How to Turn on an iPod Shuffle

By Aaron Parson

Updated February 10, 2017

Apple's iPod Shuffle boils down the popular line of music players to a single core feature: playing audio files. Without a screen, the Shuffle relies entirely on buttons and switches to operate. Turning on or off your Shuffle takes only a flip of the power switch.

The Three-Way Switch

The fourth-generation iPod Shuffle has a three-way switch on its top side, near the Volume Up (+) button. While looking at the face of the iPod, place the switch in the far right position to turn off the device. To turn on the iPod, slide the switch one click to the left, placing it in the center of the track. With the iPod on, you'll see green on the switch track. Moving the switch to the far left turns on shuffle, which plays your music in a random order.


The iPod Shuffle won't play audiobooks or podcasts while in shuffle mode. Put the switch in the center position to play these types of media.

Power Status Lights

When you turn on your iPod Shuffle, the status light next to the headphone port indicates the Shuffle's battery power. At half power or better, the light turns green. An orange light indicates a battery between 25 and 50 percent power, and a red light warns that the battery is nearing its end.

The Shuffle's status light has different meanings while the device is plugged in. An orange light shows that the Shuffle is charging, while a green light means the battery is full and you're ready to go. A blinking orange light means the iPod is syncing, so don't disconnect the cable until it stops.


Double-tap the VoiceOver button between the status light and the three-way power switch to hear the current battery status.