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Uninstalling iTunes in Windows XP: Quickly Resolve Problematic iTunes Problems

Fix stubborn iTunes problems by re-installing again from scratch

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Before You Remove iTunes From Windows

If you have exhausted just about every troubleshooting tip you can find on the Internet for curing your iTunes problem, then you will probably have no option but to completely remove and install iTunes again.

The first thing to do is backup, backup, backup! If you haven't got an up-to-date backup of your iTunes media library, then it's a good idea to make a copy of it on an external storage device -- such as a portable hard drive. If you are lucky enough and iTunes can still be run, then it's best to consolidate your library first before making a backup. This consolidation process ensures that all the media files that make up your iTunes library are copied to the iTunes folder -- this solves the problem of having to remember where your media files are if they are spread out in different folders on your computer's hard drive. If iTunes no longer functions, then you'll probably have to miss out this consolidation process and just perform a manual backup.

To see the whole process of consolidating and backing up your iTunes library, read our guide on Copying iTunes Song Files to Local Storage.

Completely Uninstalling iTunes in Windows XP

In order to completely remove iTunes from your Windows XP environment, there are several components that need to be uninstalled -- and in the right order! To do this, follow the steps below:
  1. Go to Add or Remove Programs -- if you don't know how to get to this, click the Windows Start button and then Control Panel. Click the Add or Remove Programs link to view the software applications installed on your machine.
  2. Remove iTunes program -- to remove the main iTunes application, look down the list of installed programs and then click on iTunes, followed by Remove. A message will be displayed asking if you are sure you want to remove iTunes from your computer -- click Yes to begin uninstalling.
  3. Remove QuickTime application -- scroll down the list of installed software applications until you see QuickTime. remove this component in the same way as step 2.
  4. Remove Apple Software Update -- to remove this component, do the same thing as in steps 2.
  5. Remove Apple Mobile Device Support -- repeat the same procedure to remove this iTunes component as in step 2.
  6. Remove Bonjour Service -- uninstall the Bonjour service in the same manor as step 2.
  7. Remove Apple Application Support -- if you have iTunes 9 or higher installed, remove this application by the same method as step 2.
  8. Restart Windows XP -- close the Add or Remove Programs window and restart Windows XP (click Start > Turn Off Computer > Restart)
Once Windows has restarted, install the iTunes software from scratch ensuring that you have the latest version -- this can be downloaded from the iTunes website.
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