Remove iTunes and related software components from Windows XP

Use the Control Panel to uninstall iTunes and related software components.

Although it's rare, you might have to remove iTunes and related software components before reinstalling iTunes. If AppleCare, a support article, or an alert message asks you to, here's what to do.

  • This article is for Windows XP only. You can also get help for Windows 7 and later.
  • These steps might take a while to complete, depending on your system.
  • Make sure to back up your iTunes library before you begin. When you buy songs from the iTunes Store or import them from CDs, iTunes saves them in your My Music folder. These steps don't delete your My Music folder, and it's unlikely that you'll lose any songs or media.

Remove iTunes and related software components

  1. Quit these programs if they’re running:
    • iTunes
    • Apple Software Update
  2. Choose Start > Control Panel.
  3. In the Control Panel, open "Add or Remove Programs."
  4. From the list of installed programs, select iTunes.
  5. Click Remove. When you're asked to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  6. Don't restart your computer after the uninstallation is complete, even if you're prompted.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 to remove these software components:
    • Apple Software Update
    • Apple Mobile Device Support
    • Bonjour
    • Apple Application Support

      Remove all of these software components. 
      Make sure that you remove them in the order they're listed.
  8. Restart your computer.

Make sure that all files and folders are removed

In most cases, using the Control Panel to remove iTunes and related components also removes all supporting files. In some rare cases, files might be left behind. Make sure that the following files and folders are removed:

  • C:\Program Files\Bonjour
  • C:\Program Files\iPod
  • C:\Program Files\iTunes
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\CoreFP

If any of these files or folders are left behind, remove them:

  1. Choose Start > My Computer, then open the disk drive where your programs are installed. In most cases, this is Local Disk (C:).
  2. Open the Program Files folder.
  3. If the Bonjour, iPod, or iTunes folder is in the list, right-click it and select Delete. When you're asked to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  4. If you see a "Cannot delete iPodService.exe: It is being used by another person or program" alert message, end the iPodservice.exe process.
  5. Open the Common Files folder, then open the Apple folder. 
  6. If the Apple Mobile Device Support, Apple Application Support, or CoreFP folder is in the list, right-click it and select Delete. When you're asked to confirm the deletion, click Yes.
  7. From the Start menu, select My Computer and return to the disk drive where your programs are installed.
  8. Open the Windows folder, then open the System32 folder.
  9. Right-click the Recycle Bin and select Empty Recycle Bin.

When you're sure that iTunes is uninstalled, restart your computer and then reinstall.

If you see a "Cannot iPodService.exe" alert message when deleting the iPod folder

Here's how to fix this issue:

  1. Quit iTunes and the iPod Updated utility.
  2. Press and hold Control-Alt-Delete.
  3. Select Start Task Manager and click the Processes tab.
  4. In the list, click iPodService.exe and choose End Process.
  5. Quit Task Manager, then delete the iPod folder.

Reinstall iTunes and related components

Download and install the latest version of iTunes. If you have issues when you reinstall iTunes, try these solutions.

If the issues persist, or if you see specific alert messages, look for more information on the iTunes Support page.

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