MacFixIt Report: iPod losing charge if connected to a sleeping Mac

“A MacFixIt reader recently sent us a very thorough report on an issue that has occurred across several different iPods and a number of long conversations with AppleCare support representatives. The overall conclusion is that leaving an iPod in its dock (or, presumably, connected directly to a Mac via the dock/FireWire cable) while the Mac is asleep can drain the iPod’s battery. Below are a few key excerpts from this reader report,” MacFixIt reports.

“‘After over a month’s worth of troubleshooting with AppleCare technicians and two round trips to Apple Dispatch to fix a problem where my docked 30 gig iPod would fully discharge overnight while my QuickSilver G4 was in sleep mode, I finally got a tech to admit that there is indeed a ‘known software issue’ (or perhaps firmware, he wouldn’t elaborate) that Apple is trying to fix,'” MacFixIt reports.

MacDailyNews has also experienced this issue with a new 3G 40GB iPod and a PowerBook G4 Titanium. If you are experiencing the same issue, please elaborate below and continue on to MacFixIt for the full report.

Full article here.


  1. Its actually been a known issue:
    “Article ID: 60941
    Created: 11/8/01
    Modified: 2/18/04

    Computer Goes to Sleep

    Your computer can only charge iPod when it’s turned on and not asleep. Make sure your computer on and is not set to go to sleep when you want to charge iPod.”

  2. I’m not sure why this is a news flash to anyone. Obviously the iPod nor any other FireWire device will be able to draw power thru the bus if the computer is in sleep mode. Either always detach your iPod before your Mac goes to sleep or else go into system preferences and disable sleep mode altogether, it’s as simple as that.

  3. deam, howard, I think the problem as written would not be that they’re not charging up, but that they are completely discharging while still connected, whereas if they weren’t connected to sleeping beauty they wouldn’t discharge by themselves.

  4. I have a 10GB iPod. I noticed this a few weeks ago. However, it seems like, thought it may be my imagination, that when I first start using the iPod after it was connected to a sleeping iMac, the battery appeared almost drained. After about twenty minutes of playing, the battery strength indicator looked like it had filled back up.

    I thought it was really strange and disconnected the dock from the computer.

  5. I noticed this right away when I bought my 3G 15GB iPod. Not sure why folks are reporting this as a new issue. I’m even more surprised that Apple support folks aren’t more aware of this. My 2G 5GB iPod did not have this problem. I’m glad to hear that Apple is working on a firmware upgrade for this issue.

    My workaround for this problem involves using Jiggler ( when I have the iPod sitting in it’s dock. This app simulates mouse movement at user defined intervals to prevent sleep. This keeps my Mac from sleeping without the need to change system preferences. When the iPod is not connected I don’t activate Jiggler and she goes to sleep as normal.

    This is an uncharacterstic design flaw from Apple’s otherwise extremely attentive engineers. Looking forward to an official fix!

  6. Isn’t this an obvious problem? Anyone with an iPod and a Mac that sleeps would have experienced it. It happens on my Cube, my G5 and my Ti Notebook.

    I guess I am surprised that it has taken this long to get out.

    Simple fix for you: take your iPod out of the dock before putting the Mac to sleep doh.

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