Ipod Nano Hold Button Fix!




ok, so i was a little late to the ipod trend. intentionally so, i guess. but eventually i succumbed, and bought an old nano on ebay. and of course, like clockwork, the thing broke on me a few months later. no matter what i did, the nano thought the hold function was stuck - no matter where the switch was, it continued to have the little lock symbol, and i couldn't use it. no software fixes, no hardware resets worked.

then i came across this on http://forums.vnunet.com/thread.jspa?threadID=105769&tstart=210:

user: jd858us
Re: ipod Nano hold switch remains on
Posted: 25-Apr-2007 22:15 in response to: Colinzzz

I had the same problem (stuck on hold and the switch was obviously faulty) with an out-of-warranty 2GB nano. It wasn't worth the cost of the repair so I had nothing to lose by trying a workaround. Here's what I did. After taking the cover off and removing the screws that hold the main board to the case, the hold switch's contacts were visible on the front of the board. There are three contacts (very tiny) but all the switch does is connect the center to either of the end contacts making the hold on or off. All I had to do was roll up a speck of tin foil and wedge it between the center contact and the "on" contact. Then I locked it in place with a couple drops of clear nail polish. No more "hold" function, but it works great!.

So, I opened the thing up. ( You can learn how to do this here: http://www.powerbookmedic.com/free-ipod-manual/ipodnano.pdf )

I couldn't get the tinfoil fix to work, so i just soldered those little switches together (on the back of the logic board where it says "hold switch contact area" you'll see three little metal patches - that's where to solder). And it worked again perfectly! Like the post said, no more hold function, but it would play....so what to do about the hold? How could I put it in my pocket or bag?

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Step 1: Hey, What About That Altoids Tin?

So, I was busy soldering away at my desk, fixing the nano and then rocking out to my newly reclaimed tunes. When it was fixed, I lamented that I would no longer be able to put it in my bag because of the touch wheel. My boyfriend looked up and saw an empty altoids tin on my desk and asked, "Would it fit in the Altoids tin?"

Step 2: What Do You Know, It Fits!

So, the nano fit perfectly into the altoids tin - so I punched a hole in the lower right corner using first a small screwdriver, then a slightly larger one, tapping it with a hammer.

Step 3: But It'll Still Bounce Around, No?

Well, obviously having the ipod bouncing around in there wouldn't do, so I padded it with some foam, secured with a bit of superglue.

Step 4: Fits Like a Glove!

Then, you're all set! Slide the headphone jack in through the hole, plug into the nano, and then it's snug as a bug in a rug, and it won't bounce around and move the touchwheel while it's in your bag! Plus, you'll look all sneaky and clever on the subway.



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    12 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah exactly what captainmorgan3 said, i need to know what ones they are.. please help guys!

    Can anyone tell me which 2 of the 3 contacts to solder across to unlock the locked switch? Are they the center and the contact closest to the edge of the PC board or the center and the contact furthest from the pc board? Also, can this be done with the switch left on the board?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    THANKS!   The hold button on my nano was stuck in the hold position.

    I opened the case and unscrewed the 2 small screws.  The hold button was unresponsive even after I moved it back and forth.  So I pulled the hold switch area off.  Placing tin foil over the 3 little switches underneath...the Nano came to to life w/o holding.  So I soldered those together and it worked!

    No HOLD feature anymore, but it works perfectly now.  Thanks again


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i've noticed the hold switch on my nano getting looser and looser the past few weeks to the point when I turn off the ipod then turn the hold button on, it wakes it up.  my problem isn't that it's stuck on hold, it's that it keeps going back and forth, there's no distinct click anymore.  what can i do?  i NEED my iPod, I use it every single day and can't lose the music I have on it (it's not backed up on any computers).  help!

    Uncle Rick

    9 years ago on Introduction

    This solution worked perfectly.  I used 3 or 4 fine strands of wire, which I twisted and then coated in solder ( tinning - which preloads the wire to solder more easily to the points.)  I also left the wire about 4 inches long so it could be held in place by hand.  It was then a simple matter of a quick touch of the iron to solder the wire in place at both points.  After the solder cools, I used an Exacto blade to score the wire where it attached and then wiggled a bit for it to come off. 

    You need only attach the wire to the center point and to the outer point.  Those points are silver color - not copper - and they are very small but easy to get to. 

    Thanks for the great tip. 

    9 years ago on Step 4

    nice, but i improvised the foem with toilet paper.(my loss, there are no subways were i live:(

    Gas Mark 5

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I have exactly the same problem, however the switch has been ripped off, and it's taken a couple of the tiny copper contacts with it! What do I do now, as I can't manage to find anything to solder to. Is there and way of repairing the contacts?

    Great instructable by the way! Thanks :)

    Where can you buy a new switch? Mine poped out and couldnt find it, all i need is to pop in a new one, do you know where i can find one?

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice instructable. I am currently messing around with an altoids can. This would be a good idea.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    My friend actually had the same problem but managed to fix it by popping off the hold button and fiddling with the hold button that way. This method is much less drastic than opening it and soldering stuff.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    clearly, i tried these sorts of "less drastic" solutions before i went out and bought a soldering iron! didn't work for me - the hold mechanism had become disconnected from the logic board, and one of the metal contacts was broken....hence the solder!