How to Put Songs on iTunes From Someone Else's iPod

by Daniel Hatter

When it comes to retrieving songs from an iPod, Apple makes it difficult. By default, all the folders containing your iPod's media files are hidden, and the iPod's disk use mode must be manually enabled. However, it is possible to unhide and transfer an iPod's songs to your computer. If, for example, your friend's computer crashed and his iPod contains the only copy of his music library, you can transfer the songs to your computer to back them up. Once they're on your computer, you can import them into iTunes.

Step 1

Open iTunes and connect your friend's iPod to your computer with an iPod USB cable. Wait a moment for iTunes to recognize that it has been connected and then click the iPod's name to view its options.

Step 2

Check the "Enable disk use" check box in the "Options" section of the page and click "OK." If you are prompted at any time with a message stating that iTunes doesn't recognize the specific iPod you've connect, disregard it (click the "X" button to close the message).

Step 3

Minimize iTunes, double-click the "Computer" folder on your desktop and open the drive labeled "iPod." In Windows 8, open the "View" tab in the folder and check the "Hidden items" check box. In Windows 7, press "Alt" on your keyboard, open the "Tools" menu, click "Folder options," open the "View" tab, select "Show hidden files, folders and drives" and then click "Apply" and "OK."

Step 4

Double-click the "iPod_Controls" folder inside your iPod drive and then open the "Music" subfolder. Press "Ctrl-A" on your keyboard to select all the folders it contains. Click and drag them to the desired folder on your desktop to copy them to your computer.

Right-click on the folders you copied, select "Properties" and then uncheck the "Hidden" check box. Click "Apply" and "OK" to permanently unhide the folders. Maximize iTunes onscreen and click and drag the folders you copied to your desktop into the iTunes window. All the songs from your friend's iPod will now be imported into iTunes and the proper name for each song will be shown in the iTunes window.


  • Repeat step three (except uncheck the "Hidden items" check box in Windows 8 and deselect the "Show hidden files, folders and drives" option in Windows 7) to stop showing hidden files on your computer.


  • iPods used on PCs are formatted differently than iPods used on Macs. Your friend's iPod must have been used on a PC for you to be able to access its files.

Items you will need

  • iPod USB cable

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