Can I go back to iTunes 11? I don't like iTunes 12 at all - is it easy to remove from my Mac?

Downgrading from iTunes 12 to iTunes 11 is a popular pastime right now: Apple's venerable music software has had a major facelift for iTunes 12, and not everybody is a fan. The good news is that it is possible to downgrade from iTunes 12 back to iTunes 11. Possible, and reasonably straightforward.

In this feature we show you how to remove Apple's iTunes 12 from your Mac and reinstall the older iTunes 11. It's not even that hard a process. If you don't like iTunes 12 then this feature will help you get back to the version of iTunes you enjoy.

You'll need a couple of apps for this feature. Free trial versions of both are available, but they're well worth owning - you may decide to pay for the full version once you've given them a try.

See also: iTunes 12 review | iTunes 11 review | Explore the new features in iTunes 12

How to downgrade from iTunes 12 to iTunes 11: What you need

To downgrade from iTunes 12 to 11 you'll need two apps and a file:

  1. AppZapper. This can be used to completely remove apps, including all the associated files.
  2. Pacifist. This app enables you to open Mac OS X .pkg and .dmg files and extract individual files from them.
  3. iTunes 11.4. You can download this from the Apple Support website.

It's also a good idea, before we get started, to make a backup of your Mac and music library. Read our "How to back up your Mac" article if you haven't already got a solid backup plan in place: How to back up your Mac: Three types of backup all Mac users should be using.

How to downgrade from iTunes 12 to iTunes 11: Deleting iTunes 12 and installing iTunes 11

Use AppZapper to remove iTunes 12

Once you have downloaded and installed the two apps, follow these steps to remove iTunes 12 and install iTunes 11 on your Mac.

  1. Quit iTunes 12. Choose iTunes > Quit iTunes.
  2. Open AppZapper and choose AppZapper > Preferences in the menu.
  3. Untick the Keep Apple Applications Safe icon. Close preferences.
  4. Drag the iTunes 12 icon from the Applications folder to AppZapper.
  5. Click Zap. Enter your Password and click OK.
  6. Open Pacifist and drag the iTunes 11.4 DMG file from the Downloads folder to the Pacifist window. When you let go a new window will appear displaying all of the files.
  7. In Pacifist, click on Contents of Install iTunes to choose it and click Install.
  8. An alert window appears. Ensure that Use Administrator Privileges is highlighted and click Install.
  9. Enter your password and click Install Helper.
  10. Enter your password and click OK.
  11. A window will appear with File Already Exists. Would you like to replace it? Tick don't ask again for this installation and Replace. This updates all the new iTunes 12 files with the older iTunes 11 equivalents.
  12. A window appears with Application already exists. Tick don't ask again for this installation and Replace.
  13. The final step is to remove an iTunes itl file (this prevents the application from launching). Open your iTunes Library (it's normally located in the Music folder) and drag it to the Trash.

Install iTunes 11 using Pacifist

You will now have iTunes 11 installed in your Applications folder. Click the iTunes icon to launch iTunes 11. Click Scan for Media to find all your old files.


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