iTunes background process and server host connections

iTunes requires certain process, ports, and communication to various servers in order to function correctly. 

Make sure that your security software is configured correctly. Configuration steps vary by software, so contact the developer for specifics.

Server connections

Apple servers Other servers * *
gg** **  

Common iTunes ports

Ports TCP or UDP Used by
80 TCP World Wide Web and services, iCloud, QuickTime Installer, iTunes Store and Radio, AirPlay
443 TCP TLS websites and services, iTunes Store, iCloud authentication and DAV services
123* TCP/UDP Network Time Protocol (NTP)* used for network time server synchronization, AppleTV Network Time Server Sync
554 TCP/UDP Streaming media players, AirPlay
1900 TCP Bonjour Service
5223* TCP iCloud DAV Services (Contact, Calendars , and Bookmarks), Photo Stream
5350 (UDP) UDP Bonour Service
5351 (UDP) UDP Bonjour Service
5353 (UDP) UDP Bonjour, AirPlay, and Home Sharing Services
8000-8999   Web service, iTunes Radio streams
42000-42999   iTunes Radio streams

*Not used by iTunes directly. iTunes relies on other services that might use this port.

Learn more about TCP and UDP ports used by Apple software products. Blocked ports are often related to errors numbered in the 3000 range.

iTunes for Windows processes

iTunes for Windows (XP, Vista, 7, and 8) installs some processes that run in the background. Below is a brief explanation of what each process does.

Process What it does
AppleMobileBackup.exe Backs up the data on your iPhone or iPod touch
AppleMobileDeviceHelper.exe Listens for commands to help iTunes communicate with devices
AppleMobileDeviceService.exe Allows iTunes to recognize iPhone and iPod touch
AppleMobileSync.exe Synchronizes iPhone or iPod touch data with your computer
distnoted.exe Allows iTunes to sync with iPhone and iPod touch
iPodService.exe Allows iTunes to access devices.
iTunesHelper.exe "Listens" for commands to help iTunes communicate with devices (such as iPod).
iTunesPhotoProcessor.exe Transcodes photos and artwork for devices
MDCrashReportTool.exe Extracts log reports from the device and submits them to Apple (if selected)
mDNSResponder.exe Allows iTunes to discover services on the local network (music sharing, Apple TV, AirTunes). Also known as Bonjour for Windows.
SyncServer.exe Coordinates the synchronization processes
qttask.exe Provides a QuickTime icon in the Notification area (system tray) of the Windows Task bar. This process might or might not appear depending on your configuration of QuickTime and whether the QuickTime icon is enabled in the Notification area.
Processes depending upon Sync configuration What it does
dotmacsyncclient.exe* Syncs the device with iCloud* Google contact syncing Syncs the device with Internet Explorer Syncs the device with Outlook Syncs the device with Safari Syncs the device with Windows Address Book / Windows Contacts Syncs with Windows Mail* Syncs with Yahoo

*These processes will require internet access to sync. You must allow these processes internet access through your firewall in order to complete their functions. Learn how to resolve issues between iTunes and security software.

Depending on your configuration, some of these background processes might not appear. iTunes can start other background processes to perform various tasks like syncing and diagnostics. New functions might be added to these background processes in the future. You should not disable these processes even when iTunes is not open on the computer.

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