Why Is iTunes So Slow? 10 Tips to Speed It Up

Follow our step-by-step guide to figure out why iTunes is so slow on Windows and iPhone and learn how to get iTunes to run fast again.


By Kelsey / Updated on May 31, 2024

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iTunes on Windows is extremely slow

When I start opening the iTunes app on a laptop running Windows 10, it takes about 5 minutes to wait for maybe 2 or 3 album covers to pop up. Why is iTunes so slow to open? Is it just me or does anyone else here have the same problem?

- Question from Apple Community

iTunes is a free application to manage your music library and a backup tool that can easily backup iPhone contacts, photos, and other data on the device. But many people complain that iTunes is very slow to open. Why is iTunes running slow? The following are the top reasons.


Why is iTunes so slow?

Why does iTunes take so long to open on Windows 10 or other operating systems? Usually, the causes of slow-running iTunes are:

  • iTunes is not up to date. Some old versions of iTunes run very slowly.
  • iTunes, as an iPhone data backup tool, media library, and media player, will generate a large amount of cached data, which affects its running speed.
  • iTunes' features such as auto-sync and auto-download can make its launch and run slow down.
  • A large number of duplicate files and special features like Genius affect the startup and running speed of iTunes.

How to make iTunes run faster in 10 ways

If you want to fix iTunes running slow, please try the following solutions one by one. Let's start with the first solution.

Tip 1. Update iTunes to the latest version

Updating iTunes to the latest version should be the first option you consider that can fix the slow running of iTunes because wrong or old iTunes version can result in iTunes running improperly.

Simply tap Help on the top menu bar and click on Check for Updates.

Itunes Check For Updates

Tip 2. Reset iTunes cache

Mass of useless temporary files such as videos, music, thumbnails, etc. can interfere with your computer opening iTunes normally. If your iTunes takes a long time to run, resetting the cached data is a good try.

Step 1. You can launch the iTunes app, click Edit and select Preferences, and go to the Advanced tab.

Step 2. Click on Reset Cache next to Reset iTunes Store Cache.

iTunes Advanced

Tip 3. Disable auto sync

Generally, the automatic functions of a program consume a certain amount of RAM on your system, which affects the startup and running of programs. Thus, you can turn off the auto-sync of iTunes to improve its performance and fix the “why is iTunes so slow to load” problem.

Step 1. Run iTunes, open the Edit menu on the top, and select Preferences.

Step 2. Select the Devices tab on the Devices Preferences screen and tick the box next to Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically. Then, click OK to confirm it.

Prevent Ipods Ophone And Ipad From Syncing Automatically

Tip 4. Stop automatic download

Turning off the automatic download of iTunes can help to resolve iTunes takes 10 minutes to open as well.

Step 1. Navigate to Store in the iTunes Preference panel.

Step 2. Uncheck items you don't want to download automatically, such as Apps.

Step 3. Deselect Automatically download album artwork and Share details about your library with Apple. And then, click OK.

iTunes Advanced

Tip 5. Deactivate Genius

The Genius feature, which is on by default, can provide you with more music that suits your taste based on your playlist. But it takes up a certain amount of system resources. You can disable this feature to make iTunes run faster.

Step 1. Launch iTunes on your computer and click File on the top to open the dropdown menu.

Step 2. Click Library and hit Turn off Genius to turn it off.

Turn Off Genius

Tip 6. Delete Smart Playlist

With Smart Playlists, iTunes can automatically add song genres based on your needs. But it would occupy a lot of storage on your PC, which causes slow iTunes. To work out why iTunes is so slow here, you could remove your Smart Playlist.

Step 1. Run iTunes and locate the smart playlists you created.

Step 2. Right-click on a smart playlist and click on the Delete Playlist option.

Delete Smart Playlist

Step 3. Repeat step 2 to remove unnecessary and fix iTunes slow on Windows.

Tip 7. Keep iTunes library organized

If none of the above methods solve the "why is iTunes so slow on iPhone and PC" problem, you can try to solve it by organizing the iTunes Library.

Step 1. Tap on the Edit tab > Preferences > Advanced.

Step 2. Select Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized and press OK.

Tip 8. Remove duplicate files

Actually, there are quite a few duplicates on iTunes, mainly copies of the original files. They will take up storage and cause iTunes to run slowly. Clearing up these files can help to speed up iTunes.

Step 1. Open iTunes and select Songs under the Library heading on the left side.

Step 2. Click on File, choose Library, then select Show Duplicate Items and then delete duplicates.

Show Duplicate Items

Tip 9. Turn off Cover Flow

The Cover Flow feature of iTunes software displays music album covers. But it also makes the application consume more resources on your device to run, especially on old systems. To disable Cover Flow:

Step 1. Choose View on the toolbar after opening iTunes.

Step 2. Select As List or another video mode instead of Cover Flow.

Tip 10. Use a free Alternative to iTunes with fast backup speed

In addition to the above solutions, we take that the ultimate way to get rid of "why is iTunes so slow on Windows 10" is to use an alternative to iTunes. FoneTool, a professional iPhone backup tool, has always been our stand-out pick when it comes to free and easy alternatives to iTunes.

Exclusive features of FoneTool:
Easily backup iPhone: It enables you to free backup for photos, audio, videos, contacts, messages, etc. on iPhone and iPad.
Superfast transfer speed: You can back up 2000+ contacts in less than 20 seconds.
iPhone transfer: Transfer iPhone to iPhone, transfer data from PC to iPhone, transfer data from iPhone to PC with 1-click.
Flexible data restore: You can preview files before restoring and choose to recover backups to the original device or a new device.

Next, follow the steps below to create backups for your valuable files with FoneTool:

Step 1. Free download FoneTool and connect iPhone to your computer.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Select Selective Backup on the Phone Backup screen.

Custom Backup

Note: If you want to create a full backup for iPhone (backup the whole content of your iPhone), just select the Full Backup option on the Phone Backup screen.

Step 3. Select the icons you want to back up, specify the storage path, and click Start Backup to initiate the task.

Back Up All

Select Files



On this page, we explain why iTunes is so slow to run and 10 solutions to help you make slow iTunes run faster. If you don't want that to happen again, just get the free alternative to iTunes - FoneTool, which helps you backup and transfer iPhone data without a hitch.

Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.