Install iTunes 10 Minus The Bloatware (PC)

Like previous versions, iTunes 10 is a hefty hunk of software that actually contains within it 6 different Windows Installer programs that you don’t always need or want. Apple doesn’t let you customize the install, but this guide shows you how to install only the slimmest iTunes footprint you need for your purposes.

The unofficial guide to installing iTunes 10 without bloatware [Zndet]


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  1. Mike says:

    This is a great tip. I am all for installing as little as needed on your computer, less is more.

  2. herbie says:

    This is for Windows only.

  3. sonneillon says:

    I am against the trend of bundled software. If I want your companies piece of crap toolbar I will go and download it. Only one time ever in my 18 years as a computer owner have I gotten a piece of software bundled in with something else and said wow that is exactly what I needed.

    • bsh0544 says:

      I agree. It drives me crazy that every update of Java or OpenOffice comes with a new stupid toolbar for me to opt out of.

      Equally annoying are the installers that offer to change my homepage for me. Thanks, but no.

    • XianZhuXuande says:

      Aside from Apple Software Update, every item in that list is required for one feature of iTunes or another. A professional user may understand why certain features are broken in light of having not installed all packages, but a regular will not understand. Your criticism would be valid if, say, Safari were installed, but that’s not the case.

      As for Apple Software Update, that gives Apple a realistic means of correcting software bugs and helping users into new iOS/OS features. I can understand some criticism here as this application recommends software which the user may not have installed, such as Safari. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, though. Knowledgeable computer users will uncheck it or install it if they wish. Anything that gets regular users away from Internet Explorer and over to Webkit or Gecko is a good thing.

      • sonneillon says:

        Bonjour is crapware. It doesn’t belong. I have disabled it and every time I update I go disable it again.

        Safari is something auto update tries to bother me about, but I use firefox and while I can’t use my favorite browser because it is gnome exclusive I am happy enough.

      • humphrmi says:

        Your examples are of the less nefarious bloat that Apple includes. Far more troubling is the inclusion, without an option to remove, Bonjour. Bonjour isn’t just a network troubleshooting nightmare, it’s a serious security problem. Few people would know how little you actually need Bonjour, and how much trouble it can cause. A simple “Here’s what Bonjour does (with list) – do you want it?” dialog box during set-up would probably solve the problem, but no Steve Jobs needs to control every aspect, making decisions for you.

        • Conformist138 says:

          Oh god, Bonjour! I swear, I thought that thing was a virus. I’d NEVER had a program install a new icon to my Control Panel before and freaked out when I saw it. I didn’t even recognize it as Apple and when I saw that’s what it claimed to be, I was sure it was a ruse to look innocent. Add in how much of a pain it was to remove, it took more than one web search for me to be convinced that it wasn’t a real threat.

          I only own a single iPod, so Bonjour is entirely worthless to me, yet I wasn’t even given an option to keep it away or even informed clearly that it would be installed. From then on, I made it a point to keep iTunes at bay by being extra picky about updates. Fact is, I just don’t need updates at all to sync my iPod and play music.

  4. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    YMMV. Did not work on Vista (32bit), got some unidentified error when trying to install QT or iTunes. Just installed the whole packaged and uninstalled the components I did not want (software update, mobile device support).
    (Yes I tried to follow the steps as listed).

    • citking says:

      It will work – just use the command line to install those MSI packages. They error out because the Apple Updater is installed whether or not you select it to be and, when the installer cannot find the Apple Updater, it fails.

      Easiest way – copy the files into c:itunestemp, open a command line (Start, Run, CMD), and type “c:itunestempitunes,msi /passive”. Repeat for quicktime.msi.

    • JoeDawson says:

      I think the problem is you are using Windows Vista… Windows 7 FTW!

  5. dreamfish says:

    When I killed off some of the extraneous utilities that come with iTunes, at each bootup/app startup it would complain that they were missing and being necessary (which I think is a lie).

    • Preyfar says:

      That’s why I stopped using iTunes (even if I have an iPhone). It installed so many services and bloated crap, yet when I removed the crap I didn’t want, it’d complain non-stop.

