured the flash drive nature of the device would prevent many problems as compared to hard drive units. However I now suspect that the battery in these devices and the software interface represents an area of complexity that is could be prone to much trouble. Oh well. The next generation will be more reliable.

2006-05-11 13:45:25
A few times, while playing music, I've noticed my iPod Photo restarting for no apparent reason. The battery was amply charged and I don't think I tapped the headphone jack as Alex described. The problem for now seems to have disappeared.

The latest issue is after having been not used for a while (hrs to days), a restart occures with the Apple logo coming up, instead of being delivered straight into the menu.

2006-05-12 01:36:36
The same thing happened to my iPod mini. Once in a while, pressing the 'Select' button (but) on the 'Podcast' menu would reboot my iPod. I plugged it into my Mac and used Disk Utility to check for problems. It found quite a few so I did a 'Repair Disk' and things have been going smoothly since (almost 6 months now). Is this just an odd problem or a sign of an impending Hard Disk failure?
2006-05-12 09:12:42
xStep - that sounds like power saving. My mini has done that since day one. Usually take a day or two to happen.
2006-05-12 10:52:06
My 5G 30GB iPod does the same thing, usually as I'm starting it up after sleep or setting the lock. Of course, it's while I'm in the car, usually about to start driving, and I'm 4 hours into my audiobook, so I have to take the next 10 minutes ff-ing through to where I was (it's gotten so frequent that I always note the time counter before I press play). It sounds a lot like one of Alex's short circuits, but it's not that consistent, as it sometimes happens spontaneously while it's playing with no contact from me.

2006-05-12 18:14:57
I have exactly the same problem with my nano - but this is a new one - I returned the last 2 I had to Fry's.

When I use Yamipod (instead of itunes)to drag files to it, it works fine.

A guy where I work uses itunes but he does NOT click the 'shutdown' button in itunes, just disconnects the ipod - this doesn't seem to happen to him (I haven't tried it yet).

2006-05-15 13:30:00
Todd, i am having the same EXACT issue with my 2gb nano! every few weeks the nano will start to reset when accessing the music menu. I could not find any information about this issue online anywhere. reinstalling the ipod software sometimes fixes the issue temporarily, but this is unacceptable. i took my nano to the apple store and they replaced it with a new one. they also told me the issue was extremely rare and had only seen it once before. now my replacement nano is doing the same exact thing. it has nothing to do with the skin. i am pissed. what can we do about this?
2006-06-02 18:00:22
my iPod nano 1G is having the same spontaneous reset music from the main menu and it reboots and is pretty much worthless (except for the main menu) until it is plugged into the computer and gets a little happy juice, who knows. at the apple store the guy was perplexed and gave me a new one, and it's happening with this one, too. so i took it back. a new guy said i probably had a corrupted file on there. so i've been loading about 10 songs or podcasts a day trying to find it. but i don't think that's it, cause a guy on the apple website discussions has been trying that tactic (only songs from iTunes or CDs) and his is still bugging. any ideas?
2006-06-06 01:22:39
I have this problem too...
In your it an hardware problem or a firmware problem that can be solved in the future update from apple?
Todd Ogasawara
2006-06-06 08:36:56
righez: Since my nano passed their hardware diagnostic tests when it was sent back for repair, I'm am guessing it is some kind of firmware problem. But, this is just a guess. Billy: If this happens to you again, you might want to consider doing what at least two of us have discussed so far: Create a video recording of the event and post it to a public video site. Then, send Apple a problem report with a link to the video. If you let me know, I can create a link page to collect video recording of the event from multiple people to demonstrate that the problem is not unique.
2006-06-06 13:01:59
Todd Ogasawara: videos are a great idea. if it happens one more time I'll surely take a video...
I hope for the firmware trouble anyway...I read that it can be a sort of incompatibility with some podcasts...
2006-06-06 20:45:53
My Ipod is doing the same thing. I, too, think it's the firmware, new firmware (1.1 March 06) because it was fine before the update, and I reverted it back to the old firmware and it seems to be happy now. I was hoping they'd fix it, but even within the 1 year warranty, they want a $30 shipping fee to send it back. Did I miss something in that policy?
2006-06-08 21:23:44
I found a workaround for this problem on another site--go into "main menu" under the settings menu and turn off music and instead turn on one or more of the menus that you usually use to navigate your collection. (I turned on podcasts, songs, and artists.) This seems to be a pretty effective, if temporary, solution.

