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iPod Restore and Format 101

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Because iPods are basically big hard drives with special software and a screen, the hard drive in your iPod needs to be formatted. Formatting is essentially the process of prepping the drive to talk to the computer it will be connected to.

The formatting normally happens automatically when you first connect the iPod to your computer to set it up: If you use your iPod with a Mac, it is formatted for use with a Mac. If you use it with Windows, it receives Windows formatting.

There are many things that are affected by the formatting of your iPod. This page will introduce you to many of those concepts and how to change your iPod’s formatting, reformat the iPod, or use formatting to use your iPod on multiple computers.

Why Restore iPod or Reformat iPod

You will want to restore or reformat your iPod if you are:

  • Having serious technical issues that aren’t being resolved in other ways
  • Used to use a Mac and are switching to PC.
  • Have both a Mac and a PC and want to use the iPod on both
  • Used to use a PC and are switching to Mac (this is not required, as Macs can use both formats, but it’s more efficient).

How Tos

iPod Copy Programs

Sometimes you don't need to reformat an iPod, you just need to copy its contents from one computer to another. In that situation, you need an iPod copy program, such as:

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