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iTunes Installation Error

iTunes Installation Error

iTunes Installation Error – It seems as though some users have had issues installing iTunes 12.3 (among other Apple software *cough*iOS9*cough*). The error description is also not very helpful either.

There is a problem with this Windows Installer package. A program required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.

That error message was about as helpful as a spoon in a pogo stick contest.

iTunes Installation Error

So when I saw the message, I was quite frankly stumped. I resigned myself to the fact that I would actually need to sift through some Apple Support forums.

iTunes Installation Error

Luckily for me, the answer was close at hand. In one Apple Support forum thread, the users were mentioning that the issue resided with the Apple Software Update service on Windows. The solution therefore is quick and painless. Head on over to Programs and Features and right-click the update app. Select Repair from the context menu that pops up.

iTunes Installation Error

In no time, Windows does its thing. In fact I had to double-check because I wasn’t sure that the repair did anything. Restarting the installer proved successful and the installation of iTunes 12.3 completed without errors.

iTunes Installation Error

What is new in iTunes 12.3? According to the Apple site the following enhancements were made:

iTunes Installation Error

This update to iTunes adds support for iOS 9 and is designed for OS X El Capitan. It also:

  • Improves Apple Music accessibility with VoiceOver
  • Resolves a problem that prevented reordering of songs within Up Next
  • Fixes a problem where some radio stations did not appear within Recently Played
  • Addresses an issue where songs you loved on iOS did not appear loved on iTunes
  • Supports two-factor authentication to secure your Apple ID

This update to iTunes adds support for iOS 9 and Windows 10. It also:

  • Resolves a problem that prevented reordering of songs within Up Next
  • Fixes a problem where some radio stations did not appear within Recently Played
  • Addresses an issue where songs you loved on iOS did not appear loved on iTunes
  • Supports two-factor authentication to secure your Apple ID

This update also includes improvements to overall stability and performance.

Update – 26 January 2016

Thanks you Paul Botha for sharing your fix for this iTunes error. Here is his reply to me and I hope that it can assist others experiencing problems with installing iTunes.

Hi Dirk,

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me.
I have managed to find a fix which has done the trick.
I did a repair of the Apple Software Update and then immediately the iTunes (in that order) in the Control Panel – Programmes and Features.
I then tried the installation and it worked.
If I did the repair in the other order it would not work. Strange?


Update – 14 April 2016

Todd Sturgeon sent me the following email containing this fantastic tip!

It might help your readers to also know: if the Apple Software Update isn’t listed in Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs, close the Control Panel, then try clicking on the Apple Software Update shortcut in Start Menu > All Programs (this might cause the program to reinitialize itself). Then go into the control panel again, it should be there now, to do the repair step as listed in the article.

Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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  • RYnzz

    thansk a lot! ur info is such a great help ^_^

  • JCB

    Thanks a lot! after many searchs….you solved

  • Susan Weber

    I did all this and still get the same error.

  • John Andrews

    Thank you! I’m a long time Windows user but have almost never used Repair and I wasn’t going there based on the install error text.

  • Jared Mestler

    This was huge! Thanks for this, was banging my head against the keyboard after trying many things!

  • justin

    did not help at all. Exact same error

  • Lstar3


  • Stefan Dyadchenko

    Thanks! This helped

  • Larry Orchard

    Well one more time around the Apple — installed no error message- wont open- did what you said repair – click on I tunes to open it message from used control-Yes- itunes opens for about 3 seconds shows song list and closes with no error message I love i tunes and it used to work great but when they Microsoft changes anything they make it hard for apple to play ball what can i do to fix this issue

  • Sam C

    Thank you very much. It works for me:
    Itunes Windows 10 Pro x64

  • Cal Meacham

    Mine isn’t listed as an Apple Update App. Thoughts? It had me originally download an exe file.

  • Two thumbs up, THANKS!!

  • Matt Tocock

    many many thanks was startin t lose the plot

  • December Khaosai P

    Thank you a lot, it’s very helpful to me!!

  • Phillip Cullin

    I found that selecting the repair option was enough to get the job done! Thanks for everything here!

  • Nicholas Eubank

    I am getting the same error trying to UNISTALL Apple Software Update. Please help!!

  • Michelle

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Susan Atherton

    THANK YOU – what a simple fix…that I never would have found on my own. You rock!

  • Steve Trotman

    Saved me some diagnostic time, thanks!

  • James, London

    thank you Dirk, that had been driving me up the wall, much appreciated 🙂 James, London

    • Haha, you’re welcome James. It drove me up the wall too.

