After using iTunes 11 for about a month, to give it a chance after my initial disgust (see this post), I couldn’t stand it any longer.
And, after weighing up various options, including various alternative players, I decided to downgrade to iTunes 10.7. iTunes 10.7 supports iOS 6 so I would still be able to sync my iPhone while enjoying all the features and aesthetics which are sadly (and annoyingly) lacking in iTunes 11.
I can confirm that by using this method my iPhone, which is currently running iOS 6, does not get the “restore factory settings” error and has no problems syncing and accessing all the apps I downloaded using iTunes 11.
I also did not get the dreaded error message (-42408).
I had both these problems when I tried to downgrade previously. So this guide also provides a solution to these errors.
I would also like to add that my iPhone is not jailbroken (just FYI).
iTunes 10 includes all the following features which I missed EVERY TIME I used iTunes 11:
- displaying a playlist in shuffle order
- remembering your shuffled playlist order when you restart iTunes
- having the album art viewer in the sidebar
- displaying music videos in the album art viewer
- actually having a usable volume control for Mini Player
- an aesthetic which does not burn my eyes every time I look at it
(etc. etc. it’s a long list…)
So I wanted iTunes 10 back.
I thought it would be fairly straightforward to downgrade – just uninstall iTunes 11 and then install iTunes 10.7.
How wrong I was!
The basic reason for this is that iTunes makes little notes about the version you are using all over your system. It won’t let you downgrade because all these notes have no instructions built in to cope with that. Apple doesn’t expect you to want to downgrade so that eventuality has not been prepared for.
If you decide you want to downgrade you will probably encounter the following problems:
- 1.) A message about an unknown error (-42408).
- 2.) A message about being unable to connect your iPhone and needing you to restore it [the iPhone] to the factory settings.
I know that there are all sorts of solutions and advice and tips and such available online (because I tried a lot of them). But as usual I couldn’t seem to find one complete comprehensive guide which covered all the information I wanted (I’m sorry but I do, in fact, really want all the bells and whistles, and my hand held too, thank you very much).
So in view of this I have written my own guide to downgrading from iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7. This is a step by step of exactly what worked for me, including all the details I couldn’t find and wished I had when I was downgrading. As always this is a comprehensive guide so some steps may seem obvious but I like to be thorough.
What you will need…
- iTunes 10.7 (which you can download here)
- Pacifist (which you can download here)
- Some free space on your HD in case you want to back up some files
- Your Previous iTunes Libraries folder (see Step 0.)
Oh, and just so you know, I am using Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6.8).
A Quick Note About This Downgrade:
This is a downgrade to A PREVIOUS VERSION of your iTunes and in order to avoid all errors you will also be restoring your iTunes Library to a previous state.
Therefore anything you have added AFTER upgrading to iTunes 11 will not be in your downgraded iTunes Library (because it did not exist at that time).
The items you have added after upgrading to iTunes 11 must be added manually (in iTunes go to File > Add to Library… > and select your music folder/s). If in doubt back up first!
Right. Let’s rock and roll.
Step 0. If you want to back up some files first…
Nothing went wrong for me with the downgrade and I didn’t back up anything other than the iTunes folder in my Music folder. Because I don’t like iTunes saving a copy of every single piece of music I own, my iTunes folder is less than 200 MB so easy to back up. All my music is stored separately from iTunes in folders of my own choice and this is all backed up to an external HDD. If you want to do a minimal backup beforehand then your iTunes folder is probably the one to do. If you aren’t sure which one this is you can either do a Spotlight search or by default it should just be in (on a Mac):
Users > (username) > Music
The iTunes folder you are looking for will also contain a file in called iTunes Library.itl and a folder called Previous iTunes Libraries which will be important later.
Even if you don’t back up anything else, I would strongly advise backing up the two items above anyway. Just in case.
Step 1. Uninstall iTunes 11.
To do this merely open your Applications folder, find the iTunes app and either right click and choose Move to Trash or just drag the icon to the Trash.
You will be asked to confirm this if you are not the Administrator but just type in your details and press OK.
Congratulations! You have just kicked iTunes 11 back to depths of trashdom from whence it came.
And there was much rejoicing! Hooray! (If you don’t get this then shame on you for not watching enough Monty Python!)
