Downgrade iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7

No iTunes 11

UPDATE 10.23.2013: Apple released Mac OS 10.9 A.K.A. Mavericks yesterday. I do not know if iTunes 10.7 will run on the new OS. If you are still at iTunes 10.7, upgrading to Mavericks will certainly install iTunes 11. If you decide to upgrade to Mavericks I would advise doing a full bootable clone of your startup HD with something like Carbon Copy Cloner. Once your upgrade is completed you would have to downgrade to iTunes 10.7. If you’re “feeling lucky” or want to be a “Guinea pig” go for it and report back. The downgrade process should be the same. You do so at your own risk!

UPDATE 05.16.2013: Apple updated iTunes 11 to 11.0.3. With this update Album Art was added back to the Songs View. The Mini Player was also updated, as were other features and bug fixes. They also increased the speed of searches in large music libraries. Sorry to say, Cover Flow is still not back. I wrote a new blog article about 11.0.3 because I did do the upgrade & will use it now. But before I went crazy I tested that iTunes 11.0.3 can also be downgraded back to iTunes 10.7 with my How To below. If you still ned to downgrade … read my How To below. Thanks … Joe

Sometimes even I regret blindly upgrading an Apple application without doing any research. This was the case installing the iTunes 11 upgrade. Lots of pretty eye candy … but the loss of many features. Ones that many people use every day.

You may have your own reason for wanting to downgrade, but rest assured, the procedure outlined after the break, worked 100% for me. So it should work for you. The operative word here is … should.

It took much looking to piece this together. I’m posting it here just for reference. Make sure you have a backup of your data before proceeding. Then use the most recent TimeMachine backup BEFORE your iTunes 11 install.

One other thing … if you are downgrading to iTunes 10.7 because Apple removed a feature you used, or for whatever reason you downgraded … let Apple know! Go to the Apple iTunes Feedback Page and leave feedback about why you downgraded. If enough people register their reasons why, and what features they’d like back in future iTunes versions … Apple has been know to bend to the will of the people and return features. So when you’re done … come back here, click on the link, and make your voice heard. And now back to our regularly scheduled downgrade …

The following instructions are for Mac users only.


How To Downgrade iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7:

Please make sure your computer is backed up.
Caution … proceed at your own risk.

Before starting, quit all open applications. Close all Finder windows. Disconnect any iPods, iPhones, iPads connected to your computer. It just makes life easier.

You will need your computer’s user account password.

This method might have more steps, but does not require a previous backup of your iTunes folder or use of Terminal.

Read through the instruction AT LEAST once, to familiarize yourself with what’s needed, before starting.

Here we go …

1) Download Pacifist here.

2) Open Pacifist_3.0.10.dmg file.

3) Drag Pacifist application to your desktop or to your Applications folder.

4) Download iTunes 10.7 Mac if you need it, here.

5) Launch Pacifist from your Applications folder.

Pacifist is a shareware utility. You can use it for free, or pay $20.00. If you use it for free, you will have to wait 15 seconds before you can use it each time it’s launched.

Once open you will see this window:

Downgrade iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7

6) Drag and drop the iTunes 10.7.dmg file onto the main Pacifist window.

When you do this you will see the window change and say “Drop a package, archive, or disk image file here.

Drop A Package Here

This window should open:

This window should open:

7) Click on the “Not Authorized” lock icon. Enter your computer account user password.

Click on the “Not Authorized” lock icon. Enter your user’s password.

8) Select the first line in the list, “Contents of iTunes 10.7.dmg” and click the Install arrow icon.

Downgrade iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7

9) Check “Use Administrator Privileges” then click the “Install” button.

Downgrade iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7
At this point file processing will happen, then you will get a number of dialogs popping up telling you “A file already exists” or something similar. For each dialog, check “Don’t ask again …” and always click the “Replace” button. Do this for every dialog that pops up through the remainder of the install.

Downgrade iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7
Downgrade iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7
10) Quit Pacifist when the install is complete.

11) Open your iTunes Music Folder.

If you never moved your iTunes folder it’s located here:

Your HD/Your User/Music/iTunes

Or go to the Finder type:  Command + Shift + G

Go To Folder
Paste this into the the dialog:  ~/Music/iTunes

If you moved it to another hard drive, you will know where to locate your iTunes folder.


iTunes Library Folder

iTunes Music Folder

One of the two images above “may” be what your iTunes Folder looks like. The most important file will be the iTunes Library or iTunes Library.itl depending on the age of your first ever iTunes install. You may have more, less, or different, “other” files and folders. Don’t worry about that. You should also have a Previous iTunes Libraries folder.

12) Open the “Previous iTunes Libraries” folder.

13) Find the most recent copy of the “iTunes Library 2013-xx-xx.itl” file.

Normally it will the last file at the bottom of the list.

iTunes Folder Copy File

14) Holding down the Option key, drag a copy of the file into the iTunes folder. Or hit Command + D to duplicate that file and drag the COPY to the “root level” of the iTunes folder (as seen above).

15) Delete the “iTunes Library” or “iTunes Library.itl” file depending on your case.

16) Change the name of the “iTunes Library 2013-xx-xx.itl” to “iTunes Library” or “iTunes Library.itl”, again depending on your the original file.

17) Launch iTunes 10.7 by clicking on the iTunes icon in your dock, or however you normally launch iTunes.

If you launch iTunes and your music library is empty. Don’t freak out!

  • Quit iTunes 10.7
  • Go back to your ~/Music/iTunes folder. (step 11)
  • Add (or delete the) .itl extension on the iTunes Library file you had previously added or removed it from.
  • Launch iTunes 10.7 again. Voilà … your music should be back.

{ At some point in time Apple changed how iTunes wrote the iTunes Library file to your iTunes folder. Early versions used no file extension. But at some point Apple changed that and started using the iTunes Library.itl as the default written library file. If you installed your version of iTunes or your Mac came with iTunes installed before this change … your library file remained extensionless and that’s why you needed to remove the extension. If your iTunes version and install was after this change, your iTunes folder requires iTunes Library.itl. Okay …TMI? ;)  }

After you do the downgrade the iTunes icon in your dock may still look like the iTunes 11 icon. Not to worry. It will change to the (blue & black) iTunes 10.7 icon after the first time being launched.

That’s it. All should be right with your digital world.

You should now be able to do all the things you need, including syncing your iDevices, without the nasty iTunes -42408 error many people have been getting before this method.

Enjoy iTunes 10.7 … again!

If you have a question, PLEASE read through all the comments first before asking your question. People keep asking the same questions over and over again. If your question hasn’t been answered already, I’ll gladly answer it if I can. Thanks!

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257 Comments On:

Downgrade iTunes 11 to iTunes 10.7

  1. lol, the fact your article is still being looked at is a testament to iTunes 10.7 greatness (or stubborn holdouts). Your guide is one of the best for the simple quick fix. To avoid the errors with MAS and learn how to easily restore lost functionality see this guide:

  2. thanks a lot, Joe! last update of 12.x with completely awful new icon was the last drop. now i’m back at 10.7, and it almost makes me cry (from happiness of course)… it’s so beautiful, why apple killed it?!

    really enjoying “set default grid artwork” option~
    and mini (actually as large as you want) window for artwork.
    and separate windows for artists, albums, movies etc.


    1. Hi Ivan …

      I’m surprised & not surprised people are still downgrading iTunes — and this tutorial still works!. I had upgraded so long ago, it seems a distant memory for me. Not that I’m 100% happy with the direction iTunes is taking … but for my needs, which are very simple … new iTunes still works fine. I rip CDs & don’t buy from the store, or use iTunes radio. So it still works well for me … until it doesn’t. lol

      Glad it worked out for you & you’re happy again! ?


  3. I almost gave up keept getting msg “The file ‘iTunes Library.itl’ cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes. Would you like to download iTunes now?” I just typed Itunes library and found the older version or right iTunes Library.itl dropped it voula.

    1. Just erase the file and open itunes 10.7, it will be empty but you can manually add all the music at once, just go to file/add to library and then select the folder music that´s inside iTunes media folder. It worked for me! I did this downgrade and I´m based on the most recent version of Yosemite. Cheers!

  4. Hi Joe.

    I’m from Germany and not so good in english. It was difficult for me to read thru a lot of the responses (not all of them). It’s hard for me to understand it all and I did not find my question.
    First: Thank you. Worked perfect. Great solution. Thanks!
    My Question (Please give me a link, when it is already been answered):
    I miss a lot of playlists and a lot of music. Is it possible to recreate it all? The mp3s are still in the Folders, but don’t show up in iTunes 10.7
    I have no Time Machine backup but I have a bootable clone of my hole Mac.

    Joe2 (My name is Joe aswell ツ)

    1. Additionally: I used iTunes 11 for a some time. So a lot changed since the ‘Previous iTunes Library 2013’ was back-up-ed.

      Something else: I get the message ‘You can’t use iPhone with this Version of iTunes. Please download …’.
      It pops up all the time. The iPhone is not connected to the MacBook. Is it possible to switch the message off?

    2. Joe …

      First, I upgraded to iTunes 11 after the features I wanted were added back. So … I can only offer you this:

      Check out this Apple Support Article:

      iTunes: How to re-create your iTunes library and playlists

      You will want to import the iTunes 11 Library.xml file into iTunes 10.7. Theoretically, it should work. But no guaranties.

      The iPhone message … if you have a newer iPhone 5S, or 5C … they require iTunes 11. Ran into this recently with someone who just bought a new iPad. Otherwise, not sure about the message.

      If you used iTunes 11 for so long, why switch back? It has to be more difficult and more trouble than it’s worth.

      Good luck … Joe

  5. So, I followed all of the above instructions, and when I went to open iTunes 10.7, I got the following message:

    “The file ‘iTunes Library.itl’ cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes. Would you like to download iTunes now?”

