Switching to a new iPod touch

Q: I was given a 32GB fourth-generation iPod touch for a Christmas present last year. I am now running out of space for my ever expanding music collection (26 GB so far). My son has suggested that he would buy my iPod and I could use the money towards upgrading to a 64 GB version. If I went ahead, how would this affect the warranty (it is nearly 6 months old) and how would I go about switching to a new iPod? Would I have to register it under a different name, and what would my son have to do to the old one? My iTunes library is currently on my laptop. How would that be affected if I was to transfer it to a new iPod?

– Scott

A: As long as everything on your iPod touch is already in your iTunes library on your computer, switching over to a new iPod touch is about as easy as plugging it in.

iTunes normally makes regular backups of your iPod touch every time you sync with your computer; you can check the status of this backup by going into your iTunes Preferences and choosing the “Devices” tab.

This backup includes all of your settings, application data, any photos you’ve saved in the camera roll—items that wouldn’t normally already be in your iTunes library. Your media content such as music, videos, photos you’ve synced from your computer, and your apps are not backed up separately as iTunes expects that you can simply sync the originals back on from iTunes. Note, however, that your sync settings in iTunes are contained in this backup so that iTunes knows exactly which content to transfer back when restoring your device.


Switching to a new iPod touch

So if you connect your original iPod touch to your computer and let it sync before connecting your new iPod touch, it will ensure that you have the most current backup of your data. You can then plug in your new iPod touch and iTunes will offer you the opportunity to restore the new device from backup. Once the restore completes, iTunes will proceed to re-sync all of your media content and apps from iTunes, after which your new device should be setup almost exactly the way your old one was. The only exception to this is that you will likely have to re-enter a few passwords for things like your Wi-Fi network, as these are stored securely based on your physical device ID for security reasons.

There is also no different at all in terms of registering the iPod touch, or the iTunes Store account you use with it. The new device essentially just directly replaces your old one. Before giving your old device to your son, you can simply erase everything from it by choosing the “Erase all content and settings” option found in the “Settings” app under the General, Reset menu options. This will wipe your device and return it back to factory settings, after which point your son can simply plug it into his computer and set it up as a new device for his own use.


Switching to a new iPod touch

There will also be no change in terms of the warranty; your new device will have the standard one-year warranty, and your used device will have whatever time is left on the warranty. The warranty is based on the serial number and not the owner, and Apple doesn’t care who brings in an iPod touch or other device for service as long as it’s still under warranty.


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