Today, we are talking about iTunes software not working on your Windows PC. iTunes is one of the most popular sources of music for many, and if for some reason it has stopped working, we can always fix it. The reason could be a corrupted music library, network drivers, and the list goes on. In this guide, we share the potential fixes if iTunes is not working on your Windows 11/10.
iTunes not working on Windows 11/10
Before you begin, create a system restore point first, and make sure you are signed in as an administrator.
- Update iTunes
- Force Quit iTunes & Restart
- Repair iTunes
- Run iTunes with Admin privileges
- Run iTunes in Compatibility Mode
- Launch iTunes in Safe Mode
- Recreate and Restore iTunes Library
Make sure to check each of them before trying the next solution. It will help you figure out which of these solved your problem.
1] Update iTunes
iTunes is available through the Store and directly, and it’s best to update the software regularly. You can either try the Microsoft Store, or you can always download iTunes from Apple directly, and update it. Many a time the software is not compatible with the existing OS, and you should always keep it update.
If you have installed it directly from Apple’s website, you can use the Apple Software Updater to update all the Apple products. Please search for the program, and launch it. Once updated, launch it and it should resolve your issue, else follow the next fix.
2] Force Quit iTunes & Restart
If iTunes freeze at startup, you can kill it and relaunch it again using the Task Manager. So as soon as you see that its frozen-
- Right click on a space on the Taskbar, and open Task Manager.
- Find iTunes, and right click and select End Task.
- Relaunch the program, and see if it fixes it.
3] Repair iTunes
If you have directly installed iTunes, you can run the Repair mode to fix any software-level corruption. This applies to any software that offers Repair mode which is not installed from the Store.
- Open Control Panel > Program and Features > Select iTunes
- Look for a ‘Change’ option on the top of the listing.
- Click on it, and it will run the installer. It will offer you a ‘Repair’ option.
- Click, and it will fix or repair all the core files required for iTunes to work.
Once the process is complete, launch iTunes and see if the problem is fixed.
4] Run iTunes with Admin privileges
This usually shouldn’t happen, but you can try. Sometimes the software needs admin privileges to get access to files and folders which is required for it to work properly. Sometimes the OS restricts the software to get access to some folders which are only required during installation.
- Right click on iTunes, and select ‘Run as Administrator’
- You will get UAC dialog box, click Yes.
- Check if things are fine.
If it’s working only with admin privileges, you can always create a shortcut, and set it to launch with the permissions. To do this, check our guide on how to run any program with admin privileges.
5] Run iTunes in Compatibility Mode
It’s a good old trick which allows you to run non-Microsoft software to work with previous versions of Windows.
- Right click on iTunes, and select Properties.
- Under the Compatibility tab, check the box next to Run This Program in Compatibility Mode.
- Select Windows 8, and click Apply.
- Click OK to save the changes.
See if it works now.
6] Launch iTunes in Safe Mode
Running any software in Safe Mode means that it’s only going to use core files and nothing else. Many a time there are third-party applications which cause issues, or any changed preferences might be making iTunes unstable.
Here is how to launch iTunes in Safe Mode:
- Press Ctrl + Shift and click on the iTunes software.
- It will open a pop-up box with few preferences to choose from, but click on access and open it in Safe Mode.
- If it’s working as expected, you might want to check on the installed plugins.
- Exit iTunes.
The plugins are located in a folder named as Apple Computer.
Go to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes Plug-ins.
- Move all the files inside the Plug-ins to somewhere else.
- Now copy the plugins one by one, and launch iTunes and see if its working fine.
- If iTunes doesn’t work after copying one of the plugins, you find the culprit.
- Once you had identified, copy the rest, and try installing the one which was causing the issue.
7] Recreate and Restore iTunes Library
iTunes maintains a music library, and if it’s corrupted or is missing, iTunes will keep looking for it. The good news is that you can restore iTunes library easily, and restore with old ones.
Create a New Library:
- Press SHIFT key, and click on iTunes.
- This will prompt you to either choose an existing library or create a new one.
- Click on Create Library. Make sure to give it a random name for now. Click Save.
- Launch iTunes, and see if its working fine. If yes, the library is corrupted
- Exit iTunes
Restore the Previous Version of Library
iTunes keep backup of iTunes library and is available under C:\Users\ashis\Music\iTunes\Previous iTunes Libraries. You need to copy one of these and replace the existing one and rename it to ‘iTunes Library’
The next step is to switch iTunes back to the default library. So launch it with Shift Key down, and then choose Library. This time, select the one which you had just replaced.
Extra tips to fix iTunes
While most of them will fix the issue, here are some extra tips that you can try as well.
Allow iTunes to pass through the Firewall
- Type Firewall in the search box, and click on ‘Allow an app through Windows Firewall‘
- In the next window, click on change settings, and add iTunes to the list.
This will make sure that if the problem is because of the access to the internet, it will be resolved.
Reinstall iTunes or Try an Older Version
Reinstalling helps, most of the time, but if that doesn’t work, you can try using an older version of iTunes which is available on the Apple’s website. Do remember that your library is left intact even when you reinstall or try an older version. All the older versions are listed here.
Before installing older version make sure to uninstall the current version, and reboot your PC once. Then download, and install it. If its working fine, make sure not to update for at least one or two version to see if it fixes the problem.
How do I install iTunes on Windows without the Microsoft store?
Not everyone likes to use the Microsoft Store version of Windows because it is not as stable as the standard version. If you are one of those, you can directly install it from the Apple iTunes page. There are older versions of iTunes available as well.
Is iTunes bad for your PC?
If you do not like iTunes taking a lot of your Startup time, you can choose to disable it. However, those who come from MacBook will not like performance. Apple Software on Apple’s hardware delivers the best performance, but not on Windows.
All the best!