What To Do When You Can’t Uninstall iTunes

iTunes is fine when it works but it relies on a huge suite of programs which can easily become corrupted and stop it working.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Corrupted iTunes?

iTunes doesn’t work and trying to install a new version of it (in the hope that it will overwrite your corrupted version 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 an error message ‘the feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable…’ which relates to a missing file called iTunes.msi

But, even if you copy that file from another computer, it does not fix the problem – the uninstall process still fails…

To sum up – iTunes doesn’t work properly, you can’t install over the top of it and you can’t uninstall iTunes either – you’re seemingly stuck with a corrupted installation :-(

What To Do When You Can’t Uninstall iTunes

If iTunes is corrupt you do need to uninstall it – and all the other Apple programs in the iTunes suite too. 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 will need to uninstall (where present) are, in this order:

  1. iTunes
  2. QuickTime
  3. Apple Software Update
  4. Apple Mobile Device Support
  5. Bonjour
  6. Apple Application Support

Because uninstalling in the normal way does not work, you will need to use a different method.

I recommend using the free Revo Uninstaller utility program as it can forcibly uninstall these Apple programs and remove any leftover or corrupt files – I’ll review how to use it in the next section.

Warning: some websites advise using Windows Installer Cleanup Utility (msicuu2.exe) from Microsoft instead but this utility was abandoned years ago because of the problems it caused. Microsoft said “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 I do NOT recommend it.

How To Use Revo to Uninstall iTunes

Download Revo – click the the Portable button under ‘Revo Uninstaller FREEWARE’ on the left of this page to download it as a zip file. Unzip it into a RevoUninstaller_Portable folder.

In that folder, navigate through to and double click on RevoUPORT.exe then accept the license agreement to launch the program – an example screenshot is below:

Using Revo Uninstaller if you can't uninstall iTunes
Revo Uninstaller Portable main interface
  1. Scroll to find your iTunes icon and click on it to select
  2. In the middle of Revo’s menu bar, click the ‘Uninstall’ button
  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 ‘Next’ to continue
  5. A system restore point is created first then Revo will try to uninstall the program using the built in uninstaller (i.e. the same as uninstalling normally)
  6. In the case of a corrupt program this part will fail, with an error message, but this is to be expected! It fails like it did when you tried uninstalling iTunes manually – but 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 a long time as there may be a 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, if they are installed

After all 6 programs have been removed, restart the computer. Now download and install the latest version of iTunes from Apple here – 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 application’s suite of programs – once they have gone, iTunes can be downloaded and installed in the usual way.

32 thoughts on “What To Do When You Can’t Uninstall iTunes”

  1. many thanks for the information…… I have made a promise to myself not to interfere with the registry !!! however will read your advise on both articles and go from there.
    kind regards charles

    • hi Roy , after getting to the registry…. .. open with.. I have a sub folder.. ITunes.exe. the permissions is for administrator..at this

      stage is (will change to everyone)

      The open with glds shows error notice. an error is preventing this key from being opened. I assume this may change after I change

      The open with & Itunes permissions. thanks looking forward To getting this resolved on vista I gather that as I am changing only permissions I cant do any damage….

  2. Hi. would your removal process as above remove Itunes that shows an error message……Could not open

    HKEY LOCAL machine\softwareclasses\.m4v\ open with proglds.

    It seems that sfter an op/sys upgrade some files are missing….The uninstaller goes so for until the error message and then rolls back…

    Although it seems to operate I cannot upgrade the progamme features etc Would like to completely uninstall ..& start anew.

    Any advise would be helpfull…… thanks charlz pc hp pavilion a6140a dualcore Vista sp2 4gb ram

  3. After spending hours trying to get i tunes removed and re-install without having to fork out money I came across yourself and followed your very clear instructions. Thank you so much it worked and I can now forget about this frustrating necessary step which has nearly driven me mad.

  4. At long last I’ve found a solution which has actually fixed the problem that was driving me nuts for ages. Thanks so much for the detailed instructions; I’ve now been able to finally uninstall and update iTunes.

  5. Amazing, it worked! You are angels ;-) Finally I can use Itunes again after hours and hours of trying loads of other ideas and no joy. Evan apple website was no good.
    Hats of to you guys – Well Done!

  6. This only works if Revo can find your Apple programs. In my case, it can’t. I had a motherboard problem which caused a system crash halfway through installing an iTunes update. Apple Software Updater can successfully reinstall all the other Apple components, but not iTunes. Revo finds no trace of it. If I really start living dangerously and run RegEdit, I can search the entire registry and find not one Apple, QuickTime or iTunes key, but MSI still insists there is a prior version it can’t remove.

    Right now, I’m considering backing up all my data, then reformatting the disk and reinstalling Windoze to get a virgin disk I can install to.

    Can’t think of any better ideas right now :(

    • if going to reinstall anyway maybe worth trying system restore first? won;t help with the program files but would put registry back to how it was before which could help either revo find the install or with reinstalling itunes on top?

