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iTunes not opening is a common problem and can present itself differently. Sometimes, iTunes will neither open nor return any error messages.

Other times, when you start it, it appears to run well. But within a few seconds, you see a notification like "iTunes has stopped working," and the program stops running.

Whatever your situation, don't ditch your iTunes library just yet. You can fix it. All you need is to understand what might be the cause and the solution for it. Find out below.

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Recommended reading: For new iTunes users, we have another guide on how to move photos from PC to iPhone via iTunes. Click to read more.
In this article

iTunes Not Opening: What Are the Possible Causes?

There are many possible causes/reasons why iTunes is not opening. We've discussed the most common ones below. So, before calling Apple support, take a look and see if it's something you could fix yourself:

  1. Errored iTunes File

    One possible reason why iTunes is not working is an errored file. A corrupt preference file may cause iTunes to fail at the start with one of these errors:

    • The folder "iTunes" is either on a locked disk or you don't have write permissions for this folder
    • The iTunes Library.itl can't be found or created. The typical location of this file is in the 'iTunes folder in the 'Music' folder.
    • The file iTunes Library.itl can't be read. It was created by a more recent iTunes version.
  2. A Plugin is Crashing iTunes

    If you're still wondering “why is my iTunes not working”, third-party plugins may be the reason. This could be a browser extension. It could also be a tool, such as an antivirus that isn't compatible with the iTunes app.

  3. Incompatibility Issue

    iTunes not opening in Windows 10/11 can also result from system incompatibility. You may have an older iTunes version that isn't compatible with your current Windows.

  4. Improper Installation

    iTunes won't open if it isn't installed correctly. Installation errors during installation can be a result of many issues. These include software/hardware compatibility problems or corrupted installation files. A lack of administrative privileges and conflict with existing software can also be culprits.

  5. Outdated iTunes

    Another possible reason iTunes won't open is that it needs to be updated. Older software can cause compatibility problems, leading to the problem.

iTunes Not Opening: How to Fix the Problem

Now that you've got an idea about why iTunes won't open, it's time to fix the problem. Find out which one of these possible solutions works for you:

  • Restart iTunes

One of the easiest things to do if iTunes is not responding is to restart the app. You can do that through the Task Manager. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on an empty area at the taskbar, then choose the Task Manager shortcut.
  2. Click Processes at the top menu on the Task Manager's window.
  3. Locate iTunes on the left sidebar under Apps. Click it and choose the End task button.
end itunes’ processes to fix underlying issues
  • Run It in Safe Mode

As mentioned, a third-party plugin may be the reason why iTunes won't open on PC. Running iTunes in safe mode will open it with the plugin disabled. Hold the Ctrl + Shift keys to activate the safe mode, then click to open iTunes.

A safe mode dialog box will appear on the screen. Click Continue to launch iTunes. If this works, a plugin is most likely crushing iTunes when opening. You'll need to identify and delete this troublesome plugin.

find and delete the troublesome plugin causing itunes not to open

First, close iTunes. Then, go to C:\Users\\App Data\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes Plug-ins\.

Transfer all the files in the plugin to another location. Copy the plugins one by one, then open iTunes. Once you identify the culprit plugin, copy the rest. Try to install the one that was causing the iTunes not opening issue.

  • Temporarily Disable Antivirus Software

iTunes does not open probably because antivirus software prevents it from doing so. Disable any third-party general security app installed on your PC before opening iTunes. Most third-party security apps have context menu options for turning off antivirus shields.

You can right-click the app's system tray icon. Then, choose an option that will temporarily disable a security app's antivirus protection

temporarily disable the antivirus causing itunes not to open
  • Repair/Reset/Reinstall iTunes

If you still can't open iTunes on Windows 10 or 11, let Windows help you resolve any underlying issues. Follow these couple of steps:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features. From there, find iTunes and choose Advanced options.
  2. Click Repair. Windows will start repairing the iTunes app, and the action won't affect any data.

The iTunes UWP app also has a Reset option that you can choose via Apps & features in Settings. However, this troubleshooting option will clear the app's data. It's still worth trying if iTunes will not open.

The last thing you can try via the Apps & features in Settings is to reinstall iTunes. As mentioned, improper installation can trigger the issue of iTunes not opening. So, click the Uninstall option. When done, go to Microsoft Store and reinstall the latest iTunes version on Windows 10/11 and Mac.

try the various troubleshooting options in itunes settings fix any existing issues with the app
  • Run It As Administrator

When iTunes is not opening in Windows 10/11, you can run the app as an administrator. Some apps require admin privileges to work well. So, right-click the iTunes icon, then choose Run as administrator.

run itunes as admin to fix the not opening problem
  • Run iTunes in Compatibility Mode

Compatibility mode in Windows lets you run an older app on a newer version of the operating system. The mode simulates the settings and environment of a previous Windows version, adjusting the app's behavior accordingly.

