Random Thoughts – Randocity!

Revert back to iTunes 10 from iTunes 11 (Windows Edition)

Posted in Apple, botch, itunes, itunes bugs by commorancy on December 27, 2012

[UPDATE 2015-01-17] New Article: How to make iTunes 12 look and act more like iTunes 10

If you’re looking for the Mac OS X downgrade steps, please check out this Randosity article. After giving iTunes 11 a fair shake, I have come to the conclusion that this version is so hopelessly broken that I just can’t deal with it any longer. So, I’ve decided to roll back to iTunes 10.

The iTunes 11 botch

It is very obvious that Tim Cook (and crew) are systematically undoing every ideal that Jobs held for Apple. iTunes 11 is no exception. With its missing menus, unnecessary drop down menus, haphazard interface, missing Radio link (well, not missing, but moved to a hard-to-find area), huge graphical album listings and no easy way to set art on music any more, the whole iTunes 11 release is one big botch. Well, the last straw came today when I tried importing a CD. It imported fine until I stopped it because I realized the import settings were wrong. When I attempted to restart the import, iTunes 11 would only begin at the next track and refused to replace the existing, something that iTunes 10 does quite nicely. When I put a second CD into my second drive, the whole app locked up. Then, I killed it with task manager. On startup, it proceeded to lock up Windows and prevent me from working with the desktop. I’ve never had this issue with iTunes 10. Worse, playlist metadata is now stupidly globally linked. Meaning, if you uncheck a song in one playlist and it exists in other playlists, it unchecks the song there too. So, now checkboxes are global settings across the whole of iTunes. That’s just some of the underwhelming, but major changes in iTunes 11. I’ve had it with iTunes 11 and all of its stupid new quirks.

Rewriting that much of an app is really a gamble and this is one gamble didn’t pay off. I’ve heard some people seem to like some of the changes. I’m not one of them. Seriously, what was the benefit to changing the interface that radically for no end-user payoff? I mean, at least give us users some kind of a bone to endure that kind of radical change. There just isn’t any reward for dealing with this massive of a change. All we get is whole lot of learning curve, fighting through bugs, dealing with stupidity in UI design all without any substantial ease of use improvements.

Restoring iTunes 10

Well, I finally made the decision to revert back to iTunes 10. The first problem was locating the most recent version of iTunes 10. Thankfully, Apple Support keeps older iTunes versions online (or at least, they’re there now). So, if you are thinking of reverting back to iTunes 10, you might want to grab your copy now before they take it down. But, keep in mind that once you’ve upgraded to iTunes 11, your ‘iTunes Library.itl’ (What are the iTunes library files?) file will be updated to the latest format which is incompatible with iTunes 10. So, you will have to restore back to an older version of library.itl or possibly face rebuilding your entire media library from files on disk.

Steps to revert on Windows:

  • Download iTunes 10 from the above link
  • Start->Control Panel->Programs and Features
  • Make note of the iTunes 11 ‘Installed On’ date.
  • Uninstall iTunes 11
  • Install iTunes 10
    • Don’t start iTunes 10 at this point or you will receive an error stating that library.itl was created by a newer version. Continue on with the steps below.
  • Go to C:\Users\<your user>\Music\iTunes
  • Rename ‘iTunes Library.itl’ to ‘iTunes library.iTunes11.itl’ (in case you want to revert back using this file)
    • Note the space in the name
  • Copy the most recent backup of ‘iTunes Library.itl’ or of a date just before you installed iTunes 11
    • Copy C:\Users\<your user>\Music\iTunes\Previous iTunes Libraries\library.<date>.itl to
    • C:\Users\<your user>\Music\iTunes\library.itl
    • If you don’t have a backup copy, you can simply delete ‘iTunes Library.itl’, but you’ll probably have to rebuild your media library from scratch. Deleting this file doesn’t delete your music, it will just remove iTunes’ reference to it.
    • If you have a ‘iTunes Music Library.xml’, you may be able to import that to rebuild your library more easily.
    • You should regularly export your library as ‘iTunes Music Library.xml’ anyway in case iTunes ever gets corrupted.
  • Once you have iTunes 10 installed and ‘iTunes Library.itl’ recovered, you can start up iTunes 10. Assuming the ‘iTunes Library.itl’ was a backup created by iTunes 10, it should start just fine. If it doesn’t, keep recovering older ‘iTunes Library.<date>.itl’ backup files until you find one that works.

Now you’ll want to review your library to ensure that any new music you’ve bought or added is there. If not, you’ll have to add the folders of that music to this library.

Note, if you have changed where your library.itl resides, you will have to rename it there instead. If you haven’t modified iTunes in this way, library.itl will be in the above location (or whichever drive is your Windows boot drive letter).  Simply deleting the file, iTunes may be smart enough to pull its most recent backup copy, but I haven’t tested this.  So, I’d rather choose my library.itl from the backups.

Additional note, you can’t tell which version of iTunes generated the library.itl file. So, you will need to review your backup library.<date>.itl files and locate a dated file that’s before you installed iTunes 11. If you don’t remember the date you installed iTunes, you may be able to find the install date in Control Panel->Programs and Features.

Mac Note: that with the exception of the paths, the basics of these instructions may apply to MacOS X. I’ve just not reverted iTunes on MacOS X as yet. However, you’re in luck, Danny has produced a rollback article for Mac OS X here on Randosity for Mac OS X users.

Apple’s progressive slide

There are some technology changes that Apple makes that work. There are some that don’t. Part of the problem is a quality control issue. Steve Jobs was a stickler for high quality control to the point of perfectionism. This is a good thing in that Apple’s quality was always near perfect when Jobs was on duty. Unfortunately, since Tim Cook has taken over, that quality level has dramatically slid down. The iPad 3 was the first example, then OS X Lion, then iOS 6, Mountain Lion and now iTunes 11.  I won’t even get into that thing they’re calling an iPod nano.  I still shutter to think that someone at Apple thought the new taller iPod nano would actually have a real world use case over the ‘watch’ version? I should just avoid the obvious discussion about the whole taller nano debacle.

I’m not sure what the Apple engineers are thinking at this point, but one thing is crystal clear. There is no one at Apple driving quality control either at a software or hardware level. I doubt that Steve Jobs would have ever let iTunes 11 see the light of day the way it is now. The changes were far too drastic requiring a huge learning curve without any real benefit to the user. I mean seriously, what did Apple hope to accomplish by making this drastic of a software change?

For example, if Apple were planning on introducing a Netflix-like streaming service and iTunes needed the software to support this, I can full well understand implementing a needed software change to support this. If they were planning on allowing some new advanced technological approach to playlists, like Facebook style sharing of them, then maybe a change might be required. But, making a change just to make change isn’t useful or wanted. Complicating the interface and moving things to unnecessary new areas is not wanted. Users don’t want to have to relearn an interface just because someone decides to haphazardly move things around with no rhyme or reason.

