If iTunes for Windows XP won't open, stops responding, or unexpectedly quits

Learn how to resolve issues with iTunes for Windows XP.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

If iTunes for Windows XP won't open, stops responding, or unexpectedly quits, follow the steps below to resolve the issue.

Before you start, download and install the latest available Windows updates for your PC and make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.

Start iTunes in Safe Mode

When you open iTunes in Safe Mode, you isolate the program from any interference caused by plug-ins or scripts not manufactured by Apple. To start iTunes in safe mode, hold down the Shift and Control keys on your keyboard while you open iTunes.

You'll see a message as iTunes is starting that says "iTunes is running in Safe Mode. Visual plug-ins you have installed have been temporarily disabled."

If the issue doesn't happen in Safe Mode, remove any third-party plug-ins.

If the issue also happens in Safe Mode, continue below.

Create a New User Account

Visit the Microsoft website to learn how to create new user accounts for Windows XP.

If you have the same issue in the new user account, skip to System-wide issues. If you don't experience the same issue, continue to User-specific issues.

User-specific issues

Create a new iTunes library to see if the issue occurs in a new library. If using a new iTunes library resolves the issue, recreate your old library in your new one.

To change back to your original library, close iTunes, and then hold down the Shift key on your keyboard while you reopen the program.

If the issue persists:

Check for issues with content files. Audio files can sometimes cause iTunes to quit unexpectedly or stop responding when the program is analyzing gapless playback information. To determine which file might be causing the issue, follow the steps below:

  1. Quit iTunes.
  2. Navigate to the iTunes folder, which by default is located in C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes
  3. Move the iTunes Library.itl file to your desktop.
  4. Open iTunes. Your library will be empty.
  5. Press the Control and B keys on your keyboard to open the iTunes menu bar. Choose File > Add Folder to Library.
  6. Navigate to the folder where your music is located. This is typically in C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\My Music\iTunes\iTunes Media
  7. Choose an artist, album, or song to add to the library and drag it into the iTunes window.
  8. Wait for iTunes to successfully add the item to your library and perform the gapless playback scan.
  9. If the scan is successful, continue adding songs to your library.
  10. If there's an issue with one of your files, your issue will reappear after you add it to the library. If it reappears, start over with these steps, being careful not to add the files that caused the issue.

System-wide issues

  1. Check for potentially unwanted programs. Harmful software might prevent iTunes from opening or cause it to quit unexpectedly. Make sure that your security software is up-to-date and scan your system.
  2. Try adjusting your security software's settings. Learn more about how to resolve security software issues.
  3. Make sure that iTunes is installed correctly. An improper installation of iTunes can contribute to a variety of issues. Learn how to reinstall iTunes.
  4. Update the drivers on your PC. Outdated drivers on your computer can cause iTunes and other applications to behave strangely. Learn how to update the drivers on your computer.

This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

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