Syncing iPod to a new computer
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I’ve had to restore my laptop (Windows XP) back to factory setting and reinstall iTunes. Will I lose everything off my iPod nano when I sync it with my laptop again?
A: This depends on whether you had a backup of your iTunes library which you restored to your computer. The association between an iPod and iTunes is stored in the library database itself, so if you’ve restored your entire iTunes library, including the database and all media content, then when you re-sync your iPod it should just pick up where it left off as if you’d never restored your computer in the first place.
If you’ve started a new iTunes library, then you will receive a warning the first time you connect your iPod nano to iTunes advising you that it is associated with another iTunes library and providing you with the option to either erase all of the content on it and sync it to the new library, or to cancel the operation and leave it as-is.
As the option suggests, selecting “Erase and Sync” will remove everything on your iPod and replace it with the contents from the current iTunes library. If this library is empty, then it will effectively leave your iPod empty as well. Therefore, in this case you should select “Cancel” to leave the iPod alone; the iPod nano will remain connected to your computer and visible in iTunes, but it will not be synced with the iTunes library.
At this point, you will have two options: The first option is to set the iPod to manual mode and manage the content on it directly without syncing it with iTunes. In this case, the iPod nano effectively becomes its own iTunes library, and you would need to add content to it manually by importing it into iTunes and then dragging-and-dropping it onto the iPod. You can read more on how manual management of an iPod works in our Beginner’s Guide to iTunes.
Alternatively, you can copy the content from your iPod back to your computer and reimport it into your iTunes library, after which you can safely “Erase and Sync” your iPod nano as all of the content from it will be back in your iTunes library. This would still erase everything on the iPod, but iTunes would then copy it all back from iTunes. You can get more information on how to copy content from your iPod back to iTunes in tutorial on Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple’s new ‘Echo rival’ may feature a camera
- Apple ‘working rapidly’ to extend Apple Pay to more countries
- Report: Apple’s Siri-based Amazon Echo competitor will be a new Apple TV
- Report: Apple SVP Eddy Cue proposed bid to buy Time Warner
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)