Unlocking your iPod’s volume limit

Q: My iPod plays music at a very low volume level. When I try to turn it up higher, the volume is shown as locked. If I try to go into settings and change the volume limit, it asks me to enter a 4 digit password which I did not set myself. When I reset all settings it makes no difference.

– Riga

A: It would appear that somebody has set a volume limit on your iPod and then set a password on it, preventing you from resetting the limit. This feature is intended primarily as a parental control to allow a parent to set a volume limit on their child’s iPod to protect them from hearing damage.

Once the password has been set, there is no way to bypass it without restoring the iPod completely back to its factory settings. This is different from the “Reset All Settings” option on the iPod itself, in that it will erase ALL content from the iPod, returning it to its original default settings.

To do this, you would connect the iPod to your iTunes library, and then use the “Restore” option found on the iPod “Summary” tab in iTunes.

This basically reformats the iPod hard drive, removing both the screen lock password and volume limit password in the process. Since all content will be erased in this process, you will want to ensure that your content is in iTunes or backed up somewhere else, as you will need to reload all of your music and other content back onto the iPod once you have completed the restore.

Note that if you want to prevent somebody from setting a volume limit on your iPod in the future, you can set your own password in the volume limit settings. To do this, you will have to establish a small volume limit (simply move the slider one small notch down from the maximum), and you can then specify your own password. This will prevent somebody else who is using your iPod from establishing a new volume limit and new password. It is strongly recommended that you also do the same for the “screen lock” password for the same reason. Once these passwords are set, they cannot be changed unless you either know the existing password, or do another complete restore on the iPod.


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