iPod says “Do Not Disconnect” after extended time

iPod says “Do Not Disconnect” after extended time 1

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

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.


iPod says “Do Not Disconnect” after extended time 2

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 3

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. You should especially never disconnect the iPod while iTunes is actively synchronizing data to it, as this will almost certainly result in the iPod’s internal database becoming corrupted and possibly orphaned files being left on your iPod taking up space—a situation that can often only be corrected with a complete restore of your iPod to factory settings, erasing everything on it and reloading the content from your iTunes library.


  1. I’m reasonable competent when creating smart playlists but this one has me stumped. I often find myself in a rating mood with no idea what I want to listed to. I’d to create a smart playlist that randomly selects an album. If track #1 is not rated this a good enough indication that the album has not been rated – but I cannot figure out how to get the whole single album into the playlist. Thanks for your help! Mike.

  2. mrl43: Set the smart playlist to have all songs that have a no rating, then use your iPod’s shuffle feature to shuffle by album. Then you can do multiple albums at a time and when you plug your iPod in it will get rid of the rated albums and you can start again.

  3. After syncing the iPhone, it still has the “eject” symbol by the device on the laft panel. It does not say “Do Not Disconnect.” Can I safely just pull the iPhone out, or do I really have to eject it first?

  4. mrl43: The problem is that there is presently no way to select ALL tracks from an album on the basis of the criteria for a single track. You can use the “Limit to x grouped by album” to get whole albums, but individual tracks that don’t meet the smart playlist criteria will still be excluded.

    So in other words, if you want to get whole albums where only some tracks are not rated, there’s presently no way to do this. You’ll only get the tracks that are not rated from that particular album — tracks that are rated will be excluded.

    shahadihaque: Yes, the iPhone doesn’t have any kind of “disk mode” or “manual mode” and in fact can be pulled from the cradle at any time. Even normal iPods will continue to show up in the iTunes source list with an eject icon when ejected after an auto sync (there’s a background service that tracks the connection even after the OS has ejected the iPod).

    The bottom line is that as long as the iPod or iPhone doesn’t say “Do not Disconnect” you’re free to disconnect it at your leisure.

  5. I’ve had my iPod for almost 2 years now and have had no problem until recently. Out of all of my playlists I’ve created on iTunes, only 3 of them sync to my iPod. Any others will stay on my iTunes, but not transfer to my iPod. I even created an “On-the-go” playlist and saved it. When I went to my iTunes to sync them, it came off of my iPod and is now only on my iTunes. Any suggestions on what is going on?

  6. Ive been trying do download itunes 7.2 for the past week and every time the download is almost done the progress message says Progress: Rolling Back Action and deletes all the downloading and says that their is an error with downloading itunes if wanted to try again try later. wat do i have to do to make itunes download completely its really annoying.

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