My iPod Won't Turn Off

My iPod won't shut off. Holding down the Play button does nothing. It just won't turn off. A quick Google reveals that this isn't exactly a new thing, and comes up with several articles that explain how to fix it: reboot the thing.

How do you reboot an iPod? Well, Apple has the answer. Toggle the Hold switch to Hold and then back off again, and then hold down Menu and Select (the center button) for six to ten seconds, until the Apple logo appears. The Apple logo displays while the iPod is booting.

That fixed it. Yay.

You can tell if your iPod won't turn off (beyond the obvious "why the frak won't holding Play shut it off?!") when it remains at the menu after being docked with iTunes - assuming Disk Mode isn't active.

Update: Making sure to remove the headphones before rebooting it. There may be a really loud "snapping" sound as it reboots. Ow.

Update 2009-11-12: Should it ever come up, you can reboot the iPhone/iPod Touch by pressing and holding the Home and Lock buttons for 5-10 seconds. I haven't had these refuse to shut off (mainly because they never shut off, instead they suspend) but I have managed to crash my iPhone.


OMG......thank you so much for helping. I was getting really frusterated with my ipod b/c it won't shut off. I did what you said and it work! yeah!!

I also finally figured out why my iPod was refusing to shut off, but I never posted it.

It turns out that my iPod and PC hate each other. If the iPod is docked when the PC boots, the PC will refuse to boot (never making it past POST) and the iPod will refuse to shut off until reset.

Every time I turn on or reboot my computer I have to make sure I undock my iPod. It's really freaking annoying, but that appears to be what's causing my problems.

I have to reset my iPod everytime i want to turn it off. Is there anything else i can do. My dad got it for me for Christmas the 30G one. I am so upset! :(

The 5G iPods (I have the same 30GB model) seem to have a problem shutting off, where they need to be paused before they'll let you turn them off. If they're playing something you have to pause it first.

Or not. When I tested it prior to posting this, it shut off immediately even though it was playing a song.

I have no idea what causes it.

Hi there, Thanks for the Tip.
I got the 30g vid Ipod and when I first tryed to reboot it, as soon as I saw the little dark apple, I pressed the menu button to get to the main menu and then tryed to shut it down. Didn't work. Then I retryed to reboot it by holding menu+select again but this time I waited 'till it completely rebooted (dark apple becomes bright apple and then brings you the main menu). It now shuts down perfectly. Also, I tryed to put the "Sleep" index on the main menu (which you can find in the settings). It's quite usefull, that way you don't wait 10 seconds holding the goddamn play button just to realise that nothing will happen.

I'm not a really a forum geek and tend on not going back to the places that I post on. So if you have any Q or comment relating to me, feel free to contact me by email.


BTW we got the same christmas gift.

I've reset my 5G (30B Model), I've tried using the "Sleep" menu option and it still will now shut off...anyone else have any tips?


Hi All,

I too facing same problem, the day when I brought it, from same day it is showing Hourglass (wait stage) and it seem nothing happening.

Can you help out?



When resetting an ipod make sure that you take it out of a protective case or skin. Next set the ipod on a flat surface and simultaneously hold down the select and menu key.

Good luck!

Thx for help.. I was struggled for half day.. And finallly fedup.. thought of check in net.. its working 100%

thx once again


I love you.

Thanks so much for the help! It worked! But, I also discovered that my iPod won't turn off unless I have the headphones plugged in =/
I have no clue why...

I've reboot my iPod 4 times now. I still can't turn it off. God please just stay off. reboot sucks, just another way to come to life again.
1. I toggle hold on then back off (red then white) I then Simultaneously press menu and select.
2. iPod makes a snap sound then completely powers down, then after a brief time the apple comes back to life. I then press and hold the play button and it doesn't shut off. so it goes into a play mode and starts a song I then try both holding the play button again to shut off, still no. I then pause the song then press and hold the play button again to shut off and it still doesn't shut off. the best i can get is screen dimmed but you can still hear music and see a dim screen showing either a menu or song being played. WTF (hope that language isn't too strong for soccer mom)

I've tried resetting it, I've tried the menu selection, and I've tried holding play/pause and they do not work!!!!!!!!!

You could always press pause on ur ipod then it shuts off after a certain time...

My ipod wont turn off!! ive tried rebooting and everything. The sleep thing doesnt work at all either!! anyone any ideas please??!!??

great tip!!! it works!!! i could not shut off my damn ipod and this tip really helped me out b/c it really did work!! thanks alot for your wise wisdom!!! my ipod now perfectly shuts off and on without any problems.

I thought I was the only person alive that had this problem - it's not necessarily *good* that others have it too...but it makes me feel a bit better, haha.

It's so annoying! iPod plugged in at time of startup? No POST. It's mad bizarre.

If that were happening to me, I'd try to upgrade my bios to the latest version, then disable any USB or removable storage compatibility settings.

PS, Re: the OP... Thanks a million. You have saved the day.

I tried it and it worked too! Thank you!

Had no clue, and now I do... thanks! :)

Your tip on how to turn off my iPod saved me a trip to the store, a call to tech support, and so on and so on.

I can't tell you how grateful I am for your help!

John / Dallas

Thank you for this tip! Appreciated very much!!!

Thank you so much! Usually I have to reformat it with iTunes and then copy every back on. You helped me where Apply couldn't and wouldn't.

Thanks for the awesome should do are amazing...

