Introduction: IPod Background Hack

Picture of IPod Background Hack

This will show you how to change any picture on your iPod, including your background. Unfortunately this does not work on Mac computers, and like many other iPod hacks, it doesn't work on the Shuffle, 2nd and 3rd generation Nano, and the new Classic or iPod touch due to higher levels of encryption.

This hack will void your iPod warranty from Apple, although if you just rewrite your original firmware or restore your iPod there is no way for anyone to tell you did anything but use it like anyone else :-)

Please rate and comment it if you like it.

Step 1: Enable Disc Use on Your Ipod.

Picture of Enable Disc Use on Your Ipod.

First you need to enable disk use on your iPod. This can be done by :

Hooking-up your iPod to your PC

Opening up iTunes

Select your iPod and click the checkbox that says Enable Disk use. (if it isn't already checked)

Click Apply

Step 2: Download the IPod Wizard, and Background Firmware!

Now you need to download the iPod wizard. This is a very handy program that lets lets you make changes to the firmware of your iPod. You can download it for free at:

Get iPodWizard

Also, you'll need the modified firmware file from:

Background Hack For 5.5Gen 30GB + 80GB Video iPod, and 5Gen 30GB + 60GB Video iPod:

iPod videos (not classic) are 5th generation. Yours is a 5.5g if it has the search feature.

Background Hack For Nano

Also be sure to check out the blog and wikipedia page for tons of other things to mod on your iPod:

iPod Wizard

Also be sure to check out:

Step 3: Using the IPod Wizard

Picture of Using the IPod Wizard

Now you need to open the iPod wizard that you just downloaded.
(A Tip of the day will probably pop-up, you can just close it.)

Connect your iPod, you should see in the upper right-hand corner that it has "found" the iPod.

Now in the upper left-hand corner select the drop-down menu next to "Edit Mode", select "Firmware File" and click the "Open Firmware" button.

Navigate to where you saved the Background hack, select the file and click "Open"

After it loads you need to write it to your iPod. It's important to click the button that says "Write" first and when it's done click the button that says "Write to iPod". Click OK for the messages that pop-up.

Eject and unplug your iPod. Your iPod will reset it self. If this takes a little while don't worry.

Step 4: Victory!

Picture of Victory!

When your iPod comes back on, you should see that your background has changed! You did it! You changed your background! Now comes the fun part.

Reconnect your iPod. If you left iPodWizard up a message will come up asking if you want to switch iPods. Just click "OK". If you closed it, now is the time to open it back up again!

Go back up to the "Edit Mode:" drop-down menu we used before only this time select "iPod" and click "Load iPod Firmware"

When it's done reading, go to the "Firmware Editor" tab, then the "Pictures" tab. Then you click the drop-down menu where it says "Index:", you can scroll through every picture on your iPod.

Once you find the picture you want to change, go to the right-hand side of the window and click "Save bitmap". After you save the image (don't change the name), you can open it up in a photo editing program and make the changes you want. Be sure NOT to change the size or file type while your editing it.

If you plan on changing most of the pictures, as most people will, click the "Save all" button in iPodWizard. Since your saving 400+ photos you have to select a folder for them to go to.

After you've made your changes, simply click the "Load bitmap" or "Load all" button depending on wether your loading a single bitmap, or them all and when your done, click the "Write" button at the top and eject your iPod! Make sure if your loading a single bitmap that the image showing is the one you want to change. If you mess up, just click the "Load iPod Firmware" button at the top again, and remake your changes.

If you don't want to go to all the trouble of making you own theme, you can go to to find themes and see the numerous features of iPodWizard. If you like my Mini Cooper S theme, or want anything else as a theme, I'd be happy to send it to you. The ones that have been requested so far are .zip's at the bottom of the page.

As I mentioned before, this hack will void your warranty, although if you just rewrite your original firmware or restore your iPod there is no way for anyone to tell you did anything but use it normally.

I hope this was useful to you. If you have any questions don't hesitate to write!
Happy Hacking!


W01fbane (author)2016-01-04

Yeah, iPod wizard won't detect my iPod Video.

ChasL2 (author)2015-05-09

I reported to own comment to get an admin's attention.

pickingrin (author)ChasL22015-05-13

Thanks for letting me know. I've removed the offending links until I can find working versions. Let me know if you find them first!

ChasL2 (author)2015-05-09

The first link redirects to a bad site.

mihirs (author)2015-04-20

will this work on ipod nano 5th generation?

aidanjarosgrilli (author)2012-07-27

Could you Upload the zip folders of the apps here, because I cannot find the download links on te websites. thanks

aidanjarosgrilli (author)2012-07-27

will this work on an ipod nano 4th gen?

goebela (author)2011-10-17

lol late comment great instructable but whenever i go write to ipod it gives me a error message what do it do/what am i doing wrong

dleigh' (author)2011-08-22

so, one the first step it says to enable disk use. & my itunes doesn't say that but my ipods a 4 generation? help please:) thanks

undonevil (author)2011-04-10

i think is gone can you help me out i got a 5th gen

pickingrin (author)undonevil2011-04-12

Fixed the links. Let me know if something else doesn't work!

fogman103 (author)2011-04-03

How did you change the text color? (Main image on intro page of 'ible)

maxpower49 (author)2009-01-21

how can you tell what genneration your ipod is and does this only work for ipod viedo

pickingrin (author)maxpower492009-02-03

If you have an iPod video the difference is that the 5.5 Generation has a search feature under the music menu. This hack works on all but the Shuffle, 2nd and 3rd generation Nano, and the new Classic or iPod touch due to higher levels of encryption.

