My iPod Won't Play My Music

By Andrea Drinkard

Updated February 10, 2017

If music will not play, ensure the headphones are plugged securely into the iPod.
i ear buds 02 image by Darrell Sharpe from

While the Apple iPod is typically an enjoyable and efficient device, it can be maddening when it malfunctions. Often, the reason behind the music not playing on an iPod is user error, such as earphones not plugged in properly, but internal problems do occur. Many problems can be solved by resetting the iPod or authorizing the computer. More severe problems may require service by the manufacturer.


Locate the Hold switch, typically at the top of the device. Ensure that the switch is not in the hold position.

Remove the headphones and plug them back in, making sure the socket fits securely in the headphone jack. To test the headphones, play a song in iTunes and connect the headphones to the computer. If no sound plays on the headphones, replace them.

Check the volume settings. From the main menu, choose settings. Change the maximum volume limit if necessary.

Press the play button to ensure the iPod is not on pause.

Navigate to the music list and see if your music is listed on the iPod Touch, Nano and Classic. On iPod Shuffle, listen for a message with instructions to sync the device. If there is no music, connect to the computer with the included USB cable and sync with iTunes.

Reset iPod

Make sure the iPod battery is completely charged.

Slide the Hold switch on and off.

Hold the menu and center buttons down until the Apple logo appears.

Reset the iPod Touch by holdings the power and sleep buttons simultaneously until the red slide bar appears. Slide your finger across the bar to turn off the device. Hold the power and sleep buttons until the Apple logo appears to power on the device.

Reauthorize Computer

Scroll through the music on your iPod and look for purchased songs.

Click on the purchased songs.

Open iTunes on your computer if the songs do not play.

Locate the Store menu.

Click the option to deauthorize the computer.

Enter your Apple user name and password and click OK.

Select the tab on the left side of the iTunes window to open your music library.

Navigate through the music library and play a purchased song.

Re-enter the Apple user name and password.

Click the authorize option.

Items you will need

  • iPod

  • Computer

  • Headphones

  • USB cord, if applicable


If the iPod is under warranty, you can replace the headphones for free.

Ensure the version of iTunes on your computer is the most current. Songs that were purchased on an earlier version will not play on the iPod until iTunes is updated.