      If it weren’t so damn, horribly slow…

  6. xxmichaelxx says:

    iTunes itself IS bloatware, and offers a poor experience on Windows compared to most other media managers, many of which will work with your iDevice. There are alternatives — choose one and enjoy.

    • TheGreySpectre says:

      iTunes is TERRIBLE in my opinion compared to the other media managers I have tried (I love winamp and mediamonkey) however apple has locked things off so that you pretty much have to use itunes for a iphone or ipod touch. I believe media monkey supports iOS 3, but iTunes is the only software out there with support for iOS 4.

      I also get annoyed how the “don’t ask me again” button in Itunes does nothing, I finally stopped clicking it. I don’t want to update my iphone and I don’t want to update itunes. I have clicked “don’t ask me again” the last 15 times you have started so why on earth are you still asking me.

      I can’t wait for my contract to expire. I don’t mind ATT but my iphone drives me nuts.

    • XianZhuXuande says:

      I do think Apple should split iTunes up into separate components at some point down the road, but ‘bloatware’ might be a misleading term to describe it (unless applied in that context). Most of the application’s heft actually comes from various localizations. It does feel more sluggish on Windows than on Mac, though.

      • Mortimer Changworth says:

        Whether or not iTunes acting slow on Windows is deliberate on the part of Apple (“iTunes is running slow! Must be this darn PC!”) or genuine incompetence on the part of their Windows programming staff is up to debate. What’s not up to debate is that 95% of all iDevices out there are supported by third-party software, either out-of-box (Winamp, gtkpod, etc.) or through plugins (Foobar, etc.). There’s no reason to have iTunes installed unless you own a very new iDevice, in which case you sort of brought that on yourself.

    • David in Brasil says:

      I really don’t understand Apple’s refusal to write iTunes so that it runs well on Windows. Mac users say that it’s Windows’ fault; old, creaky, cludgy, etc. But this ignores the fact that this is the OS of MY choice, and that none of the other music players exhibit the problems that I have with iTunes*. For many Windows users, iTunes is their introduction to Apple software; they should make it run like the wind. Instead, it’s a piece of crap.

      * Freezes my computer for 30 seconds on program startup, jerky scrolling, non-intuitive interface (from a Windows perspective), and a 5 second delay upon pushing a button before something happens.

  7. citking says:

    Did this exact thing just this weekend. One tip – be sure to use the command line to install the iTunes.msi and quicktime.msi packages as the GUI (Start –> Next –> Next –> Finish) screen will error out by not seeing the Apple Updater. Otherwise this is very simple! Oh, and I went with 7-Zip to extract the archive.

  8. jshier says:

    Aside from the updater, which is the second smallest piece installed, all of the other components are necessary for parts of the program to work. If you don’t install them the program is essentially broken.

    • XianZhuXuande says:

      Yep. It is good knowledge for someone who knows what they are doing and will understand why iTunes features are broken, but all of these components (aside from the Updater, which is understandably bundled as it gives Apple an easy avenue to address security issues and help common users into new features, such as an iOS update) are required for various iTunes capabilities. It is fine and good for a knowledgeable computer user to break them up, but normal computer users would not understand the consequences.

  9. guspaz says:

    This used to be more useful, but…

    1) iTunes doesn’t really work without QuickTime installed, since it uses it for all media playback
    2) You can no longer tether an iPhone without iTunes by installing just the required components (it now checks that you have them all installed, even QuickTime)
    3) You can’t use a mobile device (iPod/iPhone/iPad/etc) without AppleApplicationSupport and AppleMobileDeviceSupport)

    In summary, the only things that a typical user can safely NOT install are bonjour and apple software update… Not saving much on bloat here; might as well just install them all.

    • Thumbmaster says:

      Bonjour is required if you want to use iTunes’ “home sharing” feature or AirPlay your music to an Airport Express. Essentially, all of these are required for “full” functionality of iTunes except for updater.

  10. GLaDOS says:

    eBn, I tihnk yuo menat ZDNet…

  11. Aph says:

    Bloatware! Excellent. Now I can stop calling it that f’n crap.