    Any advice on what’s happening here?

    1. There are a multitude of reasons why you are getting that message. I’ve answered this many times in comments. Please read through the comments. If you don’t find an answer that works for you. Ask me again, telling me what you did try and what didn’t work.

      Otherwise it’s time to bite the bullet & upgrade to the newest version of iTunes.

      Good luck.

    2. Just delete the .itl file and iTunes will make a new one. Obviously your playlist and libraries will be lost. But who cares with the best iTunes release installed !!

      Thanks a lot Joe before finding your guide I was going mad as i was on latest i tunes and to delete I had to do a bit of ” workaround”

      I have mountain lion 10.8.5 with it and I am not going to update it no more . Since Jobs is gone the staff at Apple just releasing data/(memory hogs with plenty of bugs.

      I use bootcamp and 3 machines with 16Gb of ram and 500 ssd , i7 2,8 ghz on a MBP 8.1 late 2011.

      With Yosemite was a mess the fan was always on , reboot was taking for ever. Even my windows on 8.1 was better.

      The reason of why I bought a MAc was the maniacal emphasis jobs transmitted to his staff and people who developed OS and Apps.

      I am sorry to say that after Mountain lion , ( last os with Jobs alive ) Apple is just a multibillion company that is making OS and apps for teenagers and their iPhones ( which i hate since i use BB 10)

      Now my little beast is back on track , with 12 – 15 sec boot and iTunes , I’m just in love with it. As it should be . Otherwise why should I pay 2 grand for a 13″ Apple device and not getting a Lenovo I 7?



  6. I have a 2008 Macbook and am downgrading from Lion to Snow Leopard to reduce lag on my computer. In doing that I need to downgrade my itunes as well.

    I followed the instructions in your guide, however I get an error message when I start iTunes. It says,” iTunes cannot be opened because of a problem. Check with the developer to make sure iTunes works with this version of Mac OS X. You may need to reinstall the application. Be sure to install any available updates for the application and Mac OS X.”

    I am currently running OS X 10.6.8, which should be compatible with iTunes 10.7. I also have reinstalled and re-downloaded iTunes 10.7. Unfortunately, the problem persists.

    Any help you can offer would be great.


    1. This is what the message says when I click on details.

      Dyld Error Message:
      Library not loaded: /System/Library/Frameworks/
      Referenced from: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/
      Reason: image not found

      This is greek to me, so hopefully you can help.

    2. My first question, did you wipe your HD and do a clean install of Snow Leopard and do all the updates to 10.6.8? Or did you install Snow Leopard over your previous Mac OS?

      When you did do the 10.6.8 update did you let the OS do it? I would recommend going to Apple and downloading the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1. These types of updates incorporate any previous updates and files that may have been missed or omitted.

      Try that first, then reinstall iTunes & see if that fixes the issue. If not … not sure what to tell you.

  7. Thanks for these clear directions. Very helpful. I had mistakenly updated another program, purchased some training podcasts, found that they would not download into iTunes 11, and needed to move back to 10.7 which is working.
    Thanks again.

  8. Joe Streno, thanks for the great instructions.

    For those of us that have done this on Mavericks, there’s one really unfortunate side effect: It breaks downloading any MacOS app updates from the App Store. I haven’t found any workaround for this (other than to upgrade to iTunes 11, perform the updates, and then downgrade to iTunes 10.7 again).

    For details, see this thread:

    1. Since I already upgraded to iTunes 11 & am using it on Mavericks, didn’t know this was an issue. Thanks for the heads up.

      Guess if you could find an installer for an older version of the Mac App Store (maybe in the Snow Leopard installer) you could do the same thing and replace the newer version using Pacifist. Like anything else, you do it at your own risk. Make sure you have a clone of your entire startup HD.

      This is when it’s time to decide if it’s worth keeping iTunes 10.7. It got to the point where the one feature I wanted was added back to iTunes … so I made the leap to iTunes 11 before Mavericks release and haven’t looked back.

      Thanks again for the info.

  9. Hi,

    I’m running iTunes 11.1.3 on Lion. There is no Previous libraries folder in the current iTunes folder. The .itl file is already at the root level and cannot be changed.

    Any advice?


    Catherine Osborn

    1. No Previous Libraries folder could mean many things. First thing I would do is do a Spotlight search for multiple iTunes folders. Without more detail I can only guess what your original configuration was. If you can’t change a file’s extension, do a get info on the file & see if it’s locked.

      If none of that helps, read through the comments. I’ve covered this before. Good luck.

  10. Hi Joe, has anyone reported that calendars and contacts are missing from the Info tab after connecting an iDevice following the downgrade from iTunes 11.1.x under Mavericks to iTunes 10.7?
    That’s what just happened to me (iPhone 4S)!
    Any suggestions on how to get calendars and contacts to be included in the Info tab (for USB manual syncing to the iDevice)?

  11. Wow! Wow! Wow! Joe, you’re a lifesaver! Thank you so much for the very detailed step-by-step tutorial. You are doing a GREAT service to us all. As far as I’m concerned, this is the DEFINITIVE how-to guide for switching back to iTunes 10.7, that you can find online. Once again, thank you!

  12. AlvinChong  This tip works great with 10.9. It works best if you never open iTunes 11 after you install Mavericks. Go thru the steps here, and you can use the current Library instead of a previous one, since it will never have gotten updated.

  13. Joe your link above for pacifist3.0.10 will download 3.2 only, and after many searches, every other link to be found does the same. Any ideas?

    1. Actually I realized the issue yesterday & changed the link in the How-To to a permanent link for Pacifist 3.0.10. So you must have downloaded before I changed it.
      Glad it all worked out for you.

  14. Joe sorry to bother you again!
    Your link worked fine, got the 10.7 on there. Only when i want to open it i get a message: The file “i Tunes Library.itl” cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes.
    Tried changing the name, no rsult. So done the whole thing aggain, installed the latest version and followed your steps. same result.

    1. If that’s what happens, you did not copy and drag over the correct previous iTunes Library.itl file. Did you ever have a previous 10.7 iTunes Library install? You’ve given me too little information to instruct you any further.
      Sorry to say, if you can’t get it to work, it’s time to bite the bullet & reinstall iTunes 11. Or read through all the other comments and see if you can glean any useful information from there. I’ve covered this issue many times in the comments.
      Hope that helps. Good luck.

    1. Thanks for the update Nicolas! Good to know. I’ll add that to the intro of the How-To. Did you use Pacifist 3.2 or 3.0.10? I just changed the link earlier today to download the older version, because 3.2 changed the interface & rather change my tutorial I decided to link to the older version so it matched images in my How-To.
      Thanks again for the update. :)

  15. Joe Streno • eMac Consulting Jan Glas 
    hmm, Pacifist 3.2 is a later version than the one shown here. The install icon does not work either. So kind of stuck there.

    1. Okay. I changed the Pacifist download link above to download the older 3.0.10 version of Pacifist. Trash the version you downloaded. Then download Pacifist again and install it per instructions above. Everything should look the same as at the How-To. You should be good to go. Thanks for letting me know things had changed. Hope this works out for you now.

  16. Hey Joe, Can you help me with this?
    Downloaded the pacifist but the “Not Authorized” lock icon is not there?

    1. Funny, I just downloaded the copy of iTunes 10.7 from the link in this How-To & Pacifist doesn’t show me the lock icon either. Though I’m on Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks. All I can tell you is do the rest of the install & see how it goes. It should be the same. If it is, or something else changed, let me know. This way I and others have the information. Thanks.

  17. Joe Streno • eMac Consulting AlvinChongI’ll install Mavericks when I’m free at the end of November. If the downgrade works, I’ll let you know. Thanks for your help.

    1. Two things here. One … I upgraded to 11 a while ago. Second …Mavericks will install iTunes 11. You would then have to try to downgrade again. I have too much going on this week to do a clean install of Mavericks. Because that’s how I do all new OS upgrades. If you’d like to be a Guinea pig … go for it. If staying at iTunes 10.7 is that important, then stay at whatever Mac OS you’re at now, If you do decide to upgrade to Mavericks & you do the iTunes 10.7 downgrade & it works … come back here & tell us. I’ll include that info in the How-To. Whatever you do … you do at your own risk. Good luck.

  18. Thank you. This is the *definitive* method to downgrade from 11 to 10.7. Completely painless and saves you messing around in the Terminal. Thanks again!

  19. In searching “dot in circle” in the Apple forums there are so many solutions & seeming causes for the same issue. I’m sure in 9 months you’ve searched them back and forth yourself. Sorry I had no more useful info. Let me know if you do figure it out.

  20. THANK YOU!!!!!! I had “upgraded” to 11.1 and was EXTREMELY frustrated. I even spoke with a senior Apple support tech through 1-800-My-Apple and he was completely baffled as to the ridiculous manner by which podcasts are handled. He has notified the itunes engineering team as to what is going on in this and many, many forums. I followed your instructions to the letter and in 5 minutes all was fixed. I gladly am donating $20 to your cause. Thank you, thank you, thank you

  21. Joe Streno • eMac Consulting
    Thanks for answering Joe, but I’m afraid that isn’t the problem, as I’m always syncing via USB. The sync progress is aborted after just a second. I’ve been dealing with this for 9 months now without finding a solution so I thought I might ask here for help.

  22. If you are syncing via WiFi, this seems to be a common problem. Go back into iTunes, with your iPhone attached, uncheck Sync via WiFi, then sync with a USB cable. Seems to have worked for many people. The dots go away & you can sync again.

  23. I tried this but what happened is that my iPhone won’t sync mp3 no more, they appear grey with a dotted circle now in iTunes. Any idea what I did wrong/can do? Thanks!

