iPod 4th Generation or Photo 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.

Relevant Parts

Edit Step 1 Rear Panel  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Rear Panel  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Opening the iPod can be challenging. Don't 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 towards 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. Press the tool into the corner, creating a small gap on the side of the case.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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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 clips near the dock connector.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Run the iPod opening tool around the lower right corner and slide it down the right side seam to free the five tabs holding the iPod together. You may be able to free the tabs by gently wiggling the front panel of the iPod.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • 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 edge at the top, and lay the rear panel next to the front half of the iPod.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • 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.

Edit Step 9 Battery  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9 Battery  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the 2 black T6 Torx screws from the left side of the logic board.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use one hand to lift the hard drive up in order to access the battery beneath.

  • 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.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Lift the battery out of the front case by pulling it up by the battery leads.

  • If necessary, grab the battery to pull it off the adhesive securing it to the front case.

  • It may be helpful to use a spudger to pry the battery up off its adhesive.

  • Lift the battery up and out of the front case.

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

For more information, check out the iPod 4th Generation or Photo device page.

Required Tools


$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 10 In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Biggest trouble I had was step one. I actually broke the edge off the large tool. A note somewhere else on this site recommended using a razor which work far more easily then the large blue tool. Common sense, your using a sharp razor, be careful!

As previously noted the screws are TINY, very easy to lose of you drop one.

I jockeyed the battery to get just a crack of space and then used the spluger tool to pry the battery free from the adhesive, very strong.

My IPOD is currently recharging for the first time in years. :o)

msdaly59, · Reply

I have a 4thG original ipod. This was a simple process and it was successfully completed. The ipod was able to be synced after 6 months of sitting in a drawer. The only issue so far is that the entire ipod gets warm to the touch while it's charging. Hopefully that will lessen after subsequent charges. The only bit of confusion in the instructions is the beginning step of inserting the ipod tool at the top. I thought I was trying to unlatch a tab there but there is none on top. Otherwise everything else was clear and exactly as described and pictured.

Nando, · Reply

Broke the cute blue soft plastic tools that came with it. Used a credit card to open it up - worked miraculously well!!! Started up great!! Ooops - forgot the torque screws - opened it again.....closed it again. My iPod works again after years of hibernation!

Art Ikobo, · Reply

piece of cake, good to have the old girl running again...even though I rarely use it anymore. Like motorcycles...nice to have the old ones running.

firus, · Reply

Ifixit, you're awesome !!! Took me about 10 minutes and now I have my 18,000 tunes library back. Marley, LedZep and Pink Floyd are alive again. If a 60 year old can do it, anyone can. Iriemon. 10/17/2013

pcbeachbroker, · Reply

My click wheel was acting up. Basically every button pushed behaved as if it was the center button. After reading a few of these guides, I guessed that maybe my battery was starting to swell and was putting pressure on the back of the wheel, causing it to malfunction. Bingo! New battery did the trick!

danaronen, · Reply

Step one is the hardest for sure. Took me 30 minutes to get it to open the iPod because I was determined not to damage the plastic of my U2 limited edition(still in immaculate condition thanks to the hard case I've kept it in for the past 8 years).

Here's a tip - when you're opening the casing of the iPod you're actually prying the metal base away from the plastic faceplate. Once you get the first tab free it's all gravy. Thank you iFixit!

jamesmcortez, · Reply

Great Tutorial. iPod 4th Gen working perfectly after +5 years working just as a paperweight.

Just a thing: it was easier for me to open it at first starting from one of the sides instead from the top, and then kept opening the whole case around.

Anyway, great tutorial and really easy to follow as it was actually detailed. Thanks

tomfratar, · Reply

I have the 4th Gen U2 RED wheel 20gb iPod. Suffered from dead bulging battery. ordered the iFixit 4th gen battery replacement kit and 30 mins after receiving the kit I have a fully function iPod again. Ever single Apple product I have is still working perfectly with minimal effort. I could not be happier.

bberburb, · Reply

It worked exactly as described. At first I had trouble finding a spot to insert the spudger tool but once I did I inserted used a small flat head screw driver to pop the tabs free. I started opening from the side because the case is more flexible there than the top as shown. I magnetized the torx screwdriver tip before I started so I wouldn't drop the screws. My old battery was swollen and I can see why my click wheel was not functioning properly. Over all this took me no more than 15 minutes to complete.