  7. Unless just coincidence (e.g. virus/hardware fault) that’s the kind of issue that made MS warn against using it…

    If restore doesn’t work you could try clean booting with Msconfig then narrow down the problem service/startup entry one by one. Could also try SFC – https://techlogon.com/repair-windows-with-system-file-checker/
    Otherwise I’d suggest trying a Microsoft forum where you can post the exact bsod error and logs etc

  8. I’ve upgrading my version of iTunes and ran into continuous problems – ultimately decided to back up my music and uninstall so I could reinstall a fresh version. The Windows Uninstaller didn’t work as it could not access the .msi installer file(?). This led me to this webpage. I tried using the Revo Uninstaller mode, but iTunes was not available for me to select. I followed your suggestion in one of the above comments and tried Hunter Mode. When I selected iTunes, a dialogue box popped up and showed the following: “No Installation Package Found! Tip: Get more information for the application from the main windows and try to uninstall it manually! C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\iTunes.exe”. Any suggestions on where to go from here?

    • If too many of the program’s files are missing even Revo may not find enough of the program to remove it – possible fix is to download and reinstall the program (e.g. iTunes) – the idea is to replace enough of those lost installation files that Revo can then uninstall it fully.

      [Obviously if you find that iTunes installs without a problem (because it HAS been uninstalled before) then you wouldn’t need to uninstall it after…]

      Can’t say if that will resolve your problem but I’ve done it with other programs that gave this error message and it worked ok – as always, create a restore point and backup first to be on the safe side…

      • I created a restore point and tried your suggestion a few times, and still couldn’t get it working working correctly. Before you replied, I thought I had it figured out via a microsoft support posting that a few people had success with. I followed their instructions and still no luck:

        “1) Download the iTunes installer to your hard drive – don’t run it, just save the install file.

        2) Unless you already have it, download and install ‘WinRar’ (First search result in google for winrar) – you can use whatever settings you like, just make sure you keep ‘intergrate winrar into shell’ ticked (it is selected as a default anyway, so you can just leave things as they are)

        3) Right click the iTunes installer and click ‘open with winRAR’

        4) Click on iTunes64.msi and extract it to anywhere that’s easy for you to find.

        5) Run your regular update – and when the error comes up, click browse and go to the file you extracted.

        Happy Ituning!”

        Seems like I’m running out of options here.

      • Thought I’d drop back by and let you know that I got everything fixed. Despite the warnings, I found a previous version of Windows Install Cleanup Utility from MajorGeeks.com and installed it. Once it was up and running, I just removed all Apple products in the order the original author suggested. Once it was done, I got a fresh download from the iTunes webpage and it installed without any problems. Thanks again for your help.

      • Thanks for the update – the old Cleanup utility can be hit and miss due to the other problems it can cause but glad it worked out for you.

        Hopefully Apple will resolve the iTunes upgrade/uninstall issues at some point – it’s such a monster of a (set of) programs now…

      • Unfortunately, after an hour’s worth of work last night after using the Cleanup Utility, my computer crashed and resulted in a Blue Screen. Ran “chdsk” with no luck, and then tried booting in Safe Mode, running Startup Repair, even System Restore to a previous version, but nothing seems to be doing the trick. I’m not too familiar with the BSOD – any advice? I seem to be able to boot to Safe Mode with no problems, but I’m not really sure how to address the problem on the “C:” drive once I get in. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  9. thank you for this info. clear step by step instructions for this nightmare. i was going bonkers. Revo found all 6 apple programs and deleted everything. after rebooting they were all cleaned out of the registry. itunes 10.6 installed with out a problem
    thanks again and blessings to you

  10. I uninstalled Itunes to try and upgrade to the newest. I downloaded the newest itunes(10), and when I try to install I get this prompt “A later version of Apple Software Update is already installed on this computer.” I have ran CCleaner and taken out Itunes, also I ran Revo uninstall for Apple Software Update. I’m at wits end, now I feel like getting a restore cd from Dell and wiping everything with a clean slate…Help me, anyone?

  11. Does not work in my case, the installer says my itunes is on a cdrom or other removable devise that is not available but is not correct

    • Are you sure that isn’t the error message that is to be expected in step 6 (or if you try to uninstall in the normal way) – where the Apple uninstaller is faulty??

      Usually, if you proceed to step 7, Revo will continue regardless to remove the application as it will then look for files and registry entries, not Apple’s corrupt uninstall program

  12. I have tried this before with windows uninstaller however Revo only lists Apple Application Support, Apple Software Update and Quicktime. There is no iTunes, Bonjour or Apple Mobile Device listed. Any ideas?

    • Hi Randy, we wish Apple produced a full uninstall program like antivirus companies do as iTunes and its parts are such a pain to remove!

      Have you actually uninstalled iTunes/bonjour/app mob dev already then? If so, use Revo to forcibly uninstall the remaining 3 progs then download latest iTunes and reinstall.

      If not, and iTunes isn’t showing in Windows uninstall or Revo (the uninstall info is corrupted) and you are sure it is still installed i.e. the program files and shortcuts to iTunes/Bonjour/App Mob Dev are still there – try the Hunter Mode of Revo.

      Click on Revo’s Help button and see Chapter 4 of the user manual for info on Hunter mode – it is designed to uninstall apps from the app’s shortcut rather than the standard Uninstall window (there is also a drag and drop mode to drop the shortcut into). Take a system restore point first.

      If that doesn’t fix it you could be very adventurous (not recommended!!!) and manually delete all the Apple prog files and user settings individually then run a good registry cleaner like Ccleaner – but best suggestion would be to try Apple support for help.

  13. Hey it worked at last! My itunes was stuck and couldn’t uninstall it but this revo has done the job – took ages for it to get through itunes but got there in the end and installed 10.4.1 – works a treat

Comments are closed.