I recently wrote a story about the availability of iTunes 12 for Windows, but according to your feedback, it looks like most of you hate iTunes 12 more than any other version to date. iTunes, in general, won our Worst Software Ever award, and it looks like version 12 would have no problem winning it again in a landslide victory.
Well, there’s some good news if you do use iTunes and can’t stand the latest version. It is possible to uninstall iTunes 12 and downgrade to an older version on Windows. Here’s how to do it!
Uninstall iTunes 12
Uninstalling the monstrosity is a simple task. Simply go to Control Panel > Programs and Features and right-click on iTunes and hit Uninstall and wait for the uninstall process to complete.
Reinstall iTunes 11 or 10.7
Ok, uninstalling version 12 is simple enough, how do you get an earlier version of iTunes?
To its credit, Apple does offer the ability to download older versions of iTunes for Windows and Mac. Download an earlier version of iTunes for Windows.
I wasn’t able to find iTunes 11 for my 64-bit system, so I went ahead and got iTunes 10.7 – anything is better than version 12 right? It is worth noting though that there’s a version of iTunes 11.1.5 for 32-bit Windows systems.
Now just go through the steps to install the new (I mean old) version of iTunes, and you should be good to go!
If you do get an earlier version like I had to do on my 64-bit Windows system, don’t bother trying to update it because it’s going to want you to get iTunes 12.
In fact, to stop annoying reminders about updating, go to Edit > Preferences > General and uncheck the box “Check for new software updates automatically” and click OK.
A lot of you will get the error message shown below saying that Library.itl can’t be read because it was created with a newer version — Click OK on that and make sure iTunes is closed.
Now head to the local music folder on your computer. For example on my system it’s located in C:\Users\Brian\Music\iTunes.
From there delete the Library.itl file and then launch iTunes again, and it should work, as it will create its own version of the Library.itl file.
This method worked successfully for me on both Windows 8.1 update 1 and the Windows 10 Technical Preview. But when I tried the same steps on a Windows 7 32-bit system with version 11.1.5, I received a different error that I will need to deal with – but that’s a separate issue.
The point is, your experience may vary so make sure you’ve backed up the important stuff or create a Restore Point before starting this.