Q: I have an 16GB first-generation iPod touch and I want to upgrade to a 32GB second generation model. What’s the best way to transfer everything over? Do I need to make any changes on the old one before I sell it?
A: If you have been synchronizing your information automatically from iTunes with your current iPod touch, there’s actually nothing you need to specifically do to switch over to a new model. Your media content and applications will already be in your iTunes library and can simply be synchronized automatically with the new iPod touch the first time you connect it.
On the other hand, if you have been synchronizing content with your iPod touch manually and you do not have your media content on your computer, you will need to recover it from your iPod touch and place it back in your iTunes library so that it can be synced to the new device when you get it. Our our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer provides more information on how to do this.
If you are synchronizing your contact and calendar info with your computer already, the same logic applies, as iTunes will simply sync this out to the new iPod touch in the same way as for your current unit.
If you have any third-party applications on your existing iPod touch, this data is not automatically synced when you reinstall these applications, however it is normally backed up by iTunes, and you can restore this backup to your new device, which will include all of your applications and settings. This will also include your contact and calendar information, so even if you are not presently syncing it (ie, if you’ve entered it directly on your device), this will be restored to the new device as part of the backup from the old one. You will be prompted to restore the backup of your old iPod touch the first time you connect the new one.
That having been said, you should confirm that you have a current backup of your current iPod touch before you restore it to the new one. You can force a backup by right-clicking on the iPod touch within iTunes and choosing the “Backup” option, and you can confirm the date and time of the last backup by going into your iTunes preferences and looking at the “Devices” tab.
In terms of cleaning up your old iPod touch before selling it, you basically just need to connect it to iTunes and perform a “Restore” operation on it to erase all data and settings and return it to its factory configuration.
This method of erasure if more than sufficient for most users as your data is erased for all intents and purposes as far as most normal users would be concerned. However, if you’re very concerned about sensitive data that may have been stored on your device, you ca. initiate a secure erase instead by going into the iPod touch Settings application and choosing General, Reset, Erase All Content and Settings.. This will perform a secure erase of your device by overwriting all memory segments, but will take about an hour to run.
In our opinion this is not strictly necessary for most users, as it would take a determined tech-savvy user with advanced forensic tools to recover information even from a normally-erased iPod touch or iPhone. At the same time, if you don’t mind letting your iPod touch spend an hour doing this it certainly can’t hurt.