Mac-formatted iPods


Q: I bought a 3rd Gen. Nano (video) for my wife in November, which we used with our old PC for about a month before we bought a new MacBook. Now I’d like to get the updates that have recently been released, but iTunes says that “only Macintosh-formatted iPods can be updated.” How can I change it from a Windows-formatted to Macintosh-formatted?

– Scott

A: As of iTunes 7, the “iPod Updater” has been integrated into iTunes. To convert your iPod to a “Mac-formatted” iPod, you will need to perform a “Restore” operation on it, via iTunes, which will erase everything on your iPod and reformat it for Mac. This will update your iPod to the latest firmware version by default as well.

If you are using automatic synchronization for your iPod and have all of your music in your iTunes library, this process should be relatively painless, as iTunes will simply reload your iPod after the restore process completes. If you are managing the content on your iPod manually, however, you will want to ensure that everything on your iPod is backed up on your computer before doing this, as this operation erases your iPod and returns it back to a new “out-of-the-box” state.

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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.