  24. Hi again Joe. Just a comment – altho’ Apple has improved iTunes somewhat, it’s still not the same. IMO 10.7 is the way to go, mainly because of the comfort level I guess. I gave 11.0.3 a try, but no ….
    Thanks for all you do

  25. Man, thank you so much. I am almost always skeptical about updates, but I allowed my itunes to update w/ a osx security and java update….what a mistake, I could barely use the thing. I need simplicity and organization, not pointless album covers. Your directions worked like a charm, thanks brother!!!

  26. Hi Joe, 
    Please help! I followed all steps but I don’t have a “Previous itunes library” folder, I only have iTunes Library.itl. What do I do?

    1. Sounds like you may have multiple iTune folders. But without any more detail, i.e., you never had iTunes 10.7 installed because it’s a new computer, etc. I can’t help you. I’d try doing a Spotlight search on “Previous iTunes” and see if you can find it in another iTunes folder placed somewhere else on you HD. Does your music reside on your Mac’s internal HD, or on an external HD? Real important information. Without it all I can give you is conjecture.

  27. Joe –

    I have done everystep, and at step 14 when i go to open itunes 10.7 i get this message: “The file “iTunes Library.itl” cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes. Would you like to download iTunes now?”

    1. At step 14 you are not done or ready to open iTunes yet. You need to do Step 15 & 16 before you can launch iTunes in Step 17. If you launch iTunes & get the error you say, you have not deleted the current newer Library file placed in that folder by iTunes 11, and replaced it with the newest Library file from the Previous iTunes Libraries folder and renamed to either iTunes Library or iTunes Library.itl, depending on the age of you first ever iTunes install, as I sate in the instructions.

      1. Joe Streno • eMac Consulting Zjs001 

        Joe, i got it! My issue was i didn’t properly delete the old itunes library.itl folder. Thank you so much. Back to the old and better itunes!

  28. Last question: Is there anything I can do about the Apple store app that constantly suggests I update my iTunes? is there a way to ‘ignore’ that for good?

    1. I wrote this in another comment previously: Read this Apple article on Mac App Store: Skipping An Update
      This way you can skip any iTunes 11 or other unwanted updates.
      That should do it. Good luck!

      1. Joe Streno • eMac Consulting pavs thanks! turns out i could just two-finger click on the update and hit “hide update”.

  29. Hi Joe, 
    I did everything following your instructions, but after step 17, when I try to launch iTunes, I get an error message that says: “The file iTunes Library.itl cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes. Would you like to download iTunes now?” — to which I say “Quit”, of course, because the download is of iTunes 11… What do I do? 
    Thanks — 

    1. Hi again, Joe —
      somehow I missed the earlier post where you discussed a very similar issue… I’ll try to work with that info tomorrow and let you know if I get nowhere. Thanks for all your guidelines! —

  30. Joe, 
    Thanks for the step by step fix for downgrading from iTunes 11 to 10.7.  I am about to attempt it.  I want to keep iTunes 10.7 because I love cover flow.  
    I have a question for you.  I just bought a new MacBook Pro to replace my old one.  I have a huge music/video collection on my old Macbook pro in iTunes 10.7. which I wish to transfer to the new Macbook Pro in iTunes 10.7   My new Macbook Pro has OS X 10.8.4 and iTunes 11.0.4 (Both fresh install-iTunes is empty/unused).   I have seen a lot of comments about issues of losing artwork etc.  upon the downgrade.  I spent a lot of time getting all the artwork the way I wanted it.  Is there any specific suggestions on the best way to do this transfer without losing artwork?  

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again for the downgrade tutorial.

    1. Hi. Honestly, if all you’re doing is downgrading the new MBP from iTunes 11 to 10.7 you should have no problem. Especially if you old MBP never installed iTunes 11. It means nothing was touched in your iTunes Library. And if you’re copying the old Library to the new MBP iTunes folder, you should be set. The only thing you may need to do is reset preferences on the new MBP once you copy over the old Library & launch iTunes 10.7 on the new MBP.
      Unfortunately nothing is written in stone, buyer beware, and a few other cliches … your mileage may vary. ;) There really is no way to guarantee you won’t lose anything. As long as your old MBP is your backup & you are not touching that … theoretically you should be okay.
      With that said … have at it!

    2. thanks, I made it to step 14 and see iTunes library.itl. but no previous iTunes library -I assume this is because my previous iTunes 11 on the new MBP contained no music/video files (fresh install). When I try to open the iTunes icon from the tray, I get a message “the file “iTunes library.itl cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes. Would you like to download iTunes now?” I assume no.
      I’m not sure how to work around this.
      Lastly, what is the best way to move the old 10.7 library from the old MBP to the new MBP after this problem is solved?
      I assume this links description will work fine.
      Thanks so much for your help.

      1. You won’t be able to open iTunes 10.7 on your new MBP until you copy over the entire iTunes folder from your old MBP. if you never updated your old MBP to 10.7 just follow the instructions from your link above. That will should do it.
        The only issue you may have after you copy over your iTunes folder is the .itl extension on the iTunes Librbary file. If when you launch iTune 10.7 on the new MBP and you see nothing in the music library. Don’t panic. Quit iTunes, go to the iTunes folder and add or remove the .itl extension from your iTunes Library file. You’ll have to experiment. It can only be no .itl or add the .itl. Hope that makes sense. :)

    1. Can you be more specific? What about 14-16 don’t you understand?
       You’re making a copy of the newest of the files in the “Previous iTunes Libraries” folder dragging the file copy into the iTunes folder. You’re deleting the old iTunesLibrary FILE from the iTunes folder, and renaming the file copy you dragged over to either iTunesLibrary or iTunes Library.itl depending on if the file you trashed had an .itl extension or not. Open iTunes … you should be done.
      I can not stress enough, if you are not comfortable with doing it. Don’t do it!

  31. Joe,
    This is great.  I have two questions that I don’t see answered below:
    1. Does this work on Mountain Lion?  (I have vivid memories of attempting to revert to Snow Leopard Address Book, which will simply not run on OS Lion.)
    2. I’m still using Lion 10.7.4 and iTunes 10.6.3.  But I’m planning to upgrade to Mountain Lion.  Are there any additional steps I should do before I upgrade, to make sure this works as smoothly as possible and keeps all of my playlists, ratings, etc.?

    1. 1. Yes it works with Mountain Lion OS X 10.8.
      2. It goes without saying, back up you HD before the upgrade! This way you will have a duplicate of your iTunes folder and music, in case something goes wrong. I don’t think that Apple has updated the OS X 10.8 installer to include iTunes 11. After your OS X upgrade check the version of iTunes that’s been installed. If it’s iTunes 10.7 you don’t have to do anything. If it’s iTunes 11, DO NOT LAUNCH IT, and start the downgrade process. Also check your System Preferences. Make sure that Software update has “Automatically check for updates” is checked  but the other two check boxes below are NOT checked. You don’t want the system upgrading your OS or Apps in the background without your permission.
      Also read this Apple article on Mac App Store: Skipping An Update
      This way you can skip any iTunes 11 updates.
      That should do it. Good luck!

  32. hanks so much for this fix. I have my favorite feature ( Cover Flow ) back! What the heck were they thinking!! I did not get my playlists  back, but I can live with that. However, if you have a way to fix that, I would like to hear it. I have an M3U file in each one of my playlist. Is there a way to utilize them? Thanks again for the great work on getting us  back to IT10.

  33. Hi, I think this has worked just about perfectly, and thanks! But none of the music I have loaded since the upgrade is in my library. I saved an .xtml right before I did this, thinking I may need it. Is that the case? Any info is appreciated!

    1. Joe Streno General Slocum Oh, geez! Well, I’m trying it! I should have exported a list of what I’ve downloaded since. I have almost 50,000 songs in my iTunes, largely ripped from my insane CD collection over the years. It’ll be processing all night, I reckon. Anyway, thanks! Hoping for the best…

  34. Hi – had major problems with iTunes 11 – so have just followed your instructions to down grade back to 10.7…. all worked perfectly apart from two small issues – 1. only around 25% of my album artwork shows and 2. all my movies are missing… (but they are still in my library folder on the external drive where i keep the iTunes folder) – How do I get the artwork to show properly, and how do I get iTunes to show my movie library ?  

    1. Hi Gavin … Everyone’s downgrade circumstances are so varied there could be many reasons these things happened to yours. Wit that said …
      I had the album artwork issue, but not as many as you. The only way I could resolve it was to select the songs in the album, right click to get a contextual menu, then choose “Clear Downloaded Artwork”. Once it did that, if the songs are still selected, right click & choose “Get Album Artwork”. In all my searching on the Interwebs … it’s the only way I found that worked reliably. And if it didn’t work I had do a Google image search on each album. In iTunes select all the songs in the album, do a get info on the selection, go back to my browser grab the artwork and go back to iTunes & drop it in the Artwork field in the iTunes Multiple Info window, then click Okay. Sadly, that’s the best way. If the artwork does not show up. Select the songs again. Do a get info. Click the checkbox on the artwork field. Click Okay. This will clear all artwork again. Now either do a Get Artwork in iTunes or search Google and put in as I explained earlier.
      As far as your movies, I would do a find in iTunes for one of them. See if there is an “!” in the listing. If there is, double click it as if you were going to play it. iTunes will ask you to find the missing file. Navigate to it in the dialog box iTunes opens. With any luck iTunes will also ask if you want it to find any other missing media. Say yes!
      If that doesn’t work, you may need to drag the movies out of your iTunes Library folder to your desktop, then drag them into the iTunes App so they get added again. Once you know they’ve been added to the library, trash the ones on the desktop.
      You can also check this Apple Support article:
      Hope that helps. Good luck!