I've read that it has something to do w/ corrupt music files.

2006-06-12 09:31:27
I have a 2GB nano that exhibits the same resetting behaviour. I've no idea why it happens but it's definitely related to what's on your iPod; I found I can reproduce the problem at will with just a single file... Episode 60 of the podcast. Deleting that file, everything goes back to normal. (RSS feed if you want to try it is
The lesson is clear -- iPods do not like to play geeky content! ;O)
2006-06-12 16:22:28
I've only had mine a few weeks and it's doing the exact same thing. No idea how to fix it yet.
2006-06-12 18:36:41
Man, I'm on my 3rd Nano and it's doing the same thing (each of them has done it). Based upon what people have said about it being corrupted files etc, I'm going to try deleting all files off it, then maybe a disk-repair, then if still no joy, back this one goes like the last 2. What operating system are you guys getting this problem using? I'm on OS X 10.3.9 - could OS have anything to do with it (the dude in the Taylor Square [Sydney, Australia] Apple Store said he'd never seen the issue before [but from me twice now] and suggested it may be the fact that the Mac OS didn't like the Nano [would seem very ironic if Windows was fine...]
2006-06-13 12:42:51
Success! Definitely caused by corrupted or somehow defective files. I did a disk scan which did not reveal anything unusual. However, when I deleted the files on the nano in stages it then started working fine. I suspect the problem was actually caused by podcasts (which is the only thing I have added lately to the ipod) but not 100%. This should be put on the Apple support page!

Thanks guys!

2006-06-13 15:02:04
Yeah, podcasts are the problem.
I was removing files one-by-one, and after removing a podcast, the problem was gone.
Also, that specific podcast sometimes does not play when selected. It does the second time.
2006-06-14 12:09:18
I'm having the same problem myself today, and this is day 3 of having my ipod. It must be my podcasts because I only updated my podcasts on this last time. When I disabled the "menu" option, and enabled the submenus, only the "podcasts" menus caused it to reset. Apple should fix this problem via a firmware update. Having 1 corrupted file cause your ipod to be practically unusable is quite annoying.
2006-06-16 08:26:28
This problem arises from a bug in iTunes 6 when you have empty folders in your podcast directory. When you subscribe to a podcast through iTunes, a folder gets created for the episodes. If all the episodes have been removed (either manually or as a result of your preference settings to only keep unplayed episodes) without deleting the folder, you'll see this kind of reset behavior.

The solution is to delete all empty podcast folders. If you're not able to do this because you're away from your computer, a temporary workaround is to play your tracks from playlist, genre, artist, album, etc. settings.

For a more information, see this iLounge forums post and its links to earlier posts (from 2005):

(And for other folks with iPod related questions I recommend that you check the iLounge forums.)

2006-06-25 15:05:48
I dont know if thats whats happening to my ipod, but mine is randomly reseting all the time, and I can no longer update my ipod. Its not locked though. I dont know if this could be a problem but the flip over cases by pacific design have a magnet in the case to hold the top down, could this possibly messing up my ipod? If someone can help me email me at Thank you
2006-06-29 09:30:48
My daughter has had this happen. The only thing that we can figure out is that she is hitting the reset buttons by accident. When she is trying to turn it up or scroll, that seems to be when it happens for her.
2006-07-14 13:01:19
i have a 4gb nano for about 2months now......and for the last 3weeks,the music is only playing on one side in my headphone(its not the headphone i tried 3 other set)...
i smashed it pretty hard while i was in bicycle but it didnt failed when this happened,it failed 3 days after when i hooked it up in a computer sound system that only had one speaker....anyone have the same left ear is getting tired and my right one is getting jealous.....PLEASE HELP ME........
2006-07-21 04:59:01
I got the same one side playback problem . i start to bycicle ,everything is ok. after 20 mins the right side goin off . the left side is ok . after 2 hours of switched off nano everything is ok again for 20 mins . its a 3 months old 4Gb nano . anybody ?
2006-07-27 05:40:08
the eaxact same problem happens to me
2006-07-30 18:53:10
my ipod seems to have a list of tests
2006-08-01 12:33:51
My ipod nano has some sort of corruption. i can only select a few songs. if i click on a song of my chose, the ipod while suddenly scroll down to another sing that would then start playing. only a few songs can be played but others can not. this problem has never occured before. help me!
2006-08-16 02:25:00
my ipod nano's screen will not work, where can get it repaired?
tom welsh
2006-08-27 13:29:51
i have exactly the same problem my whit nano will not play songs and goes through my whole library without playing and will not restart it wont turn off with restart plz help
tom welsh
2006-08-27 13:34:46
yes yes dear god i got it hold play center button and menu after you turned hold on then off hold buttons 4 6 second and walah its off weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee i found out
2006-09-09 15:18:15
yea my 2gb i-pod nano is mest it won't turn on or nothing even wen i plug it in 2 the computer i don'y no wut i should do
Todd Ogasawara
2006-09-10 11:43:33
For the various people who posted problems unrelated to this now resolved iPod nano spontaneous rebooting problem (delete empty podcast folders on your nano to solve the problem): If you have a severe iPod problem, you should (1) take it to the Genius Bar at your local Apple store (if available) or (2) fill out the online iPod service request form at

