July 13, 2024
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Posted May 30, 2009 at 10:57pm by iClarified
These are instructions on how to do a clean and complete uninstall of iTunes from Mac OS X. This will remove all traces of iTunes from your computer.

Make sure you have quit iTunes before beginning this tutorial.

Step One
Click to launch a new Finder window from your Dock.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)


Step Two
Select Applications from the list of PLACES on the left side of your Finder window. Locate the iTunes application icon then drag it into the Trash Bin on your dock.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Three
With the Finder window selected choose Utilities from the Go menu.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Four
Double click to launch Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Five
In the process list locate and select iTunes Helper.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Click the Quit Process button.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

When asked if you really want to quit the process, click the Quit button.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Six
Select System Preferences from the Apple menu at the top left of the screen.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Seven
Select Accounts from the System Preferences window.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Eight
Select the Login Items tab from the Accounts preference window
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Nine
Select the iTunesHelper entry then click the "-" button to remove it from the list
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Ten
Select Restart from the Apple menu at the top left of your screen to reboot your computer.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Eleven
Once your computer has restarted hold down the Control key and click the Trash icon in the dock. Select Empty Trash from the popup menu that appears.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

If asked whether you want to remove the items in the Trash permanently, click the OK button.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Twelve
Click to launch a new Finder window from the dock.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Select Go to Folder... from the Go menu at the top of the screen.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Type in ~/Library/ and click the Go button.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Locate the iTunes folder and then drag it to the Trash.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Thirteen
Select Go to Folder... from the Go menu at the top of the screen.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Type in ~/Library/Preferences/ and click the Go button.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Locate the preference files that have names beginning with com.apple.iTunes and drag them to the Trash. The file names should be com.apple.iTunes.eq.plist, com.apple.iTunes.plist, and com.apple.iTunesHelper.plist.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Fourteen
Select Go to Folder... from the Go menu at the top of the screen.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Type in /Library/ and click the Go button.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Locate the iTunes folder and then drag it to the Trash.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Fifteen
Select Go to Folder... from the Go menu at the top of the screen.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Type in ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/ and click the Go button.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Locate the preference files that have names beginning with com.apple.iTunes and drag them to the Trash.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

Step Sixteen
Hold down the Control key and click the Trash icon in the dock. Select Empty Trash from the popup menu that appears.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)