Step 2. Install Pacifist
Pacifist is shareware. However as long as you are happy to put up with the constant nagging about paying for the program you can use it as freeware. In any case you can just use it this once and then delete it if you want.
You actually don’t need to install Pacifist in the conventional way. You can run it simply by unzipping the Pacifist zip file you downloaded earlier, then opening the folder and simply double clicking (or however you have set your programs to open) on the Pacifist app icon. But I will explain this again in Step 3.
Now Pacifist is ready to go we can start installing iTunes 10.7.
Step 3. Install iTunes 10.7
At this stage you should:
- a.) have Pacifist ready to run
- b.) know exactly where your iTunes folder containing your Previous iTunes Libraries folder and your iTunes Library.itl file is located
And now onwards to glorious iTunes 10!
iTunes 10.7 Installation Part 1:
Installing iTunes Using Pacifist
1.) Start Pacifist by going to the folder you unzipped and double clicking (or click or however your Mac is setup) on the Pacifist app icon.
Because Pacifist is shareware, when you start the program it gives you a little message to say that it is shareware and some other information. In order to use it for free you will have to wait for the countdown to complete before continuing (unless you want to register). So wait and then continue by clicking Not Yet.
2.) When Pacifist is up and running click on the Open Package option.
3.) Locate your iTunes 10.7 dmg which you downloaded earlier and click Open.
4.) Pacifist will then show you the package contents. Make sure you select everything!
- NOTE: It is actually easier to just click Contents of iTunes10.7.dmg as this should select everything within the package.
5.) Click the Install button (orange arrow) located on the top left of the toolbar at the top.
6.) You will get a warning which asks if you are sure you want to
‘Install entire contents of “iTunes10.7.dmg”?’
If you feel uncertain at this stage by all means cancel and backup whatever you feel is necessary. As I say, I didn’t have any issues (well, I haven’t noticed any) but you should do what you feel is best.
When you are ready, tick the Use Administrator Privileges box and then click Install. Depending who you are installing as it may ask you for your Admin username and password.
- NOTE: It is important to tick this box as otherwise Pacifist will not be able to access all the silly notes that iTunes has made about the version you should be using and you may have problems with the installation.
7.) During the installation Pacifist will ask you about every single file it has to replace. Make sure you click Replace for every message. About halfway through you get some messages offering an option to Update as well as the option to Replace.
I clicked Replace (NOT Update) here.
8.) When everything has finished you can close Pacifist.
iTunes 10.7 Installation Part 2:
Restoring Your iTunes Library
1.) Locate your iTunes folder, and within it locate your iTunes Library.itl file.
2.) You have several options regarding the iTunes Library.itl file. You can either,
a.) rename the file e.g. iTunes Library Feb 2013 backup.itl
b.) put it in another folder for safekeeping
Either way you should keep this file, and keep it safe in case of emergencies.
3.) Go into your Previous iTunes Libraries folder. All the files in this folder are iTunes libraries which are usually created when you upgrade although they can also be created manually.
Look for a backup for iTunes 10.7 or earlier. As I say, iTunes automatically creates a .itl file when it upgrades to a new version so hopefully you have one which is suitable. Mine was actually 10.2 before I upgraded to iTunes 11 and I only upgraded about a month back so it was fairly up to date. My file was called:
iTunes Library 2013-01-12.itl
Your file should be similar as the file name is always:
iTunes Library year-month-day.itl
4.) When you have found a suitable .itl file, create a copy and rename it
You should leave the original in the Previous iTunes Libraries folder just in case.
5.) Put the iTunes Library.itl file you just renamed into your iTunes folder (where the previous iTunes library.itl file was). For me it is in my Music folder, which is the Mac default (as I mentioned earlier), here:
Users > (username) > Music > iTunes
And that’s it!
Now fire up iTunes and hopefully you have your lovely user friendly iTunes 10 back without any errors or iPhone syncing problems whatsoever! Hooray!
To all fellow haters of iTunes 11, I urge you to return to iTunes 10! You can’t imagine the satisfaction and relief you will feel once you successfully downgrade and see that familiar practical convenient aesthetically pleasing interface once again.
And there was much rejoicing! Hooray!