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itunes installationSome people, especially those on the Windows side, have some kind of love-hate relationship with iTunes. They love it and need it to manage their iDevices, but they hate the bloat that comes along with it. And there’s nothing much they can do about it as everything comes in one (big) package.

Those with limited system resources on their computer will appreciate all the additional resource power and storage space that they can get, and customizing the iTunes installation is one of the ways to achieve that.

While the application itself can’t be altered, users can dispose of some fat to reduce the bloat. Here are some tricks that you can use to trim your iTunes installation on your Windows system.

Some Background Information

Before we start, let’s look at some background information. The iTunes installation file actually contains several smaller application installers inside it. Not many people knows that you can break it down and install only the items that you need.

You will need an archive utility to disassemble the big chunk into smaller pieces. A good and free alternative like 7-Zip 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats 7Zip - A Free Program to Unzip Uncommon Archive Formats Read More will work just fine. All you have to do is just right click on the installer and open/extract the content.

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itunes installation

You will then get several “.msi” (Windows Installer Package) files. Here’s the list of the gang members and some background information to help you decide whether you’ll need them or not:

  • iTunes: Our main character for today, the all-in-one media player & manager and store, application manager, iDevices activator, and music social network client (and whatever else Apple will add in the future).
  • QuickTime: Apple’s multimedia framework designed to help you play back digital media files in most popular formats. QuickTime is required for your iTunes to work.
  • AppleApplicationSupport: This is the framework for managing applications on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. If you use iTunes to manage your iDevices, you’ll obviously need this one.
  • AppleMobileDeviceSupport: This is the synchronization framework for Apple mobile devices like iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. If you only need iTunes to manage other members of the iPod family like the Classic, Mini, Nano and/or Shuffle, you can skip this one.
  • AppleSoftwareUpdate: This app will help you keep all your Apple software updated – the ones that you choose and install, and sometimes also the others that you don’t. So I’ll leave it up to you whether you want to install this one or not. I personally prefer to do manual updates from iTunes and QuickTime.
  • Bonjour: Is a network application to connect your computer to other devices – like printer, Airport, Apple TV, Airplay Speakerts, etc, over a network. But if you don’t need/use that kind of connectivity, some experts advise you not to install it.

itunes installation

Uninstall Or Re-Install & Tweaking The System

You can just use a software uninstaller such as our beloved Revo Uninstaller Revo Uninstaller Will Hunt Down Your Bloatware Revo Uninstaller Will Hunt Down Your Bloatware Read More or the alternative Iobit Uninstaller How To Force Uninstall Unwanted Windows Programs Using IObit Uninstaller How To Force Uninstall Unwanted Windows Programs Using IObit Uninstaller Read More to get rid of the components that you don’t need. But it’s better for you to uninstall everything and re-install the ones that you need. Use the list above for your reference.

If you want the installation process to go faster, you can do a “silent” install where the process works without the need for you to intervene.  Just open “Run” (Windows + R), empty the field, drag and drop the file that you want to install, add a space and type “/passive” (sans quote).

itunes installation

Click “OK” or hit “Enter” and the process will go from start to finish without the “Next” buttons routine.

itunes installation

After you have finished installing the components that you need, you can disable “iTunesHelper.exe “and “QTTask.exe” from your StartUp list. You can edit the registry in the System Configuration Utility (by typing MSConfig in the Run window), or go the easier way by using a free utility like AutoRuns Get Your Computer Startup Under Control With Autoruns Get Your Computer Startup Under Control With Autoruns Read More or WinPatrol Keep Your Computer Clean & Tidy With WinPatrol Portable [Windows] Keep Your Computer Clean & Tidy With WinPatrol Portable [Windows] Read More .  This step is not obligatory but will shed several seconds from your computer startup time and free up some processing power.

If you need iTunes but don’t want to have all the extras, you can use the tricks above to slim down your iTunes installation. I’ve tried it on my system without any problem, but it’s better for you to apply it yourself and tell us the result in the comments below.