  12. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    …how about you get your music from any of the bajillion other places on the web, where they don’t control how many devices you can “activate” to use your music, or put your music in some wonky format that doesn’t work on all devices?

  13. UltimateOutsider says:

    I’d really only recommend this for advanced users. It has a higher likelihood of working if you’re upgrading from a previous iTunes version. People who just want their Apple stuff to work should go ahead with the full install, huge though it may be. (I always disable the iTunesHelper and QuickTimeTask autorun programs it registers in Windows, but I usually don’t touch the services. Then again, I have several Apple mobile devices and I know which services I use).

    Also, iTunes is no longer the only program that uses Bonjour for certain features. It’s now the preferred beaconing mechanism for TiVo’s Home Desktop product and some other packages.

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      Oh, and the Apple Software Updates thing can be annoying, especially since it always auto-selects extra packages you probably don’t want (unless you edit the preferences to stop doing that), but some of the security fixes you get through it- particularly in QuickTime- make keeping up-to-date worthwhile. There have been some very nasty QuickTime security flaws in the past.

  14. framitz says:

    ANY of iTunes is still bloatware. Just say NO and use alternatives.
    I uninstalled iTunes completely over a year ago and don’t miss any of it at all.

  15. nakkypoo says:

    I’d argue that iTunes itself is bloatware, it’s hugely out of control. However, with the exception of Software Update, all of these packages implement features of iTunes — features that most people will expect to having working.

    This sort of FUD coming from Ed Bott doesn’t surprise me. I prefer to simply uninstall Software Update after installing iTunes.

  16. kitty says:

    another great tip from

    How about some consumerist articles, instead, ben?

  17. human_shield says:

    Nice tip. I don’t mind software developers bundling things with their main program. Especially software like OpenOffice. If they want to offer me a toolbar, I am more than happy to decline it. If that’s what they need to do to recoup the cost of giving me FREE software, I’m all for it.

  18. MeowMaximus says:

    Or better yet – don’t buy an iPod! I have a nice little music player hat takes the form of a fat USB drive. To install music to it – I just plug in in, and copy the tunes over. No installer needed, no muss, no fuss.

  19. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Remember when iTunes was actually a robust and comprehensive music manager? Then Apple threw everything, including the kitchen sink, into it. I’d love to say no to iTunes, but Dear Leader keeps selling we peons shiny new iPthings which won’t work with other media managers (at least not the first time you pull said shiny new iPthing out of the box and the inevitable “Connect to iTunes” screen shines in your face.)

  20. PaRa02 says:

    And this is why I don’t install crapple on PC, you can’t opt out of the Bloat.

  21. isileth says:

    Every time I try to install things such Itunes or Acrobat Reader I wonder why a program built to do one thing (listen to some music or reading an mp3 file) must be so big.
    Why Acrobat Reader needs 65mb of software to do what Fox-it reader does with less than 5 mb?
    Or why when you install Itunes you have to install everything even if you’ll never use it?
    And when they talk about how clever are at Apple and how good their things are I just get angry.
    Clever? When exactly?
    When I want to install an mp3 player, I would like to choose what to install before I do so, not having to uninstall bloatware.
    Especially when the other things are useless or, at least, should be installed and used on request.
    Quick-Time, for example, should not place itself in my start process and even if you take it away, going back there when you “dare” to use it.
    Or don’t install and start an I-pod service when no i-pod has ever been connected to the machine in question.
    That’s one of the reason why I don’t have Apple products and unless someone gives it to me, I will not in the future.

  22. TaraMisu says:

    Fantastic, thank you!

  23. crazydavythe1st says:

    Good luck trying to use Itunes to its full extent without some of this “bloatware”.

  24. MercuryPDX says:

    I stopped using iTunes because it sucks when it comes to handling large libraries of music.

    I use Media Monkey instead [ ].

  25. bschaa00 says:

    What if I already havea MacBook? Does all of that extra crap come on there too?

  26. bschaa00 says:

    I already have a MacBook, does all of this extra crap come on that version as well?

  27. FoxCMK says:

    Behold, the very reason I can’t stand iTunes. More like iBloat.