How to Replace iPod Battery

Apple iPod 4th generation This article should be applicable to some of you at this point in time. If you are currently still using the iPod photo such as the one shown at right, chances are that you had bought this 4th-generation music player when it was released way back in 2004, and it is quite likely that the battery no longer holds a good charge by now.

If you are in this situation, or if you have put your iPod aside because of this, then today’s article on how to replace iPod battery is for you.

The iPod photo 40GB was my music player for many years until the battery decided it would no longer hold a charge and remain operating long enough for it to be labelled portable. This happened sometime in 2010 when I decided to put it away in the drawer. I purchased the iPod classic 160GB in 2011 as a replacement.

The day came in 2012 when I bought a new Alpine audio player for my car, and decided to use my old iPod photo as a jukebox for my daily commute on the road. The time had come to finally revive an old friend – an iPod with a dead battery.


Sourcing, Dismantling and Replacing

I sourced for a replacement battery online and found one quite affordable on eBay (see links below). For under GBP10.00 inclusive of shipping, it was reasonably priced and shipping was fast. I placed my order and it arrived within a couple of weeks. Read on to learn how to replace iPod battery.

new iPod battery
1. Package arrived in a well-sealed envelope direct from ecellglobal from the United Kingdom. At under GBP10.00 with shipping, the price was reasonable and shipping was fast.
ipod battery replacement kit
2. Even though it showed a picture of an old iPod prior to the advent of click wheel, a little sticker says it is for a 4th generation. I was on the right track. Although this looked like something you could get really cheap from China or Hong Kong, the price offered by vendor of choice was only slightly more, and the confidence in their reputation was worth that little extra. Just in case of a dud…or a lemon, you know.
how to replace ipod battery
3. The set comes with a new rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 2 prying tools called spudgers, and an instruction sheet. Here are the tools, ready to operate on my old iPod photo 40GB.
opening up ipod
4. Slip the smaller or thinner of the two prying tool into the two-half joint of the iPod.
Either side of the iPod is ok. I did mine on the right side.
opening up ipod
5. Here’s a close-up of that prying tool making its way into that joint. Note that the two halves are held together only by plastic clips, which you will see in a short while.
dissecting an ipod
6. At times you may find it necessary to use the other prying tool to aid in the opening. The plastic tool wasn’t strong enough, and after some time, the smaller one broke and I had to proceed with the bigger tool.
prying open an ipod
7. With the smaller tool broken at its tip as you can see in the background, I had to resort to using my Swiss Army screwdriver to help pry the iPod open. You have to be careful with using a metal implement as it could easily scratch or dent the fragile build of your iPod. There is a reason why the original prying tools were made of plastic. Go easy if you have to use a screwdriver. Work your way around the iPod until you could sufficiently pry it apart fully.
Get It on eBay

how to replace ipod battery
8. Here’s a photo of a fully open iPod photo. You will find the hard drive mounted within a rubber absorber in blue, with the battery sandwiched between the HD and the iPod front.
Take a good look at the white clips which hold the two halves together, to understand how best to pry.
how to replace ipod battery
9. Place both halves on the open iPod level on your table or work surface. Be careful not to damage or rip off the ribbon cable attached to both sides. Lay it down gently, and disconnect and remove the hard drive.
how to replace ipod battery
10. With the hard drive removed, the lithium ion battery is now revealed. Disconnect the battery from the circuit board and unfold the 4 flaps of black tape holding the battery in place. You may need to use your fingernails a bit to remove the cable connection. I had to use a pair of tiny pliers but be careful not to damage any component as they are fragile and difficult to source or replace. Once that is done, remove the battery from the iPod completely.
how to replace ipod battery
11. Finally, reassemble all parts in the reverse order that has brought us this far. Connect the new lithium-ion battery to the circuit board cable, place the battery in its designated spot, seal it in place with the 4 black tape flaps, reconnect the hard drive and place it on top of the battery, before pushing back the 2 halves of the iPod casing and snapping it back in place. Be sure to charge your iPod fully before use. If you’re greeted with the familiar iPod turn-on screen, you’ve done it successfully!

The iPod photo today, 9 years later

My iPod photo 40GB now sits in my car always connected to my Alpine audio player with over 7,000 tracks at my disposal. Not bad for a RM2,400.00 player that had lost its life once, and have now been revived back to full service. I apologize for the lack of clear photos above towards the end as I had to use both hands to work on the job.




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