Step-by-Step Guide to Installing iTunes Without Extra Bloatware

Last week our friend Ed Bott wrote up an excellent article on how to install iTunes 10 on Windows without extra bloat. Today we take a look at doing a minimal install with a step by step tutorial.

Apple released iTunes 10 a couple of weeks ago, and unfortunately it’s not much of an improvement if at all. Last week Ed Bott wrote up The unofficial guide to installing iTunes 10 without bloatware. Today we take a closer look at the process of doing a minimal install of it in Windows 7 to avoid the extra junk. 

Getting Started

Instead of just going through a typical update from iTunes 9 to iTunes 10, you might want to look at our guide on uninstalling iTunes and everything that comes with it. Then download the iTunes 10 installer and we can begin clean and fresh.

For this article we’re using Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit. The process is the same on a 64-bit version as well, the file names just include 64 in them.

After downloading the iTunes 10 installer, extract it with any file extraction utility. Here we’re using 7zip to open the archive.

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Now you will see everything in the iTunes 10 installer which as you know is several components. The cool thing is that you don’t need them all.

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Minimum Install

Here we’re going to go for the most minimum install that we can get away with using Ed Bott’s instructions.This will let us run iTunes and use an iPod Mini, Nano, Classic, or Shuffle. This method won’t let you use an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Apple TV, or other sharing features.

Extract the following files to a folder on the hard drive (hold down the Ctrl key while you highlight each one):

  • iTunes.msi
  • QuickTime.msi
  • AppleApplicationSupport.msi

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It’s probably easiest to create a new folder to extract them to. Here we made a folder called iTunes Minimal.

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Now open the folder you extracted the files to and you should see the three files.

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Now we can use a little command line magic and run the installs with the /passive switch which installs each item in unattended mode. To open the Command Prompt in Windows 7 type cmd into the Search Box and hit Enter.

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Enter in the path of where the file resides, then use the /passive switch with the command at the end.

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We ran each one individually, you’ll see the following screens after running each command starting with Apple Application Support.

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QuickTime.

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And finally iTunes.

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When you’re finished you should see something similar to this in the Command Prompt. Of course yours will be different based on your computer name and the location where you extracted the files.

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Now you’ll see the QuickTime and iTunes icons on your Desktop and can launch iTunes and go through the Setup Assistant.

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One screen you’ll see is that the Bonjour service hasn’t been installed. That’s fine! We don’t need it anyway. If you did want to install it to play your music through AirPlay speakers or connect to Apple TV you can always go back and install it. But for this minimal install, we don’t need or want it on our machine.

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And there you go! You can start using iTunes without all the extra junk you don’t want and still be able to use your Apple devices we listed above. Even with this minimal install, iTunes can still run like a pig, so for more on speeding it up check out our 10 tips to make iTunes run faster in Windows (most of the tips work on OS X too).

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The files you install will depend on how you want to use iTunes. For example you might want Bonjour for its features or support for an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad. For more on what you need or don’t need to install check out page 3 of Ed Bott’s Guide.

If you want to use your iPod Touch to sync your music take a look at using MediaMonkey for managing your iPod or another alternative is using Foobar2000. Maybe someday Apple will make a decent version of iTunes that doesn’t include all the bloat so we don’t have to use these types of workarounds…one can only hope!

We look forward to hearing from you how this approach works for you. Leave a comment and let us know!

Download iTunes 10 Installer

Ed Bott’s Unofficial Guide to Installing iTunes 10 Without Bloatware

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+