Um, so I rebooted my sad iPod

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So last week I mentioned how my out-of-warranty iPod and my co-worker’s iPod recently were suffering from “sad iPod syndrome.” Supposedly, this is a condition for which there is no easy fix, besides sending it back to Apple for a repair or replacement.

What a difference a week makes.

DISCLAIMER: In no way, whatsoever, do I advocate what I describe below as a legitimate repair method for any iPod or any other electronic device. Doing what I did is probably pretty stupid, and I still can’t believe it, myself, that it actually worked.

Anyway, we were a bit exhausted at the end of the day yesterday. So maybe it was the exhaustion. Maybe it was built-up frustration. Maybe it was the mimosas. My co-worker drop-kicked his dead iPod across his office, and it bounced on the floor. He was surprised to find that a working menu screen now replaced the sad iPod screen.

Upon witnessing the revelation of his iPod’s improbable resurrection, I grabbed my iPod and turned it on. Sure enough, the sad iPod screen came up. So I booted my iPod…right off of my size 11 Kenneth Coles. No luck. I then rebooted my iPod…across the room. Still no luck. Finally, I held my iPod about 4 feet off of the carpeted office floor, and let gravity take it down to the ground with a dull thunk.

Lo and behold, my iPod returned to full working order. Up popped the menu screen. Angels sang down hallelujahs from the heavens. Okay, there weren’t any angels, but my iPod works again!


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Ipod Repair from Ipod Repair on March 23, 2006 11:07 AM

Links to maps and driving directions can be found on the contact page Click here to go directly to the iPod repair form. 90 day war... Read More


I do want to reiterate that you should only try this if you are truly desperate. Cracking the LCD screen or otherwise screwing up the internals is a distinct possibility.

Of course, much to my great surprise, someone found this post via search engine, and revealed to me via e-mail that after reading this post, he slammed his iPod against a wall and restored his sad iPod to working condition!

I might try it tonight, mine went into Sad iPod Mode for no reason last week and today did the same - if it doesn’t work then I’ll replace it!!

Either that or get something different, we’ll see.

I was selling my Ipod on Ebay when I came across this. I had nothing to loose since my warenty was no longer valid and I was selling the “sad ipod” so I dropped it twice on the ground and * poof * the menu screen came on! I am gonna cancel my auction! Thanks for the info!

I just love that the brute force method of iPod repair has met with increasingly widespread success. Outside these comments, two others e-mailed me to let me know that shock treatment banished their sad iPod faces.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, using a physical blow to bring audio equipment to life always worked for the Fonz. Aaayyyyyyy.

Thanks for the post. My ipod was making a clicking sound, had the sad ipod icon, and would not connect to the computer so that I could try an update or reset it. Tried Apple’s 5-R method twice with no luck. After reading the post, I took the ipod, held it about 4’ above the carpet and dropped it. I picked it up and it was working fine. The computer immediately recognized it and allowed me to restore it to original factory settings. Now it’s working great. Thanks for the advice.

That is awesome. Add one more to the tally of happy iPods!

thanks alot for that suggestion. First i held it abot 3 feet of the ground and was afraid to drop it, but i did and nothing changed. So i decided to raise it another foot and be brave. I dropped it face up and, it worked. I never thought this would work, but it does.

So a happened across this site after the apple support page was of no help to me and my sad face ipod. Drop it? What the hell, I was desperate, I was going to buy a new one, since it was out of warranty. I dropped it 3 times from about 4’ up and then threw it about 5’ across the room. I got a dead battery icon, plugged it in and then got a healthy working menu screen. Great idea guys! Especially when replacement is your only other option.

Wow, thanks so much for the tip!!! I thought my ipod was gone for good after searching other websites about the sad ipod icon. Then I found your post and dropped the ipod about 4 ft above the ground. And sure enough, the menu screen popped up and it’s working like before!!

thanks a lot i never figured it would work. at first i dropped it on the floor 5 or six times and that didnt work. but then i threw it prettyhard against a wall and now it works fine. i never would have guessed it

My ipod was displaying the sad icon and my 1 year warranty was up 2 weeks ago. I’m suprised but this did work. I first dropped it on a blanket which was too soft because i was scared but then i said whatever and dropped it on the rug twice and it worked. Thanks for the tip.

Holy crap…this works….lol i was so sceptical about this…and then i just got frustrated and tossed it across the room. A nice ipod belly flop sound issued and i saw the menu light up. Idk how this works…but damn its awesome.

OK…..I just read all these posts and did not think this would work. Sure enough I held my iopd about 5 feet in the air and dropped it on a carpeted floor. It took about 4 trys but the sad face went away and my menu came up. I was shocked. I thought for sure it was done! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

well it didnt work me keep getting the sad icon

Thanks this seems to have fixed my problem too, at least for now!

a few weeks ago my ipod became depressed too… so i showed my friend in school and he tried all those stupid restart trix but it was no help. so we came to a conclusion that it was broken so he started rolling it on the ground and all of a sudden…THE MENU POPPED UP.

just 2 days ago the sad face popped up again…i looked at the apple store but no help. So i found this site and i tried what you did just now…and…IT WORKED!!!:) :) :) :) :) u guys r geniuses

I certainly gives me a good feeling that through the power of search engines, someone can type the words “sad iPod” into a form field, click the search button, and then stumble onto my crappy little blog and find a way to bring their $200-$400 music player back from the dead.

I felt weird posting this for the first time because I was afraid that someone would break their iPod even more by trying something as crazy as dropping the bloody thing onto the hard floor. It made me feel considerably better to read almost a dozen confirmations (on this blog and by e-mail) that their sad iPod screens went away.

Sorry to hear that Mike’s iPod (March 14) wasn’t able to be resuscitated, though.

AMAZING! My ipod was completely unresponsive aside from the wonderful sad ipod icon, I dropped it onto carpet from 4 ft up, and now it works! It is just crazy and amazing that basically doing physical harm to a $300 little device that I was afraid to scratch when I first bought it was the fix!

does any one know how long this fix is good for. it worked for me but i was wondering how long i can count on it.


You have saved my (just-out-of warranty) Ipod’s life. I performed the drop as a last ditch effort before taking it into Apple. There will be a moment of silence taken out of every music-filled morning of my commute in gratitude to the mimosas causing that fateful drop-kick.

