How to Uninstall and Reinstall iTunes on Mac

How to Uninstall Reinstall iTunes Mac

New update: since Apple iTunes has gone away since the last macOS Catalina update, this tip is archived and we are no longer updating it.

So you’ve got to reinstall iTunes because you are either using a lower iTunes version, or iTunes keeps showing errors and it won’t allow you to sync data from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch?

Or maybe you just want to free up some disk space by completely removing the app from your Mac?

In this article, we are going to show you two quick ways to uninstall iTunes on Mac, after that you can choose to download the latest version and reinstall the app.

You Can’t Delete iTunes That Way!

For most Mac applications, you can easily uninstall them by dragging the apps to Trash and empty Trash, or delete them in Launchpad while the icons jiggle.

But, this won’t work with iTunes. Why?

Because the app is made by Apple. Without iTunes, you can’t transfer data between an iDevice and a Mac.

If you try to drag the iTunes app to Trash or use similar methods to get rid of it, you’ll see a warning window like this:

“iTunes can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by OS X.”

warning can't delete iTunes on Mac
warning can’t delete iTunes on Mac

How to Uninstall iTunes on Mac

Depending on how comfortable you are with computers, we’re here to share two options to delete iTunes: via Terminal (command line), and by using a lightweight third-party app.

1. Terminal Command Line (Best for Geeks)

Step 1: Open the Terminal app. You can do so by going to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal, or search “terminal” on Spotlight and click the one that shows up.

Step 2: Type cd /Applications/ and hit Enter. This will bring you to the Applications directory.

Step 3: Now type Sudo rm -rf and hit Enter again. This line helps delete the iTunes app.

Step 4: Next, it will prompt you to input the admin password. Once you enter the right password, it will confirm and remove iTunes.

Step 5: Done. If you want, check back on Launchpad or the Applications folder, the iTunes icon should be gone.

2. CleanMyMac Uninstaller (Best for Beginners)

CleanMyMac is an incredibly useful app that cleans up your Mac’s hard drive and keeps your Mac in a good shape.

It has a utility called Uninstaller that allows you to completely remove programs (and their associated files) in one go, including iTunes.

Here’s a step by step guide to follow:

  • Download and install the app on your Mac.
  • Launch it and click “Uninstaller” located on the left part of the main panel.
  • It’ll show you all the applications you’ve installed on your Mac. Find iTunes.
  • Click to highlight iTunes, and hit the “Uninstall” button.
  • Done!

Update: since macOS 10.13, CleanMyMac cannot uninstall iTunes due to the system restrictions in High Sierra. CleanMyMac can still uninstall iTunes in earlier macOS versions e.g. Sierra, El Capitan, etc., however, starting from macOS High Sierra, the only solution would be to reset your Mac to default settings.

How to Reinstall iTunes to Your Mac

Now that you’ve successfully removed iTunes from your Mac. If you need to reinstall it, follow the two steps below:

  • Go to Apple’s iTunes official page and hit the Download Now button. Another way is to visit the Mac App Store, under the Updates tab, check for new updates and click the Update button to continue.
  • Follow the instructions to install iTunes to your Mac again. The process should be quite easy.


iTunes is an essential software in Apple’s ecosystem. You need to rely on this app to sync iDevice data with your Mac.

Due to security concerns, Apple always urges us to use the latest version of iTunes.

Chances are that there are newer iTunes versions available and you haven’t yet updated your Mac, therefore it won’t let you sync data.

Instead, it warns you to reinstall iTunes.

While we have to admit that this can be a pain, Apple should stop this kind of force update. We don’t mean to blame Apple, but we are always more problem-solving-oriented. I hope you enjoy this Mac tip.

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  • Kaitlyn Hung

    It tells me it is an illegal command and it cannot unlink. :/

  • rehmat akbari

    I dont want to remove iTunes from my macOS Big Sur, though the iTunes has several issues. So, can you help me how can I fix the issues.

  • Mel Olivier

    Managed to uninstall it, but cannot reinstall it. No download available in the App Store for the latest version and the old version won’t install on my Mac due to updated iOS it is unsupported! What do I do now?!

  • daniel

    more advice on internet that doesn’t work.

  • Adam Rogers

    All of my songs, in iTunes, are grayed out on my backup computer. I need to know how to fix it. I have OS X High Sierra on my backup computer.

  • George Hinkle Jr

    If you don’t mind, can help me with an issue I’m having with iTunes? I never establish a pass word with iTunes or regestered/opened an account with them. Now they insist on a pass word I don’t have to even deactivate the app. Help me please!

    “No where to turn”

  • Marc Felperlaan

    hi.., I deleted iTunes, but the old one stays in the trash, can’t trow it away, comes back all the time….

  • Liam

    Hi Chris,

    System : OSX Mojave, Macbook 2017, Administrator

    The steps above don’t work, for the following reasons.

    When attempting to amend the permissions within iTunes Sharing & Permissions – I receive the error: “The Operation can’t be completed because you don’t have the necessary permission”

    The terminal fix – Results in: Operation not permitted after each string.

    I tried to reset the file permissions by restarting in Recovery mode, but the options seem lacking – even after the resetpassword command

    This really shouldn’t be this difficult, Apple’s dictatorship of an operating system, yet again causing headaches.

    I work in 2nd/3rd Desktop support – Any help you could provide would be much appreciated.

    I think this worked with Sierra, but now…