Analysts amazingly silent?

I’ve yet to see any analysts making any calls on this or any other Apple quality issues. Yet, it’s crystal clear. Apple is not the Apple it once was. I’m sure the analysts are just biding their time to allow their clients to get their money out of Apple before making word of the problems that are just beginning to face Apple. In fact, it’s the same problem that now faces Sony. Sony used to be a top notch, high quality and innovative technology company who could basically do no wrong. Then, something happened at Sony and they’ve not been able to produce anything innovative in years. Apple is clearly on its way to becoming the next Sony. It’s also inevitable that without hiring someone (or several people) of the caliber of Steve Jobs that has both the technological vision combined with high levels of quality control, Apple doesn’t have a future.

As a software developer, you can’t just throw out any change to the wind and hope it succeeds. No, you have to bring in test groups to review the changes and find out how the average user responds to the changes. Apple shouldn’t have any trouble putting testing groups together. But, it appears that iTunes 11 did not get user tested at all. It’s a shame, too. iTunes 11 has some cool features, but those are just completely eclipsed by the poor quality of the software and the stupid design decisions.

Can Apple recover?

Yes, but it’s going to take someone (or several people) to bring quality control back to Apple and someone who is willing to say, ‘No, that sucks. Try again’.. just someone should have to said about iTunes 11 before it was ever released.

107 Responses

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  1. Becky said, on August 22, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Hi, i know this is an old chat but i thought someone would be able to help me. When i try to install it keeps coming up “The installer encountered errors before itunes could be configured. Errors occured during installation. Your system has not been modified” can someone please help?


    • commorancy said, on August 22, 2015 at 11:15 am

      Hi Becky,

      I’m assuming you’re on Windows. This is the best solution I could find:

        1. When you get the error message “Itunes errors occurred during installation before itunes could be configured” do not click finish and leave that error panel up.
        2. Open a file browser and navigate to your Appdata directory, such as C:\Users\Your Username\appdata\local\temp
        3. Inside your appdata\local\temp folder, look for a file called iTunes64Setup.log or iTunes32Setup1850.log
        4. Open that file in wordpad or your favorite text editor and look for the path like
        *** C:\Users\Youruser\AppData\Local\Temp\IXP593.TMP\iTunes64.msi (note the IXP593.TMP)
        5. Navigate to the folder in temp called “IXP593.TMP” (C:\Users\Youruser\AppData\Local\Temp\IXP593.TMP)
        6. Here, you will find all the installation files for iTunes
        7. Create a new folder, copy all of those files and paste them to your new folder (making a copy of them)
        8. Once copied, click finish on the failed iTunes installer panel
        9. In the new folder where you copied the iTunes installer files, run iTunes64.msi or iTunes.msi
        10. Complete the installation using this installer, you should now have successfully installed iTunes

      Let me know if this works for you. Sorry for the initial formatting issues of this reply, WordPress formats comments in weird ways with bulleted lists. It took a while to get to the proper format.


      • Becky said, on August 22, 2015 at 5:10 pm

        Hi, when i try to copy the files into the new folder, all of them copy except the iTunes64.msi because it says it cannot copy because it is open in another window?


        • commorancy said, on August 22, 2015 at 11:27 pm

          Hi Becky,

          Two possible solutions to the open file problem…

          1) Use a copy tool that allows copying open/locked files. A tool like this is hobocopy, but hobocopy relies on Volume Shadow Copy and Microsoft Software Shadow Copy Provider, so you’ll need to make sure these two services are not disabled or stopped. If you need to know how to check this, let me know.
          2) Click close on the error panel and hope that iTunes doesn’t clean up this directory, thus leaving it in place. If it is left in place, you can copy it once the panel is closed. If not, you’ll have to try copying it using #1 above.

          The easiest to try first is #2. If that doesn’t work, then go with #1.

          Hobocopy tool: http://candera.github.io/hobocopy/


          • Becky said, on August 23, 2015 at 12:36 am

            Hi, Sorry, i have done this and i was able to copy the file while it was open using hobocopy. Once it was copied over i closed the error pannel and i tried running it from the copied file and it is still showing the same error panel. It loads for a bit then it says “rolling back action” and comes up the error message.


            • commorancy said, on August 23, 2015 at 12:49 am

              Hi Becky,

              This sounds like a registry and/or file system permissions problem. If any of the registry entries needed to support iTunes get borked up, it can cause all sorts of weird failures when trying to install. Note that attempting to uninstall and reinstall iTunes won’t fix this problem as iTunes doesn’t properly clean up its registry entries. Also, if the directory where iTunes is trying to install has problems writing there, it could fail for this reason. Though, moving iTunes installation directory out of the way in Program Files or Program Files (x86) is easy, cleaning the registry is a bit harder (see link at the bottom).

              This failure can also be as a result of a virus, trojan or even leftovers from one that might have been cleaned off. At this point, I’d have to refer you to someone who can actually put hands onto your computer and work through the installation failure. Though, you might look through the iTunes setup log and see if you can get any kind of a clue as to why it’s failing.

              For iTunes and registry issues, especially on Win 7, see this earlier Randosity article:

              See: https://randosity.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/itunes-10-and-windows-7-were-back-stupid-fixable-problems/

              This issue documented in that 2010 article may still apply to later iTunes versions because of the registry permissions issues. I can’t say if this is the problem on your system, but when something doesn’t work on Windows, there’s a high probability that it points to a problem in the registry.


              • Becky said, on August 23, 2015 at 2:04 am

                Thankyou for all your help, i will take it to my computer guy tomorrow.


  2. Anthony said, on January 14, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I would like to update my situation regarding my problem of keeping iTunes 10.7 running without having it automatically reverting to v 11.1 The last post about this problem was in April 2014.

    Firstly I have a new custom built computer running Windows 7. I installed iTunes 10.7 and have it set up and running flawlessly with all my old music and artwork in place. No reversion problems this time – and none were expected. I’m a happy iTunes user!

    Secondly and more importantly, in the previous discussions about v 10.7 refusing to stay put on my old Vista machine, we never did find the reason why the reversion kept happening. I had a workaround solution which involved disabling Windows Installer which seemed to work for a while but I needed to enable it occasionally for a Windows Update or other software install or uninstall. on the second occasion when I forgot to disable it after use I lost iTunes 10.7 again ….. and at some point I just uninstalled iTunes and decided to live without it.

    In December I reinstalled 10.7 again on the old machine during the time I was configuring my new computer and I am surprised to see that it has stayed in place unmolested now, for several weeks. It is as if the complete absence of iTunes on the machine for several months may have somehow fixed whatever was responsible for the unwanted automatic updating. Is it possible that it was some time sensitive issue, now expired which was causing the updates?