THANK YOU! I was at the end of my rope and stumbled upon this so I tried dropping my 4th gen iPod. The first time nothing happened but the second time it worked! Up came the menu! THANKS SO MUCH

You guys rule. THANK YOU!! That’s all I have to say.

Wow, thanks for the tip, worked for me too :)

j, mine is still going strong after four months, now. I do treat the little guy with kid gloves, though; I fear a repeat visit by the dreaded sad iPod face.

If only the solid-state iPods weren’t of such low capacity—not that I could afford one anyway.

holy mother of god! I have been on the internet all morning after I got the *&%$#$ “sad face” on my 4G 20GB iPod, I tried resets, disk mode, I gave it a few hits, left it plugged into the charger for a couple of hours, did a voodoo ritual, I opened it up and reseated the hard drive, I was already looking on Ebay to see what i could get for the thing broken to absorb the cost of a new one since replacing the drive or sending it for repair wasn’t much of a price difference. I decided to do one last internet search because I just kept seeing all these people saying they were hitting it or dropping it and bringing it back to like. Why won’t this work for me?? I kept crying! Me living without an iPod is like taking my heart out. So finally I see this message board and someone says that dropped it from like 5 feet onto the floor and it started working. I figured what the hell it’s a paperweight anyway. And wouldn’t you know that blue backlight popped on all was right with the universe again! I guess I just wasn’t being aggressive enough with the abuse. Today is the worst and best day of this year for me! And to think I was getting ready to shell out over 200 bucks to at least get a 2GB nano replacement! Of course I will be shocked if this actually lasts.

I thought the 4 ft drop method was a joke but after all else failed I thought “what the heck, its out of warranty anyway”. So from 4 ft to a carpeted floor the next thing in know is the sad face is gone and the menu pops up. It works!!!!! Thanks

Thanks a bunch! i broke my cousins ipod and he went ballistic on me, but we looked at apple’s sites and to no avail. All my friends jokingly told me to drop kick the ipod or throw it accross the room and it wasn’t until my cousin came accross this site that he actually tried it. i owe you my first born.

It worked for me, but then i tried restarting it. It still booted up but all my media was gone. I thought I’d give the ol’ restart another shot. Nooothing… Hmm… I took it back to the drawing board and gave it a bit more physical abuse (I chose to hit it hard against a book, the floor frightened me to much). After a bit of assault towards my iPod it booted up again. I figured I’d see if it could last the restart test (I hadn’t learnt apparently), again, nothing. A few more crashes and its back in working condition. I think I’ll just never restart it again, either that or shell it out to someone else to cover the cost of a new ipod (a video ipod maybe?) we’ll see. Anyone else have the same reaction to a restart?


Wow. I wasted weeks trying to fix this thing, took it to Apple but they could do nothing and my warranty was over. Dropping it worked like a charm. You are amazing.

OMG… I can’t belivee this worked.. will it continue to work??? I REALY hope so… thanks a lot

I tried this and it didn’t work. Then my ipod wouldn’t turn on. Then…it worked! Thank you so much.

Yup it worked for me too. Got no love with the whole being recognized by my computer thing. Stupid sad face wouldn’t go away. Banged it on my desk a couple time and voila…. turned right on. I’ve since updated the firmware, etc and haven’t had any more problems. Thanks man.


I can’t believe it. It worked for me. I cringed when I let it go from about 3 feet up. But, after the second time - it worked. thanks Man!!

I absolutely love this website! My ipod was showing a sad face every time I tried to turn it on for about 2 weeks. I’m out of warranty, so after being without an ipod for a while with nothing I could do about it, I just decided that I was going to go out and buy a new one. The night I decided this, my friend sent me an article (not this one, but close) complaining about the sad face ipods, and one of the comments was about how someone dropped their ipod and it started working again. This wasn’t the first time I had heard this, so I figured since I was about to buy a new one anyway, might as well… so I go out into the hallway of my dorm room, where there is tile, dropped it from about a foot off the ground, and who would’ve thought, I saw my main menu for the first time in weeks! I was so excited. Now, about a month later, I got the sad face again, and was very upset. So, I just banged it on the dashboard of my car a few times, and its back :) Just felt like sharing my story here… I don’t understand why this works, but it does!

…and another one ! My son’s recently out of warranty IPod was following the ‘clicking disk drive, sad face / no charge icon’ routine. I didn’t drop it, but I smacked the sucker against my hand (hard enought to hurt), et voila - It lives !

nice! I just hit my ipod in the palm of my hand and it came up. I had the clicking disk drive too.

you stupid idiots, this does not work. i bet all these arse licking messages are from the same person.

My ipod kept recycling between the apple logo and the sad ipod. I found that vigorous shaking and three quick 6-in drops onto a wooden desk restored my beast to its former glory. WTF?!?!?!? just happy it’s back!

I just got a replacement ipod back from applecare after a sad ipod experience; got all my songs onto my new one - boom, same sad ipod icon. Heart, ripped from chest, thrown to floor to spend another 2 weeks waiting for a replacement that would, no doubt, do the same. I saw this, sent my ipod to the floor beside said heart, and while all these posts should have convinced me, I was still shocked and awed to see it work again. I doubt it will make it to the apple support site, but I gave up on them a long time ago.

It works!!!!!!!!!!! I luckily found this link off of a website where I was searching for a new Ipod. I have been just as sad as my Ipod for the past two weeks- because of the money I thought I was going to have to spend on a replacement. So, I let my sad Ipod drop onto the floor and the screen went blank. Then I pressed the menu area on the scrolling wheel and guess what came up. That’s right, the menu. If this is your last resort I recommend you drop the Ipod and see what happens. I left mine in it’s leather case to protect it a bit.

Damn. Broke screen. Nada. Dropped it several times and the last one cracked the screen. Still have sad ipod and apple and off. oh well. I got some frustration out. Kathleen

A broken screen? That sucks even more than the sad ipod. We’ve got two people so far whose iPods couldn’t be shocked back to life.

Oh, I got another sad iPod last week. This time, I held on to the iPod and rapped the bottom against my car’s dashboard. This also brought back the menu screen.

My next MP3 player is so-o-o-o going to be flash-memory-based.

