Introduction: What to Do When ITunes Does Not Recognize Your IPod.

Picture of What to Do When ITunes Does Not Recognize Your IPod.

So you received your new iPod and you are so excited to use it. You plug the USB cord in the computer and plug the other end into your iPod. Now you encounter a problem. For some reason iTunes is not detecting your iPod. You might think this is a problem with your iPod. The reality is that it is most likely just iTunes. This step by step guide details what you will need to do in order to correct this problem.

Step 1: Finding My Computer.

Picture of Finding My Computer.

The easiest way to find out if the problem is the iPod or your iTunes is to look in My Computer. To get to My Computer click on start. Then click on My Computer on the right hand side as shown to the left.

Step 2: Finding the IPod in My Computer

Picture of Finding the IPod in My Computer

Once you are in My Computer look to see if your iPod was recognized by the computer. The letter will vary from computer to computer; it all depends on how many physical drives you have and on what other drives are connected. Usually it will appear as shown in the picture.

Step 3: Checking the IPod

Picture of Checking the IPod

Once you have found the iPod in My Computer right click it. If there is no delay and it pops up a menu similar to the menu shown in the picture, then it is most likely just iTunes.

Step 4: Opening Task Manager

Picture of Opening Task Manager

In order to correct this problem press ctrl, alt, and delete. This will bring up the Windows Task Manager. Go to the processes tab as shown.

Step 5: Ending Processes

Picture of Ending Processes

When you are in the processes tab look to see if any of the following processes are shown. End all of these processes. Once you have done this wait for a couple of minutes. Now start up iTunes again. This should have corrected the problem. If it is still not showing up continue on to step 6.

Step 6: Going Back to My Computer

Picture of Going Back to My Computer

If it still did not show in iTunes go back to My Computer. Find the iPod and right click it again. This time select format.

Step 7: Formating the IPod

Picture of Formating the IPod

7.This will bring up a menu as shown in the picture.

A. This should show an accurate capacity. If it reads something like 1 terrabyte then the hard drive/flash drive is bad.
B. You have to be able to select FAT32 as the file system. If you can't then again the hard drive/flash drive is bad.
C. Allocation size should automatically be set to default. If you can't select an allocation size then the hard drive/flash drive is bad.
D. Now select quick format, and click start.

Once this has been done it should show up in iTunes as a corrupt iPod. Restore the iPod at this time and this should finally resolve the problem. If you are still encountering a problem visit and have us diagnose the iPod for free.


SyedK31 (author)2017-12-02

hi , my ipod is probably shown by my pc but its not turning on ! plz give a solution and plz dont tell me that my display is ruined !

chrisdoesitmatter (author)2017-02-27

Worked! had to do last step and format. after that itunes recognized..Super duper!

sally230 (author)2016-06-29

my ipod 6th jen dose not sync to my computer any more it just says ipod conected and can not be detected is there any thing i can do to get it working

ademers30 (author)2016-05-22

Hi there! I tried the iTunes route and deleted the processed and restarted iTunes. Unfortunately, that didn't work for me. I'm also not able to right click on the iPod and see a format option. Most of the options you show don't show up when I right click. LOL! Not sure what the problem is. I updated software yesterday on iPod. It shows as up to date. I'm working with a 5th Gen and my PC is Windows 10. Any help is appreciated!! :)

Chitaracainz (author)2016-04-20

Yeah, mine's not showing up in My Computer either.

I've heard they have a ridiculously short lifespan for the money they cost, just a few years before they stop charging etc. I think that's what's happened to mine. :(

There's no apple stores in my country yet, they expect you to courier them overseas. I'm not sure it's worth it anymore.

patrick_mooney (author)2015-12-18

What if the iPod doesn't show up at all under My Computer, genius?

