iPod Symbol Meanings
The Apple iPod personal media player uses a set of symbols
to communicate what's happening to the device: when it needs to be recharged or
when it's experiencing problems.
Sometimes it's not obvious what these symbols mean; problems
with your iPod may cause conflicting or confusing icons to be displayed.
Folder with an Exclamation Point
This suggests that your iPod can't read data stored on it.
Your iPod may simply not have enough charge in its battery
to read its hard drive.
If recharging it doesn't help, you can try connecting it to
your computer, then updating it with the latest version of the iPod's software.
If none of this
works, you may have a dead hard drive; your iPod will need to be repaired.
Battery with an Exclamation Point
A battery with an exclamation point usually just means that
your iPod needs to recharge.
Once the battery has charged up again, everything should be
You can charge an iPod through a FireWire connection to a
computer, but not if the computer is in sleep mode or switched off.
Third-generation iPods cannot be charged via USB 2; later
iPod models can, however.
If you are having problems charging your iPod, try switching
You can also try resetting the iPod by pressing Play and
Select together (Menu and Play on earlier models).
If none of these methods help, your battery may need to be
If the battery icon shows an empty battery, this means that
your iPod is almost out of charge and needs to power up.
If you know that the iPod has been charging for a while, and
the battery icon is still empty, you may need to update its software.
Older software can lead to a confused battery readout.
Wall Plug with Power Adapter
This means that your iPod needs to be plugged into an
electricity supply while it updates its firmware.
You won't be able to do anything else with it until you do
Frowning IPod Icon with an Exclamation Point
A picture of an iPod with a sad face and x-ed out eyes plus
an exclamation point indicates a very serious problem with the device.
In some cases, draining the battery completely then
recharging and resetting the iPod can offer a short term solution, buying you
enough time to back up your iPod's data.
The underlying problem will remain and is likely to get
worse until your iPod is repaired.
A brief appearance by the Apple logo when the iPod is reset
or switched on is normal and nothing to worry about.
If the logo does not go away and the iPod doesn't boot up, there
is a problem.
You can often resolve this by putting the ipod in Disk Mode
and then restoring or updating its software; note that you will lose all data
stored on the iPod if you do this.
If this doesn't work, your iPod needs specialist attention.
Do Not Disconnect
It is not safe to unplug your iPod when you see this icon.
Wait till it goes away, then you can safely disconnect your iPod.
Spinning Disk Icons
The spinning disk and magnifying glass icon means that the
iPod is performing a disk scan.
If you don't want to perform a scan right now you can re-set
the iPod; you'll see a disk with a cross when you stop the scan.
If you would rather let the scan complete, you should
connect the iPod to a power source as scanning drains the battery.
If the scan finds issues but can fix them, you'll see a disk
plus an arrow.
If everything is alright, you'll see a disk plus a
If there is a problem that the scan disk function could not
fix, you'll see a disk plus an exclamation point.
Ipod shows RED X
Restore iPod from Disk Mode