I can’t download iTunes . I click the download button but nothing happens. Can you help me?” . This is an excerpt from a message I received a few days ago, but in reality there are many friends who write me to report problems related to downloading or updating iTunes (especially in a Windows environment). That’s why today I decided to take care of the topic and publish this post.
In the guide you are about to read, we will try to analyze – and solve – together the most common problems that can prevent the download, installation or update of iTunes on Windows and macOS. In most cases these are not insurmountable problems, far from it, but if you don’t know exactly where to put your hands, everything becomes more difficult.
I would therefore say not to waste any more time and immediately take action. Let’s first see how to unblock the iTunes download when the Apple site seems inaccessible or the download button doesn’t work. Then we will deal with problems related to updating the software and its failure to start after an update or a new installation.
Restore the Microsoft Store
If you have a PC equipped with Windows 10 and you are unable to download iTunes from the Microsoft Store , try to restore the Windows app store by following the steps below.
- Install the latest available updates for Windows and restart your computer. If you don’t know how to start the manual search for updates, click on the Start button (the flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen) and access the Windows 10 settings by selecting the gear icon on the left side of the menu that appears on the screen. In the window that opens, select the Update and security icon , then the Check for updates button and you’re done.
- Make sure your account is connected to a Microsoft account. If you don’t know how to do it, click on the Start button (the flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen) and access the Windows 10 settings by selecting the gear icon on the left side of the menu that appears on the screen. In the window that opens, select the Account icon and, if available, click on the item Sign in with a Microsoft account to sign in with a Microsoft account.
- Reset date and time settings. To do this, right-click on the system clock (in the lower right corner of the screen) and select the Change date/time item from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, move the lever relating to the Set date/time automatically option to OFF , wait a few seconds and then move it back to ON .
- Reset the Microsoft Store cache. To carry out this operation, call up the Run… panel by pressing the Win+R key combination on the PC keyboard and issue the WSReset command .
- Reset the Microsoft Store app. If you don’t know how to do it, click on the Start button (the flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen) and access the Windows 10 settings by selecting the gear icon on the left side of the menu that appears on the screen. In the window that opens, select the App icon , click on the Microsoft Store icon and first select the Advanced options item and then the Reset one from the next screen.
- Make sure your internet connection is active. Trivial, but always valid advice, Check that your connection is up and running by opening the browser or any other program to access the Internet.
If none of the solutions mentioned above work, try downloading the classic version of iTunes from the Apple website and installing it following the instructions I gave you in my tutorial on the subject.
Check the hosts file
The hosts file is a simple text file, present on both Windows and macOS, which maps hostnames and IP addresses: it can be used to block access to certain addresses (by making sure that, trying to access them, you are addressed to the local address 127.0.0.1 or in any case to non-existent IP addresses) and, consequently, it is used by many computer security software to block unreliable sites or advertising servers.
If you can’t download iTunes from the Apple site, it could be that one of the security software you used has modified the hosts file by adding strings to it that prevent the site of the Cupertino giant from functioning correctly. To remedy the problem, you must open the hosts file on your computer and search for any strings related to the Apple site inside it (and then, possibly, remove them).
- To open the hosts file on Windows , search for Notepad in the Start menu , right-click its icon that appears in the search results, and select the Run as administrator option from the context menu. In the window that opens, go to the File > Open menu and open the file C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts .
- To open the hosts file on macOS , open Terminal (you can find it in the More folder of the Launchpad or in Spotlight) and issue the command sudo nano /private/etc/hosts , followed by entering the administrator password .
At this point, look for any strings related to apple.com , delete them and save the changes. On Windows just go to the File > Save menu in Notepad. On macOS, however, you have to press the combination alt+x and then by pressing the Y key .
Turn off your antivirus
Some antiviruses can impose excessively high security measures for web browsing, which can affect the browser’s ability to download files from the web.
To find out if your antivirus has a negative effect on the ability to download files from the Internet, and in this case from the Apple site, open it and temporarily disable its real-time protection module. Generally, you just need to access the Protection section in the main program window and deactivate the file and web protection options, but each antivirus has a different procedure: to find out which one is most suitable for the software you are using, read my specific tutorial on how to disable the antivirus.
