Updating iTunes without Restarting Windows

By Stealth6 Comments

Needing to upgrade software is an inconvenience as it is when it needs to be done, even more so when you need to restart your computer after installing the update. I always run into this same issue with iTunes and updating my iPhone. iTunes always wants the latest version, and I don’t want to wait for it to download, install, then save all my work, restart, reopen everything, and continue working.

This is why I found a way to update iTunes without the need for a restart. When looking at why programs need a restart when they are done installing, it is usually because they need to stop programs or services to overwrite files or restart services when the installer is done. Many developers just rely on a computer restart to get this done rather than implementing the functionality into the installer itself.

Here is how I update my iTunes without restarting my system (these steps are for Windows 7):

  1. Download the latest version for your computer at https://www.apple.com/itunes/.
  2. Close iTunes.
  3. Make sure you are the only person logged onto the computer, and that you have administrator rights.
  4. Click on the Start Button, and enter “services.msc” in the search box (press Enter).
  5. In the Services MSC applet, locate and stop “Apple Mobile Device” and “iPod Service” by right-clicking on them and selecting Stop.
  6. Open the Windows Task Manager by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC
  7. Make sure iPodService.exe and iTunesHelper.exe are not running (highlight them and press “End Process” if they are).
  8. Run the iTunes installer.
  9. Open up the Services MSC applet again, and select “Restart” for “Apple Mobile Device” and “iPod Service”.
  10. Find the iTunesHelper.exe program on your computer and run it. Mine was located in C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes\
  11. Open and use iTunes as you normally would.



6 Comments to “Updating iTunes without Restarting Windows”

  1. xaero says:

    From the task manager you can stop services (from the services tab), end process from the Process tab and terminate user sessions from the Users tab. Why jump around when you can do it all from one app/location? #6 is wrong btw, as warg suggested, it’s CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to open Task Manager.

    1. warg says:

      Good to know though: ALT-ESC and SHIFT-ALT-ESC switch focus to the next and previous windows.

  2. warg says:

    RE #3

    You can view a list of users logged on in Task Manager ( CTRL-SHIFT-ESC ) or with the command:


    You can quickly log off any user with the command ( where NUM is the session ID found in QUERY USER ):


    RE #4/5

    If you’re quicker in the command line, then:

    NET STOP "Apple Mobile Device"
    NET STOP "iPod Service"

    RE #7

    iPodService.exe should’ve stopped when you stopped the iPod Service. Either way, you can quickly kill these programs with the TASKKILL command:

    TASKKILL /FI iTunesHelper.exe
    TASKKILL /FI iPodService.exe

    RE #9

    Do these services really need to be restarted? That seems odd to me, since we stopped them earlier and they are started again during installation of iTunes I believe. Either way, to stay on track with commands:

    NET STOP "Apple Mobile Device"
    NET STOP "iPod Service"
    NET START "Apple Mobile Device"
    NET START "iPod Service"

  3. warg says:

    I agree w/ Michael. We need a better layout. The blue makes me sea sick. :P

  4. Vernon says:

    Can I just say what a reduction to search out someone who truly knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring a difficulty to gentle and make it important. Extra people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant imagine youre not more common because you undoubtedly have the gift.

  5. Michael says:

    I was browsing via the web for some information since yesterday night and I at last found what i was looking for! This is a fantastic web page by the way, except it looks a slight difficult to see in my smart phone.

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