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iTunes: Troubleshooting issues with third-party iTunes plug-ins

Symptoms

Add-ons, such as plug-ins and scripts, not manufactured by Apple (third-party) add features to iTunes or modify its appearance and behavior. Using these can interfere with how you use iTunes. For example, if you upgrade to a newer version of iTunes, your add-ons may not be compatible.

Resolution

There are several ways an add-on can cause iTunes to act erratically, such as those listed below:

  • Loss of iTunes functionality, such as the Visualizer
  • Distortion or irregularity in the iTunes interface
  • Slow performance
  • iTunes won't open or quits unexpectedly
  • You see this alert while syncing: "... cannot be synced. A duplicate file name was specified."

If you see the above symptoms or other unusual behavior, you can disable any third-party plug-ins by opening iTunes in Safe Mode:

  • OS X: Hold down Option-Command.
  • Windows: Hold down Shift-Control while opening iTunes.

You should see this message before iTunes starts up: "iTunes is running in Safe Mode. Visual plug-ins you have installed have been temporarily disabled."

Note: This is different than Safe Boot or Safe Mode for Mac OS X. You may need to test both at the same time to isolate all third-party interference.

Click Continue and see if any issues persist. If your issues are resolved with iTunes running in Safe Mode, check the following:

  1. Consult the vendor of any plug-ins you installed to see if they're compatible with your version of iTunes and check for any updates that may be available.
  2. Close iTunes and move third-party add-ons to the Desktop to troubleshoot the behavior. iTunes stores these plug-ins and scripts in these locations:
    • Mac: /Users/username/Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/
      /Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/
    • Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8: C:\Users\username\App Data\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes Plug-ins\
      C:\Program Files\iTunes\Plug-ins
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes Plug-ins\
      C:\Program Files\iTunes\Plug-ins

    Note: These folders may be invisible in Windows. Either type the path name directly in the Address field or modify Windows Explorer so it can see invisible directories.

    In Windows 8, follow these steps:

    1. Click File Explorer.
    2. Click the View tab.
    3. Select “Hidden items.”


    In Windows Vista and Windows 7, follow these steps:

    1. Choose Start > Control Panel and click Folder Options. (If you're in Classic View, click Folder Options.)
    2. Click the View tab.
    3. In the Advanced settings area for "Hidden files and folders," select "Show hidden files and folders."
    4. Click Apply and click OK.

    In Windows XP, follow these steps:

    1. Choose Start > My Computer.
    2. Choose Tools > Folder Options.
    3. Click the View tab.
    4. In the Advanced settings area for "Hidden files and folders," select "Show hidden files and folders."
    5. Click Apply, then click OK.

Learn more about troubleshooting unexpected quits, freezes, or launch issues:

 

Additional Information

 

 

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jan 16, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jan 16, 2014
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