Goodbye iTunes: Apple officially launches alternative media apps for Windows
On a new support page, Apple promoted three new apps as alternatives to the same functionality in iTunes for Windows.
The Music app, now available in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and 11, lets you access and play your albums and songs. The TV app does the same for your movies and TV shows. The Devices app will allow you to back up, restore, and sync your music, movies, and TV shows between your Windows PC and your iPhone or iPad.
Also: Can your Windows 10 PC be saved in 2025? Yes – for free. Here’s how
With the new dedicated apps, the only remaining use for iTunes for Windows is to access podcasts and audiobooks. But with standalone apps for podcasts and audiobooks long available for iOS and iPadOS, Windows versions of those should be on the way.
Since the new apps only work in Windows 10 and 11, any of you still using an older version (and you shouldn’t be because they’re no longer supported) will still need to use iTunes. If that doesn’t convince you to upgrade to a supported version of Windows, I don’t know what will.
If you download and install new apps, Apple has some words of wisdom.
First, you’ll need to install all three apps; You can’t just pick and choose. If you download only one of them, iTunes for Windows will prompt you to download the other two.
Also: Windows 11 FAQ: ZDNET upgrade guide and everything you need to know
After installing the apps, don’t remove iTunes, as you’ll still need it to view your podcasts and audiobooks. To give you access to the same albums, TV shows, and movies, the Apple Music app and Apple TV app read the contents of your iTunes library — so don’t remove your Library or Files folder. To see your iTunes Store purchases in both apps, you’ll need to authorize your Windows PC with your Apple ID.
After you download the Apple Music app, Apple TV app, and Apple Devices app, you won’t find any of your music or video content in iTunes. You won’t be able to use iTunes to manually sync and manage your iPhone or iPad anymore.
You can download the new applications from the Microsoft Store via the following links:
For Windows users who have long struggled with the monstrosity known as iTunes, this comes as welcome news. Don’t get me wrong. Launched in 2001 for Mac and in 2003 for Windows, iTunes began life as a simple, reliable application, allowing you to purchase music, audiobooks, and other content.
ALSO: The 12 Windows apps I keep (and the 11 I get rid of) on every new install
But over the years, Apple kept adding more and more features, turning it into a slow and buggy mess, especially the Windows version.
In 2019, Apple removed iTunes for Mac with the release of MacOS Catalina, replacing its functionality with various custom apps and adding backup and sync capabilities to the Mac’s Finder.
In October of 2022, Apple and Microsoft both signaled a similar fate for iTunes for Windows, revealing that the Apple Music and Apple TV apps would be available in the Microsoft Store in 2023. The following January, previews of the apps and hardware versions of the app appeared in the Store, but For Windows 11 only.
The latest news marks the official launch for any Windows 10 or 11 user keen to ditch iTunes. You can add me to that list.