iPods are normally reliable devices. However, the basis of their storage is a microdrive which, like other disk drives, can become corrupted or fail to respond. For example, if an iPod battery is allowed to discharge or there is excessive movement this may result in iPod drive corruption and lost iPod files.
User actions can also have a similar devastating effect. If the iPod is disconnected during an iTunes sync, the iPod may freeze. Or if an iPod is sync’d with iTunes on a different PC, the result will be lost iPod files as the existing iPod files are overwritten by the files from the other PC.
Please note that when performing an iPod file recovery operation, you should not connect your iPod to iTunes except where noted in the individual problem description and resolutions below. This is because the default setting in iTunes for when an iPod is connected is to “auto-sync” the play list. This means that iTunes will try and write its current list of songs to your iPod. For a successful iPod file recovery operation and to recover more of your lost iPod files, it is important not to write new data to the iPod unless absolutely necessary.
Have you accidentally deleted or lost iPod files?
If your iPod is working OK, but you have just accidentally lost iPod files then check out our recommended file recovery products. There are free trial versions which provide audio previews of any files it finds!
However, if you are having additional difficulties with your iPod please read on….
What is the problem with your iPod?
If you are experiencing difficulities with your iPod then you may see the following symptoms:
You have a sad face iPod icon displayed.
If there is a sad face iPod icon displayed this indicates that there may be a mechanical error or failure on the drive. A sad face iPod will probably require a visit to your local Apple store or an Apple approved technician. However, you may be able to enter disk mode on the iPod so that Windows can see it as a normal disk drive. In this case, some iPod file recovery products may be able to scan the drive and recover lost iPod files. Any lost iPod files found can be recovered and saved in advance of a visit to the store. Click here for more information on disk mode for iPod.
If you cannot get into disk mode on the iPod and the sad face iPod icon remains displayed, your iPod has a hardware problem. It may still be possible to recover your lost iPod files.
Your iPod displays a folder icon and exclamation mark
When there has been a data transfer or communications error, your iPod screen may display a folder icon. In this case you can run iPod file recovery software to recover and save any lost iPod files to a different disk device. If this is successful, you can now perform a Reset or Restore of your iPod. This will put your iPod back to its original factory settings. You can then transfer all the lost iPod files retrieved during the iPod file recovery operation from the other disk back to your iPod.
Your iPod does not respond and seems ‘frozen’
This is quite common and the remedy can be simple! Check to see if the Hold button has been set to the locked position. Move the button a couple of times to check it hasn’t accidentally been set. If that fails, try a reset of the iPod. To do this, press “Menu” and “Select” at the same time holding them down for at least 6 seconds until the Apple logo appears followed by the normal iPod menu display. Click here for more information on how to deal with a frozen iPod.
If this does not work, then you may be still able to recover the lost iPod files with iPod file recovery software.
Lost iPod files when the iPod was sync’d with a different copy of iTunes
If enabled, the iPod Auto Sync option will automatically update your iPod with whatever files are in the iTunes library of the computer it is connected to. It is a one-way operation only. Files are not copied from the iPod to the PC. Files are only copied from the PC to the iPod.
If an error is made on this, such as connecting to a friend’s computer, you may end up with lost iPod files.
In this type of scenario, you will appear to have lost all your iPod files.
If you still have your own iPod files in your own iTunes library, you can connect the iPod to your computer and re-sync with iTunes to get your lost iPod files back on the iPod.
However, if this is not the case, some iPod file recovery software products may still be able to find your original files. See our advice on what to look for in iPod file recovery software. These can be recovered and saved to a different disk device and then copied back to your iPod.
You did an iPod Restore and lost your iPod files
An iPod Restore is intended to return the iPod back to its original factory settings and has a similar effect as reformatting a computer’s disk drive.
After a Restore it will appear that you have lost iPod files. If you still have your iPod files in your iTunes library, you can connect the iPod to your computer and re-sync with iTunes to get your lost iPod files back on the iPod.
If however, you no longer have the files in iTunes on your PC, then as above, some file recovery software file recovery software may be able to find and recover your original lost iPod files. See our recommended products for iPod recovery. The lost iPod files can be recovered and saved to a different disk device and then transferred back to your iPod.
We strongly recommend visiting the official Apple support website for further details and advice on your specific iPod model.