2006-09-15 22:57:24
the other day when i pluged my ipod into the computer, a note came up on the screen saying "songs on the ipod can not be updated because of all the playlists selected for updating no longer exist" so i then clicked out of it and all the songs that were originaly on my ipod were still accessable for my library but my playlist had gone. i then made a new playlist and put all the songs from my library into my new playlist, once again the note "songs on the ipod can not be updated because of all the playlists selected for updating no longer exist". i dont know what to do i have tryed reseting but it wont reset.
2006-09-29 21:53:17
wen i delete all the songs and everything off my 1 gig nano it says theres still 480 mb on it wen theres nuthing on it
2006-09-30 22:08:22
My ipod shuffle won't turn off even if i turn it to the off position.I don't know what to do.
Nicky P
2006-10-03 16:25:48
I have a new case for my ipod video. Its a stylish orange case with a flap (something like a wallet). To close the flap over the ipod, there are two small magnets. Ever since buying the case, I have noticed that my ipod resets whenever i try to play certain songs or videos. Should I get a case without magnets, or is the hard drive permenantly affected?
2006-10-04 10:10:49
well my ipod kept skippin songs back to the start then sayin corrupt files.then it would work for a song or two then do the same thing again.and i took it apart before and it worked for about 2 weeks then the same thing happened again.i broke it now.haha.the hard drive came out and i dunno how to put it back in.haha.
2006-10-04 10:12:17
oh and so if any1can help e-mail me on wont be opened.
2006-10-05 09:05:43
its almost definitely the podcasts, my 4gb nano started resetting about 2 weeks ago and has got far worse over the last weekend, resetting 99% of the time when i try to click the center button to enter the music menu, i decided to do somthing about it, saw this website, cleared the 5 podcasts off my ipod, added them immediately and just like that the ipod is fine again, MAGIC!! cheers 4 the advice

2006-10-09 05:55:35
My nano ill not update the music because it saya the playlists do not exist. What should i do
risto liias
2006-10-11 11:50:28
ok im new to ipod i just got one can any one help me cause i put on a lock code and now when i try to enter it, its not even doing anything it dosent say invilade code or right one its like the enter button dosent work can any one tell me where or how can i fix it my e mail adress is can any please help me
2006-10-11 12:23:00
"Anonymous:the other day when i pluged my ipod into the computer, a note came up on the screen saying "songs on the ipod can not be updated because of all the playlists selected for updating no longer exist" so i then clicked out of it and all the songs that were originaly on my ipod were still accessable for my library but my playlist had gone. i then made a new playlist and put all the songs from my library into my new playlist, once again the note "songs on the ipod can not be updated because of all the playlists selected for updating no longer exist". i dont know what to do i have tryed reseting but it wont reset."

i keep getting the same message!! what do i do?

Penner Bergen-Holt
2006-10-11 20:11:28
My Second Gen iPod Mini resets when i try to turn on the backlight. Through the menue way and the settings >>> backlight timer way
2006-10-15 13:37:11
well im having the same problem but with the ipod nano 2g and i just got it yesterday for the 3rd time. only the other two were 1g and i thought if i got the 2g it would work. ive taken them to the apple store and they said they had no idea what the problem was. so i dont know what to do. any suggestions?
2006-10-18 12:38:57
i have had my i pod from christmas and my ipod wont turn on. can u help ??????????
2006-10-20 06:51:56
my ipod nano keeps fast\f all the time help
2006-10-23 10:04:04
Mine started doing this for the first time today. They only thing that had changed was that I had added several podcasts. I deleted them all and everything works fine.