I’m on my 3rd iPod in about 2.5 years. All seemed to die at about 10-12 months. The first had a little bit of “rough” handling (went jogging with it, dropped it a couple times) but nothing excessive. (I think the metal casing, and I was grateful that the Apple store replaced it for me.)

The replacement I received was treated with the utmost care — the worst it ever got was sitting on the console of my car. Well…that one died after about 4-6months. The Apple Store grudgingly replaced it — lucky for me. They said that the warranty is for 12 months…even if they replace your iPod, they don’t extend the warranty. In my mind, if they hand me a new device it should work like a new one and have some guarantee — had I known I was buying a device that would last <1 year, I would not have spent the money on it.

ANYway…the point of all this is that I got the sad iPod icon just a few hours ago. I found this page after many unsuccessful resets. I tried tapping the iPod against my palm a few times — nothing. I tapped it harder — still nothing. I dropped it from 3 feet onto a carpeted floor — nada.

One more time from about 4 feet….and that did the trick. I restored the software and am going to transfer everything on it once again…just to be “safe”.

I no longer live near an Apple store, and I don’t want to pay them the $20 or $30 to ship it back (why can’t I just use bubble wrap and a small box??) to look at an out-of-warranty iPod. What did I have to lose?


One blow and i was good to go. Believe it or not i got this ipod last week and it already has this sad face. Just tells me how reilable apple ipod’s are. cheers to the advice !!

just bought a sad face Ipod off of e-bay. This blog helped the decision process…hope it works, will let you know!!

Holy crap…that’s awesome! All my ipod needed was to be beaten up a little and now it’s not depressed anymore!

Hey, I posted back on April 1st. I had the sad face and eneded up using the drop method. I am happy to say that my iPod has been going strong ever since.

Absotivley posolutley the most awesome thing ever…I am surprised the apple lawyers havent put a hit out on ya yet..this is gonna cost em some money..hehe..Thanks!!

Bought a 30gb 4thgen Photo from Craigslist in DC. Met the guy in front of the Apple Store, and was told that the repair would be $60, this from the people I bought it from. Since the total I was going to pay for the Ipod would be less than $100, I decided to buy a sad Ipod :(

Only to find out.. I was the sad one. $250 was the real fix it price.

So back to my office I went, trying to get it running on either my WinXP system or my new MacBook… nada… then I found this site.

I figure that I bought the thing for $40 (yes, $40, YEA Craigslist!), I would try the Drop technique…



I couldn’t believe it! So I plugged it immediately into the USB Cable… and promptly had the Ipod overwritten (damn, I wanted to see what was on there!).

As I sit right now, it is hooked to my MacBook and updated from ITunes!!

Thanks MICHAEL!!!

Ran, I don’t think Apple would mind. After all, an iPod that dies prematurely is less likely to be replaced with another iPod.

Eric, damn! Talk about your lucky breaks (and it could have easily turned out not so lucky). A $40 iPod Photo…GOOD DEAL! $250 for the Apple Store repair? Feh!

Man you are an absolute genius! I was just about to retire my ipod with a sad face on it after weeks of trying to fix it when i stumbled across this little blurb. Having come to my wits end i decided to try exactly what you suggested, i dropped my ipod on the floor and low and behold it WORKED! Thanks a million!

Yep well i didnt want to throw mine but i banged it on my leg 3 or 4 times and gave it a try and if fukin’ worked crazy stuff

Sadly, this fix works.

I lost sleep all night after I had dropped my ipod mini on concrete and after some sticky menu and no sound immediately got the sad face. I thought it was lost for good. I searched and searched the ipod site and was afraid I would have to purchase a new one or send it in for service and spend a bundle (because I bought it refurbished and unsure if I have a warranty). Came across this post and decided ‘what the hell’, then started pounding it like a pack of cigarettes in my palm. When that stpid sad face kept taunting me I decided to stand on my bed and drop the sucker on the carpeted floor. The fourth time poof hello ipod! Even the sound, which had somewhat lowered over the past month, had improved! The click wheel was a little outta place from the drop, but I just popped it back and viola… the little piece of heaven that has made me take more trips to the gym and hear less of the men holler at me on the street was back and working!! If you have the problem… trust everyone here… just drop it (carefully) before you decide to send it in for repair.

Worked like a charm for me as well. I have already had 2 replaced by apple for the same problem, and they told me it was from using a USB to connect to my PC. They assured me connecting with a firewire would cure the problem. Yeah, right! A good smack cured the problem……

yep, i have to add another success - take a good 4 feet, let drop down on the carpet (face up), see it bounce: and it’s back (apple should add that as a measure of “physical rebooting your device”) a sidenote: i used disk utility afterwards, and it needed fixing, i guess restore would be a very good measure … and another sidenote: i did not only have the sad ipod icon, but also the battery with exclamation mark; after dropping, the battery was full thanks guys!

Another satisfied customer! Trying to do all kinds of fixes after getting the sad icon. Two drops of the Ipod - menu is back, Ipod is recognized in I-Tunes and updates songs added since the last transfer.

Gotta love technology!


I’ve always had problems with my 4th Gen, and while it was still under warranty had it replaced twice. Now, with the warranty out of date for quite a while, my iPod stopped working. AGAIN. Sad iPod, clicking hard drive, the works. I gave it a swift smack and BOOM! it was working again! I Googled “hit my iPod” to see if this worked for anyone else, and I’m glad to see the information is being spread!

rrrrrrrrr, everybody is saying its working but i’ve beat the crap out my ipod and the gay little sad mother keeps looking at me with those gay x’s for eyes. im getting ready to put it in water, mabye that will drown that little bitch and get my menu screen back. lol

Hey guys…

My wife and i tried your “Dropping” meathod… Nothing… So we proceeded to the “Hard Floor” method… Nothing… after like 10-15 throws n drops, my wife got sick of it and launched it saying forget this stoopid thing!! Bam then there was light… the ipod is fully functional… just gotta charge it now.. :D

Thanks guys we give you 4! Thumbs up!!!


Same story as above…. Sad icon, ipod support website gives no help, I stumble on this forum and it works on the second try. Kickass.

