How to Update an iPod Without iTunes

By Avery Martin

The iPod Touch provides support for third-party apps through the App Store.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Provided you are using an iPod Touch, you can download and install software updates without connecting it to iTunes. Other iPods such as the Shuffle, Nano and iPod Classic must be connected to a computer running iTunes to download and install software updates. You can also update any apps installed on your iPod Touch without accessing iTunes. Even though the iPod Nano has factory-installed apps, it doesn't run iOS and requires you to connect your device to iTunes to update the software.

Update iOS Software

Connect your iPod Touch to a power source with the connected USB connector cable and power block.

Tap the "Settings" app, then "General" and then "Software Update." Download the update, if necessary, and then tap the "Install Now" button in the Software Update section of your iPod Touch.

Tap "Agree" and wait for your iPod Touch to verify and install your update. Your device restarts after verifying the update.

Swipe the "Slide to Set Up" slider from left to right. Enter a passcode, if required.

Tap "Continue." Enter the password for the Apple ID displayed on the Apple ID Sign In screen. Select "Next."

Set up Security Questions, if prompted. Select "Next."

Tap "Start Using iPod."

Update Apps

Tap the "App Store" app on your iPod Touch.

Select the "Updates" tab.

Tap "Update All" to update all of the apps on your device.

Provide your Apple ID credentials to confirm that you are authorized to download updates for the app.


If you are notified that you need to free up disk space to perform an update, press and hold an app until your apps start wiggling. Press the "X" on any apps you no longer need, and then confirm deletion when prompted. Press the "Home" button when finished.

If you have a passcode set, you must connect it to iTunes to remove the passcode. Otherwise, you must enter the passcode after the update completes.


Set up and create an iCloud backup to ensure you don't lose data before updating your software. You can create an iCloud backup by selecting the "Settings" app, "iCloud" and "Storage & Backup." Set the iCloud Backup toggle switch to "On" and select "Back Up Now." You can also add additional storage for your online backup by selecting the "Change Storage Plan" button and selecting an option.

Information in this article applies to iOS 5 and 6. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.