Troubleshooting iPod Shuffle: Button Issues


If you continue to have problems or need help with a step, our customer service representatives will be happy to help you!

Please have your Order ID number or a copy of your purchase receipt before contacting customer service.

Call: 1-877-849-0750 M-F 8 AM-6 PM PST


Please try the following steps. They may help you solve the problem so you can continue using your iPod without having to wait for a replacement.

    • Is the indicator light by the headphone jack flashing? If it flashes orange, then your shuffle is in “hold” mode and the buttons are locked. To get out of hold mode, gently press and hold the play/pause button until the light flashes green.
    • In general, press buttons only enough to get the light to blink. The buttons may feel stiff but should respond to a light touch.

Stiff buttons are normal after waterproofing, but time and repeated usage will help the buttons work better. Please try the following steps and it should fix the issue:

  • Play/Pause button is stuck down:
    • Pressing too hard on the Play/Pause button may cause it to become stuck. Experiment with pressing firmness—you shouldn’t have to press very hard to get the Shuffle to respond. If the Play/Pause button is stuck, spend about 2 minutes pushing the side buttons in random, back and forth motion. For example, holding the iPod with both hands, press the skip button, then rewind, then skip, then rewind, over and over. After about 30 seconds of this, switch to the volume up and volume down buttons. Working the side buttons will help the play/pause button unstick itself. This action may need to be repeated a few times.
  • Play/Pause button is too stiff:
    • The waterproofing material inside the iPod does move around with time. This doesn’t harm the iPod, but when the material gets pushed behind the Play/Pause button, it can cause it to stiffen up and stop working temporarily. What we need to do is get that material moving around to allow the button to work again. Do this by spending 1 to 2 minutes gently pressing the Play/Pause button rapidly and repeatedly.
  • iPod’s light still turns on but it won’t sync or play:
    • Check the headphone jack for debris and gently remove any you find with a toothpick. Debris in the headphone jack (lint, etc) will prevent a connection between the iPod and the headphones or charger cable.

Make sure the USB cable has completely entered the iPod. The white plastic ring on the USB cord should come into direct contact with the iPod. This may require a small amount of force.

If you’ve tried the above and the buttons still won’t respond, try restoring your iPod using iTunes if your computer still recognizes it. Do this on iTunes by clicking the “restore” button on the iPod iTunes page. NOTE: this will restore your iPod to it’s factory settings and any songs on the iPod will need to be reloaded to the iPod afterward. Try charging again after the restore. We have a guide here, or there is a link to the step-by-step restore process from Apple:

It can take a full minute before the light comes on when the battery is drained. Turn the iPod on and wait for a minute to see if the light comes on. Charge the iPod if this is the case.


If you’ve gone through the steps listed above without success or are having trouble with a step, our customer service representatives will be happy to help you further. If you have your Order ID number and the answers to the following questions ready, the process will go much more quickly:

  • Does the iPod turn on or respond at all when not plugged in? If so, what are its specific symptoms?
  • What color light, if any, is displayed when you connect it to your computer? Is the light steady or blinking?
  • Are any “Error” or “Warning” messages displayed by your computer or iTunes?
  • Does the iPod show up as connected in iTunes and/or the Computer?
  • Are you able to restore the iPod in iTunes or otherwise change its settings?
  • How often do you charge the iPod?
  • How long do you usually leave the iPod connected to the power source each time you charge it?