iTunes is fine when it works but it relies on a huge suite of programs which can easily become corrupted and stop iTunes working.
What Are The Symptoms? iTunes doesn’t work, trying to install a new version of iTunes (in the hope it will overwrite your corrupted iTunes and fix the problem) doesn’t work either – the new installation fails because you already have iTunes installed…
Trying to uninstall iTunes in the normal way also fails – you may see a message ‘the feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable…’ relating to a missing file called iTunes.msi – but even copying that file from another computer does not fix the problem – the uninstall still fails. To sum up – iTunes doesn’t work, you can’t reinstall over the top of it and you can’t remove it either – you’re seemingly stuck with a corrupted iTunes installation
How To Fix It – If iTunes is corrupt you do need to uninstall it – and the other Apple programs in the iTunes suite. After they are all removed successfully you can then download and install the latest version of iTunes and it should install ok.
The programs you need to uninstall (in this order) are: 1. iTunes, 2. QuickTime, 3. Apple Software Update, 4. Apple Mobile Device Support, 5. Bonjour and 6. Apple Application Support (if you have iTunes version 9 or later).
As uninstalling in the usual way does not work, you need to use a different method. We recommend using Revo Uninstaller which can forcibly uninstall these programs and remove any leftover or corrupt files.
Warning: some websites still advise using the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (msicuu2.exe) from Microsoft to uninstall iTunes but this utility was abandoned long ago because of the problems it caused. Microsoft themselves say “it sometimes damaged other components installed on the computer. Because of this, the tool has been removed from the Microsoft Download Center.” For this reason we do NOT recommend it.
Using Revo Uninstaller
- Download Revo – click the the free ‘Revo Uninstaller Portable Download’ link at the bottom of this page (not the blue download button) to download it as a zip file and unzip it into a RevoUninstaller-Portable folder
- In that folder, double click Revouninstaller.exe to run the program – an example screenshot is below:
1. Scroll to find your iTunes icon and click on it to select it
2. In the middle of Revo’s menu bar click the ‘Uninstall’ button to start uninstallation of the program
3. When prompted if you want to uninstall the selected program, click ‘Yes’ to confirm
4. The ‘Select An Uninstall Mode’ window appears – choose ‘Moderate’ (click the radio button next to it) then click ‘Next’ to continue
5. A system restore point is created then Revo will first try to uninstall the program using the built in uninstaller (i.e. the same as uninstalling normally)
6. In the case of a corrupt iTunes this would fail with an error message but this is to be expected! It fails just as it did when you tried using Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features – don’t worry, the next part will uninstall it
7. Click ‘OK’ to confirm the error message and wait until the green progress bar has completed (moved to the right hand side) then press the ‘Next’ button
8. Revo now scans for leftover registry entries and files – in the case of iTunes this may take some time as there will be an awful lot of them!
9. When the green progress bar has completed press the ‘Next’ button to reveal a long list of ‘Found Leftover Registry Items’
10. Click the ‘Select All’ button (which ticks all entries) then click the ‘Delete’ button to remove them – when prompted to confirm deletion click ‘Yes’ to remove them
11. After they have been removed, click ‘Next’ to check for ‘Found Leftover Files and Folders’
12. Click the ‘Select All’ button (which ticks all entries) then click the ‘Delete’ button to remove them – when prompted to confirm deletion click ‘Yes’ to remove them
13. Click ‘Next’ to continue then click ‘Finish’ to end the uninstall process – the program has now been removed
14. After you have removed iTunes itself, go back to step 1 and repeat this same process for QuickTime and the other 4 Apple programs
15. After all 6 programs have been removed, restart the computer then download and install the latest version of iTunes – the installation should now work as normal
iTunes can be a real pain to fix if it gets corrupted and can’t be uninstalled.
Using Revo Uninstaller can be an effective way to forcibly remove all traces of the iTunes application suite of programs – once they have gone, iTunes can be reinstalled in the usual way.