    I will happily continue using v 10.7 for as long as I am able to use it. So far I have been allowed to re-download previously purchased items and I even made one purchase in the store. I don’t own any Apple products which will demand an update. Looking at Apple forums recently I see that many people are now complaining about iTunes 12 and wanting to revert to version 11.

    Regards, Anthony


    • commorancy said, on January 15, 2015 at 1:15 am

      Thanks for your reply Anthony. I’m glad that you were able to get a new system with iTunes running flawlessly. I’m also glad to see that whatever it was that kept upgrading your older machine has stopped doing that. The only way I could have diagnosed that would have been getting hands onto your system. I suspect I would have found a rogue process doing it. It’s possible that a Windows update has finally disabled that process.

      As for iTunes 12, I’m actually a lot happier with iTunes 12 than I am with iTunes 11. Apple added in a whole slew of backwards compatibility pieces that allow you to make it look and act a whole lot more like 10 than 11 looks and acts. It’s not yet perfect as I still prefer 10 for a lot of reasons, but being able to show my music in lists with artwork on the side is a big step in the right direction. Changing artwork is a still not my favorite piece of 12, but it’s better than 11 was. Since I own a number of Apple devices, I’m kinda stuck with 12 for at least getting my music onto those devices. So, it’s a good thing Apple added those compatibility pieces back in. It’s just that these are not enabled by default. They still enable the iTunes 11 look and feel by default. You have to go digging to uncover the old iTunes 10 look and feel.

      Perhaps I’ll write up an article on how to enable the iTunes 10 look and feel on iTunes 12.

      Thanks again for your reply.


      • Anthony said, on January 15, 2015 at 12:51 pm

        That is somewhat encouraging news about iTunes 12. I’m very happy with my current situation and I’m certainly not going down that road again! However, my sister has v 11 running on her laptop ( a recent first time user so she does not know any better). Next time I visit I might update her to v 12 and explore it a little. She won’t mind, especially if I get her a little new music to add to the perhaps 12 tracks she currently has in there. I look forward to reading your article if you get to writing it. Thanks.


        • commorancy said, on January 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm

          Hi Anthony,

          I’ve just published a new blog article on how to make iTunes 12 look more like iTunes 10 which is located here: http://wp.me/pl7Dz-1iu



          • Anthony said, on January 19, 2015 at 2:55 pm

            Thanks for this commorancy! One thing that occurred to me while watching the video was how simple my own iTunes collection is by comparison. I have only about 800 tracks in all ( I refuse to refer to every piece of music as a ‘song’ ). I am now in the fortunate position of having two computers running iTunes, so I am able to do some experimentation with the older one. Even on that one I will have to persuade myself to willingly update iTunes to version 12 after what I have been through with it ……. but I have to admit that in all the times I was dismayed to see version 11 popping back up I never did play around with it much.

            Very early on in my postings on the problem and my dislike of v.11 I stated that the loss of Cover Flow in the new version was an unacceptable loss for me and that all else was a side issue. If it was just a matter of listening to the music, I can do that without using iTunes at all. Before I had iTunes I was quite happy using Winamp and recommended it to several people. I discovered Cover Flow on a friend’s phone and was fascinated by it. Even with my small library I spent many hours looking for art work for my music and a lot of the images have nothing to do with original album artwork, just pictures which might have been related in some way or had a significance for me. I would never have appeared here complaining about it and taking up your time if I had not encountered the problem of reversion to v.11 after I had learned how to go back to v 10.7 – something that nobody else seemed to be experiencing.

            I will eventually upgrade the old computer to v.12 and then spend some time tinkering with it as you have shown. If a later version brings back Cover Flow then I will probably happily upgrade. Thanks for all of your efforts.


            • commorancy said, on January 20, 2015 at 10:14 pm

              Yes, upgrading to 12 is not a perfect fit. And yes, Cover Flow is still missing in action. Though, Apple was sued by some patent trolls regarding Cover Flow. It was likely removed from iTunes as a settlement regarding that lawsuit. It would have been better for Apple to just pay off the patent trolls and leave it in. Though, the implementation of Cover Flow still exists in Finder in MacOS X Yosemite. You can flip Cover Flow on for icons and images in folders in MacOS X. Though, you can’t do this any longer with album covers in iTunes. It’s an odd move for Apple, but my suspicion is that it was related to that patent troll lawsuit over Cover Flow specifically in iTunes.

              As for the rest of what I use iTunes for, it’s pretty much all in 12 now. I also use the Library Home Sharing feature to share my playlists among my other Apple devices including to my Apple TV. That’s part of the reason I use iTunes to store and watch movies. These movies can also be shared among my Apple devices including to my phones.

              In that sense, yes, I’ve drunk of the Apple koolaid. It’s not so much that I prefer Apple devices, but that these devices work seamlessly with one another. It’s not quite as nice like that with Microsoft or Android devices. So, if you invest in Apple products, you do get a better overall rounded experience as they all just work with one another. But, you can’t really unlock all of these features unless you are willing to buy Apple devices. If you buy a Mac notebook and an Android tablet and a Windows phone, you lose all of the available integration. You might get reasonable experiences with each device alone, but sharing things among these different OS devices can sometimes be a real hassle. This is where iTunes sits right in the middle between all of the Apple products.


            • commorancy said, on January 20, 2015 at 10:25 pm

              Hi Anthony,

              As for iTunes and ‘Songs’, that’s just the nomenclature that Apple chose. They also know that the demographic using iTunes is likely to be listening to popular ‘Songs’.. hence the naming. I’d prefer nomenclature other than ‘Songs’ also, but it is what it is. I mean, they could use ‘Tracks’ (they do use this nomenclature elsewhere in parts of iTunes). None of it is ever perfect, but for me the track listing with art was what I wanted to get back to. It was how I always managed my playlists and this works best for my needs. It also shows me if the setup and grouping of the tracks are correctly.

              Though, there is one big thing that Apple has never fixed. Because it groups tracks together under a single artwork, it’s hard to know if every track actually has art tagged in the track. The mp3 files individually store art, but it can be left missing in iTunes because of the way the art is shown. Instead of showing you that each track has correct art, you don’t see this until you download the tracks to an iPhone. Once on the iPhone, then you can see some art is actually missing. It’s one of the most frustrating things about iTunes. This silly bug has existed in iTunes as far back as I can recall. It’s also not fixed in iTunes 12.

              I’ve tried using mp3tag and other tagging tools, but I find that iTunes is still the best for tagging mp3 files with info and art even with that silly bug mentioned above.


  3. Augustine said, on March 24, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Does anyone here know how I can re-install iTunes without losing my music?


    • commorancy said, on April 1, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Hi Augustine,

      Sorry for the delay in responding. There’s a difference between ‘losing’ your music (i.e., it’s deleted) and losing your library database of those tracks.