  35. Thank You Thank You Thank You. 11 is way to fussy and slow. Plus you can’t open new windows to drag and drop, easily making new playlists. That’s the core idea behind DESKTOP/WINDOWS style computing. (DJ of 20 years with WAY too much music to manage)
    – Jesse in Utah

  36. Joe – here’s a question. In terms of the settings for regular Apple OS upgrades, is there any way to set preferences so as to prevent iTunes 11 from auto-installing, but to allow others, such as various security issues and/or other software/app upgrades? WIndows allows you to choose whether or not to auto-allow, and, if not, to list and choose via a checkbox whether or not to upgrade. I’m running OSX 10.7.5. Right now (since all this went down and I’m back to 10.7), I have automatic upgrades turned off, both from the general “black Apple” preferences, and also within iTunes.
    I’m trying to minimize or eliminate damage from “the next time,” i.e., I’m sure Apple will keep trying to invade, and I want to block it without taking “risks” in other areas. iTunes 11 seems to me like a metaphor for other disasters (natural and not; e.g., Sandy).

    1. Peter … Here is an article that covers how to Hide a Software Update in OS X … hope that helps.
      BTW … thanks for your generous donation. Also working on a reply to your eMail. :)

      1. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting Oh, regards the donation – good advice and diligence should never go unpaid. After all, this is at least part of yr livelihood.
        Are you listening everyone? Joe is one of those rare IT consultants who actually appears to know what he’s doing, and sticks with you till it’s done (or determines that it can’t be). Lots of you have donated – others: never too late!
        (preach, preach)

  37. Joe – this looks good, BUT… mine won’t open 10.7 – I get a message “The file “iTunes Library.itl” cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes. Would you like to download iTunes now?” I presume it means iTunes 11, which have (had) and hate!
    I followed the New Method using Pacifist. All steps semmed to make sense and worked in sequence.
    I am running OSX 10.7.5 on a 2.5 GHz processor Intel Core i5b  iMac desktop.
    Hope you can advise. Don’t want to have to go back to 11 !

    1. Should read Core i5 not i5b.
      Also, Joe, since I may have screwed up somewhere in the process, I guess what I’m asking is how to backtrack, or should I simply start the process again. I hesitate because I hear iTunes is tied to the OS, and I don’t want to screw up the OS by doing something stupid.
      I should have mentioned – I use Time Machine on a regular basis (several times a day I think)
      Thanks Joe (I’m from Canada and I want to donate)

      1. Hi. Read step 17 again more closely. Also look in your iTunes folder and see if there are 2 iTunes Library files.One with & one without the .itl extension. I’ll bet there are 2. If so, drag the iTunes Library.itl file to your desktop. Then add .itl to the other iTunes Library file. Open iTunes, you should be okay. Hope that’s the case.

        1. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting I must be missing something. I did as you suggested , and same result. The problems was not an apparently lost library; ITunes will not launch _at all_.

        2. Okay. If you downgraded to iTunes 10.7 usingthe Pacifist method, and you know the date & time you upgraded to iTunes11, and you have a TimeMachine backup. Why not just replace your iTunes folder with a backup previous to the time & date of the iTunes 11 install. I’d replace all the files inside the iTunes folder, except the music folder. That should do it.
          If that doesn’t work I’d need to know in much more detail what you did. I’d say eMail me at joe at emacconsulting dot com.

        3. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting I’ll give that a try and let you know. Might not be tonight. Thx for your support. Cheers P.

        4. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting Joe! It’s done!! and working great. It’s so good to see the old familiar interface again.
          I had to restore from the date before I installed 11 (as you suggested), and I went back to square one (reinstalled 11, and then followed your Pacifist method from Step 2 and reinstalled 10.7, and Bingo. Obviously it was either unhappy with my more recent library, or (more probably) I missed something in the original try.
          The only thing I lost was about 4CDs I had ripped into the 11 library, but that’s easily redone. Most of my music (200+ CDs) are in CD form, so I could afford to lose files. As it stands everything’s there anyway.
          You’re a good man, and I know I speak for everyone here that you offer a great service. I will be sending off some US$$ once I’ve consulted with my Minister of Finance (who I sleep with — oops, TMI)
          Many thanks, Joe.

        5. Fantastic! So glad it worked out for you. :)
          If at first you don’t succeed … scream, holler, throw a tantrum …. oh … and try again. ;)
          Doing a happy dance for you. Consult away.

        6. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting Yeah, the tantrum was directed to Apple, who I will be hollering (quietly) at re version 11 at the feedback page. You mention that they’re often responsive to many complaints about the same thing, but they seem to be straying from their original vision which was to make beautiful and highly functional things. So we’ll see. I’m going to hang onto 10.7 as long as possible.
          ps re the happy dance – I’ve got lots of tunes by that other Asbury Park guy, so no excuse not to dance. He was up our way (New Brunswick, Canada – not NJ!) this past summer, and I missed him (I was elsewhere). But I got a bunch of his stuff – genius!

        7. Got to Springsteen on the Wrecking Ball tour in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center 5.2.12. I wrote about it on my personal blog. I also collected video for pretty much every song he did at that show. I’ve seen him many times since 1974 and I have to say this was one of, if not the best show I have ever seen him do. It was amazing! He’ll be touring again … talk to your financial minister … you must go! ;)

        8. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting  
          I’m hopping on this thread because I followed steps 1-17 and initially got the message “The file “iTunes Library.itl” cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes.  
          So, I did add drag one iTunesLibrary.itl to the desktop and added .itl to the copied itunesLibrary file…this worked and I got itunes 10.7!  But, I can’t find any of my music or podcasts…just an audiobook.  Strange.  If you can help me, I would greatly appreciate it…I’m not the best MAC tech but I can follow clear directions like yours above.

  38. Thanks for your help Joe.  I am a happy 10.7 camper again!  The rollback worked flawlessly, but I am glad that we talked about the external storage.  I did have to add to library for the music folders, but that was no big deal.  Guys if you are going to try this make sure you have a copy of all of your media folders in case you need to do as I did.
    Guys please help support Joe with a donation if he helped you.  He was very generous with his time helping me.  A valuable resource that I will take advantage of in the future.

  39. This (revised) method worked like a charm! I did NOT like 11 one bit. Back to my comfort zone with 10.7 :) Thank you for this tutorial. It only took me less than 7 min from start to finish. 
    Wonder if Apple is going to listen to people and their complaints in future iTunes releases? Probably not.
    What I’m wondering is how long this old version will work with current iOS 6 devices going forward…. Just some food for thought.

    1. Glad it worked for you. Apple does listen, if enough people lodge complaints, or wanted features.
      As far as how long it will last, is up to the user. If you turn off auto updates on you Mac and iDevice and can live with being behind on OS features … it can last for a while. But at some point I’m sure we’ll all have to bite the bullet and upgrade. Hopefully by then Apple will have replaced some of the features they’ve removed from iTunes … or not. But for now we don’t have to make that decision. : )

    2. @quailallstar MacWorld published a review of iTunes 11 in their latest issue. Write a letter to the Editor! If they receive enough maybe they’ll look into it, or publish some of them. Maybe Apple reads MacWorld too.

  40. Tim … glad it worked for you.
    But I don’t understand your confusion. There is a screenshot of the dialog that appears, all you had to do was check the “Use Administrator Privileges” checkbox in the dialog & click the Install button in that dialog.

  41. Hello again Joe,
    I just finished the surgery. It worked splendidly! Thank you so much. I don’t have a lot of coin to spare living on a small farm with a family, but I just sent $20 your way. I hope this is at the very least in the ball park of fair or helpful.
    Blessings on your new year~

  42. Hello Joe,
    I have been looking around quite a bit for exactly what you have here. Thank you! I have one question that you may have addressed, so please excuse me if you have. We have 3 separate accounts with 3 different libraries on our iMac 27. Will it work to simply do this one at a time, but I assume only doing the downgrade part once, as when I upgraded to iTunes 11 I did it once and all 3 accounts went to 11.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi … all you have to do is log into one account on the computer, do the complete downgrade, steps 1-17. Then log into the other accounts, and follow steps 11-17 on the other 2 accounts, and that should do it for all three accounts. Hope that helps.

  43. Joe, this is wonderful thank you. Fixed everything. One minor problem which is easy to fix: When I plugged my iPhone in, iTunes did not recognize it. I remembered there was a trick using the Library Persistent ID so I:  1) Quit iTunes. 2) Went into the iTunes folder and deleted the iTunes Library.itl file. 3) Using a text editor (Text Wrangler) created a blank file naming it “iTunes Library” without the extension. Then 4) i edited the iTunes Music Library.xml file replacing the Library Persistent ID in that file, with the one from my iPhone. There are various ways of finding the Library Persistent ID of your iPhone that can be found through Google. Once I replaced this number. 5) I  saved the iTunes Music Library.xml file, relaunched iTunes and my IPhone was back working again, able to be edited, synched, etc. Thank you so, so much for helping me to downgrade to 10.7. I was really afraid I would have to go use a PC for all my synching. iTunes 11 is just abysmal.

  44. hi there, after following your guide i cant open the itunes app from the sidebar because it says it was created by a newer version of itunes. and asks if i want to download it??

    1. Hi … go back into your iTunes folder. If you renamed iTunes Library.itl to iTunes Library, then add back the .itl extension & see if that does the trick.

  45. Dear Joe,
    thanks a lot for your “How to”! It worked fine for me, all the files are here, all the artwork! I find itunes 11 so unnecessarily complicated and enjoy being back to “my” good old itunes! Good luck to you! Keep up the good work!

  46. I successfully downloaded iTunes 10.7, but the music library is empty..!! I followed your instructions (quit itunes and add .itl extension back) but I still cannot find my music files..! How can I recover my music?

