iPod not showing up on computer


Q: What do I do if my iPod doesn’t appear up on my computer when I plug it in? It refuses to appear in either iTunes or My Computer (Finder, on the Mac), and doesn’t appear in the iPod Software Updater. The iPod appears to be working fine on its own. Help!

– Many Ask iLounge readers

A: There are a multitude of possible issues here, involving both hardware and software. Before tweaking any software configurations, try the following trivial hardware-related ideas first, in order.

– If you’re using an iPod nano or 5th generation iPod, make sure you’re using USB. These models will not do data transfer over Firewire.

– If you’re connecting via a USB or Firewire hub, try removing it from your chain. Unpowered hubs, especially, can cause connection issues with any power-hungry device.

– Similarly, if you’re connecting to a USB or Firewire port on the front of your computer, try the ports on the back, instead. Often, PC manufacturers will not provide power to the ports on the front, occasionally causing issues with certain iPods.

– Try a different iPod cable, if you have an extra. We’ve discovered on several occasions that device connection problems were the fault of a flaw in the cable we were using.

If none of these hardware ideas resolves your issue, you can try the following software idea (again, we’d do them in this order):

– Reset your iPod, using the procedures found here: (iPod/mini/nano) (shuffle)

– Install the latest version of iTunes from Apple’s website. iTunes comes with several mostly invisible “helper” programs that help the PC monitor itself for iPod connections. Often, reinstalling or upgrading iTunes can resolve missing or damaged “helper” services.

– Under normal iPod problems, we’d usually recommend “Restoring” the iPod, but if you can’t mount your iPod on your computer, you’re not likely to be able to do this. Download the latest iPod Software Updater and give it a try, but chances are slim that the program will see your iPod, if the rest of your computer can’t.

Clearly, you can logically short-cut some of these steps, if, for example, you know that your iPod mounts on other PCs. If you can’t resolve the issue with any of the ideas above, your iPod is likely faulty, and you should take it to the nearest Apple Store Genius Bar or call 1-800-MY-APPLE for service. Good luck!

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Jerrod H.

Jerrod was a contributing editor at iLounge. He mostly wrote articles about iTunes and iPod accessories. He was known for his in-depth knowledge of both topics and was often able to provide readers with unique insights into the world of Apple products.