  • Larry Orchard

    I am still having issues with i tunes opening up and crashing I have done everything suggested no errors show up anymore but right after it opens – Itunes just closes down. Windows Vista this is just driving bats

    • Hi Larry. First off, I would suggest upgrading your OS to anything other than Vista. iTunes and Vista definitely do not play nicely together. See this Apple support thread:

      • Larry Orchard

        That’s what I figured. Well anyway
        Just discovered for my real estate back office to work properly now After a system upgrade I am forced to upgrade. I will upgrade to Windows 7. Then to ten when they get the bugs out. One of the reasons I was hesitant was because I use windows media player for the church music on Sunday and the seven and ten were having issues playing the previous version movie files. Guess it is time to change. Thanks will let you know how it progresses

        • If you need to contact me directly, you can DM me on Twitter or via the contact form on this blog. If you need help with anything, don’t hesitate to let me know. Good luck.

  • Larry Orchard

    I have uninstalled/ reinstalled run the repair option I thought fixed it as it opened without a problem Then Bam it shut down lol Crazy

  • Joel

    IT WORKED! Thank you! 🙂

  • Gary Kobayashi

    Thank you! Perfect!

  • Brett Wilson

    Sooo frustrating when i hear its so easy, but it still dont work. I get the error and the “Apple Software Update” does not appear in programs and features. I feel like all i got to do is touch the word apple and i get this dam error

  • Michelle

    Brilliant, thank you! 🙂

  • Stephanie

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • James

    you are a legend!! after two frustrating days updating software and fiddlign around this simple fix worked perfectly…thankyou

  • Mark

    You, sir, are awesome. Thanks for taking the time to post this. A simple 10 second Google search found this article and another 10 second fix solved an issue I have been jacking with for months. I’ve even downloaded 5 instances of the installer package thinking they were corrupt. Kudos, and thanks again!

  • Drew McFarland

    I’m on Windows 10, and the stupid new uninstaller removed the Repair function. Uninstalling Apple Software Update gives me this error so I’m screwed. Help? 🙁

    • Hi Drew. I’m on Windows 10 too. If you go to Control Panel -> Programs and Features and right-click on the Apple Software Update, you should see the option in the pop-up menu to Repair. Does that not work for you?

      • Maria Socrates Tsounda

        Hi Drew. Happy holidays.
        I managed to uninstall ASU (before reading your article) and now I cannot install itunes at all!!!!! Any suggstions?

        • Suren Oganesian

          Hey Maria, if you still having this issue, i have a solution, because i also uninstalled itunes before coming on to this article, what helped for me was to uninstall all programs from apple, then rebooted pc and itunes installed without a single issue and all the apple program i had too

  • priscila

    THANK YOU!!!!! i didnt know it was SO simple! im looking for this soluttion since forever! haha thanks!!

  • Sheila Rose

    Thank you for this simple solution – it worked! It’s been driving me mad for months!

  • Dale Duane Klein Jr.

    thank you! this totally worked! why don’t they have this info on the apple website?

    • It is actually discussed in the Apple support forum thread (link in the article above). I’m happy that this worked for you.

      • Dale Duane Klein Jr.

        awesome, thank you, happy holidays

  • amham

    Thanks, your iTunes fix (Repair) worked and was the ONLY fix that was correct and straightforward. All other searches led to dead ends.

    • This seems to be a common problem, strangely enough. I know that there are other fixes for similar issues.

  • curiousLee

    Just ran into this issue and Googled for the error. Your informative article fixed the problem and allowed iTunes to install without any problems. Thanks, Dirk!

  • HappyH

    I have been trying to install/update ITunes for weeks – so glad I finally came across your article. After much frustration with other ‘fix’ attempts found through ITunes/Google/Etc, yours worked! THANK YOU so much for sharing!

    • Thanks for reading HappyH. I’m glad that the solution worked for you.

  • Morganne Walker

    Thanks so much for posting this! Glad it’s such a simple fix, it worked like a charm!

  • Sadhu Sudheer

    much appreciated brother. it worked

  • Jim Mott

    Thanks for the help. Exactly what I needed!

    • You’re very welcome Jim. I’m happy that the fix worked for you.

  • Rick Von Feldt

    Thank you so very much. Such a frustrating problem for weeks – and such a simple fix. FYI – I even went through the whole process of uninstalling all of the Apple and iTunes components – as one website suggested. And then reinstalling. Still no problem. Fortunately, it “installs” the installer first – even if none of the other pieces would install. AND THEN, by using your method – it just fixed it. Craziness. But appreciated!

