Ask Apple Matters: iPod On Windows

by Aaron Wright Aug 07, 2006

I’ve heard of plenty of people who have, in the past, had some troubles with their iPod on a Windows XP system and nine times out of ten, it’s a Windows issue. This week bigwilly_fromredmond asks users for some assistance in trying to update his iPod on a Windows XP system with more than one account. If any of you have tried to update an iPod on a Windows system before, you’ll know that having more than one account can sometimes confuse and upset the way the iPod updates, normally with the way Windows safely removes hardware from the system.

Our answers this week come from myself and Dr. Tongue. Of course, you’re all more than welcome to add your own answers if you’ve ever come across this issue before. To do so, simply log into our message board and check out the topic iPod Woe’s in the Ask Matters forum.

Question Of The Week


If I want to update my iPod on the PC and my friend has been logged into her account, it refuses to work. Whilst the computer recognizes the iPods existence, iTunes doesn’t. The only way that I know of sorting this out is by completely restarting the computer, as simple logging out of the other account or ‘switching’ accounts doesn’t seem to work.

Is there a way around this?

Submitted by: bigwilly_fromredmond

Answer by Aaron Wright: My sister has had this problem before with her PC and the only way she could sort it out was to restart the computer. When you switch user, make sure that iTunes on that account is completely shut down, also make sure that no other iPods are currently connected to the computer on that account. It may have been removed physically from the computer, but sometimes Windows will still assume it’s connected. To disconnect the iPod correctly from your system, right click on the icon ’Safely Remove Hardware‘ (near the clock) and, I think, click on ‘Safely Remove USB Storage Device’. A screen will pop up with all the devices you have attached to your computer. Under the one that says iPod or ‘Mass Storage Device’, highlight and then click on ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ or ‘Remove’.

I can’t guarantee this will work, but when you sign out of that account and log back into yours, you should find your iPod works correctly and will loads iTunes when it’s plugged in.

Answer by dr. tongue: You could also check that iTunes and iPod know they have to work with each other when the iPod is plugged in. To do this, insert your iPod, wait for iTunes to open and then, in the ‘Source’ list, right click on the iPod and select ‘IPod Options’. To make sure iTunes opens when iPod is connected, select ‘Open iTunes when this iPod is attached’.

Have a technical question? Drop by our dedicated forums and leave a message. You’re sure to get a reply from one of readers or even a member of staff. If you want a more direct answer, however, feel free to e-mail


  • Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am replacing my sony xp laptop with an apple pro book.
    Can anyone please tell me how to transfer/convert a ‘Windows formatted video ipod to a mac’.
    Is this possible to transfer all my itunes from the sony windows system to the Mac.



    joe5944 had this to say on May 20, 2007 Posts: 1
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