Bob A. October 14

rayers, · Reply

Just finished installing new battery for my 4G iPod. It works great. However, I suggest that you redesign the plastic tools. They both broke as I was attempting to separate the case halves. One post here said that a credit card worked well. The extra buck for the tool kit could have been better applied to the S&H charges on my credit card. Thanks for the photo-enhanced instructions.

snowshoe2009, · Reply

blue tools broke so I used the little odd shaped tool in the nail clippers worked great. I had trouble getting the old battery cable off seemed like it was there too long.

cathymckitrick, · Reply

I have a problem, everything seems to be okay with the battery, it's better and everything but, it won't charge with any charger, and whenever i connect it to my computer it shows it is charging but then it disappears, and it won't show up on iTunes. And also, it won't let me turn it off. this happened after i connected to my computer, everything was working fine before that.

Is there anything i could do ?

aldolara05, · Reply

hi! I need a bit of help with my ipod classic 4th generation, as the ribbon-cable socket that connects the hard drive to the ipod is not there. I have a socket that is like the old one, but came from a dvd writer. two questions: will it work with that? is it just a case of simple soldering to the logic board or is it much more complex than that? thanks,

Caden, age 12

cadeneast, · Reply

Great article - battery was difficult to get out because of the adhesive on the rear but avoiding the edge of the Ipod/circuit board I used a small screwdriver to get an edge in to the battery and force it out. My 30gb Ipod is now back up and running after lying dead in my drawer for a couple of years. many thanks

Ray Fitz, · Reply

My backlight is not working after replacing the battery. Everything else Is working fine. Any ideas?

napuli, · Reply

Success! New battery is in and the iPod works and looks as good as new (minus the bulge from the old swollen battery). My iPod is a 20 GB 4th Gen. Thanks for the detailed guide! Two thumbs up (although one is slightly scratched and both are tired from prying open the iPod). I agree with others that getting the case open is the toughest part of this process (30 minutes trying to get it open - 5 minutes to swap battery and get case back on). I used a plastic credit card - Qdoba rewards card :) - to slide down and open the tabs once I was able to wedge it into the side.

Mike, · Reply

How necessary is it to have the HOLD switch in the locked position? On my iPod the switch is stuck in the unlocked position and I can't force it into locked.

Is locking the iPod for a mechanical reason or an electrical/software reason?

gabeshaikh, · Reply

Quote from gabeshaikh:

How necessary is it to have the HOLD switch in the locked position? On my iPod the switch is stuck in the unlocked position and I can't force it into locked.

Is locking the iPod for a mechanical reason or an electrical/software reason?

It is for an electrical reason. If the iPod hold switch is kept on, the device will not turn on, thus ensuring the device stays powered off while performing service.

trusty, · Reply

I have a 60 GB iPod photo that needs a new Logic Board. I bought a 30 GB used iPod on eBay and replaced the Logic Board. Now the iPod thinks the hard drive is only 30 GB, when it is really 60 GB. It works, but the hard drive is not recognized for its full size. Sites like this offer a 20 GB and 40 GB logic board...I apparently need 60 GB. Can I bypass this somehow, or do I really need a logic board that is specifically made for 60 GB???

Mark, · Reply

My 30gig drive shows up as a 16.4gig. I can not for the life of me, figure out why this is doing this. Can anyone help? Thanks!

Stephan, · Reply


First thank you for this tuto and help.

I did follow your instructions and every step was ok but when I closed my i'Pod, it kept staying on the lock position even with moving the lock button.

Now it has charged but I could not make it run.

So I did a complete reboot by connecting it to my Mac with i'Tunes to restore.

It's still locked.

What can I do?

Than You for your answer


Voisin, · Reply

Much quicker and far easier opening from the right side instead of from the top using the blue plastic spudger. Opened in under 10sec. Do not know why this guide asks you to start from the top and work it to the left corner. Perhaps it was meant as a challenge.

Edwin Seah, · Reply

Well, I did it! I am pretty mechanically inclined, but I don't work well with small stuff. Anyway, as others mentioned, this step was the hardest for me, the included tools, worthless (to start to separate the case) As another person mentioned, I used a razor blade on the side on the upper left corner pushing down toward the metal clips, 'pop' once the first came off, then I used the blue tools to release the remaining clips. I didn't want to remove the connector in step 8, but had literally no room to work, the connector is a square push in type that is attached to the ribbon cable, I pryed with the blue tool carefully at the connector base, it popped right off! (getting is back on was more challenging, but managed with a small pair of needle nose pliers.) Had to pry the old battery out carefully - it was really in there. Got it all back together, works like a champ! Thanks ifixit!

mikesnyder, · Reply

The plastic prying tools are pretty useless, but a 9/64-inch jewellers' screwdriver will pop the case very easily.

Human, · Reply

This is the most fragile piece to work with in the whole process. Make sure you have some glasses or something and actually watch the individual pins while you reconnect the cable. I can't see so close, and didn't see what I was doing clearly. Consequently I broke the pins.