    • That’s awesome Rick. I also sat for a while trying to figure this one out. Strange that so many people are having the same problem. Glad you got sorted out though.

      • will smith

        Dirk, same experience for me – deleted all Itunes components, tried system file scanner command line, even purchased Winthruster, but cancelled after it failed me. After 12 hours of on again and off again screwing around, came across your column with its sage advice. Same reaction – the Apple Software Update repair occurred so quickly, I thought – ‘another failure’. Tried the Itunes install more in hope than anything else – surprise, surprise! Thanks so much, Dirk – awesome.

        • That’s awesome Will. I wonder if this issue with iTunes will persist.

  • mike

    thx a million, bought a new ipad pro and couldnt backup from itunes. then used the last working version on itune and had this error.

    signup using fb and still had to verify email,omg. so much work for just saying thx.

  • I’m having this problem right now, but I’m on Windows 10 and the “apps” page in settings isn’t giving me any “repair” options. Do you have any advice? My version of “Apple Software Update” is from 2013 and will neither let me fix it nor uninstall it. It’s driving me nuts — I only want iTunes for long enough to buy one album that isn’t available anywhere else, and though I don’t like the program I was prepared to put up with it, but now it isn’t even letting me install it. Maybe it can sense my anti-Apple feelings…

    EDITED TO ADD: Nevermind, found my Control Panel now. Wish it wasn’t so difficult to track down… Going to try this fix.

  • Ah, miraculous! After tracking down my Control Panel (stupid Windows 10) I tried this and it’s working. To think I wasted the last two hours of my life trying to fix this and it was so easy.

  • Jesus

    Wow, very nice it worked!!!! Stupid Windows 10

  • Robert Kydd

    Fantastic, thanks for making life so much easier 🙂

  • meljb

    Thank you! Such an easy fix, wish I’d found this weeks ago

  • DM

    Your 2016 update fixed it form me, thank you!.

  • curiousLee

    This trick got me past the error again. Forgotten how to fix it from last time I read your article so looked it up, and voila! Thanks, @dirk_strauss:disqus!

  • Steve

    I’ve been fighting (and giving up on) this problem off an on for months. Then I stumbled upon your solution. Crazy-easy! Thanks!

  • How super silly yet solved it – I wonder how widespread this is actually. Thanks Dirk

    • Hi Dario. It seems as though there are quite a few people experiencing this issue.

  • Ula

    It worked! THANK YOU!!!

  • LILI


  • husam

    realy , realy , realy , you are a genius >>
    thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks , thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks ,,realy thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks

  • Kelly Furrows

    What the heck! It worked! Apple “support” had me jump through all of these ridiculous hoops, follow vague instructions and nothing worked until I found this. Why can’t Apple be a little more specific? The solution was so simple!

  • Ata

    Very smart and simple. thank u so much. I am thinking that how u found this simple solution.

  • Jefff

    This is fantastic Dirk, you are the man. Very simple and I am jazzed. Thanks!

  • Kevin Gock

    Thanks Dirk that solved it for me, much appreciated.

  • Luke Kamp

    Magic! Thank you much! The 4th on Google fixed my problem.

  • Mick R

    Thanks Dirk.

  • Yegg

    I just went through this myself with Windows 7. I did an uninstall if the iTunes version installed and a repair of all the remaining Apple programs that showed up in the list. I did not pay attention to order. I then went back and ran the iTunes6464 as Administrator and it worked! Thanks for the post!

  • Crystal

    Thank you so much for this!!! You are a lifesaver!!!!!!

  • Joadi

    Hi. I am trying to install the latest Apple Software Update 12.5.3 so my daughter can install the backup from her old phone to her new one. I have tried the suggestions regarding repairing the ASU. We have been unable to repair it as we keep getting the following error message “Another installation is already in progress. Complete that installation before proceeding with this install.” This is the same error we received when the initial update. We are tearing our hair out.

    • Hello Joadi. Have you tried restarting the PC? The following link suggests a few steps to try and resolve:
      Steps 1, 2 and 3 could be of some help, so perhaps try those first. In all likelihood, the issue is related to windows installer process still running. As per the article above:
      1. Type services.msc in start menu and hit enter to open Services.
      2. Scroll down to the Windows Installer service and double click on it.
      3. Stop the service and then restart it.
      4. Now try to install the program. Should help.

