iTunes-how to restore previous version -- can it be done?
April 29, 2015 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to move backward in iTunes versions? I'd love to get an earlier one.

I loved earlier versions of iTunes. I specifically avoided updating the software because I liked the version I had. Unfortunately I accidentally downloaded the current version. I do not like it. I've just got a new laptop. Is there any way I can get the old version of iTunes on it? I have tried copying the files from another older computer that has the program, but that doesn't work. Is there ANY way to get back to an earlier version of iTunes?
posted by jackmcc to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's hacky but you can often do it. What version of iTunes do you have now? And what do you want to downgrade to? And what operating system are you using?

Usually the googleable term is "downgrade" as in "How do I downgrade to iTunes 11?" There are a lot of tutorials.

Keep in mind that a lot of the default settings (look & feel) of iTunes has changed but you can usually mess with those somewhat if the only thing you dislike is what it looks like. I've been able to get the search function and my song listings to go back to the way they looked in older versions they just don't start out looking that way.
posted by jessamyn at 8:30 PM on April 29, 2015

I use an older version, somewhere around 9 I think. Just uninstall the current one, then download and install whichever you like from oldapps. Your current library probably won't be backwards compatible, in which case you need to spend time reimporting everything. Delete the old library files first in that case.
posted by shelleycat at 11:25 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Be aware that new versions of iOS tend to demand new versions of iTunes; hooking an iDevice to that laptop might involve being frogmarched back onto the Apple upgrade treadmill.
posted by flabdablet at 8:35 AM on April 30, 2015

I accidentally updated as well, and it wasn't just the new look I didn't like. The newer versions are lacking some features that I use regularly (I can't remember which ones those are, and probably won't until I am forced to update and lose them again!).

This is what I did on my Windows 7 PC:

First you need the old version, which you can get at sites like:
p.s. I like 10.6.1

Then you need to backup your iTunes folder (just in case the downgrade fails or you want to retain your playlists).

Install the older iTunes version.

Within the newly created iTunes folder, replace the iTunes Music Library.xml file with the same file from your backup iTunes folder.

Open up the iTunes Music Library.xml file with a text editor. You will see that there is an xml key near the beginning called Application Version. You need to change that number to the older version that you just installed.

If done correctly, when you open iTunes, it should contain your old playlists and operate normally.

As a side note, if you ever move your music library to a new disk with a new path name and iTunes cannot be made to see it, you can also open up that same iTunes Music Library.xml file with a text editor and globally search and replace the path contained in the Location key to the new path.

Good luck!
posted by Don_K at 1:21 PM on April 30, 2015

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