Well after dropping it on the left side from 15 cm on a stack of paper it turned on…. nothing brutal and it did the trick… my 20 gb 4th gen ipod had problems with sound output right when i got it and i had to fixate jack from headphones with a rubber band on the case. it repaired itself.. same with my sony monitor.. weird lines across the screen… then i started to push on/off button continuously for 2 hours… and then it worked… woohoo

Many thanks for the suggestions. After many wimpy attempts, I gave my Ipod mini a good slap against a carpeted floor. Now I’m back in business.


Hilarious… Did it out o despair and now I’m listening to music… Just shows how poor quality apple iPods are…

But thanks for the tip anyway.


Ok, I just want to say, I thought you all were nuts, but I just dropped my Ipod on the floor twice…nothing..then I threw it up against the wall and the menu just popped up!!! Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woah! Don’t you just love technical fixes for all this modern technology stuff???

Pure class - didn’t have the kahunas to bounce my ipod across the floor but a couple of stern strikes with the base of my palm martial arts style kicked the baby into life.

Jackie Chan!

Yes. this works. My roommate and I both have iPods bought within the last 2 years (mine is just coming up on its 1st birthday) and recently we have been having problems with freezing, sick-face, etc. Both of us being women of short temper, we gave it the old fuck-you in our unique ways—she threw hers across the room in a fit of rage, and I beat the everliving shit out of mine on my steering wheel. In both cases it worked like a charm. Mine has since frozen a couple more times, but each and every time a good dose of abuse has restored it for months of faithful service. I remember that this was the be-all and end-all treatment for Sony products—my Playstation only worked if it was upside-down, and I had a VCR that could be tuned by punching a certain corner—is there some reason Sony is now making Apple products?? hmm…

worked for me. Dropped it from about 4 feet onto carpet, no more sad face, I am so happy.

Kev in St. louis

OH MY GOD! I can’t believe that worked. I looked into sending it in to get repaired, but when I saw that I could buy a new iPod for what they wanted to charge me, I said, “Screw it!” And I dropped the thing. I’m so giddy right now.

This morning I dropped my iPod on the way to work. It was fine until I got off work, and lo and behold- the sad iPod of death appeared. I find this site through a google search, and after reading the other testimonials decided to give my iPod a drop too. My carpeted bedroom didn’t do the trick, but after firmly slamming it charge side down on my kitchen counter, my iPod returned to normal! Thanks for the great tip! :)

Crazy! but it definitely fixed my sad ipod - mine worked after a 3 foot drop though. Thank you!

Seriously amazing. I had to slam mine against a wall, but it totally worked.

I thought I was all alone and just being a cavegal!

I can’t afford a new one and that intermittent sad face really worried me, but a good slapping around and it always comes back. Nwo I know this is the way of things and there are still wonderous mysteries in life! Thagette happy!

Dropped my ipod while marathon training 2 weeks ago. Thought all was lost when I kept getting the sad face. I went on line and googled “dropped my ipod” and clicked on your site. Felt I didn’t have anything to lose so I tried dropping it on the carpet. That didn’t work so finally I slammed it against a piece of wood. Wow, it actually worked. I am so blown away that its working again. Now I’m back to running :-) You guys are the best. Thanks.

After speaking with a tech at Apple He said since my warrenty was over I would need to pay almost 300.00 to fix it or buy a new one. What else could I loose so I dropped and smacked the hell out of it and Guess What?? It worked. Thank you so much.


I work in IT and had lost my ipod(4G 40GB) 5 times to the sad ipod icon. When it started happening, I was still under warranty so I just assumed that the warranty was renewed each time I received a new device. 2 weeks ago, the sad ipod icon returned and I was not able to mount it on a PC or MAC. I called apple and they could not help me because the warranty had expired. I was just about to order a new ipod when I came across I tried dropping it from about 5 feet on carpet and IT WORKED!!!! I mounted it to my Mac and restored it. My colleagues and I believe that this method is freeing a parked hard drive head. I’m trying it on everyone’s Ipods in the office that have the same problem. Thanks guys. Next time I’m drinking Jack Daniels I’ll try to cure cancer. Good work with the mamomas. P.S. in the middle of writing this someone handed me another Ipod(60GB photo) to try it with and it worked again!

As easily frustrated as I get with most of the “technological wonders” I own, I quit hitting things to fix them when I was in my teens because I imagined it must be pretty stupid. Then my iPod got sad. I threatened beating it repeatedly, but only after reading this did I say to myself, “What the hell? My warranty expired 3 days ago, what else do I have to lose?” Gave it a good smack into a padded but hard sufrace, and now my iPod works. For how long? Who knows, but still, nice to be able to simultaneously get out my frustration and get my friggin iPod working. Gracias.

Wow! The 4-foot Ipod drop really works!!! I thought my sad Ipod was a goner as none of the suggestions on the Apple site would work. I came across this site and figured, What the heck, I’ll give it a try. Thanks!!!!

Well.. I have a sony lcd screen that didn’t work anymore. After reading this article, I slammed it into a wall. Bad news though, it’s still broken and now the bottom of the screen is cracked in half.

HA! I never post any comments on any websites but after some crazy shit like this I had no choice. I bought 2 ipods with harddrive errors because I wanted to take a stab at fixing ipods. One of the ipods just needed to be restored but the other had sad face I couldn’t get rid of. I found this site and after reading through about 40 comments I decided what the heck I’m gonna try it, but it didn’t work for me. I popped open the ipod and threw the harddrive around it was actually kinda fun. Well as soon as I attached the head phone cable, BOOM!, the light turned on and the menu was up. Thanks guys.

I just tried this on my ‘sad face’ iPod after hours working with the apple tech guys.. they could not help at all.

4 drops on the floor from about 3 feet is all it took.. simply amazing. Thy should add this to the support site.

OMG! My friend and I just found this website. We were laughing at all of these posts! I was at work and was going to try this when I got home.

I couldn’t stand waiting to find out if it would work anymore so we called my husband on three way. He thought we were nuts because he hadn’t been reading these posts. Imagine someone just calling you up and saying hey go get my ipod and throw it around the kitchen? ANYWAY…after dropping it a few times from different heights he turned it back on and WHAMMO it was back to normal! HOW FUNNY IS THIS! IT REALLY WORKS!

