iPod 3rd Generation Battery Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Battery not lasting long? Swap it out.

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Edit Step 1 Case  ¶ 

  • Before opening your iPod, ensure that the hold switch is in the locked position. The orange bar should be visible, indicating hold is active.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Opening the case can be challenging. Do not get discouraged if it takes you a few tries before the iPod is opened.

  • Insert a large iPod opening tool into the seam between the plastic front and metal rear panel of the iPod, near the headphone jack. The tool's edge should point toward the metal rear panel to prevent any accidental scratching of the plastic front.

  • Run the tool along the top seam toward the upper left corner of the iPod.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Push the large iPod opening tool into the upper left corner of the iPod, creating a small gap along the side seam.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • There are five retaining tabs on each side of the iPod.

  • With the large iPod opening tool still inserted in the top seam, press a small iPod opening tool into the gap you just created.

  • Run the iPod opening tool down the side seam, releasing all five tabs.

  • It may be necessary to wiggle the tool while working your way down the seam to free all the tabs.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Run the iPod opening tool around the lower left corner of the iPod and along the bottom seam to free the two retaining tabs near the dock connector.

  • Run the tool around the lower right corner of the iPod and along the right side seam to free all five retaining tabs.

  • The case of the iPod should now easily come loose. Ensure all retaining tabs are free before proceeding.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • The iPod case is now open, but don't separate the two halves just yet. There is still an orange ribbon cable connecting the headphone jack to the logic board.

  • Open the case like a book with the dock connector at the top, and lay the rear panel next to the front half of the iPod.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use a plastic tool or your fingernails to carefully disconnect the orange headphone jack cable. Be sure to pull straight up on the connector, not the cable itself.

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Edit Step 8 Battery  ¶ 

  • Lift up the hard drive with one hand and carefully disconnect the hard drive ribbon from the logic board.

  • Lift the hard drive out of the iPod.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Carefully disconnect the white battery connector from the logic board. Be sure to pull only on the connector itself and not on the cables.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Removing the following screw isn't strictly necessary, but it will make the next step easier.

  • Remove the black T6 Torx screw from near the battery connector on the logic board.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Carefully thread the battery cable around the end of the logic board. Be careful not to pull up on the logic board too much while freeing the battery cable.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery up and out of the iPod.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the iPod 3rd Generation device page.

Required Tools


$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 29 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

If you are real careful you don't have to remove the Torx screw to get the battery out.

beekersk8s, · Reply

I found this quite easy. The tools worked great. I agree with Andy, if you push the tool into the groove, then lift or pry it up so the tip of the tool is down inside the back cover, you should be able to slide it across to pop the clips quite easily. Once you get the first two sides open, it goes quick.

I also did this without having to remove the Torx screw. It helped to lift the battery up a bit to give the wires a little slack, and then just feed them around the corner of the motherboard. Putting the new battery in, I just fed the wires around the corner, and used the opening tool to push them the final bit of the way around the corner.

My old iPod is like new now! Hours and hours of battery life, when it would previously die after 5 minutes.

John Maher, · Reply

Changing the battery was simular to when I changed the HD in the same iPod. Quite easy. No need to remove the torx screw, Just be sure where the (lock) button (on the top) is when you close it, this time I didnt forget, as I did replacing the HD :)

Olafur, · Reply

I love iFixit!

I managed to bend the casing out when opening, but bent it back in shape after re-opening. The bend was small, but noticable. Worth reopening it.

One issue - the battery doesn't fully recharge in one go. I have to reconnect the iPod to get it to full charge.

Kit, · Reply

You want to push the tool against the top of the iPod case. The top will flex inward just enough so that you can push the edge of the tool down and run it along the seam

andylieberman, · Reply

I wore down my small iPod opener to a nub trying to loosen the tabs on one side of the iPod. After starting the process of wearing down another, I realized that using a second large iPod opener in place of the small one worked better.

jdcasey, · Reply

Remember to fold the backplate up the correct direction, otherwise you might break this cable.

iTronics Repair, · Reply

Be more than careful with the headphone jack, because I thought I was until I broke mine (I still don't figure how I did this). Those are hard to find after and if you do, it may cost you something around 20-30$

Tristan Gauvreau, · Reply

When re-installing drive cable, be sure it "clicks" into place - if not,

your iPod will display a "missing folder" icon instead of working.

It might be worth trying to replace the battery without completely

removing the hard drive connection.

Michael Pique, · Reply

Also, when reassembling ensure the metallic tab/tape connecting the hard drive ribbon to the blue mounting bracket. As seen in step 6 is still on top of the mounting bracket.

When I replaced my battery this bracket fell off of the hard drive. When reassembled the tab became folded down and was touching pins connecting the drive. As a result the iPod worked as a player but had difficulty charging, would not connect to iTunes or show as a mounted drive. After waiting along time it would be detected but would not work with iTunes. iTunes would report the iPod as corrupted or in recovery mode. Removing the tab/tape from the pins restored function.

Dan, · Reply

You can also use an Exacto knife to trim the case in the corner which will allow clearance for the wires between the PCB and the case.

Michael, · Reply

When reassembling your iPod, be sure that the plastic hold switch mechanism is synced with the hold switch on the logic board. The switch on the board is a small black nub that sits in the slot on the hold switch mechanism.

rfinlay, · Reply

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