    1. If you followed Steps 12-17 and then opened iTunes 10.7 & iTunes had no music in the library, then renaming iTunes Library by re-adding .itl should make it work. If it doesn’t and your library is still empty, it could be you have multiple iTunes folders. Because if you worked on the folder that had your music & apps in it originally and followed the instructions … it should work.
      Do a spotlight search on iTunes and see if you find more than one iTunes folder on your HD. If you only have one, check to see if you can find the actual Music folder. Is your music still there? If so, try quitting out of iTunes. The hold down the Option key while relaunching iTunes. Then navigate to the iTunes folder and select the iTunes Media Folder. Does your music show up? If not as a last resort you can try reimporting your Music, Apps, Movies and other media into iTunes.
      It’s a lot of work. Here’s an apple article on how to do it:

      1. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting  
        I just posted about my problem with not finding my files and I came across this….you are right, I do have a few itunes folders….should I delete them or move them to the desktop?  I’m not sure I want to mess this up but will try to add .itl to them maybe?

        1. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting Well, I found my music on a different iTunes file so I dragged it to the desktop…then I just dragged the folder to the iTunes 10.7 and now it is copying several thousand music files….I don’t know if this will work but I’m going to check it out tomorrow morning to see (it’s taking a while).

        2. Happy to hear you were able to sort it out on your own and found multiple iTunes folders. Dragging the old iTunes folder into iTunes is usually a last resort, but it will work. And the up side is now it’s where it belongs. Only problem is you lose all your playlists. The other thing you’ll need to do is re-download any books, apps etc that might be missing. But at least it’s easy to do now under the iTunes Store account purchases.

        3. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting  @lynnabuck Well, I am back on 10.7 and very happy that all of my music and podcasts are intact.  There seems to be one problem though.  It seems like I suddenly have a memory storage problem as a result…I have almost 380 GB for audio files…that can’t be right!  I am not a music collector….have a 200+ CD’s and 4100 podcasts….maybe the podcasts need to be deleted but it seems like when I dragged my itunes library to the new iTunes 10.7, it took forever to copy tens of thousands of files….I wonder if it is a duplicate copy and I have another 200 gig of redundant files hidden in my MAC.  I hope you can advise me on what it might be.  So far, you haven’t been wrong.

        4. 4100 podcasts? Wow! ; )  That may be part of the issue, but it is most likely you do have two or more iTunes folders, with duplicates of your music. Though at some point you might want to delete some of the older podcasts you’re never going to listen to again, or one you know you’ll always be able to re-download from iTunes when you need them.
          Open iTunes. Open preferences. Click the Advanced tab. See where the new iTunes Library is located. It should be at YourHD/YourUser/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media. If that’s where the new library is, where is the old one you dragged into iTunes? It should be that iTunes folder you need to delete. When you find it, single click on the folder and do a Get Info to see how big it is. It’s probably going to be as big if not bigger than the new iTunes folder. If this is the folder you need to trash, do so. Once that’s gone you should gain back a substantial amount of hard drive space
          I do hope that you have a TimeMachine backup of your old iTunes folder … just in case.
          Let me know how you make out.

        5. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting Hi–I’ve been too busy to update but I did find another library that was huge so I dragged it to the trash and then emptied the trash…it ended up being the wrong file so my itunes was empty again!  I did a Time machine back up and restored everything (never did this before but it worked).  Then I started Step 17 and when the 10.7 window came up, I just had it find my music files..ok, got my music/podcasts back in.  So, long story short, I retraced my steps and deleted some extra itunes folder (the right one)…now I’m down to 256GB of audio after deleting almost 2000 podcasts.  I still need to figure out if this is the main reason for the enormous amount of audio memory.  I might need to clean up other itunes libraries…but for now I’m so happy to have my old version of itunes 10.  
          I made a donation to you Joe…money well spent.  I might need to ask you how to do this for my 2 ipads and iPhone when I have the time and nerve to try this again.  I will make my complaints to Apple.  It is great to have people like you out there–thanks!!

  47. Joe, is there another way to donate? I used Paypal until they said I had reached my $10,000 limit, and would only let me keep using it IF I handed over my bank account # and transit # (despite 2 credit cards on Paypal and zero problems with payment) OR I can apply for a Paypal Mastercard. I believe this is called ‘extortion’ and I won’t play. Hence my question. Thanks!

    1. Greg … sorry about your PayPal problems … I don’t like them much either. But you can always send me a check, payable to Joe Streno. That will work too. :) Look at the About page for my address.

  48. Oh man, thank you so much.  I was on the right track…even had Pacifist on my computer for a rainy day but didn’t check the administrator setting.  I was going crazy for hours on end and thought I would have to suck it up and remove my whole movie library.  Turns out that Itunes 11 not only has a different lay out but has a complete different way of handling movies added as reference files.  If it didn’t find the movie it would just freeze.  I would have to readd and tag half of my movie collection.  You have saved me so much grief. By the way this works for a downgrade for 10.6 as well.  With Iflicks every update had a different behavior and that’s what I had been using for years. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  49. just curious, if i have my media backed up, i wouldn’t have to do anything with the iTunes library file correct? i can just remove 11 and install 10.7 by using steps 1-10. when i open 10.7 i can re-inport my media fresh? correct? [obviously i don’t care about playlists or play counts etc etc]

    1. Yes you could but … you would have to drag your previous iTunes folder to the desktop before starting iTune 10.7 after it’s reinstalled & then create a new iTunes folder once iTunes is launched . Then you could import all the music. But it seem like a waste of time& a lot more work, if all you have to do is remove one Library file, move a copy of another and rename it.

      1. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting  @rasputin666 True. just want to start fresh. btw, reason for downgrade is not a feature. it is the usability. beach balls while i edit any file, add artwork to a movie, or even just adding a number 1 for episode number. at least a minute. i have a robust macpro, and this never happened before. i read somewhere it’s because 11 writes the library file completely over before it lets 11 do anything else. my library is huge, so saving that file takes time. have you heard similar? i gave apple some feedback on that!

      2. ok, i figured new year is a good time to go back to 10.7. worked great except i either did something wrong or ???. installed perfectly and opened 10.7 and it was empty, so i added the itl extension and my media showed up, however, it was from the date of the ‘previous library’, which was November 29th. maybe i used the wrong file???? but i had to re-import everything i have in my library since 11/29 [it was a lot, i have an issue :) ] thanks to Doug’s Scripts, he has a script that shows what’s in the folder but NOT in iTunes, so it wasn’t that hard to re-import. so, either i did something wrong or you may want to let folks know that will have to be a step that has to be completed. i bet it was me, no one else is saying that ! Thanks for the explanations, worked great!!!!!

  50. I’m sorry, please explain step 15 – which “iTunes Library file” am I deleting?
    Step 16 – when I do this it says there is already a file with that name, pick another.
    Stopped in my tracks!

    1. In your iTunes Folder, the file is either called iTunes Library or iTunes Library.itl. Rather than delete it, drag it to your desktop, just incase you decide or need to go back to iTune 11. Then follow Step 16. If your previous iTunes Library file had the .itl extension, then add it, if not, don’t.

      1. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting The file to delete/move is called ‘iTunes Library.itl’, under HD>Users>Username>Music>iTunes. It sits outside ‘Previous iTunes Libraries’.
           Step 15 refers to this file. It does not refer to HD>Library>iTunes, or to HD>Users>Username>Library>iTunes. Is that correct? There are a lot of files/folders to choose from!
           So I deleted the file above and rebooted, and now have 10.7 again! Thanks so much. When Apple gets around to fixing iTunes 11 I will be a late adopter. As an Apple shareholder I am pissed at yet another misfire by management. Apple Maps was bad enough. Reading this forum makes me realize how diverse the uses are of iTunes, and the adverse effects of this unwelcome “upgrade”.

        1. Greg … glad that it worked out for you! :)
          Yeah, sometimes I don’t know what Apple’s thinking in this post-Jobs era. Let’s hope that Maps & iTunes 11 are ‘flukes’ and not visions of what’s to come.
          I’m currently ‘trying’ to use iTunes 11, just to see if it’s bearable. But I’m losing faith & my mind. I think for me, if they added back one thing, Album art to list mode … I’d be fine for now. But it’s that one thing that really tips the scales.
          Funny, I hadn’t seen beach balls until you mentioned it here. Now I see them all the time! It’s your fault! ;) NOT! I may have to abandon 11 until improvements are made. I do hate the new search interface too.

  51. Joe, the Pacifist downgrade worked like a charm.  Except for one thing.  Every time I open 10.7, I get a box asking me “Do you want the application “” to accept incoming network connections?
    My firewall settings were fine.  I even deleted the iTunes entry to try to refresh it with a new entry once iTunes was opened again.  Didn’t work.
    My fix was to simply reinstall iTunes10.7.dmg over the Pacifist downgrade.  
    I made a donation to you for your help.  Wish it could be more.  Happy Holidays!

    1. Wow … that’s a new twist. It sounds like you may have a 3rd party utility that snoops/watches your network connection like “Little Snitch” … and forgot about it? As long as an iTunes reinstall fixed it, that works for me. It’s wild for me to see issues with such varied installs and the issues that pop up, as well as their fixes. So thanks for the info. :)  And also thanks for the donation! Hope we all have a happy, healthy, safe & prosperous New Year!

      1. @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting Hmm.  I definitely value my privacy and do what I can to prevent any software from being installed without my consent.  How would I check to see if I have a program like Little Snitch hanging around?

        1. You would have had to download it & installed it yourself. You can always do a Spotlight Search on your HD for Little Snitch. Or you could check you Console and look at the system log to see what may have initiated the original “Do you want the application “” to accept incoming network connections?”.
          But it sounds like if you had your firewall on & iTunes did get changed, the firewall would throw up that dialog each time, unless you reverted iTunes back to its original state, which you did by reinstalling it. I did find this Apple Support thread, that talk about just that:
          Sounds like what you experienced.

  52. Great system! I’ve used it several times, but was unable to prevent  iTunes 11 from installing every week or so! VERY frustrating. Finally realized it comes in the weekly auto updates! I realized that I can agree to which updates I want to run, so that makes life simple!! Thanks for your help!