SIGH i just lost my most precious photos stored on the ipod because of this sad ipod face (got it replaced). i should have searched earlier :(

p.s to jerry who’s ipod was 3 days out of warranty - they tend to organise a one off repair if it breaks soon after the warranty finishes, if u call them and ask nicely. mine was 4 days out of warranty

Awesome! My ipod got sad yesterday and instead of spending time working on a paper I was trying to fix the old 30gig. Of course I gave up, and just left it on the charger when I went to class this morning, and when I came home I figured I’d give it one last try. I found this site, dropped the iPod from about 1 foot above the hard tile dorm floor, and voila! My roommate and I were doubly impressed. Cheers!

This has worked for me for a few times, before stumbling upon this site I also had learned of the drop method to fix the sad face icon, However I find that my ipod still gets the sad face icon once and awhile every few months, thats when I like to give it a lil “love tap” on the back and normally she starts back up. Im glad to see its not just my ipod that has done this apple really should have recalled all these bad ipods I say.

P.S. with the new itunes 7.0 I was easily able to restore my ipod we will have to see if this helps it any, it told me a bug was detected and removed in my software during the restore.


i’m a college student so naturally, my ipod has become an extension of my body. i listen to it before, after, between, and sometimes even during classes (hey, philosophy isn’t interesting for everyone), so when this sad ipod icon came up today, i freaked out.

after the crying and hair tearing subsided, i was actually looking forward to getting that new video ipod, but was struck by shame. how could i abandon my most loyal friend? so i ended up going to like the screen said, and it was no help. i googled “sad ipod fix” and this site came up in the results. all i can say is, whoever you are, man, (and i’m assuming you’re a man from the size 11 kenneth coles, and if you aren’t…those are some ridiculous feet, lady) i owe you so much. THANKS!!!

thats crazy but this blog just saved my ipod from destruction…had the sad face for about a week and tried everything with no luck…stumbld on this though why not and now I have a working ipod

Ok, so I had my doubts, i read it….drop it on the floor….now my ipod had only just started doing the unhappy face of death, but after a few minutes i thought, why not. so i dropped it on the floor from aout 2 feet, nothing happened, i raised to 4 feet, 1st drop went straight to disk mode and now my pc recognises it, i cant believe it worked, thanks alot you’ve saved me a few hundred pounds for a new ipod.

Just brought the IPOD into the woman’s washroom at work. Hit both sides on the counter - nothing. Sad death Face came up again. Dropped it on the floor. It booted. This is my daugher’s old mini that we’ve had in the drawer for 1 year. She lost her Nano and will be happy to get this back. THANKS !

So I had my Ipod sitting in my Scion and it was playing fine. I changed the song and it froze. When I rebooted it I got a mix between the Sad Ipod icon and the exclamation point folder Icon. I was about to give up since I have about 9,000 songs on it and Yes I delete them out of Itunes to save space on my computer. So I came acreoo this and thought what the heck I’ll try it. I dropped it on the carpeted floor from about 4 feet and rebooted it and abra-kadab-ra it works. thanks.

After months of staring helpless at my sad ipod, I tried this in desparation this morning. WORKED LIKE A CHARM, FIRST DROP. Unbelievable…

Thanks for posting it :-)

oh man what a great discovery. After reading the drop antidote for “sad face iPod syndrome” I drop my ipod 3ft away from the floor and guess what my ipod is working again. Thanks guys this info is a God sent.

wow u guys r a god send it works.

Just stumbled across this blog searching for “sad ipod”. Well, of course it worked, but I had to drop it about 7 times on the carpet floor to get it to boot up. Thanks!

Nope, nice try but it didn’t work for me, dropping it, hitting the bottome, nothing makes is come out of sad face :o(

Oh well, worth the try??

Today i got the sad face icon and was pissed. I though great i just bought this on ebay for 150 and only had it for a month and it already dead. I did a google search for sad face icon and found alot of people saying they hit theres and it worked. So i was no way. I tryed it hit it a few time droped it from about 3inch. and now it works

totally awesome, it worked for me after a few tries. Just let gravity do its job. You should be sure to rape your ipod a couple times though, dont lose hope if it doesn’t work the first time! Thank you!

My iPod has been freezing for a long time and finally when I was updating it, it started clicking and whirring and then the dreaded iPod face appeared. I went to the Genius Bar but they refused to service it b/c I have an HP branded one. I was about to give up when I stumbled over this article. I tried it dropping it from above my head-about 5.7 feet-on the carpeted floor and omg the third time it works. All my songs are still there and it updates happily as if nothing ever happened. I am eternally grateful to you.

oh my god. even though i thought this blog was pretty much a joke, i resorted to this, because otherwise, my iPod would be have been dead anyways. so before i went to buy another one, i dropped it a few feet from the ground, and now it works great. and it doesnt make a clicking sound anymore either. thank you so much..

Sounds a bit like the old sticky disk syndrome, which would happen if you had a disk that ran for a long time, then went unused for a few days. You could fix that by putting the disk upright on a table and letting it fall over. Perhaps worth a try before you drop it on the floor, can’t imagine breaking the display with that.

I was skepitcal, and was too scared to drop it on the floor, so I just grabbed it with my right hand and forcefully thumped it against my left palm. It works fine now. thanks =)

It worked!! Thanks so much!! HOORAY

:( I was on my way to work yesterday when a vibratng devil set off in my pocket ( new moto pebl) and let me tell you that is a mad shake. but it scared the crap out of me i droped my ipod mini, who has fallen the same cause of death so it seems as my old video (i droped the white 60g beauty and the bloody screen shattered, warranty expired 2 days befoe), to my amazement when i arrived home i went into my parents office and found my old ipod mini being used as a paper weight on my dads office desk, grabbed it and it has been filling the gap somewhat and now it has become depressed, ive tryed everything and NOTHING is working ive been at it for 4 days, it has completly fallen apart, as in top and bottom retainers gone and the white caps both gone, ive kicked it at cament walls, droped it on the carpet, the hard floor and even droped it 3 stories at work, it still makes those clicking noises, the ones that you hear in your nightmares, infact ive even put in the dryer for 30 min and still click click click, i dont know what to do, if the world ended, the ipods and the cockroaches whould be the only things left.. i swear, if anyone has any tips let me know, <3 :(

From the sounds of this, the problem you are experiencing is reffered to as “sticktion” in the IT industry. It is a hard drive problem, where the oils on the hard disk platters become “sticky” and cause the hard drive heads to stick to the platter. This in turn prevents the hard drive from spinning up (and often causes a clicking sound). A physical jarring can break free the heads and allow the disk to spin up, thus allowing it to be used again. Normally the problem will continue to re-occur periodically; the only long-term solution is to replace the hard disk itself.

