How-To Geek

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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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




And finally iTunes.


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.


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


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.


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).


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+

  • Published 09/14/10

Comments (19)

  1. Prashant

    Loved it!
    Thanks for great tips

  2. Alan

    Nice , but u could use “SharePod” instead. Very light weighted software to add or remove or even play music from your Ipod.

  3. Hatryst

    @ Mysticgeek, thanks a lot for this !

    Just 1 question: In which drive will this whole stuff be installed?

    I want it to be installed in the D:\ drive. Would the procedure be any different?

  4. jeremiah89

    Yeah, if you want to sync your iPod Touch with iTunes, the benefit of doing this becomes very small. Pretty much the only thing you can do without is Bonjour, and maybe Apple Software Update. But then if you want to share music over your network, you can’t do without Bonjour either. *Sigh*

    Just rewrite iTunes already, Apple!

  5. Mysticgeek


    You can extract the files to any convenient location on your local drive. I haven’t tried to install them to a network or external drive but I would assume it should work the same.

  6. Purimcarnival

    Just wish you could update firmware without itunes

  7. luc

    One question (my native language is not English) : what is “unattended mode” (google doesn’t make me smarter).



  8. Don

    Unattended means no dialogs will be displayed which require user interaction. The install can run without any attention required.

  9. DMac

    Just what I was looking for- you’ve saved me a lot of heartache- thanks!

  10. Phan Thuỷ

    When I finish the commandline, only a window appearing in a second says that “Please wait while Windows configure Apple Application Support” and then nothing happens. Nothing installed. Any solution?

  11. jac mills

    I like browsing the How To Geek site, but it is way over my head almost all of the time as I am a pc dummy, really. But I enjoy — and try — the things I think I can handle. Usually, however, I get lost, mess up my pc and spend another few hours trying to go back to where I was. I realize the site is for those who are tech and computer literate, so I ask if anyone can recommend another site that is not so “technical” and one that I probably could learn from and use. Thanks. jac mills

  12. col

    No itunes is the one to go for.

  13. Elizabeth

    This sounds like it would function well on my Windows XP Home Edition-running netbook, but doesn’t iTunes also require that QuickTime also be installed?

    I have an application called “QuickTime Alternative”–I had read sometime ago that this particular app was better for lighter-powered computers. I don’t know, though, if QuickTime Alternative could substitute well for QuickTime AND play well with iTunes.

  14. Trish

    Thanks so much for this!!!!! Very very helpful!!! Installed iTunes successfully! :-)

  15. Dan

    Thank you for posting.
    I want to use this on my netbook to add downloads to my ipod but I also just bought an iphone4. If I use the same passive install method to install mobile device support also will I be able to use this ‘minimal’ version on my iphone?

  16. Christy

    Thank you so much for posting this. I just wish I found sooner. The step-by-step was great. Thanks again.

  17. Lee

    Thanks, great guide! Worked like a charm and we discovered 7-zip as a bonus. A+

  18. Tim

    Updates happen … 10.5 doesn’t come bundled with quicktime and I can’t seem to get this process to work now. I’m bummed!! Any chance you’ll do an update to this article? …. please?

    Stupid apple bloatware …

  19. Alex

    Tim, I just installed the latest version of itunes64 and it ran without issue.

    Do the same as above but without quicktime.msi

    Seems to be working fine for me.

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