Battery not lasting long? Swap it out.

  1. Before opening your iPod, ensure that the hold switch is in the locked position.  The orange bar should be visible, indicating hold is active.
    • 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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  2. Insert an opening pick as far as possible into the seam between the plastic front and the metal rear panel, on the right edge of the iPod.
    • Insert an opening pick as far as possible into the seam between the plastic front and the metal rear panel, on the right edge of the iPod.

      • You may need to rock the pick back and forth to slide it in farther.

    • Use the opening pick to pry up against the plastic front panel and release five retaining tabs (seen in the third photo).

    • Slide the pick along the edge of the iPod and continue prying to release the rest of the retaining tabs.

    • After all five tabs along the right side are free, the case should open easily.

    Is that wide opening pick shown in the photo available? Or should I be able to get my iPod 3G open with just the narrow opening tool? So far I’ve been unsuccessful.

    David Troup - Reply

    Hi David, an opening tool can definitely work, but we’ve found that the opening picks tend to be a bit easier. You can find those in our store. The clips are definitely really tough and, like Matthew mentioned, using multiple picks might help. Getting the pick in the seam is the hardest part, then once it’s in you should be able to work it in farther, or add another pick to eventually release the clips.

    Adam O'Camb -

    I had to use about 10 guitar picks. The case “clips” are amazingly tight. I’d get one in just barely, then I’d add another in the now-opened slot. Then another. I’d space them about 1 or 1.5cm apart on two sides. Work into a corner and it will release. (I’m going on memory. I bought packs of the cheapest guitar picks. I have both thin and medium. I think I used medium, but I can’t remember.)

    Matthew Robbins - Reply

    so much easier to open with an xacto blade and handle. the blade has a more defined edge that helps to move the plastic front cover. then a pick can help do the rest.only took 2 mins. using xacto blade and handle

    dennis fowler - Reply

    also not mentioned is reattachment of hard drive plug to board . not a normal plug as the others.need to be sure it is attached before closing up ipod. replacement battery was thicker than origional and allowed hd to not sit level

    dennis fowler - Reply

    • 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.

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

    iTronics Repair - Reply

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    • 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.

    • The headphone jack connector is unusually tall. When prying, be careful to not separate the lower, plastic part of the connector from the ribbon cable. Pry between the connector and the socket, not between the two halves of the connector.

    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

    Yeah, I just did the same. Oops.

    Alex Robinson -

    Yikes - yes, be SUPER careful - just damaged mine too (snapped some of the soldered connections between ribbon and plug). I only use my iPod with a dock in my car, so hoping I will get away with this.

    Russell Coleridge - Reply

    Arrgh...I should have paid closer attention the red warnings above. I ended up pushing up on the ribbon part rather than the actual socket. Thereby completing separating the connector from the ribbon cable. I got way too excited when I finally got the case loose after an hour of trying that I rushed through this part. Now I have to see if I can replace this part.

    Eric Schenkel - Reply

    Blech - despite these thoughtful warnings I snapped that plug right off the ribbon! So please, be careful. I found a replacement headphone jack (used) on eBay for 20 bucks. What a not-fun way to spend 20 bucks!

    Matt Michael - Reply

    Yep - did the same. Bugger. Is it possible to carefully fix? Solder or glue or are there replacement parts? I do actually have another iPod but I was hoping to end up with two working versions rather than one just for parts.

    Greg J Mason - Reply

    Well, that reminds me to view the comments first before attempting any of the repair steps. Did the same thing. iFixit should put that suggestion at the top of every repair guide. “Review Comments First, Save $20”.

    John Lillywhite - Reply

    Yep, that’s me buggered too.

    Alistair Hay - Reply

    • 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.

    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

    I was able to get the battery out without performing this step. My opinion: don’t remove parts you don’t have to.

    Nicholas Howe - Reply

    I agree with Nicholas, the HD can stay at 45° angle sitting on the back of your hand, then there is enough space to remove the battery

    Sebastien CHAPUIS - Reply

    • 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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    • 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.

    For me, this step was more important for reassembly. The new battery leads were thicker so I needed to lift the board a little (very little) to slide them under.

    Nicholas Howe - Reply

    I did not have to do this step at all, just tucked the cables one by one following the corner shape

    Sebastien CHAPUIS - Reply

    • 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.

    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

    what is the lefthand thumb and first finger holding in Step 8 picture ?

    It fell out when I disassembled the iPod, and I don’t see where/how it goes back ?

    Charlie B

    Charlie - Reply

    • Lift the battery up and out of the iPod.

    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


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

274 other people completed this guide.


Member since: 09/24/2009

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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

Very simple and clear guide. I managed to replace the battery in the first try and it worked!

I was able to do it without disconnecting the headphone jack and without removing the Torx screw.

I found the replacement battery to be a little thicker than the original battery but there was no issue resealing the case.

glzarifi - Reply

It,s like one 2 3. no proplen att all ,but i have a question. please don,t get me wrong ,but the ipod is kind of hot. it,s that normal.

hippie337 - Reply

Now my first iPod works like new. I had a lot of trouble coaxing the back off, and found it much easier just to run down one side. I ended up putting on heavy work gloves because the pry tool was hard to push in there. I also didn't find it necessary to remove the Torx screw. The leads on the replacement battery were thicker and longer than the original's, but no problem getting it to fit. My 20-something co-workers are impressed. "Is that the original iPod?" they asked. "Get off my lawn," I snapped.

Martin Frobisher - Reply

Worked a treat! Loved bringing this bad boy back to life and finding 10 year old playlists! Thanks very much.

Per a couple of the tips in the comments, I found it easier to start prying open the case from one of the sides rather than the top. When disconnecting the headphone connection, you’re pulling out a little plug (the descriptions and comments are a little confusing about exactly which bit you’re separating). Also, I didn’t find it necessary to remove the hard drive (Step 8) - You can just lift it up when taking the battery out, without disconnecting it (one less step to risk).

macca2000 - Reply

Wish you were more specific in how to remove the hard drive ribbon. I managed to pull up the connector. Goodbye iPod.

John John - Reply

Great guide. I did not have to disconnect the hard drive, however I did have to remove the torx screw because the wires on the new battery were thicker than the original and wouldn’t slip between the motherboard and case. Now to find the Firewire charging cable…..

Frederick Sutor - Reply

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