If you want to try and verify that this is your problem prior to dropping it, listen carefully to the iPod while its on (and at the sad mac display). Do you hear/feal the normal quiet hum from an operational iPod? Normally your iPod should feel/sound like a motor is running inside. If you get the sad iPod and don’t hear this hum, then the problem is almost certianly sticktion.

—Jim, 15+ years IT/SysAdmin/Computer Builder experience

HOLY. F*#$#Q$@&$ SH#($(@&#@&($#&

I can’t believe this works. I actually worked for the apple store for 6 MONTHS. And i thought this was a total crock of ass until i tried it.

I couldn’t get my ipod working again for ANYTHING.

Brute Force——THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

well muddoes cud u believe da dropn method works? i jus tried it 3 mins ago n voila!! da screen appear erytin in tack wow. i was about to cry afta tryna all of apple 5 r’s routines n it didnt wrk. i tot 4 sure i wud have 2 spen money 2 buy a new precious mini but tank gdness for this forum.phew evn da battery is full..tank

Holy Cow!! It worked for me too! I dropped mine about 10 times w/ nothing happening … just a sad face. Then I put it in its leather case and threw it across the room. It is back in action again! I can’t believe it!! Thanks for the tip and the savings of my $$$$.

WOW! i was just about to buy a new mp3 player but before i was gonna cough up another $300 i thought id google “sad ipod face”…cause now a days you can Google anything! and this was one of the first pages for a reason!! I did what you said…twice on the carpet and once on a patic mat. Thats all it took! YESS! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! haha look how far technology has gone!

I just hit it gently against the palm of my hand and that was enough… so try that before going for the big 4 feet.


I just hit it gently against the palm of my hand and that was enough… so try that before going for the big 4 feet.


I like your solution!! It works!

I got a sad IPOD face today. I don’t know what to do. I search for solution in GOOGLE….and I got your message!

Instead of dropping my ipod (it’s a 5th generation. very heavy), I shake it….cool! It turns on again…Woo….I’m so happy. Thanks a lot.

What a surprise for hard-disk ipod. Don’t know if it work for shuffle…..

Anyway, thanks a lot.

Happy New Year!

Yeehhhaaaa! Yup…sad face, clicking hard drive, wouldn’t connect or show on the PC..or Itunes..

So dropped it on padded carpet. Nothing. So, I thought,,,what the heck, took it to the basement where carpet has no pad..dropped it twice and voila..

No Sad face..and working fine now.

Thanks all…and Happy New Year…may all your Ipod’s smile once more!

I can’t believe it .My iPod has had the sad icon for about 1 month and I had tried disk mode , reset….all the options. I came across this.Well I thought banging it hard with my hand would be a less destructive version of kicking it across the room. It bloody worked!! I whacked it twice hard with one hand while holding it in the other. In 10 seconds the menu was up with all my music still on it. Cheers Michael your a star!!! I have had this ipod for about 2 yrs (changed battery 9 months ago) and the amount of times it has corrupted and not worked e.g just before leaving for a holiday , any long trips etc….nice design ,looks great, very ,very unreliable.

My ipod freezed for no reason and it had a sad face on it, l went searching for solutions because the Apple’s 5R’s was not helpful. l came across peoples story on this web site yesterday january 09,2007 and was kind of skeptical about dropping my IPOD but when l got home, l gave my ipod a good whacking on the back and it came back with a big smile. Mike you are a genuis.


holy crap, I wasn’t quite prepared to throw my iPod across the room or smash on the wall but simply smacking with my hand and wrapping on it with my knockles was enough to get her going again

f*@k i can believed this worked! i thumped my ipod with my thumb and the menu screen lit up. i now have $300 to blow on something else. thanks!


UNBELIEVABLE…UN-BE-FREAKIN-LIEVABLE!!!!…IT REALLY WORKED…i had the same problem…i was sittin here at my computer and decided to try dropping my 40G ipod. I dropped in once from chair level onto the carpet and voila…it started working!!! THANK YOU!!!

holy shit. well i was sceptical, but i was at a party last night where a mate said something about dropping your ipod as a miracle fix and sure enough three waist height drops onto the ground later i have a working ipod. what in god’s name is going on in there?

After reading every single post before this one, I finally decided to give it a try! What do I have to lose, anyway? Who wants to pay for repair work on an old mini? First I tried hitting the mini against the counter. No change. Did that six times. Next, I stood in front of my kitchen counter, held the mini two feet above the counter, and dropped it on the counter. The first three tries, nothing. On the forth try, I let it fall, screen side hitting the counter, and now it works!!!!!! I am soooo happy!!!!

It worked for me as well. Thank you. Just 3 hard taps charger side down did the trick. Its amazing how much more help you are than the apple site.

It worked for me as well. Thank you. Just 3 hard taps charger side down did the trick. Its amazing how much more help you are than the apple site.

HAHAHA this is awesome! I thought my ipod was a gonner but I simply had to throw it off the my rug about 8 times, and finally the hard drive was spinning again like normal! I tried everything else and even thought about buying a new video (which i didnt even need to have nor could really afford)

Thanks a lot guys!

i was at my wits end on this………i love my ipod……stupid sad face came up…… found your site……. got up and dropped it on the carpet………my husband and kids were giving me the ”oh no she didnt” look…………

its on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am one happy camper………… ty ty ty ty ty

Take the leap of faith it works!!! This what I call the Russian method of repair.

Heehee…it took two drops, but this thing worked like a fricking charm!

Dropped it from 4 feet face down on my wooden floor. Viola! It lives again!!! HAHAHAHAHA! ITS ALIVE! That was so incredibly cool!

I tried the drop method its not working parents r sleeping right now so i cant do it on the wood floor i hope it works even though i stole it off this kid in school.

