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My sister sent me her iPod telling me it's locked up: the hold button switch stopped working. It was stiff and felt like a piece of grit was in the switch. With the hold switch broken, all the other buttons stopped working as well, even while the screen indicated that the device was on.

I first tried the farmer method of fixing things, by adding a micro-drop of mineral oil to the switch....wrong, that didn't do anything. I tinkered a little more, and found out the actual switch on the circuit board was busted.

Hit the continue for more on this.

iPod Fixing(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Hold SwitchPry Open CaseRemove ScrewsPull Back Circuit BoardConnect Points

When the switch is disconnected, it puts the iPod into a lock setup to keep buttons from being activated in your pocket; when the connection is closed you can push the buttons again. To fix this somewhat, you have to close the connection so the other buttons work again.

To close the connection, I pried open the broken switch and shoved a tiny piece of tin foil in there. This at least lets the thing function, just without the lock feature. Follow along in the gallery for a detailed description, and to see close up pics. By the way, this is something you do if you have no warranty left, or are just cheap like me (it'll definitely void your warranty).

  1. Open the case.
  2. Remove some screws.
  3. Pry back the circuit board 1/4".
  4. Pry the switch apart .
  5. Use a tiny piece of tin foil to make new contacts.


  • StrangeRover

    Where can you get tin foil in this day and age? Can one use aluminum foil instead?

  • Andrew

    After reading this and having little sucess, I came up with a new method to fix my ipod nano. I believe the writer was on the right track. The contacts had worn some and were no longer conecting the circuit properly. The switch (plastic piece with 3 metal contacts on one side and a metal plate on the other) needed to make more solid contact. I simply applied a light coat of solder to the metal plate side of the switch. When the switch is inserted back into its socket, it will force the contacts closer to the circuit board because it will be more tightly pinched between the front plate and circuit board because of the solder. When the unit is re-assembled, the switch will initially be harder to move but it sure does the trick. This is a more permanent solution than the one above. We will see how long it lasts!!!

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