How to update iTunes. A simple guide that’ll show you how to update Apple’s software on a PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad…
If you own an iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes has long been the prime app you not only use to manage those devices and your Mac or PC but also all of your media on your Mac and PC as well.
But just like any other app, iTunes isn’t without its share of bugs. That’s why it’s important to keep the app updated at all times. And by keeping iTunes updated, not only will you be sure to have the latest bug-killing releases, but you’ll also be privy to the latest features Apple’s added to iTunes.
Update iTunes On A PC
If you’re a Windows PC user, there are a few different possible ways to update iTunes to make sure you’re using the latest version.
The way you’ll need to update it depends on whether you downloaded the iTunes app directly from Apple’s website or if you downloaded it from what Microsoft Store on Windows 10.
If you downloaded iTunes from Apple’s website you’ll need to update iTunes from within the app itself. If you downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store, you’ll need to update iTunes through the Microsoft Store app.
If you don’t remember where you downloaded iTunes from originally, first try the “Update iTunes From The iTunes App” steps below, and if you don’t see the “Check for Updates” button in the app, then go on to the “Update iTunes Via The Microsoft Store” below.
Update iTunes From The iTunes App
Updating iTunes from the iTunes app itself is probably the simplest way to update iTunes on a PC. That’s because it’s all done from within the iTunes app itself. Here’s how to update:
- Open the iTunes app on your PC.
- From the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window, click Help > Check for Updates.
- In the Updates window that appears, you’ll be notified if there’s a new update. If there is, just follow the onscreen prompts to install the latest version.
If you’ve followed the steps above but don’t see a Help > Check for Updates button in your iTunes app, you’ll need to updated iTunes from the Microsoft Store. See how below.
Update iTunes Via The Microsoft Store
Starting with Windows 10, Apple began distributing iTunes through the Microsoft Store. The Microsoft Store is the equivalent of Microsoft’s App Store. Its where you could download apps from both Microsoft and third-party companies (like Apple) on a PC.
If you’re using Windows 10, there’s a good chance you downloaded iTunes via the Microsoft Store. If so, to update iTunes you’ll need to do it through the Microsoft Store app as well. Here’s how.
- Launch the Microsoft Store app. You can do this by either clicking the Microsoft Store button in the taskbar (it looks like a shopping bad with the Microsoft logo on it) or by clicking the Start button and typing “Microsoft Store.”
- The cool thing about the Microsoft Store is apps are automatically updated, so there’s a good chance that your PC has automatically updated iTunes for you. However, you can confirm this from within the Microsoft Store app by going to the “Downloads and Updates” pane of the app. This pane will show any apps that were recently updated or are waiting to be updated.
- If the iTunes app shows as waiting to be updated, simply follow the instructions in the Microsoft Store app to update iTunes to the latest version.
Update iTunes On A Mac
Updating iTunes on a Mac is even simpler than updating it on a PC. That’s because iTunes updates on the Mac are always handled through the Mac App Store.
However, iTunes actually doesn’t exist for macOS 10.15 or later. The iTunes app on those systems has been replaced by the Music, TV, and Podcast apps. So, if you want to update the apps that manage your media on macOS 10.15 or later, you’ll want to update those apps as you won’t find iTunes on your system at all.
Update iTunes On macOS 10.14 Or Earlier
- Under the Apple menu in the menu bar, click App Store.
- In the sidebar in the App Store window, click Updates.
- Pending and recent updates will show here. If iTunes shows under “Updated Recently” it’s already been updated. But if it shows under updates ready to be installed, click the “Install” button and the latest version will be downloaded and installed.
Update iTunes On macOS 10.15 Or Later
As we need above, iTunes no longer exists on macOS 10.15 and later. The app has been replaced with three separate apps: TV, Music, and Podcasts. These apps are all part of the macOS operating system itself, so they can’t be updated individually.
Instead, any TV, Music, and Podcasts app updated will come as part of larger macOS system updates. To see if you have a macOS system updated (and also a TV, Music, and Podcasts apps update), do the following:
- Under the Apple menu in the menu bar, click System Preferences.
- In System Preferences, click Software Update.
- In the Software Update window, you’ll be alerted if you have a pending macOS update. If so, click the “Update Now” button to install it.
Once a macOS 10.15 or later update is installed, you’ll have the latest versions of the TV, Music, and Podcasts apps too.
Just remember, the iTunes app DOES NOT exist for macOS 10.15 or later anymore.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.