I put ipodlinux on my ipod mini b4 and ever since then my ipod minis battery only lasted about 10 mins (fully charged).So after a while that got really annoying so i chukd it on the floor and it broke. So i bought a new ipod photo and i wanted to watch videos and scratch music on it so i put ipod linux on it. 1 day later the sad ipod came up every time i booted it up so i looked up if eny1 else had the same problem on the internet and after 10 mins of browsing i saw this page and i thought that woz the most stupid thing ive ever heard but after reading all the comments i thought I might aswell give it a go … AND surprisingly IT WORKED!, the apple logo popd up, the backlight turned on and finally I SAW THE MENU SCREEN.


Just Slam it! God is Good and this method works. I am a believer! I was in a carpeted room, so I just slammed it on the desk a couple of times.

omg. you are a LEGEND a fuggin GENIUS!

i dropped my baby from bout half a metre a few times and its working again!!


well my ipod has been broken for quite some time and it happens all the time i come upon this site all the time and usually the problem goes away by it self after a week or 2 but i was getting frustrated after i just fixed it and its sad again so i put it my height 5’7 and droped it two times and turned it on color came and woo hoo!

I thought this must be a joke posting… I too had the clicking and the sad iPod icon. Out of warranty, why not try it! I dropped it flat on its back from a height of 3 feet, only once, onto a carpeted floor, it made a satisfying “whumph” and now IT WORKS AGAIN!

Wow! This really works. My Ipod was giving me the sad face and I had taken it to the Apple Store. They wanted $200.00 to fix. I could buy a new one for that. So I tried this. I hit it six times against my open palm and “presto” it now works. Thanks so much

Apple was offering me a 10% rebate on a new one…I was almost ready to accept when I read this page. Thanks so much for this fun way of fixing stuff…

im not sure if this thread is still going but i have to tell you i have lost one iPod already to Technicial diff. and was in shock to learn from other sites agian my iPod was broken and i would have to buy a new one intill i found this thread and with great happiness learned to fix the dreaded “sad face” i would have to chuck my iPod across the room i did it…and boom it worked.

Thanks A Billion!!!!!

OMG you are brilliant! I been miserable because my Ipod had the sad face icon, and was constantly trying to start up and making those noises…I JUST came across this blog, desperate to try what I can before taking it to the Apple store. And I got up from my computer, and just threw it hard against my carpet floor, and BANG! It came on to the regular menu screen! I’m so excited! You’ve saved me a lot of money! THANK YOU!

OMG you are brilliant! I been miserable because my Ipod had the sad face icon, and was constantly trying to start up and making those noises…I JUST came across this blog, desperate to try what I can before taking it to the Apple store. And I got up from my computer, and just threw it hard against my carpet floor, and BANG! It came on to the regular menu screen! I’m so excited! You’ve saved me a lot of money! THANK YOU!

Wow! I must join the others who say thank goodness your friend was tipsy and kicked his Ipod!! It worked for me and then I told a friend…worked for him too!!! Do you suppose there is a guy at Apple whose job is to kick sad face ipods??

WOW This is great! Thank you for the advice! it worked for me.. There must be a lose connection in the ipod or something..

Well its working now! So I am happy!!!

Too funny. I dropped my Ipod mini at the gym yesterday and the LCD screen went blank. Tried everything to get it to work again, turn on/off, reset, pluggin in charger, didnt work. Read this, got my ipod out and banged it on my desk. Works just fine now. Thanks!!


I thought I lost all my music (which was quite a bit); I only recently aquired a very old iPod from a friend, put all my computer’s music onto it and deleted said music from my computer.

It froze the second day of my using it, and proceeded to respond to every touch of the button with either a battery-charging sign or sad iPod face.

I banged the back of the iPod with my hand, and then threw it on the ground, after reading this. It works fine.

Hahaha, this is great. :)


I thought I lost all my music (which was quite a bit); I only recently aquired a very old iPod from a friend, put all my computer’s music onto it and deleted said music from my computer.

It froze the second day of my using it, and proceeded to respond to every touch of the button with either a battery-charging sign or sad iPod face.

I banged the back of the iPod with my hand, and then threw it on the ground, after reading this. It works fine.

Hahaha, this is great. :)

thank you another satisfied ipod user who has successfully banished the sad icon My brother sent his one to me from Australia to repair (i am in New Zealand) and this method did it lol thanks

Apparently, I am the 148th happy customer of Dr. Drop-A-Pod. My daughter’s iPod (the old white kind) had the sadface of ideath and was revived at approximate 8:32pm last night by dropping 4 feet on to a persian carpet over saltilllo tile. (Dropping it on pile carpet did nothing.)

I have no doubt that there is some nefarious employee at Apple whose job it is to receive sadfaced ipods from disgruntled customers, charge them $300, and then repeatedly drop them on his office floor until they work again.

Thanks guys, you made my daughter very happy since dad is too broke to buy her another!

Genius!!!! Worked like a charm. My car is giving me problems as well, I’m going to see if the guy at the junkyard can drop it a couple times for me as well :)

Just tried this - as advertised it worked, can’t believe it - thanks

Worked great - unbelievable!!

this works for me but only for about a minute each time. what do you think that means?

I think you should take careful consideration when taking the advice of this article seriously.

Kicking, throwing, and dropping your ipod may damage the ipods hard drive.

I would suggest this is only jarring the connection of your ipod any how. So open your ipod and reconnect the connector that attaches to the hard drive, and give your hard drive a longer life.

Read my article here


sad face, dropkick, sad face, dropkick again, menu items!!!! it works!!! it works!!! Drop Instructions: - Take your ipod screen upside over a carpeted floor - Take it 4 to 5 feet high - deep breath, ok think twice - deep breath again - DROP - take your ipod - Enjoy, if it still shows sad face, try again the whole procedure.

I thought this thread was a joke . I had actually taken my ipod to apple shops in UK and America and no shop was willing to fix it for free. They wanted to fix it for btw £70 to £120. I threw my ipod on the for as directed thrice and presto , it started working. Thanks for saving me some money

thought it was a joke….amazing, works! can’t believe it! thanks

worked for me too. slammed it metal side down on a desk several times.

WOW I just fixed my ipod just by smacking it couple of times. Thanks to this website, I was inspired to smack my ipod into working condition. Thank YOU!!!

