How to Update iTunes to the Latest Version

Up-to-date software keeps you secure and with the latest features

The iTunes main screen.

Apple

Every time Apple releases an iTunes update, it adds cool new features, crucial bug fixes, and support for new iPhones, iPads, and other devices that use iTunes. Because of that, you should almost always update to the latest and greatest version as soon as you can.

In early 2019, Apple announced that iTunes would retire for Macs in 2019 and for Windows in 2020 or later.

Beginning Your iTunes Update

The easiest way to upgrade iTunes requires you to do almost nothing. That's because iTunes automatically notifies you when a new version is released. In that case, a pop-up window announcing the upgrade appears when you launch iTunes. If you see that window and want to upgrade, just follow the onscreen instructions and you'll be running the iTunes in no time.

Updating iTunes on a Mac

On a Mac, you update iTunes using the Mac App Store program that comes built into the macOS on all Macs. In fact, updates to all Apple software (and some third-party tools, too) are done using this program.

Within iTunes, click the iTunes menu and then click Check for Updates. In the pop-up window, click Download iTunes.

Click the Update button next to the iTunes update. The App Store program then downloads and automatically installs the new version of iTunes.

When the update is complete, it disappears from the top section of the App Store and appears in the Updates Installed in the Last 30 Days section at the bottom of the screen.

Updating iTunes on a Windows PC

Install iTunes on a PC screen

When you install iTunes on a PC, you also install the Apple Software Update program, which manages updates to iTunes.

Verify that you've got the latest version of Apple Software update. Doing so can help you avoid problems. To update it, run Apple Software Update. When the program launches, it will check to see if there are any updates available for your computer. If one of those updates is for Apple Software Update itself, uncheck all boxes except that one, then click Install.

When the update has been downloaded and installed, Apple Software Update will run again and give you a new list of programs available to update. If iTunes shows up in the list, select the check box then click Install. The utility will update iTunes (and any other Apple software you selected).

Downgrading iTunes

New versions of iTunes are almost always better than the last — but not every time and not for every user. If you've upgraded iTunes and don't like it, you may want to go back to the previous one.