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Having Problems Installing iTunes on Windows 10? Try These Tips

Since Apple released iTunes for Windows back in 2003, it has become one of the most popular music programs on the platform, much of this is attributed to the success of Apple’s iPod and iPhone. Even though iTunes has become a staple of most PC’s, it has also earned a reputation as a despised piece of software. In fact, it won the Groovy Post award for worst software ever. That was three years ago, and unfortunately, not much has changed with the most recent versions, which at the time of this writing is iTunes 12.

That said, a lot of users, including myself, still use it. I use it to manage my music library, import new content, create playlist and sync with my Apple devices. With the release of Windows 10, some people have been reporting problems with getting it to upgrade from older versions or install successfully. Here are some tips to ensure you get it working correctly.

Get iTunes Installed on Windows 10

First you should follow these basic pre-requisites:

  • Close iTunes if it’s open. iTunes has a tendency to stay resident in memory, so a reboot is likely recommended. Also, disable iTunes Helper from starting up with Windows. Check out our article for disabling startup items in Windows 10.
  • If you have any Apple devices attached to your PC, disconnect them for the moment.
  • Make sure you download the right architecture (32 or 64-bit) for your PC here. The download page defaults to your architecture, but if you were previously running a 32-bit version of Windows, but then switched to 64-bit Windows 10, the 32-bit installer might be a factor why it is not working properly.
  • Save the setup file to the hard disk, do not run setup from its current location.
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Disable iTunes Helper

Right-click the iTunes setup file then click Run as administrator.

iTunes 1

Click Next then click Install

iTunes 4

Troubleshooting iTunes Installation

If iTunes does not install successfully, there are some things you can try.

Start by uninstalling any existing installation of iTunes. Press Windows key+R then type: appwiz.cpl and hit Enter. Scroll down and select iTunes then click Uninstall on the command bar. Also, make sure you uninstall other Apple software components listed such as Apple Application Support, Mobile Device Support, Software Update and Bonjour. Restart your computer when the uninstall is complete.

Uninstall - Copy

Proceed to download iTunes from Apple’s website then follow the pre-requisite instructions for installing iTunes.

Also, disable your Antivirus temporarily since some security utilities can incorrectly flag iTunes as malicious software. If you encounter errors with the Windows Installer, you could try re-registering the Windows Installer then attempt the install again.

  1. Press Windows key+R
  2. Type: msiexec /unreg then press Enter key.
  3. Press Windows key+R
  4. Type: msiexec /regserver then press Enter key.

If All the Above Fails

Then you can try installing iTunes using Ninite. It will package the iTunes installer along with any other apps you might want, it handles updates, too.

All of these recommendations seem over the top for such a small app, but iTunes is not the simple 18 MB installer of 2003. It has become a huge albatross over the years; turning into an app that does many things but not one very well. Hopefully, if you have to use iTunes or prefer using it, these simple tips can get it working successfully on Windows 10.

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And remember, if you’re just sick of iTunes entirely, there are plenty of alternatives out there like Foobar2000. We’ve also covered alternatives to iTunes in our article here. Also, Windows 10 has its own music app built-in called Groove Music, and it will import your iTunes playlists.

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16 Responses to Having Problems Installing iTunes on Windows 10? Try These Tips

  1. Lenore January 25, 2016 at 5:07 am #

    Andre, I followed your steps above to install Itunes with Windows 10 and it has worked. Thank you very much!

  2. Scott February 29, 2016 at 6:09 pm #

    These steps worked like a champ. thank you!

  3. Jean March 28, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    After 2 days of frustration, I used the Ninite site to solve the download issue. Thank you so very much ! I have saved your website in my favourites… guys rock !!

    • Steve Krause March 29, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

      Awesome! Yeah…. we love the guys over at Ninite! Great software and no worries about all the Adware / Spyware most others are not bundling in.

  4. Howard April 10, 2016 at 6:10 am #


    I followed your steps and just wanna let every one know that it like a champ…thanks a bunch!

  5. Jayne April 27, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    Thank you so much! This saved my mom’s phone and my sanity!

  6. Sandra May 24, 2016 at 1:12 am #

    I have been trying all day to install iTunes. Ive done everything you’ve said and it has gone through a lot on the status bar at the end, however the its just got status written and the bar is all green but nothing is happening. Please help

  7. Liam cole May 28, 2016 at 4:59 am #

    Hi Andre, I have tried your suggestion and still no success, It’s not working on ninite either still saying there is a problem with the windows installer package, do you have any other suggestions? Thanks!

  8. Scott June 13, 2016 at 1:41 am #

    Hi. After auto upgrade to Windows 10 my iTunes can’t find all my cd files that I uploaded to my hard drive. After a bit of faffing around I got it to find my downloaded MP3 files but it won’t locate uploaded cds. Got the dreaded exclamation mark and the “can’t locate file” error message. I can’t even locate the files on my pc. Could the upgrade have wiped them? Or am I just looking in the wrong place. Any help really appreciated.

  9. Ian Dreihaupl July 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Hi Andre,
    I ran into this problem trying to upgrade itunes to 12.4.1 because I purchased an iPad Pro 9.7″. After getting the same error after multiple reboots, remove and re-install I used some of your suggestions but I also found a way that was simpler for me. I removed ALL Apple software especially the Aplle Software updater which I believe was 32 bit (and since I upgraded to Window 10 and tried to download and install a 64 bit itunes version it was causing the conflict). I got the same error message went I used the Microsoft utility to fix the problem as I it would NOT uninstall the Apple Software Updater. I them rebooted, uninstalled again and was finally able to download and install the latest itunes. Worked perfectly….

    • Andre Da Costa July 21, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

      Thanks for letting us know Ian.

    • Kristina R September 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

      Awesome! This was the only method that worked for me too. Thank you!

  10. Kelly August 24, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    Thank you so much! I accidentally uninstalled iTunes and have been trying everything to get it back. YOU are a lifesaver!

  11. Janice October 12, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    I have spent countless hours surfing the web trying to find a solution to my ITunes not working with Windows 10. I couldn’t uninstall it nor could I reinstall it. Finally found a link to this in the Microsoft community forum. Next time I will look directly in GroovyPost for answers. This was easy to follow and it works!!! THANK YOU!!!

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