That was absolutely amazing. I figured why not? What have I got to lose? It doesn’t work in the condition it’s in. It sounds like a cat meowing to a metronome. So I stood up and held it about 5 feet in the air and then let it drop on the carpet. It bounced on one of the corners and made the sad face. I was thinking to myself “What seriously made you think that dropping it would somehow fix your problem. No wonder it’s making a sad face.” but then I said to myself. “Well it’s no worse off than before…” so I decided to try it again.

And guess what? It worked. Yeah. Insane!

I don’t frickin’ believe it, but I slammed my sad ipod against my knee three times, and it came back to life! I guess sometimes a little judiciously applied violence is in order!

NO SHT!!! Sad face blues, so I waited until it shut down, did the four foot flat drop onto the carpet. Now it seems to be working! I saw somewhere else that people were taking off the back plate and jiggling the HD, but this is a lot easier! Apparently the heads get stuck and so it can’t read…

Warning- I would make sure that it is not making the clicking sound/trying to load before trying this, as you could scratch the HD if it’s spinning.


I was in the middle of my digital design class searching on the internet how can i get my 5th generation ipod to work. Cause every time i try to rebooted a sad face ipod would come out so i came up with different pages saying that they have drop, thrown,kick dropp, slam against walls, even threw it of a 3rd floor and their ipods all have started to work perfectly. so i decided to try once i read your page cause i have read so many pages saying the same thing so i decided to throw my ipod with it protector about four feet in the air and just let it drop in the middle of the class were my teacher and all the students said that i was crazy that i should just take it to the apple store i said no ima try it out and they all laughed at me so when i did it their was an acquard silence and they looked at me saying did it work or is even more fcked up and i jump up saying it works!!! so now their like i can believe it that actually worked !!!! so now ima publiced that and tell all my friends with mess up ipod to drop kick their shit!! thanks guys

Wow!! I was freaking out but i tried it. Once i got enough guts to drop it high enough it worked right away. Thank god too it’s my life line. Thank you all.

ok i dnt get how everyones ipod is working cuz i dropped mine like a thousand times its still doing that freakin clicking sound and the sad face i even dropped it eight steps away from the ground on the stairs onto the tile and it still isnt doing anything

are u sure it helps the sad face cuz my ipod is still sad dnt kno wat to do to cheer him up uggghhh

I was just freaking out because I was listening to my ipod and it suddenly gave me the sad face. After resetting I don’t know how many times nothing got any better. I dropped it once from about 4 feet off of the ground face up and its working like a charm again. Great article!

First off, I would like to say, like many of you, I was desperate. I came across a page who had the stones to say that I should take apart my IPod and beat the mess out of the hard drive. Suffice it to say, I tried that but could not get my 1st gen to open. Then I came across this page. Warranty? “What about your warranty” people would ask. I would lift the IPod up solemnly and they would soon realise that it was a first gen. Then this page appeared magically to me on this day and… Well, I couldn’t be happier! What have I got to lose? Imagines a genie popping out of the Ipod and laughing meniaclly. “You fell for it! Now your soul belongs to Apple!!! MUAHAQHAHAHAAHAHAHFKFHDHSJKJGJGFDKNIGKTNW.” Unlikely… Or is it? Anyway, I dropped it at about 5 feet just to be safe and lo and behold! My Ipod is fully functioning playing Danzig and the Who and Skillet and Casting Crowns! Thank you random internet person and thank you Google!!!

Ipod info: Name: Betty Gender: Female Owner’s name: Eli (Draxxt[Male]) Generation: 1 Style: Classic, bulky, etc. Capacity: 20GB Bought for: $20 (From a friend)

it worked , many thanks !!!

No way! I didnt believe it at first, but I had no choice but to follow this guide. Laying on the couch, laptop on lap, ipod in hand, I reached for the sky and dropped the 20gb iPod photo.

I then looked down to see the glowing screen!


Shuuuut Up!!! I just bought an Ipod Shuffle cause I was too broke to replace the one I paid $250 dollars for cause it had a sad face! I threw it down on my rug with no luck. Then I dropped in on my wood floor so sure it would bust in a million pieces but it didnt and now it works!!!!Aaaaaah! I still really like my Shuffle for jogging cause its so tiny and clips on my shirt, but I LOVE that my old one is working now and I have a screen to pick music from. I cant tell you how happy I am I read this posting. THANKS!

So my photo ipod had a frown face and was making a faint clicking sound. This is the second time it happened. The first time, 18 months after I bought it (w/o extended warranty) I brought it someplace and they “replaced the mother board” for $110. I wasn’t going to do that again, so I was going to give this a try. But I thought, maybe I’ll try to wiggle the insides first. It seems a little safer than randomly throwing it. I had a little tool from replacing the battery a year ago, and as soon as I opened it (with plug in), the menu page appeared.

I guess what I’m saying is try opening the case and moving the insides around a little first. I’m sure someone you know replaced the battery themselves and has the little tool to open the case.

Good Luck.

Great thread to come across. Old 4G locked up today with sad face. Many reboot attempts to no avail. A few whacks with the hand, still no luck. Found this site, dropped once from 4 ft on carpeted floor, no luck. Gave it a toss with a nice arc (6 ft ?) and voila ! - ipod is happy again. The whole family then danced to the music. Many thanks.

Um yeah this totally worked, after being upset for a couple of months about my first ipod taking a dump. Stupid sad Ipod I came across this lovely little trick, dropped my ipod from about four feet up flat onto it’s back, picked it up and for the first time in awhile I saw it’s glossy little apple symbol flash across it’s face…thanks….lol

This 4ft. drop seemed stupid but i was desperate i bought this iPod fro my frien for 20 bucks so i said what the heck lets try. so i did and now it works like a charm. Thank!

Mine was a bit more stubborn, I had to play some fast-pitch w/it and sure enough, it works!!!

thank you so much for the person who came up with this idea! i thought this idea was really stupid until i tried it. It worked! now my ipod is back to normal. Thanks!

LMAO. I also cannot beleive that worked. But Lo and behold. hilarious!

I lucked onto this website looking for tech help for the Sick Ipod… and the Four-Foot Drop worked (onto medium-pile carpet) like a charm!