      Assuming you mean lose your iTunes music library database, you can copy your ‘iTunes Library.itl’ file or a saved copy of the Library.xml to a separate location as a backup. iTunes can use either file as long as the drive location of your music files has not changed since the backup was created. So, when moving between versions, you won’t lose your library database. Note the itl file is specific to an iTunes version. I’d recommend making an XML backup to use for a more universal backup and recovery method (see below).

      As for actually losing the music files themselves, the only way that would happen is if you click ‘delete files’ from within iTunes when you delete a track from the interface. You don’t want to do this. Otherwise, your music files will be deleted. I’m not certain why iTunes even gives you the option of deleting the actual music files when it shouldn’t, but it does. You just need to be careful.

      As for that tool link you posted (and was redacted), it seems like it’s just intended to make backups of your music. You can use many different backup tools to backup your music files. This is always a good idea no matter what tool you use, but there are even built-in backup tools in Windows and on Mac that work just as well to make backups of your music. If you want to backup your iTunes library, you should do that from within iTunes as this is the best tool for making a backup of your library file. You can do this from File->Library->Export Library which creates a more universally useful XML file that can be used on any iTunes version, but has the downside of being slow to reimport your library.


  4. Anthony said, on November 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I was able to downgrade (upgrade!) back to 10.7 at the first attempt and everything was running flawlessly ( Vista 64 bit). Shortly after starting up the next day, 11.1 was back, uninvited. Since then I have gone back and forth several times but iTunes 10.7 will not stay put – sometimes it stays for a couple of days, sometimes less. It seems to revert instantly – all of a sudden the iTunes shortcut becomes inactive and in opening iTunes from Program Files I get the 11.1 welcome screen.

    Am I the only one to have this problem? I have looked everywhere and nobody else seems to be reporting it. I posted a question on the Apple forums but nobody has responded.


    • commorancy said, on November 19, 2013 at 12:13 am

      Hi Anthony,

      I’ve not run into this issue, but what I suspect may be happening is that somehow you managed to get two versions of the app installed, possibly due to the 32 vs 64 bit install locations. I would suggest using “Programs and Features” to remove the app from your system completely. Then, go out to C:\Program Files\iTunes and rename this iTunes directory. Then go to C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes and rename this iTunes directory. Then, reinstall iTunes 10 again with both of those installation areas cleaned up. Hopefully, this will resolve the problem.

      If after you do this it keeps coming back, you might have something else going on that I am not aware of. If what I say above doesn’t work, it almost sounds like an automatic installer, a backup program or possibly Windows Restore recovering it? Although, I am not aware of any method for Windows Vista to do a partial system restore like that.

      Please let me know what you find.


      • Anthony said, on November 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm

        Thanks for your reply commorancy. iTunes is currently uninstalled. I followed the procedure on Apple’s own support site http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1923 including checking after the uninstall in the places they mentioned, which included Program Files\iTunes and Program Files(x86)\iTunes. No references in either of those places to iTunes or Apple. There is a folder called Apple computer in C:\Users\my username\App Data\Roaming\ and in …. App Data\Local\ ( \Roaming\ contains a folder called Cookies containing one file – cookies.plist – and the files – iPod software updates, ipod updater logs, iTunes plug-ins and Mobile Backups).

        I did previously disable System Restore but that did not stop iTunes 11 from coming back.

        I can try reinstalling 10.7 and then look to see where it shows up. Here is my post to the Apple Forums as tender49. No response from anybody there to date.



        • commorancy said, on November 19, 2013 at 9:58 pm

          There’s definitely something unusual going on. You aren’t, by any chance, running Apple Software Update at any point? This update tool will update iTunes. I’m assuming not, but I have to ask as I can’t see your system to understand what may be going on with it. I don’t know of any mechanism to revert software to a previous version besides system restore. Although, there may be 3rd party tools that could act like Windows File Protection and automatically revert changes to your system to ‘protect’ it. This could be part of your Malware/Antivirus software suite. Have you installed any third party ‘protection’ like a virus or malware scanner? It’s possible that this software is undoing the 10.7 install and re-installing 11 because it thinks that something malicious is changing it.

          What I might suggest is to make sure all of your protection softwares (virus, malware, etc) are disabled, clean off the operating system of iTunes again. Reinstall iTunes, then re-enable that protection software. However, if that software does a periodic scan of your system, it might find that the software has changed and replace it.

          If that’s the case, you may need to locate whatever software is the culprit and either disable or remove it. Then, reinstall it. If you disable and remove it, it may delete whatever database it keeps of software installations which will prevent it from trying to recover the newer version.

          Do you know what virus and/or malware scanner is installed on your system?


          • Anthony said, on November 19, 2013 at 10:46 pm

            I definitely would not run Apple Software Update knowingly and I think after the most recent re-install of 10.7 I went into Control Panel and uninstalled Apple Software Update. Running the installation file automatically installs all the other components except Quick Time which I think is not automatically installed any more from at least 10.7 or perhaps earlier.

            The thing which surprises me most is that nobody else seems to have this problem of the latest version re-installing uninvited. Many, many people hate v 11.x, have successfully gone back to 10.7 and nothing further has been heard from them! My computer would seem to no different – it is well maintained and runs smoothly and is largely problem free. I use AVG free AV, the latest version and periodically scan with Malware Bytes. I also use CC cleaner including occasionally its Registry cleaner. I think it was CC cleaner which deleted all but the latest System Restore point and as that point was created after the ill fated iTunes update there didn’t seem to be too much risk in disabling it for a while.

            My redemption may be in the fact that I have my whole system backed up on an external drive (Macrium Reflect) at a date before this update and problems with iTunes occured – but that will be my last resort.

            To fully test your suggestions, I will run the 10.7 installer again, enjoy the program for as long as it lasts and then disable the AV for the uninstall and re-install – if needed. Will report back – thanks!


            • commorancy said, on November 20, 2013 at 12:01 am

              The issue I’m having is that the only tool I know of that can perform such a revert live is the Windows File Protection system. It is an automatic and nearly instantaneous recovery of important system files that get changed. But, Windows File Protection usually only applies to Microsoft critical operating system libraries. As far as I know, Apple is not using WFP to protect its software in this way on Vista or in any other Windows version. The reason more people don’t use WFP is that it takes extra steps to be able to replace files registered in the WFP library.

              Now, that doesn’t mean that something installed on your system didn’t put some of your installed software under the Windows File Protection system, possibly as a leftover from a virus. If that happened, for example with iTunes, I could definitely see critical libraries being replaced at some point after a 10.7 install. So, I could see this as being an issue with WFP. But, the question remains, what put iTunes under the WFP system? Apple doesn’t use the Windows File Protection system. If you had or have malware installed on your system, it’s possible that that software has put something critical to its workings inside of Windows File Protection and in protecting the removal of that virus or malware, it may inadvertently revert iTunes to 11 as a result (especially if it’s leveraging parts of iTunes to do its work).