      Also have a look at the Microsoft Knowledge base article here:

      • Joadi

        Thanks Dirk. Yes restarting the PC was one of the first things I did. I did take a look at the link and try what you suggested. Ran virus scan (had done that before as well) and disk cleanup of temp files. Unfortunately the commands to stop the Windows Installer Service are in grey and can’t be accessed. On the Windows Club page I followed instructions to open Task Manager and found Windows Installer as a background process. Here is where I found more than one listing for Windows Installer. I can fight click and have the option of end task. I am worried about what happens if I ”end task”. Should I do this for each one and if I do will my PC still run OK?. As you can tell I really don’t have much of an idea about computers. I read the article on Microsoft support but didn’t really take a lot of it in. Thanks for your help.

        • Is there one that looks as if it is using any CPU/IO usage? Ending tasks is just stopping an application or service. Windows will start the service or application next time it is needed again. Having said that, the real question should be why your machine is installing something you don’t seem to have control over. What application did you use to run the virus scan? Personally I don’t use a free app because these rarely catch viruses in the wild. Have a look at ESET’s NOD32 antivirus. It will allow you to run a fully functional 30-day (I think) trial. Rather scan your PC with that. Alternatively you can use their online scanner at the following link:

          You can also have a look at their tools here:
          I strongly recommend ESET. If you need further assistance with this, please feel free to let me know.

          • Joadi

            Many thanks Dirk. I appreciate your time and advice. Used the ESET online scan and it did the trick. I could then ‘repair’ iTunes and have been able to download the latest update. I checked the Task Manager and have only one Windows Installer there now. I use Norton Security and am now wondering about its effectiveness and reliability. It scores highly on testing from what I have been able to determine. Will probably take up the 30 day trial for ESET & see how I go. I only renewed Norton 4 or 5 months ago.

          • Ah that’s really great news Joadi! ESET is a very good product. What I love about ESET is the small footprint it has on my PC. Its updates are very small (virus definitions it downloads) and when it scans my PC I almost don’t realize it. Meanwhile it is an absolute tour de force in the antivirus world. Norton is good too, but I prefer ESET. Just a point to note, you shouldn’t have two antivirus products installed on your machine at the same time. This can sometimes make the antivirus protection less effective.

            Thanks for reading the blog 🙂

          • Joadi

            I thought as much (re; two antivirus products). Found your blog by happy coincidence so will continue taking a peek. 🙂 P.S Not too happy about South Africa flogging us unmercifully in the latest cricket Test series. 🙁

          • I have to admit, I am happy the series went so well for us. That last one, by an innings and 80 runs… that was impressive. But you know as the game goes, next time you folks will give the Saffers a run for their money as payback :- )
            The 24th is around the corner.

  • Mike de Castro

    You are angel sent, very helpful, good job! clap clap clap

  • Jristan Chan

    Had this problem with iTunes on Windows 10 Pro (dated : 9th November 2016)
    and Dirk’s solution from 2015 still does the trick ! How amazing !

    Thanks man !

  • Lorraine

    Thank you … thank you … this issue with iTunes was driving me nuts …. your advice has it sorted!

  • J

    This worked, thanks!

  • Steven

    This worked, quick like you said – Thank You very much.

  • Joe

    This worked! Thank You!

  • Maggie

    This worked for me, thank you so much!

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen

    This is what worked for me: I kept trying to “repair” the iTunes file in the uninstall window of the Control Panel, i.e., when you click on the file and right click on your mouse, you get three options-Uninstall, Change & Repair. What you have to do is select Repair on the Apple Software Update file in there (not the iTunes file). I discovered this because it wouldn’t let me uninstall it. After I repaired this file, I was able to update iTunes.

  • P Reutli

    Hi, this worked like a treat for iTunes 12.6 and latest Win10 updates. Thanks so much. All the other possible solutions from Apple and Microsoft did not do anything. Cheers from NZ.

  • This worked for 12.6 for me also. Thanks for the good advice.

  • Prakash

    I tried this suggested steps and it worked for me… Thanks..

  • Delysia

    You just saved me so much time and frustration. Thank you so much.

  • S

    Thank you! Huge help. Much better and clearer (and effective!) than what Apple was suggesting.

  • TSKnox

    Thanks Dirk,
    This worked exactly as described. I have been flailing for several months with this issue.

  • Hayley M

    I currently have this issue but before I read these forums, I clicked “uninstall” instead of repair. Does anyone know what to do in this scenario? Thank you.

    • Have you uninstalled the Apple Software Update from your machine?