Other software that could affect your ability to download files from the Internet are adblockers: if you use one, try adding the Apple site to the exceptions list or completely disabling the extension to block ads by following the instructions you find in my tutorial on how to disable AdBlock.
Use alternative sites
If the iTunes download page cannot be reached and/or the solutions illustrated above have not worked, you can download the program from the Major Geeks site which provides direct links to start the download of the application from Apple servers. All you have to do to start the download is click on the ?Download@Authors Site (64 Bit) item if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows or on the Download@Authors Site (32 Bit) item if you are still using a Windows version 32-bit.
Alternatively, if Apple’s servers are temporarily offline, you can try downloading iTunes via FileHippo, another important site that collects the installation files of many Windows programs. To download iTunes from the latter, connect to it using the link I have provided and click on the green Download button located at the top right. To choose between the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the software, click on the arrow adjacent to the green button.
I can’t install or update iTunes: what to do?
If you’ve already downloaded iTunes to your computer but can’t install it or download an update for it, try the following.
If you’re using a Windows PC
- Make sure you are logged into the system with an administrator account. To perform this operation on Windows 10 , click on the Start button (the flag icon located in the lower left corner of the screen) and access the system settings by selecting the gear icon on the left side of the menu which appears on the screen. In the window that opens, select the Account icon and check the account description under your name: if it is not Administrator, log in to Windows with an administrator account and repeat the iTunes installation procedure (for more information on how to become a PC administrator on Windows 10, read my tutorial on the subject). If you use an older version of Windows , you can easily check the permissions of your account by going to the User Account section of the Control Panel (under your profile picture it must be written Administrator or Administrator ). If you are not logged in as an administrator, access the system with an account with higher permissions and repeat the iTunes update procedure by calling Apple Software Update from the Windows Start menu.
- Download and install the latest Windows updates (via Windows Update ) and try the iTunes update process again.
- Try repairing your iTunes installation and updating the program again. To restore the iTunes installation in Windows 10 , go to the Settings > Apps menu, click on the iTunes icon , then on the Advanced options items and Restore (to keep the application data) or Reset (to delete the application data). application). Only applies if you downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store. If you have not downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store, instead, go to the Settings> App menu , select the program icon and first click on the Uninstall button twice consecutively and then onRestore . If you are using an older version of Windows , go to the Control Panel , click on the Uninstall a program icon , select the item relating to iTunes and first click on the Restore button and then on Yes .
If you use a Mac
- Open the Activity Monitor utility (you can find it in the Other folder of the Launchpad), select the Memory tab , look for the softwareupdated process and terminate it by first pressing the “x” at the top left and then the Force Quit button . Then open System Preferences , select the Software Update item and download the latest version of iTunes.
- Restart your Mac and try updating iTunes using System Preferences.
Note: If you are using macOS 10.15 Catalina or later, you cannot install/update iTunes, as the application has been replaced by the new Music , Podcasts and TV applications . On macOS 10.14 Mojave, however, the application is part of the system and can only be reinstalled by restoring macOS.
I can’t start iTunes: what to do?
Were you able to download (or update) iTunes successfully but can’t start the program? Try to solve the problem by following one of the suggestions below.
- Start iTunes in safe mode by holding down the Ctrl+Shift keys on your PC keyboard or the alt+cmd keys on your Mac keyboard. If this way the program works correctly, it means that third-party plugins are preventing it from running.
- To delete third-party plugins installed in iTunes for Windows, go to the folders
C:\Users\[nomeutente]\App Data\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes Plug-insand
C:\Program Files\iTunes\Plug-insand delete the files contained therein.
- To delete third-party plugins installed in iTunes for Mac, go to the folders
/Libreria/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/and delete the files contained therein.
- To delete third-party plugins installed in iTunes for Windows, go to the folders
- Restore the iTunes library by starting the program while holding down the Shift key on the computer keyboard and selecting the Create library item from the window that opens. If you’re using a Mac, to get the same result you need to launch the application and immediately press the alt key on your computer keyboard.
- Reset iTunes preference files (Windows only). To do this, copy the first of the folders listed below to your desktop and try launching the program. If everything works properly, delete the copied folder on the desktop and continue using iTunes normally. If the program still gives problems, put the first folder in its place, copy the second to the desktop and start iTunes.
For more information on this and other recovery procedures, visit the official Apple Support site.