Updated for 2014: How To Completely Uninstall and Remove All Traces of iTunes – (So it can be properly reinstalled or deleted!)

How To Uninstall iTunes

Are you going crazy trying to completely uninstall or reinstall iTunes on your PC?

Scenario: Your latest download of iTunes got corrupted on your computer somehow, or was interrupted during installation. Doesn’t matter how. It happened to me. I realized I had to uninstall itunes and then reinstall iTunes. So I thought I would just download the latest version first and try reloading it. No dice. So I thought ok, I would first remove it using the ADD/REMOVE feature in the control panel and try again. Not so simple.  I found I could not remove the iTunes program off the Programs list! Reloading itunessetup.exe gave errors and would not start. Errors like: ” iTunes could not connect because an unknown error occurred 0xE8000003 ” are common errors among others. In my ensuing hours of Google research I found many posts of folks with just these very same issues and even worse! So let me share with you some of the answers, tips and software that I found from all the forums and sources I researched that will help you solve this problem once and for all and keep you from going completely nuts!!

First here is your overall objective:
1. Before you can reinstall iTunes you must first remove all remnants of the following applications listed including all “left over” files from your registry. Yep… that scary place on your PC !! :

First try removing each of these with their own “uninstallers” directly or by using the ADD/REMOVE application located in your Control Panel. Start –> Control Panel –> Add/Remove Programs. You must remove them in the order you see them below. If you are lucky you will be able to remove all of them just using your ADD/REMOVE program and everything will be fine after a registry cleanup and re-boot.

  1. iTunes Software
  2. Quicktime
  3. Apple Software Update
  4. Apple Mobile Support
  5. Bonjour (especially Bonjour, the most problematic and most difficult component to remove properly! )
  6. Apple Application Support (iTunes 9 or later)
  7. iPhone (if you have it loaded)
  8. and anything else related to iTunes — that’s the tough part where you need to be careful, for instance ver.10 they started adding the Safari browser which should also be removed during an uninstall just to be safe due to the tangled registry network apple is using! **

After these steps run a Registry Cleaner like RegCure to clean up left behind registry keys. This is especially important if you plan on reinstalling iTunes after you remove it, otherwise iTunes may think you still have the original copy installed and the new install will not install properly. This is also important to run if you try using any of the faster more fool proof automated removal downloads below. You may need to run RegCure and then try the process again. You can download a free copy here.

If you are lucky the above process will work first time around!

If all else fails there is an excellent detailed manual written and designed specifically to REMOVE ALL TRACES of iTunes from your PC. It also includes special removal software in the download. You can obtain it from the links below.  It’s less than ten bucks but it kept me from spending hours going nuts trying to fix this problem. They include detailed step by step instructions and software that does the registry changes for you automatically. You must follow the instructions STEP by STEP and in the order given and be sure to read all the instructions carefully first and it will work fine in the majority of cases (it works for > 95% of users unless you have other serious problems in your PC registry)RegCure might help in this case. They offer no guarantees but it did work perfectly for me and judging from the rest of the feedback here on our site, it worked perfectly for the vast majority of our readers who have used it.  Here are a few different sources if you want to find it and try it:

Check for the latest version and to find best deal at the download sites below:

E-Junkie: http://www.e-junkie.com/rockbridge/product/371521.php

PayLoadZ: http://store.payloadz.com/go?id=514696

Amazon: There is also an iPad / Kindle version over at Amazon as well: ( B003VD1IRM )

Rockbridge: http://rockbridgedownloads.com/ebooks/



**Note: The downloads at E-Junkie, PayLoadZ and Rockbridge both include special uninstaller software in the download that does a full and complete registry entry cleanup automatically  They include it within the downloadable zip file / package. It works great if you decide you would prefer to use automatic removal software to remove iTunes instead of making all the registry edits yourself manually which can be dangerous and crash your pc if you make a mistake! Obviously there is no download software in the Amazon Kindle version but there are references to the links above or you can get only the software if you are a registered reader here – but without the instruction manual – be careful if you don’t know what you are doing if you use it.  Compare the cost alternatives first and choose the one that makes the most  sense and works for you !!

