How to Format an iPod Shuffle

by Bennett Gavrish ; Updated February 10, 2017

If your iPod Shuffle is not functioning properly or you are preparing to sell it, you will want to format the device. Formatting an iPod Shuffle deletes all of the songs and other data on the device's memory and resets the iPod to its original condition.

Plug the iPod USB cable into the bottom of the iPod Shuffle.

Insert the free end of the iPod USB cable into a free USB port on your Mac or PC computer.

Open the iTunes application on your computer by using the Dock on a Mac or the "Start" menu on a PC.

Click on the name of your iPod Shuffle underneath the "Devices" section on the left side of the iTunes window.

Go to the "Summary" tab at the top of the iTunes window.

Click on the "Restore" button in the middle of the window, and when prompted, choose the "Restore and Update" option. The iTunes program will begin to format your iPod's memory, and when the process is completed, it will search for the latest iPod software update and install it on the device. Formatting an iPod Shuffle should take less than 30 minutes.

Items you will need

  • iPod Shuffle

  • Mac or PC computer

  • iTunes software

  • iPod USB cable


  • Formatting an iPod Shuffle will delete all data on it. Make sure to back up your music before formatting the device.

About the Author

Bennett Gavrish is an I.T. professional who has been writing about computers, electronics and the Web since 2004. His work has appeared in the "Nashua Telegraph" and the "Daily Free Press" and on numerous websites. Gavrish received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University.

Photo Credits

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