To run iTunes in compatibility mode and see if it will open, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the iTunes icon and choose Properties.
  2. Choose Compatibility, then section Run this program in the compatibility mode.
  3. Click OK to confirm. After that, open iTunes and see if the problem has been resolved.
    run itunes in compatibility mode to fix the not opening issue
  • Install the Latest Version

Apple often recommends users keep iTunes up to date for the best experience. The company constantly releases new versions to fix bugs and errors.

Thus, your iTunes app may need to include essential updates. Go to Microsoft Store > Download and Updates. If an update is available, download and install it to fix the iTunes not opening issue on Windows or Mac.

update itunes to the latest version from the microsoft website
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Bonus tip: Peripheral devices, such as SD cards, discs, or USB flash drives, could also be the culprit. Consider removing them before trying to open iTunes again. Also, you can launch the Task Manager and disable Bluetooth.

iTunes Not Opening: Use MobileTrans to Transfer Data Between iPhone and PC

You may have tried a few of the suggested solutions above unsuccessfully. And you don't want to spend more time troubleshooting the problem. If that is so, why don't you transfer your iPhone data to the computer using a tool that does it in one click?

That way, you can play the music saved on the iPhone on your computer hassle-free. Wondershare MobileTrans - Phone Transfer is one of the best iTunes alternatives. This easy-to-use software is designed to transfer data between devices seamlessly.

It allows you to move up to 18 data types from your iPhone to the PC (Windows or Mac). These include music, videos, photos, documents, messages, and more. The best part is that it's fast and secure. Whether you want to move one, a few, or an entire music album, MobileTrans—Phone Transfer will do it securely in a moment.

Wondershare MobileTrans

Back Up Your Data to Computer Easily

  • • No data loss. No data leaks.
  • • Support various data, including files, photos, videos, apps, contacts, etc.
  • • Compatible with over 6,000 of device types acorss Android and iOS.
4,085,556 people have downloaded it
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These are the steps to export music and other data from an iPhone to a computer with MobileTrans:

  1. Install the Wondershare MobileTrans software on your computer.
  2. Plug the mobile phone to your PC with a cable. Allow the devices to remain connected during the entire data transfer process.
  3. Click on the Phone Transfer mode on the MobileTrans interface. Then, choose the Export to Computer option.
    open the mobiletrans and choose export to computer within the phone transfer mode
  4. Choose the data types you'd like to transfer from your phone to the computer. Next, click Export to initiate the process.
    select data to transfer then click export to initiate the process
  5. Wait for the process to be completed in a little while. You'll see a message on the screen once it's done. You can view the data you have transferred on the computer.
    wait a little while for the process to be concluded

MobileTrans - Phone Transfer also lets you import data from the computer to the phone (iOS or Android). Follow these simple steps:

  1. Plug your mobile phone to the PC with a USB or Lightning cable.
  2. Open the Wondershare MobileTrans on your computer. Go to Phone Transfer > Import to Phone.
    open mobiletrans and go to phone transfer then choose import to phone
  3. Select the data type from the left sidebar to import to the phone. Then, choose the specific files to transfer.
    select data to import to phone
  4. Click Import, then wait for the process to be completed in a moment.
    wait a moment for the data to be imported


Encountering an iTunes not opening situation can be frustrating. But after reading this guide, you can breathe a sigh of relief. You now know what might have caused the problem and how to fix it.

So, implement the solutions suggested above to resolve the issue. But if you lack time to try all of them at the moment, use MobileTrans—Phone transfer. This allows you to transfer music between your phone and computer so you can play it from your preferred device.

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  • How Else Can You Fix an iTunes Not Working Problem?
    If iTunes doesn't open on your PC, ensure your internet connection is working. You can launch a browser and go to any website. If your internet is fine, the iTunes store may be down at the moment. Try visiting it again later. You can also fix the problem by ensuring that your PC's data, time, and time zone are adjusted correctly.
  • How Do You Get iTunes to Open When You Connect Your iPhone?
    To get iTunes to open when you connect your iPhone, first connect your phone to your computer with a data cable, and then open iTunes and select the device icon at the top menu. Go to your iPhone Summary page. Find the “Open iTunes when this [iPhone] is connected” option here. Finally check the box next to it.:
Axel Nash
Axel Nash Jun 07, 24
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