  • Darren

    Hello Dirk, I followed your steps and this is what I have next:
    ‘The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable.’ Click OK to try again or enter an alternate path to a folder containing the installation package “iTunes64msi” in the box below. Clicked Ok, entered an alternate path, but still nothing. Where can I go from here?

    • Hi Darren. Check to see that you have access to the msi (and that it actually exists) on the network resource you are trying to connect to. See if you can navigate to the msi via Windows Explorer. Lastly, you can also check to see if you can run Programs and Features as Admin. Try the following:
      Perhaps that will help? If you don’t come right, drop me a message with your email address on my contact page and let’s take it from there.

  • Nikki Louie

    Thank you Dirk! This worked perfectly. I don’t know why I didn’t get this link the last 42 times I googled this problem but, I’m grateful that I finally found you.

    • I’m really glad that this solution is still proving useful almost 2 years later. I really should try and improve the SEO on this page to make it rank better in Google search. 🙂

  • alannoake

    Hi Dirk, was initially thrilled to find your solution. I have recently spent ages completely reconfiguring my PC and have got to the stage where I need to reinstall iTunes and iCloud however I am getting the error above. Trouble is there is no previous Apple Software Update showing at all on the PC for me to Repair? Any suggestions?

    Windows 7.0 BTW

    • This is indeed strange. When you say that you reconfigured your pc, did you reinstall windows or did you just remove unwanted apps?

      If the latter… perhaps try to install iTunes as administrator by right clicking on the installer and selecting ‘Run as Administrator’.

      If this does not work, ensure that all Apple applications are totally removed from your pc. Then use a registry scanner to clean up the registry. Then restart your pc and try again.

      If you reinstalled windows, ensure that windows is totally up to date. So after the clean install, run windows update and just let it finish the process. Your pc might restart. After all those updates have been installed and you have restarted your pc, run another update. Just to make sure that all updates are installed.

      Then try to install iTunes. If this doesn’t work, try temporarily disabling your anti-virus software (you should have anti-virus installed). Sometimes this could cause an issue.

      Lastly if all else fails, I would download the iTunes installer again and try installing it with the newly downloaded installer.

      Let me know if any of these suggestions work out.

      Good luck.

  • alannoake

    It was the former. I fully reinstalled Windows. As advised I have run all Windows updates with reboots, I have run a registry cleanup tool, I have tried disabling my AVG Security and also running as Administrator. Still get Installer error for installing iTunes and also for installing iCloud. It just gives the error and then rolls back the installs. Very frustrating.

    • There seems to be a specific order that iTunes and related components need to be removed from a PC. The following support article lists the steps;

      “Use the Control Panel to uninstall iTunes and related software components in the following order:

      1. iTunes
      2. Apple Software Update
      3. Apple Mobile Device Support
      4. Bonjour
      5. Apple Application Support 32-bit
      6. Apple Application Support 64-bit

      On some systems, iTunes might install two versions of Apple Application Support. This is expected. If both are present, be sure to uninstall both versions.”

      The following article then also outlines what to do if you can’t install iTunes for Windows:

      If none of these solutions work for you, I hate to have to say this, but I think that you need to contact Apple Support:

      Not being able to install iTunes on a clean, up-to-date system is not supposed to happen.

  • Chris Sower

    Thank you do much! Nothing Microsoft or Apple suggested worked, until I found your article and your readers (Todd Sturgeon – April 14 2016 Update) comments about how to reinitialize Apple Software Update – which fixed the problem right away.

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  • Tim

    Thanks! That did the trick for me – WIndows 10, iTunes 12.7. Repaired the Apple Software Update and it finally installed. After a couple of hours of no help from Apple, Microsoft and the entire rest of the interwebs.

    Thanks, Dirk!

  • TheAnvilBear

    Omg, thank you, mate! I tried everything and it didnt work but your method helped!

  • Michelle Dill

    The only thing that worked for me for the Windows Package error for Itunes 12.7 was to a) repair the Apple Software update from Control panel AND then b) In the Apple Software Update software, go to Tools>Download Only. I saw this on some other site when I was googling this to no avail. Once the Download Only was done, I was able to manually click on the installer and it finally succeeded. Going to the update through the older Itunes took me to the Apple website and the Apple website download did not engage the Apple Software Update software. I didn’t even know there was a stupid Apple Software Update software. I thought you just had to download the update from Apple website. Is it because of the way Chrome opened the downloaded file? I have been trying to figure this out for several weeks. I am pissed off that it was this difficult to figure out!

  • Jenn Raines Barnett

    Thanks for the easy fix!!

  • Stuart Webster

    thank you!!