P.S. Some of you have also asked us to update this post and recommend some really good software other than iTunes to manage and organize your music.  We did some research on a number of iTunes alternatives and found that an excellent top rated alternative is one called MediaMonkey.  This software actually has a free trial version so you can check it out yourself, which we always recommend, and the program also syncs music files directly with your iPhone, iPod, iPad and even the Android and other new smart phones.  Certainly its worth checking out if you are looking for a better alternative to iTunes!

If you found this post useful please consider registering with us to gain access to our software download area. Registration is free. Once registered you will be able to download free PC software utilities such as RegCure, RevoUninstaller and CCleaner along with special discounts and vendor coupons on the latest brand name software.  We provide this access as an added benefit and value added service to our registered readership…  Learn more…
Bit.ly URL:  http://bit.ly/VmYTco

— Thanks,  Staff at ZZ News and Reviews




  • scotty777

    Apple iTunes is a HOG…. way too much advertising!!! It is not PC friendly. One slip up with the iPod connection especially if the software is updating in the background and your cooked !! Great post… thanks.



  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    I am very happy this post helped you Lynda. I hope others find this post useful… If so let us know here and be sure to Digg up and rate the post. Thanks, ZZ

  • lelday

    Thankyou so much for recommending.
    It worked brilliantly.Got rid of all iTunes.I was getting
    desperate but this was so simple.I can`t thank you
    and zz enough.

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    Glad you found this post helpful. We appreciate the comments and hope you were able to accomplish what you set out to do!!
    For most people out there, getting into this level of registry removal is pretty intimidating. You should not need a degree in Computer Science in order to remove a piece of software without having all sorts of issues in the process.


  • Rat


    works well

  • feli_fel

    hopefully this works im trying it out let see later cross your fingers

  • Eckzander

    How long should ths take ?

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    Eckzander that depends on how messed up or corrupted your iTunes installation is. These steps have helped some 400 people so far based on the number of downloads. If it helps let us know, if not perhaps on of our members might have a suggestion. In life there are nothing certain except you know what. Good luck.

  • chrissyb

    I tried this as explained – but strangely when I re-booted I’d lost my desktop, menu bars etc. I didn’t panic re-started in safe-mode and wound back back to to yesterdays restore point.

    What was really strange about that though is when I relaunched itunes it treated it as a new installation and I was able to use itunes again – When I thought it may have re-wound to the pre-existing installation of itunes that was unusuable.

    I thought that was quite bizzare?

    Nevertheless it worked for me – but I don’t know why. Needless to say make sure you’ve backed up before you start the procedure, as explained in the instructions.


  • DougTomczak

    Well, after trying to update quicktime and repeatedly being denied, I started looking for some program that would remove itunes and quicktime completely. I found this site. I tried it and was impressed with how it searched for all files that needed to be removed first. But I still couldn’t get quicktime to be installed. So I started to look in explorer for anything that still was there for anythings apple. There were files everywhere in my C drive. So I went about deleting these, I looked in every folder and found apple in places I would of never thought of. I deleted all these and cleaned up my recycle bin, then rebooted for the 10th time and checked software again. Crossed my fingers and downloaded quicktime again. Horray, it worked! I now only have quicktime installed and that is the way I want it. So, if you are having troubles, try this, it worked for me. By the way I never could get Bonjour files deleted from my C drive. But it didn’t hurt the install. Thanks

  • innercalm

    Would just like to say thanks for this information. It did work. Previously I’ve had to install Itunes & Quicktime then replace Quicktime with Quicktime Alternative – this time there was no need for that. The uninstaller program is superb.

  • loverboy10688

    how do you back up your computer?

  • Blake

    I keep getting a message each time I try and remove Itunes or Apple software.

    The message states: The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable. Click OK to try again, or enter an alternate path to a folder containing the installation package ‘itunes.msi’ in the box below.

    Then it gives me two sources to choose from or I can browse. Any of the choices I make it can’t find the file to uninstall. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    “… I keep getting a message each time I try and remove Itunes or Apple software.

