How to Erase an iPod Without iTunes

If you want to clear the data on your iPod without going through the trouble of using iTunes, you can connect your iPod to your computer and re-format the disk with built-in disk formatting utilities. Re-formatting your iPod will eliminate all the data on the hard drive, so make sure you have a backup copy of your music files if you want to save any tracks for future use.

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Format your iPod to erase the data stored on it.

Formatting an iPod in Windows

Step

Connect your iPod to your computer with the USB cable. Close the AutoPlay window that appears.

Step

Open “Computer” from the “Start” menu if you use Windows Vista or Windows 7. If you use an older version of Windows, open “My Computer.”

Step

Right-click on the icon that corresponds to the iPod and select “Format” from the menu to open the “Format Removable Disk” dialog. Select “FAT 32” as the file system and enter a name for the iPod in the “Volume Label” text box. Click “Start” to erase all data on the drive.

Step

Disconnect the iPod from your computer when the formatting process is complete. The information on your iPod will be gone.

Formatting an iPod in OSX

Step

Connect your iPod to your computer with the USB cable. Close iTunes if it starts automatically.

Step

Open a Finder window. Double click on “Applications” and open the “Utilities” folder. Double click on the “Disk Utility” application.

Step

Select your iPod from the left menu column. Click on the “Erase” tab.

Step

Select “MS-DOS file system” from the “Volume Format” drop down menu. Click the “Erase” button to begin the disk formatting process. Click the “Erase” button on the pop-up warning dialog to confirm that you want to format the iPod.

Step

Disconnect the iPod from your computer when the formatting process is complete. The information on your iPod will be gone.