If asked whether you want to remove the items in the Trash permanently, click the OK button.
How to Completely Uninstall iTunes (Mac)
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Comments (26)
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Marie12!;&-'
Marie12!;&-' - May 7, 2017 at 6:18pm
Thank you SOOO much this is one of the only probably the ONLY step by step tutorial ive followed on a website that worked for me. Thank you for doing the time to do this
Solvejg
Solvejg - February 4, 2017 at 4:20pm
Brilliant explanation, but it did not remove the itunes in applications, because it says that it is required for OS X and cannot be erased :(
Skylar
Skylar - July 24, 2017 at 6:55pm
To fix this, you need to change the permissions settings for iTunes. Step one: Open a new Finder window and find iTunes, select it (don't open it) and hit the "get info" button Step two: Scroll down the the tiny padlock on the bottom right hand of the "get info" window. Click it and enter in your password if you're prompted for it Step three: Go to Sharing and Permissions and click "everyone" and change the permission from 'read only' to 'read and write'. Enter your password if you need to. That's it! Hope this helps
Solvejg
Solvejg - February 4, 2017 at 4:10pm
Brilliant explanation (Y)
Krysta
Krysta - October 31, 2016 at 3:42pm
Worked PERFECTLY! Songs from my old iPod (3rd gen) are syncing to my new iPod as I type! How stupid is it that Apple won't let you move music from iPod to iPod via computer??? Time & money gone to waste. Thanks for this awesome tutorial!
l1ght80x
l1ght80x - April 29, 2017 at 9:16pm
Yea- iTunes is very restrictive. Just like most Apple products! Overrated!
PsySal
PsySal - September 3, 2016 at 5:09pm
In order to do step 2, when you are on the iTunes app icon, ctrl click Get Info -> Permissions -> Unlock Icon, then change "everyone" from "custom" to "read/write" After that you can delete it, and the rest of the steps here work like a charm!
ZU420
ZU420 - August 4, 2016 at 2:56am
So worth it.
Ricco
Ricco - December 28, 2015 at 6:00am
yup it worked... thank you!
mynameisjeff
mynameisjeff - December 22, 2015 at 11:19pm
thnx
Paul
Paul - February 17, 2014 at 9:08pm
This doesn't work
Mirek666
Mirek666 - November 11, 2013 at 4:02pm
I can do only Step One. When trying to complete Step Two, I get the following message: "iTunes" can't be modified or deleted because it's required by OS X. Any idea what to do?
Arthur382
Arthur382 - February 15, 2015 at 10:08pm
lol me have the same prob too
Carson
Carson - April 29, 2015 at 1:40am
Go to a Terminal window and type the following: sudo rm -rf /Applications/iTunes.app It will then prompt you for your password. Enter it and then hit return. iTunes should disappear.
PJ
PJ - October 4, 2013 at 9:25pm
If I do all this, does that mean I've lost forever EVERYTHING that I've put in iTunes? all my music and videos that are in there? There is no available backup for iTunes music and videos?
Vincka
Vincka - October 17, 2013 at 1:05pm
no, PJ, if you have a time machine doing your backups you can open a previous library. one that was saved before iTunes 11 was installed. but read the instructions on the second link (see Albe Sure's comment) and that will tell you how to save your library if you need to.
Topcat
Topcat - February 19, 2013 at 11:34am
I complete steps 1 thru 100, twice, uploaded downloaded, checked my TCP/IP connection. This phase in my Apple experience is like trying to delete that one file in windows that just wont go away. Itunes still WILL NOT recognize my iphone Ipod Ipad or Itouch. They all work on my wife's Mac and Windows XP so its not the cable. On the Macbrook Pro they DO SHOW UP on Finder and I am able to use the iPods as a harddrive so its not the USB port. Has anyone figured out how to fix this problem?
Vincka
Vincka - February 17, 2013 at 8:40am
I did all this. A couple of times. But still when I launch iTunes i get the message: 'the file "itunes Library.itl" cannot be read becasue it was created by a newer version of itunes. Would you like to download iTunes now?' I don't know, what am I sposed to do? Delete the library? How do I do that? Does my music then have to be reinstalled? I have a lot of podcasts I want to keep. Or do I go back in my time machine to a previous version of the library?
vincka
vincka - February 20, 2013 at 12:08am
I fixed my own problem, in case anyone is interested. I deleted the new .itl file, and then restored the iTunes library from the time machine, from before the installation of iTunes 11. One of my problems, which sounds like it might be the same as yours, Rakshi? is that I wasn't actually downloading the old version of iTunes, but was restoring it from the Time Machine. When I actually followed the link listed in the instructions, above, and downloaded and re-installed iTunes 7 the only problem left was the .itl file. Maybe this helps?
Rakshi
Rakshi - January 17, 2013 at 3:28am
Okay, I did the process and was happily allowed to install iTunes 10.6.3. But now I am unable to open my iTunes library, because it says it was made with a later version. What do I do? BTW, it won't let me download an update, even if I accept my fate of using version 11 with its useless search function. It tells me no update is available.
Albe Sure
Albe Sure - December 20, 2012 at 3:03pm
If you're STILL having difficulties completely removing iTunes 11 and reverting back to iTunes 10.7, then this is the link for you... https://discussions.apple.com/message/20625974#20625974 Kind regards, -A.S.
Steve
Steve - October 5, 2012 at 7:02am
I downloaded AppCleaner and it was as simple as drag and drop and confirm delete and it was totally gone. Not sure if I previously downloaded AppCleaner or if it was on the computer but sure beats the 9000 steps listed above.
Snowy
Snowy - December 17, 2010 at 5:44pm
There's more to it than this, I think. I went through this procedure, then did a fresh reinstall of iTunes. Hey presto - everything was there as before - all the music, photos, device associations. Not clean at all. Perhaps I misunderstood, but I needed to remove all trace of iTunes and start again. If you need to do that too, then there's more to it than this. Sadly, I don't know what more. Yet.
rhinokitty
rhinokitty - October 30, 2009 at 12:45pm
oh my god, thank you! It is like scratching an itch that has been bothering you for days! The stupid program would just not go away!!
Stugotz
Stugotz - September 12, 2009 at 11:52pm
See also... http://zardozz.com/zz/2008/04/how-to-completely-uninstall-and-remove-all-traces-of-itunes.html Worth taking a look if all else fails or you just want to fix the problem without doing a lot of research and wasting a lot of time fixing your registry area!
Cliff F
Cliff F - May 31, 2009 at 7:02pm
or use appzapper and get it all done with one click!
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