  1. Techphets
    November 22, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Nice to see that Microsoft isn't the only company that bloats software beyond all reasonable proportion.

    Just bought an iPad and I'm already regretting it as I wait for 78.1 MB of iTunes to download and invade my Windows machine. I'm hoping it will work in a virtual machine. Otherwise I'll be dusting off an old hard drive, installing Windows, installing iTunes, activating my iPad, and then putting the hard drive back in the spare parts pile... Anyone who claims that Apple is in some way superior to Microsoft is, well, clueless in my opinion. Not saying that they're any worse- just saying they're no better.

  2. Techphets
    November 22, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Nice to see that Microsoft isn't the only company that bloats software beyond all reasonable proportion.

    Just bought an iPad and I'm already regretting it as I wait for 78.1 MB of iTunes to download and invade my Windows machine. I'm hoping it will work in a virtual machine. Otherwise I'll be dusting off an old hard drive, installing Windows, installing iTunes, activating my iPad, and then putting the hard drive back in the spare parts pile... Anyone who claims that Apple is in some way superior to Microsoft is, well, clueless in my opinion. Not saying that they're any worse- just saying they're no better.

  3. www.centralcontracts.com
    November 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I didn't know you could do this, will definitely try it.

  4. rekzkarz
    November 8, 2010 at 11:13 am

    While I liked the topic, I don't believe it succeeds in removing all the bloatware -- because the whole app is bloatware!

    I really like the iPhone. I feel like it's a slick piece of hardware/software, and the iPhone 4 is *fast*. However, requiring PC users to install iTunes, and then iTunes loads a number of resident apps which are always running & using resources, even if you *never* sync your iPhone (or rarely, like 1x a month), is quite annoying. Actually, it's worse than annoying.

  5. rekzkarz
    November 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    While I liked the topic, I don't believe it succeeds in removing all the bloatware -- because the whole app is bloatware!

    I really like the iPhone. I feel like it's a slick piece of hardware/software, and the iPhone 4 is *fast*. However, requiring PC users to install iTunes, and then iTunes loads a number of resident apps which are always running & using resources, even if you *never* sync your iPhone (or rarely, like 1x a month), is quite annoying. Actually, it's worse than annoying.

  6. Amin
    November 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Awesome tutorial. For people who don't want to do this manually, I made a program to automate all of that process:
    - Download iTunes Setup
    - Download iTunes BloatOut
    - Run iTunes BloatOut
    - Browse to iTunes Setup
    - Select the packages
    Click BloatOut iTunes

    You can download it at:
    http://leomoon.com/shop/applic...

  7. Amin
    November 5, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Awesome tutorial. For people who don't want to do this manually, I made a program to automate all of that process:
    - Download iTunes Setup
    - Download iTunes BloatOut
    - Run iTunes BloatOut
    - Browse to iTunes Setup
    - Select the packages
    Click BloatOut iTunes

    You can download it at:
    http://leomoon.com/shop/applications/itunes-bloatout/

    • Aibek
      November 6, 2010 at 2:54 pm

      thanks!

  8. Mark O'Neill
    November 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    This is brilliant. I really want to reinstall iTunes but I don't like the huge bloated file that gets installed on my computer. The only downside, as Thiery says, is that if you remove something like Bonjour, you are constantly going to get iTunes popping up boxes saying it can't find it. This can be annoying for some.

    • ????
      November 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      thanks too

  9. Thiery Lacroix
    November 5, 2010 at 3:16 am

    iTunes checks for Bonjour on startup, so if you can live with the warning......

  10. Anonymous
    November 4, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    AFAIK, Lion is due for 2011.

  11. Anonymous
    November 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Thanks for this very much needed expose on all the unnecessarily bloated crapware that fill our hard drives with stuff we don't need or are even aware of, for that matter.

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