iTunes is a great way of centralising all the music on your computer. It can easily locate and create a library of all your tunes and videos, making it a one-stop-shop for all your entertainment needs.

You may worry what might happen if, for any reason, you need to delete iTunes. Will all your files be lost along with the program, or is there a way to keep them on your system. And if you reinstall iTunes at a later date, how can you get it to redetect any files already on your system? Our guide will tell you all you need to know.

The Knowhow

Uninstalling iTunes will not remove all your media files, only its database of them. This said, you may be unable to play some files on other media players due to copy protection. We also recommend you back up your media files prior to deleting iTunes as an extra precaution.

For more instructions on backing up and moving your iTunes library, see this article:

Moving your iTunes account to a new computer

Consolidating your music library:

Using this technique, you can move all the files iTunes uses into one central folder, making it easier to backup and restore from later.

  • Open iTunes
  • Click File
  • Select Library
  • Choose Organise Library
  • Put a tick in the Consolidate Files box
  • Click OK

iTunes will now copy all the files it uses into one folder. This can take a little time.

Deleting iTunes:

  • Open your computer's Control Panel
  • Select Add or Remove Programs
  • Choose the relevant program and select Delete, Remove or Uninstall

You need to ensure ALL of the following items are deleted to fully remove iTunes from your system. You should delete them in the following order to ensure full and proper uninstallation from your system:

  • iTunes
  • Quick Time
  • Apple Software Update
  • Apple Mobile Device Support
  • Bonjour
  • Apple Application Support

Checking iTunes is properly removed:

Ensure the following folders have been removed from your computer. If they're still there, delete them by right clicking on the folder and selecting Delete:

  • C:\Program Files\Bonjour
  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\
  • C:\Program Files\iTunes\
  • C:\Program Files\iPod\
  • C:\Program Files\QuickTime\
  • C:\Windows\System32\QuickTime
  • C:\Windows\System32\QuickTimeVR

Reinstalling iTunes:

You can now download and reinstall any Apple software from their website:

Finding your existing music:
  • Open iTunes
  • Click File
  • Select Add Folder To Library
  • Navigate to the folder where your music is and click on it
  • Click OK

iTunes will now add all the files to your library. This can take some time.

By default, your iTunes folder is stored in the My Music folder as iTunes.

If your iTunes folder is missing:

If, for some reason, the iTunes folder was accidentally deleted or corrupted when you uninstalled iTunes, you can restore from any backup discs you made.

  • Open iTunes
  • Insert your backup disc
  • iTunes will ask if you want to restore
  • Click Restore

Updated On:

Jan 18, 2012

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