iPod says “Do Not Disconnect” after extended time

Q: My iPod nano has been plugged in for over 12 hours and it still says “Do not Disconnect.” Can I disconnect it anyway?

– Jocelyn

iPod says “Do Not Disconnect” after extended time

A: As explained in the previous question above, the iPod should normally automatically eject after an automatic synchronization completes, except in the following situations:

  • You have “Enable Disk Use” selected
  • You have “Manually manage music and videos” selected
  • Another application other than iTunes has files open on the iPod’s hard disk

If you are actually using manual mode to manage your iPod content (ie, via drag-and-drop), you must eject your iPod manually after you are done adding content to it—iTunes will not eject it automatically as it doesn’t know when you’re done with it. This can be done as described above if you’re using Windows, or by clicking the small “eject” symbol that appears to the right of the iPod in the iTunes source list.


On the other hand, if you’re using automatic synchronization, the iPod should be ejected automatically via iTunes. You can check to ensure that manual mode or disk use are not enabled by selecting your iPod from the source list in iTunes, and seeing if this options are selected on the “Summary” tab.

If so, simply UNcheck them and click Apply. Your iPod will go through another automatic sync cycle, and then should automatically eject when it’s done.

If these options are not enabled, and you are still having problems with your iPod ejecting properly, you can try manually ejecting it by using one of the other methods described in the last question. If you’re using Windows, it should respond with a message indicating that you can now safely disconnect your iPod and the “Do not Disconnect” screen should disappear after a few seconds.


iPod says “Do Not Disconnect” after extended time

If this still fails to eject the iPod properly, you may want to see if any third-party applications that you are using, particularly anti-virus scanners or disk maintenance utilities, might have open files on the iPod itself. Since the iPod appears to the operating system as an external hard drive, it is possible for other applications to be accessing it, and the underlying operating system will not allow it to be ejected if this is the case.

As a last resort, shutting down or rebooting your computer should also allow the iPod to be safely disconnected.

Although in many cases you can get away with disconnecting the iPod while the “Do not Disconnect” screen is being shown, this is never a recommended course of action, as it can result in corruption of data on the iPod if there are still files being written to it.