iPod 4th Generation Troubleshooting

The 4th Generation iPod looks like the iPod Photo, but does not have a color display. Troubleshooting and replacing parts is fairly straightforward.

No matter what you do, you can't get your iPod to turn on.

Before delving into the guts of your iPod, check to make sure the hold switch isn't activated. If the hold switch is on, the iPod will ignore any input on the click wheel and refuse to do anything. If your iPod's problem isn't so easily solved, read on.

If your iPod won't turn on, especially if it has not been used recently, you may simply have a drained battery. Plug your iPod into your computer or AC adapter and see if anything happens. Ideally your iPod will recognize it has been connected to a power source and charge its battery. If it will no longer charge, it must be replaced with a new battery.

If your iPod does nothing when plugged into a computer, the problem most likely lies in the logic board. We carry both the 20 GB and 40 GB boards, as well as the instructions for installing them.

It is possible that it appears nothing is happening because the display is bad. If you hold the iPod up to your ear you should be able to hear the hard drive spinning. If the iPod sounds like it is working properly but nothing is visible, it is possible the display is bad and must be replaced.

Your iPod turns on and appears to work, but when you plug in headphones or speakers, the audio doesn't play properly.

It's unlikely your headphones or speakers are bad, but it's worthwhile to eliminate these as the source of your problem at the beginning. Try your iPod with another set of headphones or speakers just to make sure that the problem is with the iPod.

The most likely cause of audio output problems on iPods is a bad audio-out jack. We sell the thin (20 GB) and thick (40 GB) headphone jacks, and we offer free guides for replacement. If this does not restore audio, the headphone jack cable may be the culprit.

The iPod displays an image of a sad iPod when turned on

Sometimes, a reset and restore will fix a sad iPod. Connect your iPod to your computer and use iTunes to restore the iPod. Restoring the iPod will erase everything on it, so make sure everything on the iPod is stored elsewhere prior to restoring. Sometimes it may be necessary to restore the iPod several times before it works properly. If you are unable to restore your iPod using iTunes, you can hard reset your iPod. 4th generation iPods can be hard reset by booting while holding the menu and play/pause buttons. This should result in a quick dark screen followed by the standard Apple boot graphic.

If restoring the iPod didn't work, the sad iPod is likely caused by a problem with the logic board. There's not much to troubleshoot here. Basically, the only option is to replace the logic board (20 GB or 40 GB).

The iPod displays an image of a folder when turned on.

It is possible that a simple restore may resurrect the hard drive. Restoring the iPod will erase everything on it, so make sure everything on the iPod is stored elsewhere prior to restoring. To restore, connect your iPod to a computer with iTunes installed. Upon connecting, a message may pop up, informing you that your hard drive is corrupted and/or in recovery mode. If one of these messages pops up, click the "Restore Now" button and follow the directions. If no pop up message appears, click "Restore" on the iPod summary page (click on your iPod icon on the left menu to find this page). Follow the directions to restore.

One of the best methods to diagnose a failing hard drive is to listen to the drive. If you put your iPod up to your ear, you should hear a smooth-sounding whirr of the hard drive spinning. Any loud clicking or grinding sounds may mean that your iPod's drive is failing. If you don't hear anything, the drive is not getting power or is very damaged and can't spin up. In this instance, replacing the hard drive cable first is a good idea. Then, if the problem persists, replace the hard drive. Browse our hard drives and check out our iPod ID page for compatible drives.

The iPod either boots to an Apple logo and freezes or continuously reboots.

This is likely the cause, and the logic board (20 GB or 40 GB) must be replaced.


My iPod Touch 4th Generation is starting to act up. All of the apps I have downloaded(the ones that dont come pre-installed) are crashing. What should I do?

Rachel - 回复

Recently I replaced the battery on my iTouch(4Gen) 64GB and when I first turned on it wouldn't go past the apple logo. Rebooted a few times with same results I then turned it off, left it charging and in the morning I was able to start using it. My ipod works fine so there's no need to check the logic board.

Ulysses - 回复

hi all.. i have an Ipod classic 4th Gen 20Gb. it can play music and it work, My problem is the LCD backlight is on but nothing appear on display.. is there any solution or the only solution is LCD replacement ? please help. thanks

detaildigiprint - 回复

My Ipod 4 just sits and blinks but will not do anything else I used it on Tuesday it worked fine but on Saturday it wont do anything what could be wrong and how do I fix it

Betty Pigate - 回复

The battery's dead

James Avila -

My lcd back lights not working

James Avila -

I reformatted the drive through Windows without iTunes and it ended up getting stuck on the Apple logo thereafter. I had to follow these instructions (after installing iTunes again):


Marcus - 回复

My iPod Touch (4th Gen) is being a butt. Whenever I add new songs to it the new songs won't play AT ALL and for most of the other songs they play but no sound comes from the songs. Some songs work fine, others not so much. What does that even mean when it does this

yasutora32292 - 回复

My iPod 4th gen is sopos to turn on with a white screen but it's still dark grey

James Avila - 回复

On my 4th Gen iPod Classic, after replacing hard drive, I now have to open the casing THEN plug it in for iTunes to see it. Any thoughts?

Ronn - 回复

Hi everyone, basically I have an old ipod 4th Gen, recently the battery had stopped holding charge, I would charge it overnight and when taking it off it said it was empty and turn off. SO, I bought a new battery from ifixit and replaced the battery. Now its doing the same with this battery, it wont hold its charge. The screen will say its charging, but will die moments after taking it off charge. I have dug up the Internet looking for an answer amd cant find anything. Can anyone help me with this? Thanks

james.robertson91 - 回复

Hello james.robertson91 --I have the same experience having replaced the battery and then having it appear to be charged but it dies right away when I disconnect it. Have you found the problem? Fiddling with the diagnostics mode, I have put it in “diskmode”. The screen shows the small charging battery in the upper right corner and the screen reads “do not disconnect”. I will leave it overnight and check it tomorrow. ~Cheers.

Linda Starr -

How can I recover all my music from iPod HD (iPod dead) before trying an hard reset?

Can I attach in some way the internal HD to recover my music?

Alberto La Valle - 回复

My Ipod 4th gen has a new battery and was working fine until I plugged it into my Pioneer car stereo with the docking/USB cable. After that, It won’t boot up. I first get the apple logo and thenI get an image of an ipod with an exclamation point in a triangle and message says “visit www.apple.com/support/ipod”. I cannot get the ipod recognized in itunes on my windows based laptop or my Mac Mini. How can I fix it?

l77rochelle - 回复

when i turn on my ipod - the headphones icon comes on and i am not getting any volume thru the headphones even if i do hit the “louder” button - - i have tried multiple headphones and all the same ???

auxop - 回复



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