How to Resurrect a Dead iPod Shuffle Battery

By Carol Finch

Troubleshoot battery charging problems with an iPod Shuffle. Find fixes for a battery that is completely dead or won't charge normally.

To troubleshoot an iPod Shuffle battery that appears to be dead or unable to charge, examine the charge process, test the USB ports and accessories, and reset the device. If the battery still plays dead, restore the iPod Shuffle to its factory settings.

Charge the Battery

Step 1

Disconnect the iPod Shuffle from your computer if it's plugged in. Turn it on and look at its status light. You see a green light when the battery is full, an orange light when the charge is low and a red light when the battery is about to run out. Don't worry if you can't see any light at this stage. The battery may simply not have sufficient charge to power the status light.

Step 2

Connect the iPod Shuffle to your computer and check the status light again. If the device is charging correctly, the light should be solid orange. If the battery is completely dead, it may look like it's not charging. Wait a few minutes for it to build up enough power to respond. If the light is orange when it switches on, continue charging. If the status light still doesn't work, move on to other troubleshooting fixes.

Check USB Ports and Accessories

The iPod Shuffle needs a high-power USB 2.0 port to charge; the device may not be able to hold a charge on low-power desktop or laptop ports. If you've successfully charged the iPod Shuffle in the past on the port you're currently using, you may have a problem with the port or USB cable.

Step 1

Disconnect the iPod Shuffle from the computer. Restart the computer to see if this gets the port working again. If it doesn't, try charging the device in a different USB port. If you have, or can borrow, an iPod Shuffle power adapter, switch to charging the device with that. If it charges, you may have a faulty or low-power USB port.

Step 2

Check the USB cable for signs of wear or damage. Open iTunes and check if the program picks up the iPod Shuffle when it's connected. Keep in mind that iTunes may not recognize the device if its battery is completely dead; leave it plugged in for a few minutes to see if it charges enough to show in iTunes. If you can't see the device in iTunes after a few minutes charging, you may have a faulty cable. If you have a spare cable, or can borrow one, try charging with that.

Tip

  • An iPod Shuffle typically won't charge if the computer is in sleep mode; its battery may drain instead. Make sure the screen is active when the device is plugged in.
  • If you're using a laptop, plug in the laptop to a power source. It may not provide enough power to charge on battery.

Reset the iPod Shuffle

Resetting the iPod Shuffle fixes minor glitches that make the device unresponsive. Disconnect the device from the computer and move its switch to the Off position -- it's off when you can't see green in the switch area. Wait 10 seconds and move the switch back to turn the device on again.

Restore the iPod Shuffle

If you can't get the iPod Shuffle to charge or respond after troubleshooting, restore it. This process erases all data from the device, and you'll have to reload music manually later.

Step 1

Connect the iPod Shuffle to your computer and open iTunes. Select the device in the menu area and open the Summary button.

Tip

Before restoring, check if the device's software is up to date in the Summary menu pane. If it isn't, update it and check if this fixes the battery problem. If the software is up to date, move on to restoring the device.

Step 2

Select Restore iPod to erase data and restore the device.

Select the Restore button in the iPod Shuffle area.

Tip

If you can't fix the battery, it may be defective or have come to the end of its lifecycle. Contact Apple Support for more help.