  53. Hey Joe.
    Everything worked well except now when I try and backup my iPhone I’m getting this error “itunes could not backup because a session could not be started with the iphone”   – any clues?

    1. @ToddThomas  Todd … Are you syncing your iPhone by WiFi or USB? Open iTunes. Plug in your iPhone via USB. Select the device in iTunes. Under Summary, if Sync by WiFi is checked, uncheck it, then run a sync. See if that works. Of if it’s not checked, check it and run a sync still plugged into USB. Sometime iTunes gets confused how it’s syncing. Once you get a sync to work, if you don’t want to sync by WiFi, you can uncheck it & run a sync again, to get it back to USB only.
      Hope that fixes things.

        1. @ToddThomas  @Joe Streno • eMac Consulting 
          I’ve had this problem intermittently, even before iTunes 11.  I always found that restarting the computer, cycling the phone and using USB got everything talking again.  It really seems to crop up if a WiFi sync gets interrupted.

  54. Great work, Joe – I followed your instructions using Pacifist and it worked perfectly!  So glad to have iTunes 10.7 back.

  55. This will probably be a great help, but I’m still not sure if it replaces all my lists? I have about 30 of them and would chuck my mac out the window if they are gone. Preferably I would use the Pacifist version…

    1. @JoachimRosenlund Joachim … if you had your playlists before the iTunes 11 update, and you use Pacifist method, your lists should be there when done. As long as you have a backup of your iTunes folder from before your iTunes 11 install you should be fine. If you’ve done nothing more than open iTunes 11 after install, you didn’t add music or playlists etc, when you downgrade using Pacifist and if you have the iTunes Library 2012-xx-xx.itl in your Previous iTunes Library folder from right before the iTunes 11 update. Then it’s a piece of cake. Hundreds of people, literally, have done the downgrade with no problems.
      If you are not sure of any of this. Don’t do it!

      1. @Joe@eMacConsulting 
        And if I do with the backup version (not via Pacifist) – would that work?
        It’s for my mother-in-law (trying to score some points with her ;-))
        She has added music after updating, but not sure if she added playlists.

        1. @JoachimRosenlund  Joachim … both methods will work, but the Pacifist is so much easier & achieve the same results.
          If she does have a TimeMachine backup, run it once before starting any of this. If worse comes to worst you can just reinstall iTunes 11 and her entire iTunes folder & she’s back to where she was before. No harm no foul … you get at least points for trying. ;)
          If you know what music she added, and you can quit iTunes, go to the iTunes Music folder, drag those, songs, albums etc, to the desktop, then delete them from the iTunes Folder. Do the Pacifist method above. Once you open iTunes, her library will be back to the state it was before the iTunes 11 update. Then you can drag the music from the desktop & add it back through iTunes. She’s back in business with iTunes 10.7. And you sir, get many points with your mother-in-law.
          I updated to iTunes 11 for a 3rd or 4th time, trying to see if I could tolerate it, and decided finally, NO more! But I had already added new music. I went to my music folder did a search on any new files dated after my last iTunes upgrade. I then I did what I just explained … things are woking fine again.
          Hope it all works out for you. Good luck! :)

        2. @Joe@eMacConsulting Thanks aheap! Gonna give it a try, if it works there will be a reward coming your way! :-)

  56. This will probably be a great help, but I’m still not sure if it replaces all my lists? I have about 30 of them and would chuck my mac out the window if they are gone. Preferably I would use the Pacifist version…

  57. Hey Joe,
    I wasn’t willing to give up so I simply selected “add to library” from the menu bar and added the entire iTunes Music folder that was still there. I will have to recreate my playlists. Then I got reading some posts all over the internet and had a flash of insight. The reason iTunes 11 wouldn’t work on my iMac (7,1) was due to the fact that I ran iT10.7 in 32-bit mode. I opened the Get Info and set it to 64-bit, reopened (still worked) and then upgraded to iT11. Works perfectly. I really appreciate your help and hope this info will be useful. Now where is that donation link…
    Merry Christmas!

    1. @RonIsListening Oh good! Running in 32-bit mode, now that’s an obscure fact. Glad you were able to figure it out. Glad things are back to some semblance of normalcy. Thanks for the donation. Merry Christmas indeed! :)

  58. Mate, you are a legend. Ten Aussie Dollars coming your way. I used the pacifist solution and it worked an absolute treat. Could not have been simpler. I’ve already told Apple just exactly what I think of them getting rid of iTunes DJ. Now I have it back. Couldn’t be happier. Doesn’t even matter if Santa doesn’t come on Tuesday any more…
    Will post this blog on Facebook too. 
    Thanks Joe

  59. Hi,
    I just downgraded for the second time. Somehow iTunes was rolled into an update and I missed it. Anyhoo, I used Pacifist and when installation was complete, I moved the previous iTunes library and restarted – forgetting to remove the other iTunes Library File. All my music appeared but I panicked and closed iTunes, deleted that file, restarted and… nothing! I have tried deleting and recopying to no avail. I then tried the second-last previous library entry and it didn’t work either. What have I done?

    1. @RonIsListening Ron … I just spent. literally,  the last hour trying to write an appropriate response because what you say you’ve done, doesn’t add up, and I had to assume many permutations of what it is you were trying to say.
      If you have not figured this out … or you don’t have a TimeMachine backup that you can just replace your iTunes files and or folders to a pre-iTunes 11 state,  just call me. 732-910-5254 Trying to do this via typing either here or eMail will take too much time. If the problem is easily remedied in 5-10 minutes, I’ll leave it to you to make a donation or not. If the problem is bigger and takes more time, then you can decide to let me fix it remotely, and pay me my normal hourly fee, or not. It’s all up to you.

  60. Thank you so much for your detailed instructions that don’t require a backup and don’t use the terminal. I’m not very tech-saavy, so I haven’t tried them yet, but before I do, I have a question: I have multiple iTunes libraries because one is my ‘lossless’ versions of music that want to preserve and the other is all my mp3 music that I can manually sync to my iTouch. Can you say something about how I should manage those? Just repeat the actions with the ‘previous library folders’ in each case? Thanks, Andrea

    1. @akaldes Andrea … you are welcome. It’s funny, for the longest time I also use to rip CDs in 2 formats. About 6 moths ago I stopped doing that and only rip in Apple Lossless now. I figured now that iTunes can convert music on the fly when syncing to an iDevice in 128k or 256k there was no need to waste the HD space and the additional space on my backup drive. The only inconvenience is syncing new music to any of my iDevices takes a little longer the first time I sync the new music. Time I have, HD space even on a 2TB HD is precious as your library grows, especially ripping in multiple formats. With that said … here’s how to handle your downgrade with two music libraries.
      If you installed iTunes 11 and opened only 1 music library, then that’s the library that got converted and you need to switch the iTunes Library file on ONLY that library. Run Pacifist – steps 1-16 then you only need to do steps 11 – 17 on that one library. In this situation, the other library didn’t get touched. Your done.
      But if for some reason you opened both and each library got converted, then you’d have to replace Previous iTunes Library files in each respective folders. Run Pacifist – steps 1-16 then repeat steps 11-17 once on both of your library folders.
      Hope that helps.

      1. @Joe Streno  @akaldes 
        Yes, it worked! Thanks for all your help. I’ve sent a contribution. Have bookmarked your site.

  61. I DO have Time Machine, But DID NOT NOT USE IT for my downgrade? I followed the steps HERE as described the downgrade WORKED perfectly. I had some issues with COVER ART Not Displaying in CERTAIN grids? As I Still have Applecare I called them NOT mentioning that I upgraded to 11.0
    We did a screen share and they had me open and close and delete some files I knew NOTHING about? Restarted and I’m NOW 100% A-OK..! I can’t THANK Joe ENOUGH For This FIX..!

    1. I can think of a way. Want to pay my rent for January? ;) Just kidding … well sort of. ;) Glad it all worked out for you.

  62. Will this downgrade work if I have multiple users on my computer? Or will it delete the other users music library? If so, would I have to do this on all the users servers, or is there a specific way I can do it to prevent the loss of data? Thanks!

    1. Hi … to do it for multiple users, start with one user account, use the Pacifist method above. Then log into each other user account and follow steps 11-17. That should do it. There should be no need to run Pacifist on each account.

  63. Step 12: There is no “Previous iTunes Libraries” folder in my case (this is downgrading on a fresh Mountain Lion install, there is only the current library)… I am getting a “The file “iTunes Library.itl” cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes… etc.” message.
    Any way to make iTunes 10.7 open the library, or do I have to choose between downgrade (cover flow!) or re-doing all my smart playlists, podcast organization, idevice configuration etc…? That would be sort of a choice with no good solution…
    Any ideas?

    1. I’m ALL Straightened Out I Called AppleCare:  PLEASE Explain How I Can Make A Donation To YOU For YOUR FIX..!Thank You EVER SO Much..! I Never Mentioned Taking The Upgrade Their Diagnosis Was That A File Must Have Gotten Corrupted..?
      AGAIN Thank You For YOUR Help..!

      1. @Robert Di Pietro  @dnls Robert … scroll back up to the top of my website. In the column on the right, there is a PayPal Widget. You can make a donation there. Thanks!

    2. @dnls Hi … First I’m not sure what you are referring to when you say “fresh Mountain Lion install.” What version of Mountain Lion did you install? Did you install it over an existing Mountain Lion install or upgraded from a previous version of OS X?
      Even if you installed iTunes 11 over any version of iTunes 10, if you had music in iTunes folder, there had to be a previous iTunes folder. iTunes 11 would have created it. Maybe there are multiple iTunes music folders on your HD? Do a search on you HD or HDs if you have more than one, and see if there are multiples.
      Open iTunes and open Preferences. Check the Advanced tab and see where the iTunes Media Location is. Is it pointing to the right iTunes folder?
      Do you have a TimeMachine backup of your HD? If so you could go back and replace the iTunes Library file with one before the iTunes 11 upgrade.
      There are a lot of reasons why you might be getting that message, I just don’t have enough clear information from you to be more exact.