    The message states: The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable. Click OK to try again, or enter an alternate path to a folder containing the installation package ‘itunes.msi’ in the box below. ..”

    Hi Blake… the only thing I can think of is that some application component was installed on a network drive that may not be on line.
    That would be problematic if true. If you back up your system, (this applied to Loverboy10688 comment above as well) assuming you have XP you should have restore points enabled, you should be able to go back and RESTORE your system to a date and time before you attempted to remove iTunes with the instructions above. There are no guarantees but as you can tell by the majority of posts the process will be successful if you take your time and follow it step by step.

    If anyone really does not know how to back up their system please leave some additional comments. There are plenty of links out there in Google for you to follow that will instruct you even if you don’t have an external back up drive. There are sites that will back up your entire system for a fee ON LINE. I will only look creating an article here if folks think it will be helpful !!

  • Leslie

    Thank you so much! I have been stressing over my itunes for weeks now and trying to find a solution and your directions were so easy to follow and worked perfectly. I cannot thank you enough! You made my day!!!!!!!

    • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

      Glad to hear that we could be helpful…

  • SRH stoner

    Thank you u it worked perfectly. U saved me 60 bucks not going to geek squad.

  • http://clough schizo

    I have the same problem as Blake and have been trying on and off for months to remove iTunes. Restore point option is no good for me. I;ve tried various forums and sites, but so far to no avail. Any more thoughts?

    I can still use iTunes, but not all the features – for example picking up file names when ripping a CD – not disasterous, but a nuisance.

  • http://www.gaptogapsoftball.com Brian

    So if I do this, will it delete my songs/games/videos?

    My iTunes is so messed up it won’t even start, and I can’t add any CDs. I just want to preserve the songs I have if possible.

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    It will not delete your data files. But if you follow the directions you would have backed up your iTunes directory just in case you make a mistake. Follow the eGuide carefully.

  • http://www.ticketpoint.de Flüge

    I can really understand you. I have not the same problem like you, but I have another problem that drives me crazy since two years now. The disaster started when my parents presented me with an Ipod for christmas. I installed Itunes on my PC and put some songs on the Ipod. Then, after a few weeks my USB access was broken-down and I tried to update my Ipod on my boyfriends PC. The big problem was that he got his own library and that I am not able to install a new one on his PC. Does anybody know how this works? To have two different libraries on one PC? It would be sooo great, because the only thing I wish I will gain to christmas is to install my Ipod and hear newer music then this one which was installed two years ago…I really hate Mac! It is so complicated….

  • John Scholefield

    Thank you so much for your advice on how to fully uninstall this piece of Apple Pie. It stopped me pulling my hair out. iTunes is now reinstalled and working fine. Apple may have seen your advice and comment, but have either no idea of how to amend their program so that it can be uninstalled completely, or have chosen to ignore the problem all together. Once again many, many thanks. John.

  • sabee

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I had a new iPod for Christmas – never had one before – but I couldn’t get the iTunes software to load. Just kept getting the error message ‘Older version of Apple Software Update cannot be removed’ and then iTunes installer interrupted’. I deleted everything I could find but that didn’t work. I phoned Apple Technical Support who tried all kinds of things but that didn’t work. Then I found your program – and that did work!!!!!!! You’re wonderful!!!

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    sabee…. Thanks for the kind words. If we helped, please Digg and Buzz up the post if you are a subscriber and let your friends know to subscribe to our site. As we come across helpful items we will post them in our Downloads and Internet categories though we are not primarily devoted to software support as you can tell… :)

  • T. Belnap

    How do you “back up your PC”? (Your instruction #1 of uninstalling itunes)

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    For T.Belnap and others:

    Backing Up Your PC —

    SEE THIS LINK —> http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/learnmore/bott_03july14.mspx (Assumes you are running on Windows XP !!)

    For Windows Vista —> http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/data/backup.mspx

    Since a few of you have asked this question I have added these helpful links from Microsoft to step 1 for reference. — While I have not heard any complaints from anyone who wished they hadn’t skipped the back up step, it is ALWAYS a good idea to have a back up of your system registry when doing any edits in the registry just in case something does in fact go wrong and you edit the wrong registry key!!

