How to Fix iPod Nano 6th Generation Stuck Power Button [DIY]

Warning: This is the first time I ever tried fixing an iPod. The pictorial guide below is a product of 2 hours of reading and watching guides in the web.

I received this iPod Nano 6th generation as a gift from Issa more than 3 years ago. It had been through a lot - beaten, dropped and even left around the house. It hasn’t failed until now. The Power Button just became stuck; it lost that click when pressed. And gone with are ways of control. It was disappointing but not unexpected.

Of course I had to Google the issue. It only took 2 minutes before I found several YouTube videos showing how this problem may be fixed. After perusing many different guides, here are the steps that fixed my iPod’s stuck Power button.

What I used:

The fix

Step 1: Open the device

Opening iPod nano with hairdryer and hairclip
Opening iPod nano with hairdryer and hairclip

The display is held to the casing by some kind of plastic/rubber sealant. To open the device, you’ll need to melt or loosen the sealant.

This was quite tricky so it took me more than 15 minutes. Use a hairdryer to heat the screen of the iPod. This should lightly melt the sealant that holds the screen, making it easier to open the device.

Using the hair clip (or whatever alternative you found), lightly push the thin edge of the clip between the display and the casing; slide it around the display; then pry open the screen (pictured).

Step 2: Remove the metal cover

Opening iPod nano with hairdryer and hairclip
Opening iPod nano with hairdryer and hairclip

You will see six screws: the four at the top holds the buttons in place, the other two keeps the metal cover. Unscrew all six. And using the clip, pry open and remove the metal cover. This will reveal the 'internals' of the device.

iPod with the metal cover removed
Presenting the iPod with all its electronic glory. :)

Step 3: Detach display

Flex cables that connects the display to the board
Flex cables that connects the display to the board

This, I think, is the most delicate step. A slight tear or, maybe even a twist, on the flex cable that connects the display to the board will deem the device unusable.

There are three snap-type connections to the board. The first two connects the display; the third, I have no idea. I used the same hairclip to snap all three connections out of the board. Throughout this step, I was afraid of bending any metal points on the connectors or tearing the flex cable.

iPod with the display removed
The display (left) detached from the device (right)

Step 4: Remove the battery

Using hairclip to remove the battery
Using a hairclip to remove the battery

With the display out, tearing the other parts became easier.

Taking the battery out was easy. You don’t really have to detach it from the device, the goal is simply to move it out of the way and gain access to the metal that holds the button.

Using the hairclip, prying the battery out was quick. I had to exert some force to take it out. If it feels stuck, just clear the casing of the sealant (black and rubbery).

Step 5: Remove the metal the holds the button

Unscrew the metals that holds the buttons
Using a hairclip to remove the battery

Onto the fix.

The buttons of the iPod are secured by sealant and two metals held by the four screws I mentioned earlier.

Some of the guides online strip the sealant completely. What I did was simply to move it out of the way, which was easy with a flat-head screwdriver.

With both screws and sealant cleared, pull the metals out. The left one is for the volume, the one on the right is for power.

Step 6: Look for a really small piece of metal.

Missing button found
Circled in red is the 'small piece of metal'. I found it near the power button.

The common cause of this iPod power button issue is a really small piece of metal or plastic that has fallen off the button.

Take a closer look at the volume buttons in Step 5. The black circles at the center is the ‘really small piece of metal’ that I’m talking about. Try looking for it near the power button. I found mine just beside the power button.

If you can’t find it, don’t worry. You can fashion yourself a similar button. Say, cut an equivalent size metal from a needle or a piece of plastic for use in the next step.

Step 7: Glue the metal back to the center of the power button.

Missing button found
Using Zebra cement and a needle, I was able to glue it back in place.

Sticking the piece back was a meticulous process.

I tried using a Bulldog superglue but found it hard to work with. The only alternative available at the time was the Zebra contact cement, which I used to glue the soles back on an old pair of shoes.

I took a small amount of glue using a needle then coat the piece with it. I waited for about a minute to make sure that the glue slightly dries then place it back to the center of the power button. This took a couple of tries as the piece was really really small. I had to use a tweezer-needle combo to finally stick it properly.

Step 8: Assemble the pieces back together

The power button started working right after I followed the steps laid out above. If yours failed, there may be other reasons why. In such cases, it's best to check other guides online or have a professional fix it for you.

The power button the iPod works again!