My iPod Won't Sync with My Computer

By Rochelle Connery

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • iPod device

  • iPod USB cable

  • iTunes software

Troubleshoot iPod syncing problems with software updates and soft resetting techniques.
i green mp3 player image by patrimonio designs from

Apple iPod devices are designed to sync with Apple iTunes software on Windows and Mac platforms. However, the syncing process is not always successful. Sometimes iTunes will freeze during syncing and other times it fails to sync music, movies or applications back to the iPod. Sometimes users have difficulty transferring purchases to iTunes without overwriting the existing library. Users can remedy each problem through troubleshooting techniques or by using less complex software to sync from the computer to the device. Exact troubleshooting options vary depending on the problem.

Charge and Update

Make sure your iPod is fully charged. Sometimes an iPod that isn't fully charged will have problems syncing to your computer. If it isn't fully charged, plug it into your computer using the USB cord to charge it, or connect it to a power outlet using a wall charger. Charge the iPod device for at least two hours.

Check for iPod software updates. Sometimes an iPod refuses to sync if it is not updated. Plug your iPod into the computer using the USB cable. Open iTunes and wait for the software to recognize your iPod. Select the iPod name in the left pane. Click the "Check for Updates" button in the right side of the window. If iTunes finds an update, accept the update and wait for it to install before attempting to sync your computer to the iPod.

Search for iTunes software updates. Itunes sometimes runs into a glitch mid-sync if it is not updated. Open iTunes and select "Help," "Check for Updates" from the top menu. If iTunes finds an update, select the "Download iTunes" from the popup box that follows, and wait for the program to download. Follow the step-by-step instructions for installation. Note that this process can take several minutes depending on download speed.

Add Recent Purchases

Transfer purchases through iTunes. Users often run into sync issues if the library on iTunes does not contain the most recent purchases. Plug your iPod into the computer using the USB cord and open iTunes.

Select "File," "Transfer Purchases from iPod." Any new song, movie, podcast or application will sync with your computer and appear in the iTunes library.

Attempt the sync process again. In some cases, you might need to disconnect your iPod and reconnect it before syncing occurs.

Check Software and Ports

Disable newly installed software. According to, some software tends to block iTunes from syncing with the iPod. If any new software is present on your computer, such as new antivirus software, it might be interfering with the sync process. Exact disabling procedures vary by software.

Connect through a different USB port. Apple recommends trying separate USB ports on your computer during the troubleshooting process.

Try a different USB cable.

Reset, Restart and Restore

Perform a soft reset on your iPod. On iPod devices with a center wheel, press and hold the "Center" and "Menu" buttons for 10 seconds until the screen displays the Apple logo. On iPod Touch and iPhone devices, press and hold the "Home" and "Power" buttons instead.

Restart the computer. Apple recommends restarting your computer, reconnecting the iPod and re-launching iTunes to troubleshoot the problem.

Restore your iPod to its original factory settings. The iTunes software will back up your iPod to maintain purchases in the iTunes library. The restoration process will sync applications back to your iPod.

Be sure to exhaust all other troubleshooting avenues first, as this remedy is the most time-consuming.