  • Cheryl

    I am so frustrated. Itunes was working perfectly on my computer, but now i am getting a message that says it can’t find quicktime. i downloaded itunes and quicktime again, but it did not work. If i remove itunes, will it delete the library on my hard drive?

  • scotty77

    Deleting iTunes will NOT delete your music. It will remain in a folder where it is stored. As a precaution you should back up the folder where your music is stored. This is just as insurance.

  • Cheryl

    Thanks! the error message i keep getting says “quick time was not found. Quicktime is required to run itunes. please reinstall itunes. Should i uninstall first?

  • Holly

    I was having this same problem as Blake.
    ” The message states: The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable. Click OK to try again, or enter an alternate path to a folder containing the installation package ‘itunes.msi’ in the box below.

    Then it gives me two sources to choose from or I can browse. Any of the choices I make it can’t find the file to uninstall. Any help would be greatly appreciated.”
    When I got the same theat message to choose a path etc.. I closed that window an let the uninstaller do it’s thing and had no problem getting it to remove the program.
    After it rebooted however I got a “Setup Wiz” window that come up saying “Windows sockets initialization failed”. I couldn’t connect to the internet after that. Thankfully I have a laptop (Macbook) and googled what the message said and found a fix at http://www.snapfiles.com/get/winsockxpfix.html
    I haven’t reinstalled itunes and the rest yet.
    Hope this helps someone.
    and yes I backed my sytem up before:)

  • Jane

    Hi! I was sent to this post from a forum, and I thought it would work. I was having trouble downloading and reinstalling itunes because it said and installation of quicktime was already in progress. When I opened it there wasn’t itunes or quicktime, but some other apple programs. When i tried uninstalling them, it said it could not uninstall because installations were already in progress. I’ve used the Windows Clean Up Utility and about everything else, but nothing works! Please help!

  • http://zardozz.com sally

    I thank whoever invented this utiility. I was at my wit’s end about how to ever use my iPod again. It let me remove all sw, then reinstall iTunes correctly. The only blip was it removed Foxfire, but that was simple to reinstall.

    Thanks again!

  • Jeeve Stobs

    Alternately, you could grow up, get out of your parents’ basement and get a Mac. I’m just sayin’.

  • Apple sux

    Why are people using itunes? Honestly, I haven’t paid for music for 15 years now and don’t plan to start. Why would you load yourself with their crappy software? And don’t even get me started on quicktime. Macs are fine computers, but all through school and my professional career I’ve never, ever been called to work on anything but PC platforms. Firefox and php are finally breaking the MS logjam, but Apple is just as bad, excepts its advocates are even more crazy. The one thing Mac users can’t do: shut the f@#k up!

  • MacAddict

    Apple is a Mac company. Get a Mac and start using the original Windows. Geeze.

  • yoryos


    pc. i ll never buy an apple product!! such an “aggressive” advertising policy sould be somehow BANNED!!!

  • guru_dash

    excellent piece of information
    it was of great help

  • Kim

    Whoever invented this deserves a freakin’ medal. THANK YOU!!!!

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ Scotty777

    Thank you Kim… For those of you who have found the eGuide referenced in this article useful and helpful, we would ask that you provide some positive feedback at the following site: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/54099-45-uninstall-itunes

    Only if you are so inclined. The value speaks for itself from all of positive comments we have received here.

    We continue to be pleased that this review has helped so many people. Hundreds have found it useful, you 40 have taken the time to express your thanks and in turn we thank YOU. We hope to review additional products and eGuides that are unique and helpful to the user community in the future.

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  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    The following testimonial was sent into us via eMail:

    I bought your itunes uninstall product last night. THANK YOU so much for a great product. After fighting with Apple for 9 months, your product completely uninstalled itunes and I was able to install a working version of ITunes. Theresa

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ ZZ Bachman

    Article has been updated for iTunes v10 + as well as all links, instructions and manuals

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