              If you haven’t scanned your system with a recent virus scanner, I might suggest doing this as it’s possible your system could be infected by a virus or malware which could be responsible for this issue with iTunes.


              • Anthony said, on November 20, 2013 at 1:28 am

                As it happens I did a Malware Bytes quick scan earlier today and it found nothing. Yester I did a full scan with AVG and it was also clean. After the first appearance of the reversion problem with iTunes I did a CHKDSK scan on a reboot and it said the volume was clean.

                I do remember now that when I first uninstalled all of the Apple related programs after uninstalling iTunes a few errors popped up ….. one was saying that the ‘file was in use by another program’ and one was informing of a ‘Data Execution Prevention’. I OK’d out of them and the programs seemed to uninstall anyway. In any case they were all put back again by the next running of the 10.7 installer and after that I uninstalled them in the correct order recommended by the Apple Support article (ie iTunes, Apple Software Update, Apple Mobile Device Support, Bonjour and lastly Apple Application Support ).

                Is the WFP system the same thing as System File Checker. Should I run sfc /scannow?


                • commorancy said, on November 20, 2013 at 1:33 am

                  WFP is the actual protection system. The ‘sfc’ is a user-space command to ask WFP to validate the protected files on the system. So, yes, they are related. You might try running sfc after you have installed iTunes 10.7 to see if it makes any complaints about protected files having been changed.


                • Anthony said, on November 20, 2013 at 1:44 am

                  OK – I jumped the gun a little here and just ran sfc /scannow ( used it before, way back when a Windows disc was needed – but not with Vista). Scan reported that it found corrupted files and that it had fixed them all. There is a log but I cannot access it.

                  Tomorrow I will install 10.7 once again – and run the scan again ……. maybe it will stay this time. I will let you know ………


                • commorancy said, on November 20, 2013 at 1:56 am

                  If you ever get the message ‘file in use’ after uninstalling, you need to always reboot after the uninstall has completed. Otherwise, if you try to install something over what you just uninstalled with files still in use, especially an older version like you’re doing with 10.7, that can prevent that older version from installing properly and it could leave newer system libraries in place. This could also cause the ‘reversion’ problem you are encountering.

                  So, I would suggest uninstalling, then cancel out of any ‘in use’ errors. Next, reboot. Then go to C:\Program Files areas and clean up any iTunes remnants. Then, reboot one more time just for good measure. This should remove all ‘in use’ files and allow them to be overwritten properly. Also, I would suggest opening a CMD prompt and run ‘services.msc’. Scan through all services installed on your system for any Apple services (i.e., Bonjour, any services that contain ‘Apple’). If any are still ‘Started’, stop them. Then after all that, reinstall iTunes 10.7.


                • Anthony said, on November 20, 2013 at 9:59 pm

                  Sorry for delayed response – I can’t wrestle with iTunes full time. A lot has happened today. I am the king of rebooting so there is no problem there. I always shut down the pc when I’m not using it and I know that a reboot often sorts a lot of things out.

                  The first thing I did this morning was to look at ‘Services’. There was nothing at all Apple related either running or stopped which wasn’t too surprising as iTunes has been gone from the computer for a couple of days now and all related programs uninstalled. I re-installed iTunes 10.7 and the install ran very smoothly with the usual two UAC prompts. I made sure to select ‘do not automatically update’. iTunes has been running flawlessly all day through several shutdowns. I then ran sfc and it found some corrupt files but was able to repair them all, as before. No way of knowing if the corrupt files were related to my problem or not – but I ran the scan again, almost immediately and was surprised to see the same result; it found some corrupt files but repaired them successfully. That is a little troubling.

                  I looked in both Program Files folders and found references to iTunes in both of them – but not the same references. I don’t know if that is normal or not; several other programs are referenced in both Program Files and Program Files(x86) so I would be reluctant to make any changes there, even if I had the permissions.

                  I did a MB quick scan which found nothing and then a full scan which took a long time and returned one problem file ‘Adware.Agent.ZGen’ in System32 area. MB was able to remove it.

                  Now I have to wait and see if iTunes 10.7 will stay resident – previous record since this problem started is about two days ……….


                • commorancy said, on November 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm

                  Let’s hope this one sticks. Though, the sfc corrupted file issue is a bit troubling. You might want to boot into safe mode and run sfc without all of the normal stuff running and see if that fixes the corrupted files more permanently.

                  No problem in taking time to reply… We all have to work.


                • Anthony said, on November 21, 2013 at 11:20 am

                  Another day and all is still well with iTunes 10.7 Maybe this time it will stay ….

                  After cleaning up the malware found in the full MB scan, I created a new Restore point and removed the old one. Ran an sfc scan in Safe Mode this morning with the same result as previous scans – some corrupt files were found but all were repaired successfully. I will run another one tomorrow.


                • Anthony said, on November 22, 2013 at 9:53 pm

                  It’s gone again! Checked my email early this morning and all was well. Shutdown took an unusual amount of time ….. several minutes. 12 hours or so later I powered up again – and my iTunes shortcut on the desktop had disappeared. Opening it from Program Files brought the welcome screen from iTunes 11.

                  Event Viewer tells me the following, in ‘Applications’ … “Windows Installer installed the product. Product Name: iTunes. Product Version: Product Language: 1033. Installation success or error status: 0.”
                  The time stamp for this entry is just about the time I was shutting down from the email check this morning. There are probably many other entries leading up to that one which would explain the problem to somebody with enough knowledge but I am way out of my depth looking at these entries. There are so many ‘errors’ ‘warnings’ and ominous reports that the average person might think that their computer is on the verge of total failure …… I don’t understand why, if I run the installation file for iTunes, UAC asks me at least twice if I am sure I want to go ahead with it but MSI can do just do it without consulting me once.

                  My frustration got the better of me and I asked System Restore to go back to a restore point I created two days ago after iTunes 10.7 had been stable for a few hours. It was not the suggested restore point; two others had been created around the same time as the reversion. On the reboot, a message popped up saying that an unspecified error had occured an that no changes had been made to my computer.

                  I appreciate all the support you have given me with this problem – thank you. Feel free to bail on it now if you wish – I may be doing the same thing ……. iTunes is an alien program on a Windows machine anyway and with this latest update I have to wonder how many thousands of their own faithful have been disillusioned …… alienated. Of course, tomorrow morning I may want to continue the fight – but I will never, ever, use this latest abomination of an app which I was quite fond of.