Briguy9 (author)pickingrin2009-07-21

Um, the iPod Touch is part of the Hacked for Life family. There's no possible way other than to make a whole new ipod that it can't be hacked. It's a problem in the bootrom or something. I have an iPod Touch 2G running 3.0.0 and it's hacked, and not just hacked, jailbroken. I can do pretty much whatever I want with it now (except free app store apps). Best of all: It's legal, contrary to what Apple says. Same exact thing for the iPhone, because the iPhone is the iPod Touch with a microphone, camera, and an earpiece.

Mathias Re'eh (author)Briguy92010-02-14

i get free app store apps :) shhhh dont tell apple

thefinalcountdown (author)2009-12-30

hi i have the brand new ipod 5th gen the one that shoots video will it still work?

MrHobo (author)2009-05-18

when I ,"Write to iPod" it says to close all programs that use the iPod like iTunes but even if Iclose itunes it still gives me the message, what do I do?

pickingrin (author)MrHobo2009-05-20

I would try restarting your computer first. If that doesn't work then check the Task Manager to see if the help files or another part of the program is still loaded

Zack77389 (author)pickingrin2009-11-11
What if it still does not work?
MrHobo (author)pickingrin2009-05-25

thks for the help

Zack77389 (author)2009-11-11
Okay so I did everything and added the pic and all but when I hit "write to ipod" it says it cant because I have to close all programs like itunes and stuff, but everything is already closed. Help?
salza12 (author)2009-10-08

what link do we use if we have a 4th gen ipod cause i cant figure it out

reid822 (author)2009-08-13

Does this work on the newest (4G, Chromatic) Nano? I am having trouble and it doesn't say anything in the instructions.

kiss my donkey (author)2009-01-07

looɔ os sı ʇɐɥʇ ǝpnp

how'd you do that?

strcrusher (author)pickingrin2009-03-14

ǝɹǝɥ ʞɔılɔ ʇsnɾ
¡¡¡ʎsɐǝ s,ʇı

Briguy9 (author)strcrusher2009-07-21

¡ɹǝuoos sıɥʇ ʇnoqɐ uʍouʞ p,ı ɥsıʍ ı looɔ os sı sıɥʇ ɐɥɐɥɐɥ

Crafty123 (author)kiss my donkey2009-01-18

How did you flip the words?

maniacmusicman (author)2009-07-04

I have a logical explanation of why it is not working on the new iPods. As of right now, all of the new ipods are encrypted, that means nothing can be done to them. No mods. No backgrounds. Nothing. If you want to have a hackable ipod, then buy a first gen nano, a video ipod, a touch or an iphone. These are all available from ebay.

sarahsmith1992 (author)2009-06-14

and i also i cant find the firmware any where on my computer!

sarahsmith1992 (author)2009-06-14

''hey i have a 1G ipod nano, i downloaded the wizard but it doesnt seemed to be detecting my ipod, is there any settings that i have to have it on? like automatic update or something? thanks''

Lardmasta (author)2009-05-04

Hello, this thing completely screwed up my ipod, how do I get ipod wizrd off my ipod? Please help, thanks

Enro Technology (author)2009-04-13

how do i reset the ipod to default if i dont like the new look of the background etc do i just do center and middle button like usual

rckon93 (author)2009-04-11

i keep getting a message that sasy, error writing firmware!, does anyone know why i might be getting this?

beigetaige (author)2009-01-01

thats sweet and all, but the link doesnt work. The link for the video ipod background hack. Maybe it was deleted?idk please get back.

pickingrin (author)beigetaige2009-01-09

I fixed the links, let me know id you find anything else

Braeburn (author)pickingrin2009-04-02

it still doesn't work

kingnick526 (author)2009-04-01

how large is the firmware file

scottyneutron (author)2009-03-29

will it put a virus on your computer?

pickingrin (author)scottyneutron2009-03-30

Not if you go to the links I put up there.

Chowder_was_here (author)2009-03-08

If you update your ipod it will go back to the original screen,( the one apple puts on it.)

eygen (author)2009-02-08

I've tried this for my Ipod Nano 1 g whatever generation (I forgot because I've got a newer one) and that wouldn't work because itunes now has an automatic updater, and it won't allot any writing to the ipod. Too bad, would've been great fun.

pickingrin (author)eygen2009-02-09

That's just a setting you can turn off, I been able to write fine with both my video and nano ipod

Mr. Doodles (author)2009-01-25

how do change the color of the text??? yellow is not working for me as a my picture makes it hard to see

kiss my donkey (author)2009-01-18

look here type what you want to say then just
copy and paste it on to the comment. Big thanks to Plasmana's instructable showing me how to do that.

carrotman (author)2009-01-12

i have a problem... when i click "write to ipod" it says "Error writing firmware! code: -1,22,22907904. what did i do wrong?!?!

Gneekman (author)2008-10-23

You should probably also mention that this iPod Wizard is for Windows only.

pickingrin (author)Gneekman2008-11-08

Thanks, I thought I did that.

About This Instructable




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