I’m having a lot of anomalous behavior from iTunes on my Windows computer. Is there a way to check my configuration or reset things to get the program to work better? I can’t switch to Windows Media Player because of company policy.
While people are well aware of the way that Microsoft has supplied important Windows software for the Mac platform forever, less people realize that Apple developers are responsible for quite a bit of Windows software too. Yes, it’s all to help Windows PCs be part of the iCloud and Apple ecosystem, but still, there’s some good software you can grab and run. If you use multiple operating systems, it’s pretty nice to have some consistent software across computers, and if you’re one of the folk who have a PC and an iPhone, well, iTunes for Windows is your best friend.
However, just like any other software, sometimes iTunes can get out of sync or have a glitch or hiccup in its database that lets it track all your music, podcasts, videos and TV shows on your device. Fortunately there are two completely different ways you can force a reset or diagnostic to help figure out what’s going on.
To start, launch iTunes for Windows on your PC and look for the following entry on the Help menu:
As highlighted, it’s a good idea within iTunes to “Run Diagnostics“. That brings up a menu offering four major tests:
Those four tests are Network connectivity, CD/DVD drive tests, Device connectivity tests and Device sync tests. To get the most out of this, plug in your iPhone, iPad or any other Apple product you may use and also slip a music CD into your CD player. The tests don’t fix things, but they can help you identify if you have a hardware or cabling issue.
To actually fix things you can quit iTunes because we’ll be using the Windows Settings feature instead.
Easily done by using Windows search to look for “apps and features”:
Choose Apps & features from the right and you’ll see, there are some systemwide settings you can tweak. Please don’t change the default location for installing apps, however, because that’s a good security option:
Scroll down to find “iTunes“, then click on it once. It’ll expand and look like this:
Don’t “Uninstall” it! Instead click on the “Advanced options” link and you’ll see there are a number of different settings you can tweak here with iTunes on your PC:
Probably none of them need to be changed, however. Instead, swipe or scroll down again until you get to this set of choices:
First and foremost is to click on “Repair“. This basically causes iTunes to rebuild its database:
Likely that’ll fix you up. If not, you can then try the bigger step of “Reset“, which will delete and reinstall the program without touching your library at all. If that doesn’t work, well, then you’re going to have to really step it up and consider uninstalling it and starting over. Good luck!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about the intersection of Apple and Windows for years. Please check out my Windows help pages while you’re here, I bet there’s lots more you’ll find useful too!