      1. @Joe Streno  
        Thank you for getting back, Joe.
        With clean install I meant to say: I did not over-install Mountain Lion (latest) over my previous Mac OS X (Snow Leopard), but instead booted from a USB stick with the Mountain Lion files and did a ‘clean’ install with formatting the harddisk first and all.
        I am in the correct folder. I think that Mountain Lion updated to iTunes 11 immediately, so there was no iTunes 10 library on this installation…
        I think the problem comes down to whether or not I can somehow get iTunes 10 to open a iTunes 11 library.

        1. Okay so you have a clean install. If you did the install and didn’t let OS X do updates, unless you were using the latest installer for 10.8.2 it would have installed iTunes 10.7. But if you let OSX do updates after restarting, it did install iTunes 11.
          So if you wiped your HD to do a clean install … where is your music? Was your iTunes library backed up before the iTunes 11 install? Or are you starting allover again with no music?
          You are leaving out a lot of important information.
          If you have a backup and you are NOT going to use the Migration Assistant app to restore your HD, then just replace the entire iTunes with the backup version. Then follow step 1-10 of the Pacifist downgrade. If your backup iTunes folder NEVER got converted, you need do nothing more.
          If it did get converted, before you wiped your HD then do steps 11-17 as well.
          Without knowing your entire situation, it’s difficult for me to tell you exactly what to do.
          Hope this helps.

        2. @Joe Streno merry christmas, joe! :) 
          Mac OS X: I did updates straight away (before starting iTunes the first time).
          iTunes: I have started fresh with my music (no backup, no time machine). I could not do a backup as my old machine including internal HDD died in electric surge. I do use time machine in general.
          My music is quite neatly organized and several times backuped on external drives. So, what I did is to rebuilt all smart playlists, podcasts, iDevice setup, etc. in iTunes 11. Would rather prefer not to do that again… Unfortunately, I did not realize immediately that iTunes 11 lost cover flow (which is a step back, really)…
          If you know a way to make iTunes 10.7 open a iTunes 11 library, that would be great! (Maybe with import/export…?) I could not find anything online…

        3. @dnls  Sadly, there is no way to make iTunes 10.7 read an iTunes 11 library. In your music backups, if you do not have backups of the iTunes Library file, then you’re pretty much not going back, unless you install 10.7 with Pacifist & start all over again, using the Import Library function & rebuilding your playlists. There is no other way. Not that I can think of.

        4. @Joe@eMacConsulting Appreciated. I think, I’ll gamble on Apple re-introducing CoverFlow and some other features I am currently missing. There are some features on iTunes 11 that I actually do like (i.e., the “add to play next” and the way albums are dealt with)… worst case, I will do a manual rebuild again on iTunes 10.7. Thanks for the Pacifist tipp!

    3. @dnls Same problem here….   i’ve searched for a while, but there is no folder such as “Previous iTunes Libraries”…   also working on 10.7.    Same issues as dnls. I’ve ignored thatstep and went on with copying and renaming the library.itl file.
      Noe when I try to open ITunes it tells me it could’nt find the library.itl file and wants to update again to iTunes 11.  Seems a time machine backup is the only way out…
      Any ideas?

      1. Rather than search for Previous iTunes Folder, try searching for just iTunes, and see what you find. It could be you have multiple iTunes folders, or not.
        If you have a TimeMachine backup from before the iTunes 11 install, you can always try the second How To and see if that works for you.
        Also if removing the .itl extension is causing problems, try adding it back and starting iTunes and see what happens.
        Good luck.

  64. Your downgrade worked perfect. but i’m having an issue with cover art displaying in specific MODES?
    Example I type in The BEATLES in the search window… I then click the second field from the right (six squares ) or GRID View… Inside the grid view the album art DOES NOT DISPLAY for the ONE item, because I TYPED IN “THE BEATLES”  UNTIL I put the cursor over the item? AFTER clicking THAT item – It changes my screen to an ALBUM breakdown of which 12 BEATLES albums appear. However the art work for the 12 albums inside this view, NO LONGER Displays as IT DID BEFORE..?
    In This MODE, the album art work ONLY displays in the NOW Playing Window in the lower left corner . Second Issue:
    When I’m inside the BASIC iTunes mode, showing my COVERFLOW. After selecting a song it displays AS IT SHOULD in my NOW Playing Window lower left hand corner…
    However if I choose to go to another band lets say. Then HIGHLIGHT another song WHILE the SELECTED song is STILL PLAYING. The display window now goes WHITE and does not display the HIGHLIGHTED song?
    I Know these issues may sound TRIVIAL but THEY ARE A HUGE In The Sense That I LIVE INSIDE My iTunes… I spend MOST of My Time THERE as I Run My Music directly into my – Mc Instosh Hi-Fi Equipment across the room..!
    I’m Running a 27 inch iMac desktop if THAT Matters?
    If YOU have ANY Suggestions for me PLEASE throw me a LINE to get me BACK To NORMAL…
    A Donation By PayPal Is FOR SURE, That Is A Promise, I’ll make It With Your While..!
    And If Ya EVER Plan A Trip To Vegas, Contact me before Ya COME..!
    Robert – eMail is – RetroDeco@Cox.Net
    I HAVE APPLE Care, will THEY KNOW I Took The Upgrade?
    Maybe I Could explain MY Issues and SEE if we can do a screenshare and THEY can straighten me OUT..!

  65. I did the whole downgrade with Pacifist, it seemed to work, moved the previous iTunes library into iTunes folder, deleted the old library, everything you say to do. But when I open iTunes, although it is 10.7 again, there is nothing in the library. Just the start page as if I had not yet downloaded any songs. I even went back to a much older version of my library from Time Machine. Still nothing shows up. Seems disastrous (although not entirely because I do have most of the tracks also saved separately on SD cards, and could re-download them into iTunes.)

    1. That’s what happened to me and why I decided, on a whim, to also copy the library file WITH the .itl extension.  That made the difference in my case and Joe discusses that below.  I figured I had nothing to lose by giving it a try.

    2. Just rolling out of bed here … yes for some people depending on the age of your 1st ever install, some need the .itl and some don’t. I need to add that to the How To. Glad you got iTunes 10.7 back, sorry for the confusion.

      1. I did as you and Todd say, copied the library using the .itl, and presto, there’s my old library back! Thank you so much, you sir are a lifesaver! Will definitely send a donation.

  66. I had to also copy the iTunes Library and rename it with the .itl extension as well as without.  I also ran into the problem where every time I started iTunes, I received the “allow incoming connections” dialog.  I solved that by dragging iTunes 10 application to trash and then reinstalling it from the DMG.  That solved all issues.

    1. What I think is going on … at some point Apple went from calling the file “iTunes Library” with no extension, to iTunes Library.itl. If you had been using iTunes pre the change, you need to delete the .itl extension. For those who started using iTunes after that turning point, need the .itl extension. What’s wild is both existed in my iTunes folder, somehow, but it wasn’t until _I_ had to lop off the .itl extension, did I realize what was going on. Then I experimented further & pulled the .itl file out on my desktop. Found out I didn’t need it. I guess you can file that under more arcane Apple facts. ;)

      1. Interesting and it would make sense, as this Mac is relatively new and started with iTunes 9 or so.  I also had both versions in my iTunes folder.  In any case, your guide has made me very happy.  Thanks a bunch.

  67. Thank you thank you thank you!  I tried downgrading using suggestions from other sites, and encountered glitches.  Your clear instructions and the use of Pacifist made it  almost trouble free (the first time I ran it I got stuck in a kind of loop near the end, I think because I was manually clicking “replace” for every message, and clicked “leave it alone” once by mistake;  the second time I checked “don’t ask me again” and it went smoothly.  I am complaining loudly and widely about itunes 11 to all my friends, and to Apple.

  68. Thank you so, so much for the clear, concise, and most importantly effective instructions!! I downgraded using Pacifist and was much easier than I was expecting.

  69. I followed the original directions and successfully got my old itunes back, but now I can’t access any purchased music or materials, and I keep getting the error message (-42408) saying that I can’t log into my itunes account. Any ideas?

    1. I’d say you didn’t replace the frameworks with an early enough version of your TimeMachine backup. If you are still getting the errors, just use the Pacifist method and you should be fine.

      1. Thanks Joe. To do the pacifist method, should I reinstall 11 to go back to 10.7? As a side note, I really like that it’s called Pacifist, because I was feeling anything but peaceful after I did the update to 11!

  70. Sent 10 or more feedback reports to Apple, but finally just gave up on iTunes 11 for now. Using Pacifist worked without a hitch! (And I hadn’t realized that Pacifist had been updated to v3, so yay there too!)
    Aside from the obvious UI weirdness was that I kept getting beachballs…with 12 cores and 32 GB of RAM on my machine. WTF?
    $10 from me on its way!

    1. Pres … Glad it worked. Don’t know why the beachballin’ … but if the end result was getting iTunes 10.7 back … it’s all good. :)
      Thanks for the donation. Very much appreciated.

  71. Joe, I just dropped a small payment to you via PayPal. If you were standing here, I’d kiss you on your big, beautiful noggin. Your instructions for restoring iTunes 10.7 worked like magic, even on a Mac with multiple user accounts. (I repeated the iTunes library swap for all users.) I’m so happy, I could cry.
    “Thank You” just doesn’t seem adequate, but I’ll say it all the same: THANK YOU! You may have saved my sanity.

    1. By the way, I encourage anyone who was helped by this excellent tip to shoot Joe a small token of your appreciation via PayPal. A few bucks from all the people he has helped would sure mean a lot to him. Help a brother out! (Especially at Christmas time!)

