Why is iTunes so slow? – Windows & Mobile Guide

iTunes is still a popular way for users to listen to music, especially if they don’t want to sign up to any monthly subscription service.

Like every other app, though it isn’t without fault. Some users complain about the speed in which the platform deals with requests.

The good news is that if you’re having issues with iTunes being slow then you’ve come to the right place.

Why is iTunes so slow on Windows? – How to fix

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.

Though, you can have iTunes issues on mobile too – we’ll get to that in a minute.

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

Reset iTunes Store Cache

Like every other app on your phone, over time iTunes will build up data the more that you use it. If you use it for long enough, iTunes can begin to become extremely slow.

Resetting your cache and data will get rid of these accumulated junk files, and will essentially allow iTunes to start again from scratch.

Disable Auto Sync

Another one of the most common reasons why iTunes slows down is because of the auto sync function, which is enabled by default. Its intention is to make sure that your iTunes library

The annoying thing is that syncing automatically can end up with your iTunes running slowly. So, ensuring that this is disabled can make a difference if you want to speed up your iTunes experience.

Delete Smart Playlists

The ability to create smart playlists has been something that many users have wanted, and the ability to have a smart playlist that’s automatically updated is appealing.

However, this can affect your iTunes performance, so it may be worth getting rid of smart playlists from your device, or at least delete unused smart playlists from your iTunes account to make things a little faster.

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. You can also have issues on Apple devices too, both via iOS and iPadOS.

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. Making sure that you update iTunes to the latest version can often fix iTunes running slow.

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.

If you find iTunes running slow, then most of the time this will be down to you using an older version of the iTunes app.

Apple continuously release new updates to make sure that any iTunes errors are fixed, so making sure that you’re signed up to the newest iTunes version is the first thing you should do.

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 re-download a fresh version of it. Then, open iTunes as normal.

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 re-download iTunes. This will result in a cleaner version of iTunes being installed on your phone which should help it run quicker and smoother.


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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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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