Last week i use this method and it worked but now my ipod hasnt turned on so i used this method and it still didnt work what do i do?

I have tried all of the above methods for my 60 gig video iPod:
*toggling hold button then doing a reboot with middlebutton + pause/play
*simply holding pause/play

STILL will not turn off. NOTHING works!!

Looking for other suggestions as I have to keep it plugged in all the time now, since battery drains quickly and it seems the drive is whirring constantly. When it's on it's docker, i get the "do not disconnect" red/slash circle.

Made an appt at an apple store for tech help. $500 and less than 1 year old, this is not good.

go to settings and put sleep on your main menu. select sleep and it will shut off your iPod. it is the only way mine shuts off.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for your help, it worked, but I have to do the same every time!!! Any other idea what else I could try? Thanks.

i have a 30gb ipod video and every so often mines wont turn off. When this happens reseting it and using the sleep option dont work but i have recently discovered that it can be fixed by plugging it into itunes and simply ejcting from there. so if anyone has any other problems liek this give that a try it may work

I can't find the "sleep" setting on the menu. I, too, am ready to get out the sledgehammer since that would be cheaper than visiting an ipod tech....

Please, ipod, go to sleep!!!

You have to enable it first. Go to Settings, Main Menu, and scroll to the very end. You should see an option that says "Sleep: Off" (meaning the Sleep option is not shown in the Main Menu). Toggle that to "On."

Then go back to the main menu and select the new Sleep option.

It's also worth noting that I found that my iPod refuses to shut off if it's being powered by an external power source, so if anyone is using one of those external battery packs, it might also prevent the iPod from shutting off.

My ipod stayed stuck with blak screen and the twirlinig circle for 15 min.
i pressed the swich on and play key simulaneously for 15 secs and chazam. it turned on again.
hope it helps.

Okay, despite the hints and tips from various websites showing 'how to turn your iPod off' mine is REFUSING TO DIE, DAMMIT. I toggle the hold button, then press down the menu and select buttons for like 20 seconds. And yet still the damn thing lives.

Please god there must be some way to kill it, other than the increasingly-attractive method of wacking it with a sledgehammer. Repeatedly.

Nano. Only bought, like, what? 5 months ago?

If there is any advice out there, it will be a miracle.

The only advice I can suggest is to repeat what Apple says on their page:

Tip: If you are having difficulty resetting your iPod, set it on a flat surface. Make sure the finger pressing the Select button is not touching any part of the click wheel. Also make sure that you are pressing the Menu button toward the outside of the click wheel, and not near the center.

If the above steps did not work, try connecting iPod to a power adapter and plug the power adapter into an electrical outlet, or connect iPod to your computer. Make sure the computer is turned on and isn't set to go to sleep.

If your finger slips, the count resets, so it can be slightly annoying to reset it. I've never tried with an iPod Nano, though, I've only had to (repeatedly) reset my 30GB iPod 5th gen.

Finally something worked. I think the key is the flat surface .

This really works and helped me when i was going crazy over it


Thanks for posting the answer to your iPod problem. I had the same problem, and your answer worked for me. I have found that I have better luck finding answers to Apple and Microsoft problems on other people's blogs than I do wading through the official websites.

God Bless and thanks for the info, needed my tunes back on thanksgiving day!! you saved the day, the dinner crowd thanks you.


Thank you,I started to panic! But in the end it was very easy!

Ta dude! I normally let the battery die on mine, which can't be good - this'll save my hardware!

BTW, did you know you're the first google hit for 'ipod won't turn off' ?

Thanks alot! That fix worked perfectly with my overly eager Ipod 80GB Video. You probably saved its life.

Thanks hopefully this will help

Thought my iPod was a gonner, thanks for the info. Couldn't have faced the Christmas holidays without my iPod to keep me motivated on the treadmill.

OMGoose! thanks you sooo much!
i havent had my ipod nano for even 48 hours
and it already froze with the light still on
and i souldnt figure out how to turn the thing off.
i tried pressing everything i could think of
and then, i typed in a search
and your answer came up.
IT WORKED! thanks you sooo much X]
i was afraid id have to send it back
or it would delete my songs already.
thanks, again =]

THANK YOU from me as well....

I thought I was going to chuck the ipod I just got for Chistmas into the nearest lake! The reset, Menu, middle button thing worked!!! Never thought I'd be so obsessed about a 2 inch piece of equipment for so long during Christmas week as I was!!!

Thanks again!

Just wanted to say thanks very much, very relieved and that was a lot easier that trying to navigate apple website. Merry xmas x

There are at least two diff probs here. 1) Ipod is hung and won't respond to turn off signal (pressing bottom of wheel) at all--stays lit no matter how long you press. This happens sometimes when, for example, your ipod is connected to a docking device and you turn it off while pressing bottom of wheel wheel - then you immediately unplug it the ipod, which lights it up again -- sometimes it will won't then respnod to a a shut off signal by pressing bottom of wheel. This prob has been recurring on opds for years and can be fixed with a reset.

2) Ipod turns off for half a second and comes right back on --when you press the bottom of the wheel, the ipod turns off for about a half second or so and lights right back up again. This prob has an unknown cause and is not fixed by a reset. If you restore, the prob will be fixed UNTIL you reload you music files onto the Ipod - then the prob automatically returns. Some suspect this prob has to do with a file problem and ipod's inability to appropriately deal with the file problem.