My iPod Touch Won't Turn On

By Carol Finch

Learn how to troubleshoot an iPod Touch that won't turn on by checking its charge, resetting and restoring it.

Things You'll Need

  • iTunes
  • iPod USB cable
  • iPod wall adapter

An iPod Touch may become unresponsive and not switch on if its battery is drained or it has a software or hardware glitch. Follow troubleshooting steps to charge the battery and reset the iPod Touch to see if you can get it working again. If these steps don't fix the problem, you may need to restore the device.

Charge the iPod Touch

Connect the iPod Touch to the computer to start charging it. If the battery is completely drained, it takes a while for the charge to register, so don't worry if the screen stays blank or black initially. If the battery meter appears on the screen, continue to charge the iPod. You should be able to turn it on when it has sufficient charge.

If you don't see anything on the screen after 10 minutes, check the connector cable. If it is damaged or worn, it may not be able to charge the device. Switch to a different iPod Touch cable, if you have one, or try a different USB port. If you have a power adapter, unplug the iPod from the computer, connect it to the adapter and see if it charges from a power socket.


Make sure the computer is active when charging the iPod Touch. If the computer is in standby or sleep mode, the battery may discharge rather than charge.

Charging may make the screen turn on if a drained or low battery was preventing the iPod Touch from working; it won't fix other problems. If the device won't charge or still won't turn on after a charge, and you can't find a fault with the cable, USB port or adapter, try other fixes.

Restart or Reset the iPod Touch

Turn the Device Off and On

Hold down the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the iPod Touch until the power slider appears on the screen. Swipe the slider to turn off the device and hold down the Sleep/Wake button to restart it. If the device doesn't respond or the shutdown doesn't work, try a reset.

Reset the Device

Hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears. This may take a few seconds. Release the buttons when you see the logo and wait for the iPod Touch to reset and start up.

Sometimes, a minor glitch freezes a screen or prevents the iPod Touch from starting up correctly. You may be able to clear the glitch by restarting or resetting the device.

Put the iPod Touch in Recovery Mode

If the iPod remains unresponsive, put it in Recovery Mode to see if iTunes can fix the problem with an update. If this option isn't available, you can then restore the device.


A restore removes all data from the iPod Touch and restores it to factory settings. Although you may have the option to restore the device from a backup, this may not automatically restore all data and you may have to add some manually. Make sure you understand how an iTunes backup works before you restore the iPod Touch.

Step 1

Open iTunes. Connect the iPod Touch to the computer and hold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously until you see the Recovery Mode screen with the iTunes logo and a cable with an arrow.


You may need to hold down the buttons for a few minutes and wait for the Apple logo to appear and disappear before the Recovery Mode screen opens.

Step 2

If iTunes thinks it can fix the problem, the Recovery Mode message may give you the option to Update the iPod Touch. Try this option first, if it's available. If there is no option to update, select OK on the message to move on to a restore.


If you decide not to restore the iPod Touch at this stage, select the Eject iPod button on the Recovery screen.

Step 3

Select Restore iPod to restore the device.

Select the Restore iPod button to restore the device and follow the prompts to confirm and start the process. When the restore is complete, set up the iPod Touch again.


If the iPod Touch still won't turn on, contact Apple Support.