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How do I replace the battery in the full-size iPod models?
If it is out of warranty, Apple will replace the battery in your "full size" iPod -- the original iPod, iPod 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen, 5th Gen/video, or classic -- for a cost of US$59 plus US$6.95 shipping.
However, a variety of third-party battery replacement services also are available at lower prices. Many sell batteries for self-installation as well.
If you are not sure which full-size iPod you have -- all of which are white or black and have a "wheel" for navigation as well as a hard drive -- these models often can be externally identified by a unique (or somewhat unique), but difficult to read, model number toward the bottom of the back of the device. EveryiPod.com's complete list of model numbers for the iPod line displays the model numbers for each full-size device (and these also are listed with the applicable video below).
EveryiPod.com's Ultimate iLookup feature additionally can identify these iPod models by EMC number, order number, and the last three characters of their serial numbers as well. Like the model number, the serial number is engraved toward the bottom on the back of the device and also is available when plugged into a computer on the "Summary" tab in a modern version of iTunes (among other methods).
Battery Replacement Video Instructions
Replacing the battery in a full-size iPod is difficult, but it is not an insurmountable challenge for the technically inclined. These iPod models do not require soldering to replace the battery.
Consequently, for tech savvy individuals, site sponsor Other World Computing has a collection of easy-to-follow battery installation videos for the original iPod, iPod 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen and 5th Gen models:
Original iPod (Scroll Wheel - M8541)
iPod 2nd Gen (Touch Wheel - A1019)
iPod 3rd Gen (Four Buttons - A1040)
iPod 5th Gen (with Video - A1136)
iPod classic (A1238)
Although the procedure is quite similar to the iPod 5th Gen/video, PowerBookMedic has a video for the iPod classic as well:
From watching the video for your particular iPod model, you should be able to determine whether or not you feel comfortable replacing the battery yourself or if you would instead prefer to pay a professional to perform the upgrade.