Is iTunes still alive on Mac and Windows? This is what you should know — 2022

Surely you have ever heard of iTunes, since it has existed for two decades in the Apple environment. In this post we will tell you what this tool is for if you did not know it, being essential on many occasions if you have an iPhone, iPad and even iPod. Its operation is also similar both on Mac computers from Apple itself and on those PCs that have Windows as their operating system.

A little history about iTunes

Talking about iTunes is not talking about a specific thing, but rather it is a brand that encompasses many others. A music and movie store, an audio player, a manager for devices such as the iPhone and iPod... However, its origin dates back to early 2001 , which is when it was first released. And no, we have not got the date wrong, and what many do not remember is that it was born even before the iPod. The revolutionary pocket player was introduced at the end of that year, but Apple already showed its intentions when it launched iTunes as an audio player.

Steve Jobs iTunes



It was with the iPod in hand that iTunes achieved revolutionize the music industry. In it you could find hundreds of songs from a multitude of artists at very popular prices and that you could in an extremely small device. A thousand songs in your pocket said Steve Jobs to the presenter of the original iPod. In an industry already badly beaten by piracy, finding a digital store so easy to use and in a product that was a best seller saved its life.

The iPhones arrived and the iPads arrived. And with them iTunes was still full of life to be the world's leading music store , achieving record revenue figures that not only brought benefits to Apple, but also to the artists who gave their permission to market their songs on it. Then content was added as films , either to rent or buy them and always have them synchronized on computers such as Mac, iPhone and iPad.

But the passing of the years did not sit too well with this tool, which saw streaming music platforms such as Apple Music itself begin to have more and more audiences. People stopped paying to download songs or albums to be able to subscribe for a certain amount to the entire immense catalog that they offered (and continue to offer). In iOS it ended up having an almost irrelevant weight and in fact today nobody understands why the iTunes Store app still exists, having other ways through apps like Apple Music or Apple TV to get hold of the content.

itunes mac old

On Mac computers it was perhaps where iTunes changed the most, which in addition to adding the music and movie store, also added synchronization options for iPod, iPhone and iPad devices. There came a point where the amount of functions that was adding to an interface that was becoming less and less intuitive became almost unsustainable. Seconds before the withdrawal of the app in macOS Catalina (year 2019) was announced, the vice president of software joked with the idea of ​​adding a dock and an internet browser as a parody of what they had been doing previous years by adding functions.

Today's iTunes survive , although this condemned to disappear . In computers, which is what concerns us now, its existence is increasingly reduced, although it is still of vital importance in many cases such as those that we will present in the following sections.

Computers on which it is available

As we mentioned above, iTunes continues to offer an application from its store in the iOS and iPadOS App Store. However, its greatest relevance is in computers. It is available on all major operating systems, though not on Linux , where a virtual machine would be required to run one of the operating systems it is on.

Mac computers (in older versions)

Obviously iTunes is present on Macs, although not all of them. More than by computer model, its existence depends on the version of the operating system that you have. Apple supported this application up to macOS Mojave , since in 10.15 (Catalina) it disappeared to section it in other applications that we will comment on in another section of this article.

Therefore, in those teams that have macOS 10.14.6 or earlier you can find this app. It is not necessary to download it, since it is installed by default on them. Although it is true that it cannot be uninstalled normally, there is an unofficial way to do it, but this does not prevent it from being recovered. The app can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. However, Apple also offers the possibility of downloading it from its website.

restore iPhone iPad iPod

On Windows PCs

It is on computers with the Microsoft operating system that iTunes is still very much alive and where it is most relevant. Provides support for both Windows 32 and 64 bits , having the application available in versions of the system that are Windows 7 or later. Its download is completely free and although there are Internet pages that offer its download, the most reliable way to download it is from Apple's own website.

For years there was talk of the possibility that Apple would stop supporting iTunes on Windows. These rumors were accentuated when it was removed from Macs, but the truth is that today it does not seem that it will disappear. Therefore, it continues to be the essential tool for those iPhone, iPad and iPod users who want to be able to synchronize their devices with the computer, something that we will talk about in the following sections.

iTunes Windows Microsoft Store

Download iTunes

What is iTunes for on the computer?

Once its trajectory and availability on computers are known in broad strokes, it's time to find out what iTunes can be used for. In the following sections we will explain what its functions are on Mac and Windows.

Principal functions

The following features of iTunes are the main and most useful. They are the same on both Mac and Windows, although in the case of Apple computers, we remember that their existence is limited to versions prior to macOS Catalina.

    Shop:It is possible to access content for rent and purchase of songs and movies, although much of this catalog and the purchase processes are being diverted to other applications and Apple tools. Player:iTunes can function as a content player for multiple audio formats that are stored on the computer, regardless of whether they are songs or not. Apple Music:It allows access to the entire catalog of songs offered by the Californian company's streaming platform, as well as songs that have been added manually from files on the computer. Podcast:The Apple Podcast platform is available on Windows and macOS computers prior to Catalina through iTunes, offering all content updated in real time. Device synchronization:all audio and video tracks stored in iTunes can be synced to iPhones, iPads, and iPods that are wired to your computer.

restore iphone itunes windows

    Update devices:Although the iPhone, iPad and iPod allow updating from the device itself, it is also possible to update its software version to the latest iOS/iPadOS when connected to iTunes. Full Device Restore:In the same way as above, it is possible to factory format one of those devices using iTunes. In fact, it is the most complete way to do it, deleting all the files and not overwriting them as happens when deleting them from their settings.

Apps in which it has been divided on Mac

As we explained earlier, iTunes as such is no longer available in macOS 10.15 and later. However, its main functions are still present in the system through the following four applications:

apps itunes mac

    Apple TV:app in which you can find all the content of the company's streaming television service (Apple TV +), as well as that of some other platforms to which you have a subscription, such as HBO or Disney +. In this app you will also find the catalog of movies for purchase and rent. Podcast:everything related to the company's podcast platform is integrated into this application after separating from iTunes. Here you can find practically all the podcast programs that exist and its interface is similar to that of iOS and iPadOS. Music:Apple Music in its purest form is found in this application, with all the content of the service, but also with those lists that have been synchronized on the Mac even if you are not a client of the platform. Finder:The Mac folder manager was not introduced when iTunes disappeared from macOS, but it was the receiver of everything related to the management and synchronization of devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, its signage appearing on the left side as if of an external storage disk more it was.