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How to charge and optimize your Zune player battery


Your Zune player comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. To charge the battery, plug your Zune player into a power source (for example, connect it to your computer). The player should be fully charged in a few hours.

Zune battery status

The following icons on your Zune player screen show you the charging state of your battery:

To see the battery state on a Zune HD

  • When the screen lock image is displayed or when you are playing music, radio, or podcasts, the battery status appears in the top-right corner.
  • When you are playing a video or picture slideshow, press the Media button to see the battery status on the media control screen.

To see the battery state on all other Zune players

  • When you are playing music, radio, or podcasts, the battery status appears in the lower-right corner.
  • When you are playing a video or picture slideshow, press the Play/Pause button to display the battery status.

When the battery runs low

  • If the battery runs low, the battery icon turns red, and you might see a warning message.
  • When the battery is empty, the empty battery icon appears in the middle of the Zune player screen.
  • If the battery is completely drained, your Zune cannot start, and the screen is black.

Charging the battery

To charge the battery, plug your Zune player into a power source. Here’s how:

  • Connect the Zune player directly to a USB port on the back of your computer by using the Zune Sync Cable that came with your Zune player.

    Avoid connecting the Zune player to a USB hub, to the USB port on your keyboard, or to a USB port on the front of the computer. Those connections might not provide enough power to charge your Zune quickly.

  • Connect your Zune player to one of the following accessories (sold separately):
    • Zune A/C Adapter
    • Zune Car Pack Charger
    • Zune A/V Dock
    • Zune HD A/V Dock

When you connect your Zune player to a power source, you’ll see a battery charging icon on your Zune player’s screen. If the battery is very low, you might see a full-screen charging icon or a black screen on your Zune player. When the battery has enough charge, the home menu will appear.

Charging time

Charging time varies, depending on the power source. If the battery is completely drained, expect it to take about three hours to fully charge when you use a high-power USB port. If you're charging your player on a computer that is also running the Zune software, it can take longer because the software may be syncing to your Zune player. To speed things up, close the Zune software.

More information

  • You don't have to wait until your battery is fully charged to use your Zune player.
  • If you close the Zune software, you can use your Zune player while it is connected to your computer. Your Zune player will continue to charge.
  • If your Zune player doesn't appear to be charging, connect it to a power source for at least 30 minutes, disconnect it, then reconnect and continue to charge.

Optimizing the battery in the Zune player

How you use your Zune player affects how long the battery lasts. To get the best performance from your battery, try the following:

  • Use your Zune player regularly. Your Zune player’s lithium battery needs regular activity to function most efficiently. Be sure to go through at least one charge cycle each month.
  • Fully charge the Zune player. For best performance, allow the Zune player to charge completely before disconnecting it from the power supply.
  • Charge the battery when it is at least half empty. For maximum battery charge, we recommend that you let the battery discharge to half full or less before you recharge it.
  • Charge and use the Zune player at room temperature.
  • Turn off your Zune player when you aren't using it. Here's how:
    • On a Zune HD, press and hold the power button.
    • On all other Zune players, press and hold the Play/Pause button.
  • Turn off wireless.
  • Reduce the brightness level of the display.
  • Reduce the backlight timeout of the display to the shortest possible time.
  • Lock the player. On Zune players other than Zune HD, set the hold switch (on top of the player) to the locked position when you're not using your Zune player to prevent it from being activated unintentionally.

What to do if your Zune player battery charges slowly

If the battery doesn't seem to be charging normally, try restarting your player. If the battery still looks low after you restart, try these steps to get your player fully charged.

  1. Make sure that you’re connected to a power source that works with Zune players (such as the USB port on a computer, an Xbox 360 console, the Zune AC Adapter, or the Zune car charger), and use the USB cable that came with your device. If you’re connecting to a computer:
    1. Don’t connect your player to the USB ports on the front of your computer.
    2. If your computer has a dedicated USB charging port, connect your Zune there. Dedicated charging ports always supply power, even when your computer goes to sleep or hibernates. This port may be yellow or have a battery symbol next to it.
    3. Make sure that your computer is plugged in (not running on battery power) and doesn’t hibernate while you’re charging.
  2. Keep charging your player until the home screen appears. Your Zune should now be charged enough to turn it on. The charging battery icon will appear in the upper-right of the lock screen for Zune HD players and in the lower-right of the screen for other Zune players.
  3. Continue charging for 30 minutes.
  4. Disconnect your Zune and then reconnect it to the power source.
  5. Continue to charge until the icon representing a fully charged battery appears.

If none of these steps help, you may need to send your player in for service. On the Zune service page, you can register your player on this site, check your warranty status, and view available service options.

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