DavidT150 (author)2015-11-14

Wow thank you step 5 worked great thanks heaps been trying to fix it for ages

mama39 (author)2015-09-29

LibertyRoseS (author)2015-04-27

Tried this with a 7th generation iPod Nano that I have been using since November. When I set up iTunes on my laptop, finally, I was unable to connect my iPod to iTunes. I tried a bunch of stuff that Apple suggested but nothing worked. Tried this. All it did was erase everything on my iPod and make it completely useless. iTunes doesn't recognize it still, even as a corrupt iPod, and now it just displays a lit screen that says "DO NOT DISCONNECT." I am currently living in Russia and haven't seen any apple stores where I'm at to take it to. Please help! I am so upset I use my iPod all the time, I just wanted to update playlists and music :((

JanhviA (author)2015-01-05

Ok, i have an ipod nano 6th generation and i followed all of these steps but after the last step i get a message that says Windows was unable to complete the format.

What do I do now??? Please help....

EllieMac (author)2014-12-14

You have no idea how grateful I am for this amazing solution to a problem that I thought was (maybe) unsolvable. After two days, a bit of crying, extreme frustration and cursing apple numerous times, I finally finally can sync my iPod to iTunes. Bless you for actually helping me instead of confusing me or messing up my computer even more. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You were my last hope.

KerstinDavies (author)2014-07-22

Finally a solution that worked, so simple in its execution, one site quoted £250 to help me, I refused... Lucky for me! Smiling again, my 80.5 GB music files are mine again. This finally worked, did follow Apple's advice, no luck at all even after several attempts and other things too, must have re-installed i-tunes eight times at least. Thank you! :)

anony-mate (author)2014-05-18

My dad cleared my laptop a few months ago, so iTunes has been deleted along with it. And then I re installed a new one and added only videos and music. Of course, my iPod has not been recognized. A lot of things are saved in my iPod is not available in iTunes. What do I do? Please help. Thanks in advance. ( I don't want to clear anything in my iPod, a lot of things are saved in there which I don't want to delete)

sianacaine (author)2013-06-01

hi, iv tried literally everything and nothing is working! when I get to this screen and I right click, im not given the option of format? I only have open, open in new window, import pictures and videos, create shortcut and properties. Any ideas what else I can do? I have windows 7 if that helps. thanks

tito_023 (author)2010-05-18

hi i am getting so frustrated with my ipod. it is an oldish 80 gb video ipod that came out in '07. i have done everything in this tutorial but when i get to the last step, it does not let me chose "FAT32" or "default allocation size" there are only blanks there. Please help, i am running itunes 9 on a PC

iRepairSquad (author)tito_0232010-05-20

If it leaves those blank then you have one of 3 problems. They will go in order of most likely.

Hard drive has gone bad. When you power up the ipod put your ear to the back and listen for a clicking noise. If you hear nothing you might be lucky, and it could be the cable. If you hear a clicking noise the read arm is jammed and the drive is bad.

If no sound is heard the hard drive cable could be bad or need to be reset. Only open and do this if you have some electronics experience. Try popping the connecters and replugging them back in this might fix it.

Sometimes very rarely the board will just stop recognizing a hard drive. Again very rarely does this happen. Only way to prove this is to test the hard drive in another ipod.

Wish I could help you further but doubt i can unless you find yourself near Peoria Illinois.

R0MA (author)iRepairSquad2012-03-27

I also have an older model 80gb. So, if the iPod clicks it's the hard drive? Is there a way to restore it or will I need to buy a new one.

jyoung33 (author)iRepairSquad2011-08-09

what do i do if i cannot select "FAT32"?

monkeemel (author)2012-02-13

Dear Instructable Irepair chap or chappette
THANK YOU. I've been in tears of frustration trying to fix this problem after downloading itunes version 10.something.something today. Thought I would lose everything.
You have made my life better. I love you all. You deserve chocolate immediately.
monkee mel xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

begert (author)2011-11-25

ok so i have 2 laptops and 2 ipods. one ipod is synced to one laptop and i just bought a new ipod for the other laptop. when i plug in either ipod to the 2nd laptop they dont give me those options there is just the options to explore and open. what do i do then????

