Q: My friend and I both have iPod touches, and share iTunes on the same computer. My iPod got a glitch and the only way to fix it is to restore it to factory settings. If I restore my iPod to its factory
settings on our shared iTunes library, will it in any way affect my
friend’s iPod? Will it delete any of her apps, music, etc? Also can it give my computer a virus?

– Ryan

A: The short answer is that you can safely restore your iPod on any computer running iTunes without any impact on the computer or any other devices which sync to that computer.

The process of restoring an iPod, iPhone, or iPad to factory settings affects only the device itself, effectively erasing everything on the device and reinstalling the iOS operating system from scratch. This process doesn’t change anything in your configuration in iTunes nor does it transfer anything back to the computer or remove anything from the computer.

That said, you may want to make a backup of your iPod touch to your shared iTunes library prior to erasing your device. This will allow you to restore your previous configuration settings and application data rather than starting from scratch. Our Guide to Transferring your Content to a new iPhone, iPad or iPod touch provides more information on how this works. In this case, a backup of your device will be stored on your computer as part of your shared iTunes library, however unique backups are stored for each device, so a backup from your iPod touch will have no bearing on your friend’s iPod touch.


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.