                • commorancy said, on November 23, 2013 at 12:18 am

                  Hi Anthony,

                  This sounds suspiciously like you have a virus or a trojan on your system. Something seems to be placing the iTunes installer into the runonce area of your system. So, either on shutdown or on startup, iTunes is getting reinstalled. I don’t know why or how, but something is definitely installing it. That there’s a notice in your EventLog tells me that the installer ran and exited normally on your system. If Apple Software Update has an automatic mode, you might want to check this. You might also check to see if somehow Windows Update is automatically reinstalling it at 3AM during the normal Windows Update.

                  Do you automatically install Windows Updates? If so, you should stop this behavior and choose ‘Download updates and let me choose when to install them’. This will stop automatic updates from progressing like this. I’ve never seen iTunes sent out as a Windows update, but I don’t have any more Vista systems to test. So, I don’t know what Microsoft might be sending out with Windows Update for Vista.

                  Note, there is apparently a way to get iTunes to install silently: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/macenterprise/ieFAAW9Ka_Q

                  If you have a Trojan or Malware on your machine, it could explain the silent re-install of iTunes 11. I might suggest taking the hard drive(s) out of your machine, hooking them up to a known clean Windows installation installed with Microsoft Security Essentials or some other virus/malware scanner, and scan the drives thoroughly. Caution: There is risk involved here, so you’ll proceed with this step at your own risk.

                  I don’t know your computer situation, but I might recommend you to consider rebuilding this machine from a fresh Windows install. Note, because I know of no situation where iTunes should ever silently install except by someone who intended to do something suspcious, your system could very well be infected.

                  However, there is one other possible reason. If you purchased this system from a company that used it as an employee computer, the systems administrators who configured it might have left stuff on the system that is reinstalling iTunes silently (because it’s the latest version). But, I don’t know your situation or the history of your computer.

                  You should check all of these things.



                • commorancy said, on November 23, 2013 at 12:55 am

                  Hi Anthony,

                  Three more questions (this will rule out a virus/trojan/malware):

                  1) Is your computer a Dell?
                  2) Is this an employee notebook or desktop computer built by your company’s IT team?
                  3) Do you still work there?


                • Anthony said, on November 23, 2013 at 2:54 pm

                  I no longer see a ‘Reply’ link below your comments ( since Nov 20) so I have been replying below older comments.

                  I may well have a virus or trojan or after effects but full scans by AVG free, Malware Bytes and Super Anti Spyware in the last couple of days have failed to find anything. sfc /scannow consistently finds corrupt files and claims to fix them all – same result every time, including the one in Safe Mode and a normal scan today. I don’t have any third party updating software I am aware of ( Filehippo Update Checker – but that only informs of new versions, it has never updated anything else uninvited).

                  I am the only user of my pc – a home machine. It is not a major brand but made by a small Canadian company called Certified Data. It has always and continues to run very well. I did run PC Analyzer from AVG for a year but did not renew it when it expired recently – uninstalled it.

                  I have never allowed Windows Update to auto update. It informs me updates are available periodically when preparing to shutdown. Sometimes I allow the updates to go ahead and sometime I look at them first. Looking at Update History, the last update was around Nov 13th and they are all security or recommended updates. I cannot see anything relating to iTunes in any of the updates.

                  My Macrium back up was made in August before all this happened and it is on an external drive. From what you are saying it might not solve the problem either. However, because of it I will consider having the drive checked by another machine and perhaps your suggestion to start over with a clean install of Windows might be the best solution. Thanks indeed for your continuing interest in my problems!


                • commorancy said, on November 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm

                  Hi Anthony,

                  Yes, the reply button stops at a certain level. It’s the way WordPress works, unfortunately.

                  If this is a computer you built, then I would definitely say it needs some help. I would consider rebuilding the system since you can’t seem to get rid of the corrupted file issue with ‘sfc’. This indicates something else bad is at work. I’d suspect a virus or trojan that is likely replacing parts of your operating system with itself. This would explain why ‘sfc’ is constantly finding files to fix. Basically, sfc will replace the corrupted files, but they get almost immediately replaced by the virus or trojan. I’d also suspect this same virus or trojan is likely silently installing iTunes 11 and replacing your iTunes 10.

                  If I had hands onto your system, I might be able to help you clean it off, but it would probably take me several hours (2-4) to get it to a clean state. I’d have to go through not only your filesystem, but also through the registry to clean out any registry entries that are keeping your system in this state.

                  Depending on how old your machine is, it might be worth buying a new hard drive, putting it into your system (taking out your old boot drive temporarily) and rebuilding it fresh on the new drive only. Then after it’s built, updated and installed with a virus scanner like Security Essentials, shove your original boot drive into the system as a ‘data’ disk and pull over any necessary data files from that (i.e., music, iTunes.itl / .xml, photos, documents, etc). Don’t install any software from that old drive as it could easily infect your newly built system. Only pull data files over.

                  Rebuilding your system will ensure that you can resolve this issue and allow you to get back to iTunes 10. Note that if you intend on syncing iOS 7 devices to your iTunes, it won’t work with iTunes 10. I can give you some ideas on how to do this once you get your system into a working state.


                • Anthony said, on November 26, 2013 at 1:04 pm

                  Hi commorancy, excuse the long delay …..

                  I decided to give AVG free a rest and removed it using their removal tool. Installed Microsoft Security Essentials, updated it and performed a full system scan – which took over four hours to complete. It found four ‘Severe’ malware infections all trojans related to ‘Java exploit’. MSE was able to fix them all and I used the Java website to remove old Java versions (which I thought I had already dealt with!)

                  I ran sfc /scannow again and it found and repaired corrupt files in two consecutive passes. I have now looked at the CBS log file and searched it using ‘Find’ with ‘repair corrupted files’ as the phrase to find. In all the later instances of many sfc runs the only file it repairs is InetRes.adml / inetres.admx which seems to be a known Vista problem to do with Internet Explorer version changes referenced here –


                  Hope that link works better than the last one I supplied. For now I am not going to worry about sfc.

                  I have installed iTunes 10 again and it has been resident and running perfectly for 30 hours and through reboots. I don’t know if the problem is fixed or not and it could be that your advice about rebuilding may be a final solution. If that solution is needed it will have to wait until January as this is a very busy time of year for me. I am hoping it will not be necessary – and will certainly update you. This machine is over five years old so I might be better just upgrading to a new one. Thanks for all your help.


                • Anthony said, on November 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

                  My phone is an Android ( Galaxy S3) and the only Apple device I have is an iPod Touch, so phone syncing is not a problem for me. I am content with the music I have and will only window shop in the iTunes store as long as version 10 allows me too. At 64, I am not too interested in ‘new music’ – well 96% of it anyway!


                • commorancy said, on April 1, 2014 at 10:26 pm

                  Hi Anthony,

                  Just checking in to see how your system is functioning after the new year? Was MSE able to correct the issue? Is iTunes 10 still working correctly? I will say that AVG is not the best free virus scanner. MSE is quite a bit better than AVG and what I generally run on my systems. In fact, I prefer MSE over McAfee and Symantec.