Daniele1969 (author)2011-11-21

Just like "thatringokid", my ipod does not show up in My Computer. When I connect my ipod, my computer does make the "sound" that it is attaching, but It's not in My computer...

What do i do now?

svinton-purdey (author)2011-09-17

I have two ipod touchs in my house and they both are brand new. They both hook up to my laptop just fine but when i hook them up to our desktop, its says that "This ipod cannot be used because the required software is not installed. Run the itunes installer to remove itunes, then install itunes again" but I have done this several times, I dont have any problems with hooking up ipod nanos, and I was able to hook up my ipod touch before, then it started doing this after i updated to the new itunes. please help if you can.

thatringokid (author)2011-02-12

WHat if it isn't in there?

mr.burrito (author)2010-12-25

i went to my computer and all it says is "apple ipod" under scanner and cameras because i just got the 4g one what do i do?

dibo0201 (author)2010-07-15

Hi, I tried to format my ipod nano 3G, but I couldn't even get to the right click menu. It stalls. I'd just get an hourglass until I'd finally give up and do something else. What do I do? Please help.

abbiewalker (author)2010-07-06

What do you do when your iPod is not recognised by My computer?! Help me please- this happened at xmas when i first got it- rang Apple, and it wasnt solved, then suddenly one day it just started working. I was a very very happy person! But now, the problem has started again. And now I am unhappy again. Please help if you can! :)

HCMC (author)2010-05-29

I just received a used 30GB iPod classic from my brother. Everytime I plug it into my computer the screen flashed with a red crossed out circle and reads do not disconnect. My iTunes does not register said iPod but it does show up in My Computer, In your step three you said to Right Click the iPod in My Computer, when I did this it did not look like what you showed on your picture. Please help!

rhiannonedwards (author)2010-04-28

 oh my days. this is the only thing that has worked. Last time I spent a fortune ringing up the helpline for apple ipods, and i have actually always had this problem, actually having to buy a new one because i thought it was the only option. thankyou so much! Signed up now, and I will use your site whenever I have a problem! This is brilliant guys, anyone reading this, just seriously try it!
Signed up to write this comment ;)

Its nice to see this is still helping people. iRepairSquad has changed from what it was. We no longer do customer repairs we only handle wholesale contracts. I can still help people with their problems if you leave a comment here though.

emilyanna (author)2010-03-05

Oh my goodness, you did it. Thank you so much.  I have been using my ipod for 3 years, and have dodged a lot of bullets.  This one stumped me.  Thanks for making it reasonable to follow, especially for us visual people.  So, so grateful!

rfrazao (author)2009-02-15

I was looking for this support in several pages, searching in Google for several days, the only solution was this explanation here, thanks a lot, this last step solved my problem. My brother bought the IPod four months ago, and he hasn't usei it yet. Thanks !

RetroTechno (author)2008-05-12

I think you would have to have "disk mode" enabled on an iPod to get it to show up in Explorer like that. I don't think you will be able to do these things otherwise.

dmclaugh1 (author)2008-03-20

I accidentally told my computer to stop recognizing my iPod. When I plug it in, i hear the "USB connected tones" followed immediately by a new tone (for what its worth, it goes "dunk! dunk! dunk!") There is no indication whatsoever anywhere on my machine that an iPod - or anything for that matter - is even plugged in...How can I trick my computer back into recognizing my iPod?

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-18

Cool! I like the way you edited the images. Nice job, I might need to do this... happening recently..

nightninja87 (author)2008-03-18

i have a different way when my ipod is not reconized by itunes i unplug it replug it if that dosent work i go into disc mode wich u press menu and select the middle button then when it restarts and the apple symbol shows i hold onto select and play then it goes into disc mode and i reconnect it to the computer it usually works for me great instructables

othertonywilson (author)2008-03-18

I am own a small business that repairs iPods. I am going to link your instructable to my website, so I don't get emails asking me what to do every day...

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