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Complete iTunes Removal for Windows 7 and Vista: Quickly Solve Persistent Errors

Banish troublesome iTunes errors by total removal and re-installation

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What to Consider Before Totally Uninstalling iTunes

There can be times when total removal (and then re-installation) of a software program is your only recourse. If you've tried every error-fixing tip you can find for your particular iTunes problem without success, then you will need to consider this 'last resort' option.

If you are using Windows XP, then read our tutorial on Totally Removing iTunes From a Windows XP Machine for a detailed guide on what to do.

The first step to take before doing this is to backup your iTunes library. You may already have a recent backup stored on an external hard drive for example. But, if you haven't performed a backup for a while or aren't sure how to go about it, then follow our tutorial on Backing up Your iTunes Library to External Storage. This guide will not only show you how to quickly backup to your portable storage solution, but also how to consolidate your library -- this makes sure that everything in your library is in one place rather than in multiple locations.

If your iTunes installation doesn't run at all, then you'll have to miss out the consolidation part of our backup tutorial. However, this shouldn't be a problem as long as you follow the rest of the guide.

Total iTunes Removal for Windows 7 and Vista

To successfully remove iTunes from your Windows 7 or Vista machine, you will have to know in what order each iTunes component needs to be uninstalled. Ensure iTunes isn't running and follow the steps below in order to completely remove the program and all its support applications.
  1. Go to Control Panel -- You can get to this by clicking the Windows Start Orb and then selecting Control Panel.
  2. Launch the Programs and Features applet -- click the Uninstall a Program link (under Program menu) or if in Classic View mode, click the Programs and Features link.
  3. Uninstall the iTunes program -- find the iTunes entry in the list and click on it to highlight it. Click the Uninstall option (above Name column). A dialog box will pop up on the screen asking if you are sure you want to remove the program from your computer -- click the Yes button to uninstall. If you see any other iTunes references (including iPod Updater), then uninstall these too in the same way.
  4. Remove Support Applications -- uninstall the following applications (in the correct order) in the same way as in step 3.
    • QuickTime.
    • Apple Software Update.
    • Apple Mobile Device Support
    • Bonjour.
    • Apple Application Support (you'll see this entry if you have iTunes 9 or higher installed).
  5. Restart Windows -- close the Programs and Features applet window and restart Windows.
When Windows is up and running again, you can now install a fresh copy of iTunes on your system -- get the latest version of iTunes by downloading it from the official iTunes website.
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