                • Anthony Smart said, on April 1, 2014 at 11:41 pm

                  Hi commorancy, Very kind of you to check up on my little iTunes problem. The situation is that yes, v 10.7 is running without any problems but my solution is a workaround, not a fix. The only way I can keep my preferred version resident is to disable Windows Installer. If I don’t keep it disabled, WI will update the software, usually at 2:30 in the morning. I can tell by looking in Event Viewer.

                  Of course, I have to enable WI if I am installing new software, or uninstalling, or for some Windows Updates but as long as I remember to disable it as soon as it is finished its task, iTunes 10.7 stays in place unmolested. I don’t know if WI is the real culprit or if something else is telling it to update iTunes ( I’m sure there are remnants of version 11.x somewhere on my computer) but for the moment it solves my problem. It is User:SYSTEM which triggers the event and I have all the text from the Event Viewer entry. I think that if I knew which file or files to delete from the WI folder I could perhaps stop the event – but for now, this is a workable solution. I have a shortcut to ‘Services’ on my desktop for easy access to Windows Installer.

                  Yes, I am still using MSE and do regular updates and weekly scans, along with Malware Bytes. I have been following your blog entries with interest, from time to time – whenever hotmail sends me an alert.

                  Are people still praising your name often re your efforts at restoring better versions of iTunes?

                  Regards, Anthony


                • commorancy said, on April 27, 2014 at 1:31 am

                  Hi Anthony,

                  Sorry for the delay in response. My work has kept me excessively busy for this last month. Yes, some people have found this article useful. Thanks for asking. The problem is now that with iOS7, you can no longer use it on iTunes 10. So, using iTunes 10 is only useful for simply managing older devices or managing a library. I still prefer iTunes 10 myself and I still use it. I have iTunes 11 installed in a few places so I can make backups of devices, but it’s not on my main library. I still manage that with iTunes 10.

                  I’m glad to hear that your computer is at least working mostly. I’m still at a loss why Windows Updates is trying to update iTunes automatically, though. As far as I know, only Apple software update updates Apple software. Though, any automatic installation systems for both Windows Updates and Apple Software Update can be disabled. So, if it’s reinstalling new versions at 3AM it’s likely due to the autoupdate process. You might want to go disable that. I always set these systems to ‘Download and let me choose when to install’. This way, my computer doesn’t randomly reboot in the middle of the night.

                  If it’s installing for any other reason than Windows Update or Apple Software Update, then you may still have something else at work on your system.



      • Jess said, on January 5, 2014 at 7:30 am

        the 64 bit version seems no longer available :(


  5. derrick said, on August 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    tried it. it only imported 1/3 of my library. I just deleted everything and manually added all the music instead, i backed up all my playlists so i’ll add those back in later. the fact that you can’t batch save or batch import shows just how asleep at the wheel apple is. I swear they clearly have nobody that actually uses itunes for music working there. I’m convinced the people making itunes must not actually like music or manage music


  6. william lucas said, on July 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    i hate itunes 11 and want the old one back,but i am not a boffin on computers,so would pay to have my old itunes back,so if any one is in the uk who can do this for me i will pay you for your work,ps i live in dover and have 2 laptops that need doing thanks.i am 70years old just want to play my music on my ipods.


  7. Bob R said, on June 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Every forum I’ve seen where people who actually USE iTunes has commented is full of the same kinds of comments posted here. And yet it seems that reviewers are ecstatic over this reverse-functionality version of a once serviceable if not elegant tool. Don’t reviewers actually use the product, or are they so afraid of Apple that they won’t speak the truth?

    For those who only use iTunes to listen to a few songs over and over and then replace them every couple of weeks, I suppose this version is ok. For those with large libraries and a serious interest in more than one kind of music, it is a disaster. Apple might as well remove 99% of the content from the store, since iTunes is now clearly designed for only the most current, most popular content, to be used briefly and then discarded.


    • commorancy said, on June 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      Hi Bob,

      Based on your comment, which comes from a perspective I hadn’t considered, perhaps it’s time for Apple to produce two versions of iTunes. iTunes Free and iTunes Pro. Like Quicktime Pro, iTunes Pro would offer full proper library management features without all of the silly interface hassles. iTunes free would offer much less library management functionality, just like iTunes 11. The free version would be geared primarily for users who only buy things from the store, listen for a bit and discard. For those of us who take advantage of all of the meta-tagging all of our music and movie content, the Pro version would be well worth it.

      Although, I’d suggest if Apple is going to follow this software model, they should offer a music rental service where you can borrow an album for a lesser fee for 30 or 45 days. At the end of that you can choose to pay the difference and buy the music or let it expire. When it expires it self-deletes from the iPod and/or iTunes.

      Since I find most music today is only listen-worthy for a month or two tops, letting it expire off of the device for a lesser investment cost I’d be okay with. So, if a new release is $9.99 to buy, it should be like $2.99-$4.99 to rent for a month. If I knew I could pay the extra money at the end and get the full album, it’s worth it. I digress.

      It’s probably time for Apple to release a for-pay version of iTunes that offers much more extensive features than iTunes free edition. I’d pay for it if I knew I didn’t have to deal with all of the silliness they want to keep introducing.


      • Rotten Apples said, on October 9, 2013 at 7:21 am

        So, you’d support and pay a company that ruins a perfectly good free product so they can introduce a pay version that works as well as the previous version that already worked just fine? I’d never support a company like that.
        There are many great alternatives (and they’re free) to iTunes (like SharePod which supports ripping from your iPod to your computer!). Apple is the Nazi Germany of technology (or maybe the CCCP?). Anyway, get out from under their thumb and be free!


        • commorancy said, on October 27, 2014 at 2:50 am

          Actually, what I was saying is that I’d support a new pro version if it offered more extensive and easier to use meta-tagging features than what was available even in the previous versions. If they’re going to give me exactly what I had in a previous version, I wouldn’t support or pay for that. I would support a version that makes it a whole lot easier for me to do all of the things necessary to prep my music for distribution (i.e., tagging, images, ISRC tags, etc). Give me the abilities I need as a musician so I can properly and easily setup my work for distribution quickly and simply (using templates and other easy to to apply mechanisms). Having to go number each track 1 of 15, 2 of 15, etc… is a hassle and a waste of time.


  8. Wayne said, on April 29, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Thanks – rolled back and happy again – just cant be bothered learning a new interface that offers little and confuses from the start. Maybe I should take this opportunity and look at other software…there must be something that works better and syncs up my ‘pod?


  9. Kimberly said, on April 11, 2013 at 4:05 am

    I hate this new ITUNE formatting !!!! It SUCKS! It’s the worst thing that’s ever happend to
    I-tunes. WTF? Talk about botched up programming. I’m going to boycott any more purchases until they fix it or go back to the old design (that’s more user friendly). They just lost a good customer.


