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Apple Mac OS X tips and tweaks

Date: 26th October 2010

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Remove iTunes and re-install it to fix errors

Does iTunes seem bloated? Is it running slowly? Do you get error messages when you try to use certain functions? It's a big application that performs many functions and for most people it works just fine, but it isn't immune from problems and some people do have difficulties with it. You may find that removing iTunes completely and re-installing it cures the problems you were having. This task shouldn't be taken lightly, but if all else fails then go ahead and remove it. You can then download the latest version of the software and install it. It's a myth that simply dragging dragging a program from the Applications folder and dropping it in the Trash completely uninstalls it. It doesn't. It just removes the main app files and it leaves all sorts of other files on the hard disk drive and these can cause problems when you re-install iTunes. Here's how to remove it properly.

Of course, the first step when removing iTunes is to open the Applications folder and drag the icon to the Trash in the Dock. It's a good start, but there's more. iTunesIf you go to the Apple menu, System Preferences, Accounts and then Login Items you'll see that iTunes Helper is loaded every time the Mac starts. You can remove this item and restart the Mac or to continue without restarting, go to go to the Applications/Utilities folder and open Activity Monitor. Select iTunes Helper in the list of processes and click the Quit Process button in the toolbar. Now we can delete it. Open a Finder window and select the Mac's hard disk drive in the left panel. Go to /System/Library/Extensions and drag AppleMobileDevice.kext to the Trash. Then go to /Library/Receipts/ and drag AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg to the Trash. Look for any other files in the /Library/Receipts folder and drag them to the Trash too.

Restart your Mac and then when you get back to the desktop, open a Finder window and navigate to your home folder, then Library/Preferences. drag all the files that have iTunes in the filename to the Trash. Open your Library/Preferences/ByHost folder and you'll find more files with iTunes in the name. Trash them.

That's it, the job's done. As you can see, removing software from OS X on the Mac isn't as easy as it looks! Now you can go and download the latest version of iTunes from the Apple website.

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