Problems restoring your iPod

Q: When I try to ‘restore’ my iPod using the option in iTunes, I get an error message telling me that the attempt failed because some other files on my iPod are in use. How do I restore settings?  When I look at the iPod playlist, it is empty, yet iTunes says I can not load any new songs on to the iPod because it is full. How do I format it?

– Natasha

A: The most common cause of this problem is that some other process on your computer is accessing your iPod while you have it connected.

The iPod is always presented to your computer as an external hard drive, and this is in fact how iTunes itself accesses your iPod. However, since the operating system just sees it as a standard external hard drive, it is possible for the OS and other third-party software tools to open files on the iPod. This is most commonly encountered with background tools such as virus-scanners and anti-spyware application, or other system and disk management utilities that might be trying to scan the iPod hard disk while it’s connected.

The first and simplest thing to do is to try rebooting the computer completely and see if that resolves the problem and allows you to restore your iPod. If this fails to correct the error, then you may need to look at some of the tools that you have running on your computer and see if you can exclude the iPod’s from being scanned by applications such as Norton or McAfee. To do this, simply go into Windows Explorer and find the iPod’s drive letter.