    • commorancy said, on April 13, 2013 at 8:54 am

      I’m sure they’ve lost many customers over iTunes 11. Unfortunately, they kind of force you to use it for certain reasons (like unlocking phones). So, for certain purposes, you are forced to upgrade to iTunes 11 to take care of business on your phone. Of course, you can always uninstall iTunes after you’re done with that task, but you have to take steps to allow for this (i.e., making backups before you upgrade knowing you plan to revert back).

      In fact, I recently had to install iTunes 11 on my work computer so I could manage my iPhone unlock process. I don’t really use iTunes much on my work computer with the exception of small things. On my home computer, I regularly use iTunes to manage my library. Because some critical features that I use have been removed from iTunes 11, I have to continue to use iTunes 10 for managing my library.

      Thanks for your comment.


  10. AJP said, on April 8, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Thanks so much for the article! Itunes 11 is such a pain and so frustrating to use. I followed the instructions and things worked well and so glad to switch back to Itunes 10


  11. Chris Peterson said, on March 31, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you for posting these instructions! I’ve been trying to make the best of iTunes 11, with the mistaken understanding that 10 was no longer available. But I followed your instructions and the process was smooth as silk. I had to add music folders for music that I’d purchased since the update to 11, but that took just a few extra minutes. Now I just have to remember to ignore update notifications.


  12. Lynn Anderson said, on March 28, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    The interface is horrible. What’s with all the white space on the right-hand side? Maybe the Apple designers are working on 42-inch screens, but I certainly am not! And it is extremely unresponsive when I try to access a menu to try to change something, or even switch back and forth from the main list to the downloads list. Thanks for the directions, I will reinstall iTunes 10 now! :-)


  13. David Eckstrom said, on March 22, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    I did find the Itunes 10.3 which should be able to work with 32 bit. I installed it and when first starting began rebuilding the “damaged” .itl file. But it was taking quite long (I have a huge amount of podcasts) so I aborted and decided to just use a previous .itl file. But I used the last one which was from the version 11 attempt. So I uninstalled again and reinstalled with only the “damaged”file available, but this time it just created a new empty file. How can I get it to rebuild? Unfortunately the next most recent one was a little over a year ago and I’ve added much since then. Should the xml file still be ok to rebuild from or did the version 11 attempt invalidate that as usable?
    Thanks so much!


    • commorancy said, on March 23, 2013 at 4:34 am

      Hi Dave,

      You will want to validate that your XML file is current (has your most recent media). If it isn’t, I’d suggest putting your version 11 .itl back in place, reinstall 11 and export your library as an XML from 11. Then uninstall 11 and reinstall 10 and import your XML. Reimporting will take quite some time, but you’ll be back to where you want to be. You might just want to let it run overnight while you sleep.



  14. David Eckstrom said, on March 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I agree that this is terrible and I wish I hadn’t succumbed to their nagging me to upgrade. I tried following your instructions, but I have XP computer (32bit) and do I then need to go back to version 9? All I can get there is a .dmg file & I don’t know how to use that file. Version 11 is taking about an hour to download a podcast that used to take only a couple of minutes. And it is so frustrating that I can’t manage the download process – or most anything else for that matter.


  15. Barry M. Wein said, on March 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Great post! I’ll echo all of the other comments about iTunes 11 and add one. The feature that I’m missing most is the column browser to browse one’s iPod library in iTunes. I just purchased the 160GB classic and the column browser is simply greyed out! Talk about leading a horse to water and not letting it drink. To botch another expression…That was the straw that broke my Itunes 11 back!

    If I’m reading the thread correctly, are the following steps the most efficient way to downgrade to iTunes 10 and not have to rebuild/reimport all of my music files? My iTunes library is roughly 800 GB and it will take a long time to rebuild…

    1. In iTunes 11, create a .xml file
    2. Remove iTunes 11
    3. Delete .itl file
    4. Install iTunes 10.6
    5. The installer won’t find the .itl file, so it will create one from the .xml file
    6. iTunes 10.6 is running perfectly and includes my entire library
    7. Everyone I talk to for the next month hears me praise your name?

    Please let me know what you think.




    • commorancy said, on March 13, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Hi Barry,

      I’d update the steps just a little:


      1) Make sure you have a backup .xml file out there before you start. If you can’t find one, create one with iTunes 11 with File->Library->Export Library.
      2) Make sure you have a “Previous iTunes Libraries” folder with dated backup copies of your ‘iTunes Library.itl’ file.

      Once you have confirmed you have the above, you can proceed with the following slightly modified steps:

      1. In iTunes 11, locate the existing .xml backup file (should be iTunes Music Library.xml in your Users\user\Music\iTunes directory). This is just to make sure it’s there.
      2. Remove iTunes 11
      3. Open ‘iTunes Library.itl’ in Notepad, type in random garbage and save the file. This will corrupt it. Don’t delete this file.
      4. Install iTunes 10.6
      5. The first time you run iTunes 10.6, it will find the corrupted .itl file, so it will rebuild it from the backup .xml file
      6. iTunes 10.6 is running perfectly and includes my entire library
      7. Everyone I talk to for the next month hears me praise your name?

      iTunes may need to scan through your library while it rebuilds the *.itl file. If you would prefer not to wait through the scanning process while it rebuilds the *.itl file (which could take quite some time), you can recover one of the dated backup copies from within the ‘Previous’ folder and drop that ‘iTunes Library.itl’ file into place. Note that dropping in an iTunes 10 compatible *.itl file won’t require any scanning/rebuild time, but it could be missing any new songs that you’ve added to your library since upgrading to iTunes 11. If you haven’t added any new material or modified any metadata since upgrading, using a backup copy could be acceptable. If you’ve added lots of files to your Library, then I’d suggest letting it rebuild.

      Note that you can always rebuild your iTunes Library.itl file by first exporting your Library to an XML file with File->Library->Export Library, then delete the iTunes Library.itl, then load in the XML file with File->Library->Import Playlist (choosing your exported library XML file). You can even use this method to downgrade.

      Whichever method you choose (‘delete and restore’ vs ‘corrupt and let rebuild’) depends on how fast you need iTunes back in operation. ‘Delete and restore’ is faster, but has the potential to lose anything you’ve done in iTunes 11. ‘Corrupt and let rebuild’ is slower because it may want to scan your entire library during the database rebuild operation, but you won’t lose any metadata or song entries from your library.



      • Barry M. Wein said, on March 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

        Thanks so much. I really appreciate the help!



        • Susan said, on April 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

          Beautiful! It worked effortlessly. Now I can view and work from my left library pane and not have to filter through the mass of popup windows to do what I want. It also functions at a normal speed again. Plus I can now go back to importing audio books and join tracks which I could not figure out how to do in 11. :)


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