Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its Reset Settings confirmation screen.

iPod Nano 3rd Generation Reset Instructions




Erasing all audio, video, and system settings on the Apple iPod Nano portable media player , can be done without a computer or iTunes. Note however that this procedure does not immediately delete any music, video, or playlist files on your Nano at the time you execute it.  These files will be removed the next time you plug the Nano into a computer that is running iTunes.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Generation portable player, paused while playing an audio file.
iPod Nano 3rd Generation portable player, paused while playing an audio file.

 

First, press the top of the touch ring, the Menu labeled area until you see the main menu display. Depending on where you were prior on the Nano menu hierarchy, you may have to press the ring several times to get back to the outermost menu. The Nano’s main menu is shown next.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its main menu.
iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its main menu.

 

Next, move your finger clockwise around the touch wheel until you highlight the Settings menu item with the blue bar, as shown next.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its main menu, with the settings item selected.
iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its main menu, with the settings item selected.

 

Then, press and release the Enter button at the center of the touch ring. The Settings menu then displays, as shown next.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its Settings menu.
iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its Settings menu.

 

Then, move your finger clockwise around the touch sensitive ring until the Reset Settings menu item is highlighted by the blue bar, as shown next.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player. displaying the Settings menu, with the Reset Settings option selected.
iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player. displaying the Settings menu, with the Reset Settings option selected.

 

Then, press and release the Enter button again. The Reset Settings confirmation screen is then shown, as pictured next.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its Reset Settings confirmation screen.
iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its Reset Settings confirmation screen.

 

Once again, move your finger around the touch sensitive ring until the blue color highlights the Reset button. Then, press and release the Enter button. This begins the factory default reset process, which can take some seconds to finish. Once done successfully, the Language Selection screen displays, as shown next.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its Language Selection menu.
iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying its Language Selection menu.

 

Then, move your finger clockwise around the touch wheel until the blue bar highlights your preferred language.

Then, press the Enter button. This puts into effect your chosen language, such that all subsequent menus appear in that language. We chose English on our iPod Nano.

The main menu once again appears.  Note that our music files have not been erased, as proven by the artist picture displayed on the right side of the screen.  However, the music will only remain on the iPod until you connect it to a PC or Mac that runs iTunes.  At that time, all media files on the Nano will be erased.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying the Main Menu after factory default reset.
iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, displaying the Main Menu after factory default reset.

 

You have now successfully reset all the settings in your 3rd generation iPod Nano to factory default values. Resetting restores the equalizer to flat, sound check, repeat, main menu item display, and so on, to the values they were when this Nano arrived from the factory.  It also schedules all the files on the iPod to be deleted the next time it connects to iTunes.

Picture of the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, playing file normally, after factory default reset.
iPod Nano 3rd Gen Portable Player, playing file normally, after factory default reset.

 

You can completely erase your Nano by connecting it to a computer running iTunes, and following iTunes procedures for removing the media files altogether, as well as reset those values that the procedure we just conducted does not revert, such as the iPod Nano’s name.

 

Qualifier Statements

  • The above-enumerated procedure applies to iPod Nano firmware version 1.1.3.

 

References

Revision History

  • 2017-02-13: Originally published.