How to Erase an iPod

By Techwalla Contributor

On those rare occasions when you want to erase all the music, audiobooks, games, and any other files on your iPod, the solution is to restore the iPod disk to factory settings. Once you follow these steps, all the songs, games, audiobooks, and other files will be deleted permanently from your iPod.

Things You'll Need

  • iPod
  • iTunes software
  • Internet connection
  • Computer
  • USB or FireWire cable

Step 1

Make sure iTunes is downloaded on your computer. Open iTunes. Connect the iPod to the computer via the USB port or FireWire cable.

Step 2

From the Source section, click on your iPod when it appears. Click Restore. Choose the version of iPod software you want to overwrite the iPod disk.

Step 3

Log in as an administrator if you get that prompt (Mac users only). Follow the progress of the restore on the screen. If you have an older version of iPod, you may be asked to connect your iPod to the iPod power adapter. Otherwise, keep the iPod connected to the computer while the music is being erased.

Step 4

You'll know the iPod has successfully wiped all the music from the disk when the iTunes setup assistant window comes up. Once you get this indication that the restore is complete, go through the process of naming the iPod and answering the other prompts.

Step 5

The iPod is now free of all the old music and ready for you or another user to start loading up whatever songs, albums, podcasts, photos, audiobooks and miscellaneous media you want.

Tips & Warnings

  • These instructions apply to the erasing the music from the iPod, the iPod classic, the iPod mini and the iPod nano.
  • During the restore, don't worry if you can barely see the progress bar. That's normal when the light is off.
  • Before using the restore function and wiping out all your music, games, and other files, back up any files currently on your iPod that you want to keep.
  • Do not disconnect the iPod while it is being restored or very bad things will happen.