One of the most frustrating error messages for an owner of an iPhone or an iPod Touch is the "Connect to iTunes" message that can appear on the device screen, preventing you from using any features of the device. But as annoying as this error is, it serves a good purpose: alerting you of a serious system error that needs to be corrected through restoring your iPod device.
Unlocking an iPod in Recovery Mode
Verify you have Apple's iTunes software installed. If not, you can download it for free from Apple's website. A direct link is provided in the resources section of this article.
Connect your iPod or iPhone to your computer using the USB cable.
Verify the device was detected by iTunes. ITunes should start automatically, and you'll be greeted with a prompt: "iTunes has detected an iPod in recovery mode. You must restore this iPod before it can be used with iTunes."
Click OK to begin the restore process. If you have a backup of your device, iTunes will automatically try to reload your device with this saved version of your software and configurations. If you do not have a backup, iTunes will reload your device with the latest version of the iPod firmware. In some cases, this may require an active Internet connection to download and install.