Why is iTunes so slow? Here’s the real reason

Not many apps that were created 20 years ago are still going strong in todays market, however iTunes is the exception to the rule. Since being launched in January 2021 as a refreshing way to purchase digital media, iTunes has stuck around and, on the whole, offers pretty much the same service as it did back then.

Like every app on the planet, though, it isn’t without fault with many users often complaining about the pace in which the platform deals with requests. If you’re having issues with iTunes being slow then you’ve come to the right place – we’re going to look at the reasons why it sometimes runs slowly and look at what you can do about it.

Why is iTunes so slow? The most common reason

The most common complaint when it comes to iTunes running slowly comes from customers who use the platform on a Windows computer. Generally speaking, iOS devices are more capable of dealing with multiple apps/downloads/requests at one time when compared to Windows and this is often where the issue lies.

If you’re on a Windows desktop and notice that iTunes is running slowly then check what else you’ve currently got running in the background because if there’s a lot going on then your operating system might not be able to cope with it. To check what you’ve currently got running on a Windows computer, and then close them down, follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl, Alt, Delete
  2. Select ‘task manager’.
  3. Highlight any tasks other than iTunes and select ‘end task’.

This should get iTunes running smoothly again but if it doesn’t, then you should reset your computer to allow the operating system to reboot.

task manager

iTunes loading slowly on mobile

While iTunes is more likely to run quicker on its mobile version, that doesn’t meant to say that it is immune to speed issues. There are a couple of reasons why the app may be going slowly on mobile, including:

A lack of updates

If you are running an old version of the iTunes app then it’s likely going to cause the app to run slowly – if you manage to get on it at all. The reason why apps update is often due to bugs that cause speed problems so it’s essential that you keep iTunes updated at all time. To check if iTunes needs an update on an iOS device, please follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the App Store.
  2. Select your account icon on the top right hand side of the screen.
  3. Look to see if iTunes is listed underneath the subheading that reads ‘apps that need updating’.
  4. If it is, then select ‘update’.

To avoid having to do this every few months, you can turn automatic updates on. To do this on an iOS device, please follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the settings app and select ‘app store’.
  2. Ensure that the bar next to ‘app updates’ underneath the automatic downloads subheading is slid over to green.

You will need a reasonable amount of storage space available in order for automatic app updates to work in the long term so make sure you clear some storage if necessary before selecting this option.

A much-needed reboot

Sometimes, in order to fix the issue of iTunes running slowly all you have to do is to ‘reboot’ the app. The best way to do this is to delete the app from your phone and then redownload a fresh version of it. In order to delete an app off your iOS device, please follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the settings app
  2. Select General and then iPhone storage.
  3. Tap the iTunes app and then select ‘offload app’.
  4. Once you’ve done this hold down on the iTunes icon on your phone’s homepage and select ‘remove app’.

Once you’ve done this, you can then head to the app store and redownload iTunes. This will result in a cleaner version of iTunes being installed on your phone which should help it run quicker and smoother.

One final solution

If you’ve tried everything we’ve suggested and the app is still running so slowly to the point that you can barely use it then our final solution is to use alternative methods to listen to music. There are many great streaming services out there which allow you to pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to huge catalogues of music. Examples include:


To conclude, the users who face this issue the most are those who use iTunes while on a Windows computer. However, it is also problem for mobile phone users in certain situations. If you are facing the issue of iTunes running slowly then please follow all of our tips above in order to get it back working properly. If the issue persists, then you should get in touch with Apple’s support team.

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