Adam Logan, · Reply

Be very careful disconnecting. In fact may want to leave connected. I "removed" the entire piece pins and all from the board and had to replace the logic board to fix. A $15 fix turned into $65. Happy to say got it fixed with a new board but this was a crucial step that cost me big time! Again leave headphone jack connected if at all possible!!

tigers27408, · Reply

DO NOT remove the ribbon cable unless absolutely necessary. I also removed the black female plug from the logic board by mistake. However, in my case I was able to plug it back in and it still works (phew!). Lucky. I might have destroyed some soldering, I don't know ... but it works.

Paul, · Reply

At this point I damaged the motherboard irreversibly!!

This guide should be modified. You should not attempt this step. Either you replace the battery without disconnecting the ribbon. Or if you really want more room, you unscrew the other little board from the the metal half of the case.

Now I have to buy another ipod :-(

Guillaume Barreau, · Reply

If you are replacing the battery (and not reusing it) feel free to cut the red, white and black wires. If you leave .5 inch of cable, you can use the cables to assist the removal of the connector from the logic board. The connector has a small "bump" on the back side that will resist your efforts to remove it from the logic board. If you are aware of this, realize that it may take a degree of finesse to remove the connector. IT CAN BE STUBBORN!

noscw, · Reply

These screws are unbelievably tiny. I highly recommend having a small saucer or ashtray to catch them so they won't get lost. If they go on the floor, it's all over but the crying.

Human, · Reply

This battery is stuck. The battery leads feel like they're going to snap... yup, one just did... before the battery comes free of the adhesive backing. No way to grab the battery.

gkehret, · Reply

Quote from gkehret:

This battery is stuck. The battery leads feel like they're going to snap... yup, one just did... before the battery comes free of the adhesive backing. No way to grab the battery.

This battery is definitely hard to remove. We're usually don't recommend removing anything by pulling on the leads. This battery is an exception, since it's going straight to the recycle bin once it's removed. There's very little space on the side to insert a spudger, and doing so might result in damaging the case.

Miroslav Djuric, · Reply

My leads snapped off as well. I wound up removing the hard drive and logic board in order to grip the battery firmly and pull it off. iFixit instructions for removing the logic board led me through the process no problem, but it could be worth adding a note to step 12.

seth9, · Reply

It is hard to remove the battery. I could only remove it by using the small plastic tool provided in my "ipod replacement battery pack". The good thing is that I did not have to remove the hard drive or the logic board. Now I have my iPod back!

kbusto, · Reply

Is there a recommended adhesive to use when replacing the battery or forgo adhesive completely?

Quote from miro:

This battery is definitely hard to remove. We're usually don't recommend removing anything by pulling on the leads. This battery is an exception, since it's going straight to the recycle bin once it's removed. There's very little space on the side to insert a spudger, and doing so might result in damaging the case.

KFH, · Reply

The battery replacement was very easy using these instructions. My only problem was separating the battery clip from the socket on the board.

dcorson, · Reply

balta 1

Instructions up to step 12 very helpful, clear but for battery socket/connector. There is a small tab on the inside of the connector facing the battery. By gently pressing this tab with a 1.4 mm. flat s/driver blade - thru' cut-out in socket - the batt. connector will just ease out, no fuss. The battery of course requires some coaxing before it gives way. Overall, a great help as usual from the team @ iFixit *University*

balta, · Reply

I got a surprise when I connected the battery and the iPod immediately went into the white screen of death (yes, I had activated the "hold" switch as directed in step one). I could think of nothing else to do other than finish putting it back together. Right now I'm letting the battery run down and am crossing my fingers that it will come up afterwards.

neilweinstock, · Reply

Unit turned itself off after battery ran down, about 10-15 minutes total. Got very toasty during that time; I opened it up to give it some air. After it shut down, I plugged it back in and was thrilled to get the "charging" graphic. Some 15 minutes later (or so), the unit came alive and now seems fine. Success!


Lifting up the battery required a fair amount of force, enough so that I was afraid that I snapped the control board.

Stefan Lasiewski, · Reply

The replacement went great, up and running again. The hardest part was reconnecting the headphone cable jack. I used tweezers to push the connector in, worked like a charm!!

daveojeda, · Reply

Forgot to mention I bought the battery from iFixit direct fast shipping and worked perfectly!


The leads snapped off, but there was some space to use the spudger - it is hard to get it out.

jonas, · Reply

hi, i just ordered battery replacement for ipod photo, on the 1st week my ipod doing fine, until i forget to charge, i can't turn it on, i had my ipod plug on the AC adapter for 8 hours but it still can't turn on, did you have any idea about this?

adityahaferush, · Reply

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