  72. Joe,
    I followed your (Pacifist) directions and it worked perfectly! CoverFlow is back!!! :-)
    One note though: at the very end of your instructions, you might want to make it clear that “Launch iTunes 10.7” means “click on your normal iTunes icon” or what have you. For a moment, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to install 10.7 or just open what I already had. (I didn’t know whether my icon was linked to 11 or 10.7.) I know that sounds dumb, but for us non-techie types, _nothing_ is too obvious.
    In any case, thanks so much for posting these directions and I will definitely be contributing. 
    MUCH appreciated!

    1. Happy your covers are flowing & all is right with your iTunes world. :) Thanks for the donation & the feedback. No one needs more confusion these days.

  73. Can you supply the instructions for doing this on a PC (Windows 7)?  I’m beyond my mental capacity due to the aggravation this horrible so called “update” has caused me and am dying to go back to an interface where it makes intuitive sense.  And that’s my polite feedback…. help and thanks!!

  74. Thank you for your effort Joe !  I just completed your step-by-step instructions and all went well. I got back to good ol’ 10.7 and recovered all my songs, however, I lost all my playlists. Do you know a way of recovering them ?
     -Paul C.

    1. @PaulCirincione 
      Actually…. I just figured it out on my own. Got all my playlists back. Whew !!!
      Contribution coming your way. Thanks again !

      1. Happy you got it all working. What was it that made your playlists vanish? Or what did you do to get them back? I ask because in all the times I reinstalled iTunes 11 and downgraded to “research & document” I didn’t lose anything. And your not the only one who said they had playlist issues. I might be helpful to others too. Oh … thanks for the donation. :)

  75. Brilliant. Thanks for this. I can’t afford to send you any money (or throw clients your way), but I have posted a link to this page on my Facebook and will socially network the f*ck out it!
    Good work sir x

  76. When I try to drag the iTunes 10.7.dmg file onto the main Pacifist window, I get this message…:
    “Pacifist was unable to open the file “iTunes10.7.dmg”. Please make sure this is a file type that Pacifist understands. The disk image “iTunes10.7.dmg” could not be mounted. An unknown error occurred while processing the file iTunes10.7.dmg” :(
    Any help…? Don’t know what to do now.

  77. I seem to have spoken a little too soon.
    I can’t drag/drop playlists, true. But I can drag/drop playlist folders.
    Deleting anything from the iPod may be another story entirely. Haven’t figured out yet how to do that.

  78. Everything looks good except for one.
    I can’t drag any playlist onto my iPod! Used to be, to play it from the iPod I just dragged & dropped it. Now it doesn’t stay, and doesn’t show up on the iPod.

    1. Hmmm … the only thing I can think of is that “Manually manage music and video.” is not checked when your iPod is attached to iTunes.

    1. I found it helpful to use TimeMachine to restore my entire Music folder (including the iTunes folder) AFTER I followed your instructions.  I just picked a TM backup from just before iTunes 11 invaded.

  79. Thanks, thanks, thanks Joe !!! The Pacifist procedure worked beautifully, and I have recovered my good old Itunes 10.7 with CoverFlow !!! . I have donated some money via Paypal. Thanks once again from a very thankful user from Spain. Julian

    1. Julian … Glad it worked for you. And thank you for your donation. Nice trade … CashFlow for CoverFlow. ;) I am amazed how many people from all over the world have been affected and have been coming here for a solution. I’ve been getting between 500-1000 hits a day in the past week. Thanks again. :)

      1. Thanks to you Joe. It took me a bit of Google search to find the link to your web and your solution, most of the previous ones I found were all based on Terminalm whic is a bit “scary” to me, as I’m just a user and not a developer or informatics guy. First I tried searching how to go back to 10.7 in Spanish, but that did not work well, then I turned to English and after some clicks found you. I have told about it to all friends I know who have a Mac, so don’t be surprised if you start getting more feedback from Spain.. !!!

      2. Joe, I just twitted your solution to my twitter community, hope you get more feedback and subsequent donations from Spain. Best regards, @nailujmad

  80. Worked like a charm Joe. Thanks.
    For me, The problems in iTunes 11 included the interface’s inability to properly deal with classical music and jazz. I archive a lot of my jazz LPs (through Audacity, processed through Brian Davies’ Click Repair), and then include the personnel in the comments section. In ITunes 10.7, the comments section is searchable. In iTunes 11, it is not. Big problem when you want to hear a collection of songs including, say, Clifford Brown on trumpet, where he isn’t the leader on the date.
    Followed Joe’s step by step directions, and got 10.7 back. All material that was added after the most recent iTunes library was recovered from my 1tB hard drive backup, where I stored a copy of the entire iTunes file just in case, as recommended by Joe.
    Thanks again! Keith Hoffman, Cranford NJ

    1. Keith … glad it worked out for you. One thing that everyone should do is contact Apple and voice their concerns about features that are missing. If we don’t they might never get added back to iTunes in a future update. If enough people submit feedback to Apple, they’ve been known to acquiesce. So it’s worth a try.
      Heres the link to Apple’s iTunes Feedback Page.

    1. The Pacifist metod seems to work _very well_ – as long as Joe’s instructions are followed carefully and to the letter.

  81. Hi there! Everything worked perfectly except my iTunes 10.7 is completely empty with no music files. Is there a way to fix that?

  82. Thanks! Everything worked fine and I’m back to iTunes 10.7. Besides the absence of the coverflow feature, iTunes 11 would hang up frequently when doing music searches (on an iMac running Mountain Lion). Another maddening problem was the lack of an obvious way to return to the current song playing if you wanted to change the rating.

    1. Bruce … it’s another one of those scratch my head moments … trying to figure out Apple’s logic. By trying to simplify the interface they make life more complicated. It looks pretty … but a lot of good that does in actually doing what you want or need. 10.7 it is until 11 get an update or three.

    1. I would do a Spotlight search on my had drive for “Previous iTunes Libraries”, or just “iTunes”. Then see if you have multiple iTunes folders on your HD. iTunes at one point may have inadvertently created a iTunes folder in another place on you HD pre your iTunes 11 install someplace other than you Music folder. If iTunes 11 got installed into a preexisting iTunes 10.x install there would HAVE to be Previous iTunes Libraries Folder.

  83. I have followed all instructions, but when I try to launch itunes it says “The file “iTunes Library.itl” cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes. Would you like to download iTunes now?” any suggestions as to what to do about this?

    1. By the way, the problem I was having was that a significant percentage of my contacts have disappeared from my iphone, although they are still on my computer, and in whatsapp on my phone.

      1. You haven’t given me enough info to tell you what may have happened. Are you syncing your contacts via iTunes and a USB or WiFi connection, or via iCloud. It’s it’s via iTunes, then unchecking Sync Contacts, syncing, then rechecking Sync Contacts and syncing should put your contacts back on your iPhone, assuming you are syncing all your contacts and not certain groups.
        If you are syncing via iCloud, that’s a whole other animal. And a little more complicated, and easier to lose contacts … so I’d need specifics if you are still having problems.
        Upgrading to iTunes 11 would not have caused you to lose contacts by just upgrading, unless there was a problem beforehand, and the contact loss on the phone maybe just be coincidental.

        1. I sync via Itunes and USB, and I have a sneaky suspicion that although other people seem to have had this problem after the upgrade, as you say in my case it may be coincidental…

    1. You are very welcome. I understand everyone’s frustration with being Apple’s beta testers at times. And thank you for your help, it’s much appreciated. :) Cheers!

  84. Hi,
    definitely not happy with iTunes 11 either. On my Media Center, an old (2008) MBP running SL 10.6.8 it keeps freezing when I try to search for or play any song! And I can no longer control iTunes remotely using my iPhone and Remote App.
    Very annoying and totally unacceptable from Apple – again, I might add, having been a happy customer and user of Apple products for my whole “digital” life.
    Anyway, my question for you goes as follows:
    I have my iTunes Library on an external HD, and keep 2 other copies of that library, but I don’t back up my Media Center using Time Machine.
    Can the downgrade be done without restoring the mentioned files from a TM backup?
    will gladly donate a cup of coffee btw :-)

    1. Karsten … you are going to be very happy. I hope.
      Because of your comment, and the number of people coming to my blog, (over 1100 hits in the past 3 days) I decided to reinstall iTunes 11 AGAIN … and document this new method of downgrading to iTune 10.7 for everyone … including you.
      I even did it TWICE to be certain it worked both times. Like I have a life?!?! That’s now 3 times I’ve installed iTunes 11 and downgraded to iTunes 10.7. That’s diligence … or insanity.
      There are pretty screenshots in this tutorial and everything! ;)
      This new ‘How To’ does not require a TimeMachine backup. It requires only a copy of the Pacifist utility, which can be downloaded in the post, a copy of iTunes 10.7 and a little time.
      It should work fine on 10.6.8 even if you have your iTunes music folder on another HD. My music resides on a 2TB external HD.
      Let me know how you make out. I might need more than a cup of coffee now! Figuratively and literally ;)

      1. Hi Joe …
        It worked like a charm! Thanks a lot, saved my bacon.
        Just one observation: It’s important to check the “use administrator privileges” box in one of the first dialogs you get in Pacifist, otherwise all of the files from iTunes 10.7.dmg won’t replace the one from iTunes 11.
        Note to myself (again): never automatically upgrade an Apple product before checking out people’s experiences!
        Coffee donation on its way :-)

        1. Mmmmm ….. baaaaaacon.
          Thanks for the observation. I knew that, but forgot to include it. D’oh! I will now. Thanks!
          Many thanks for the coffee donation.  :)
          BTW … listening to “Sir Rafa” … giving me chills … absolutely beautiful. Chills from music so rarely happens any more. Well done! Had I checked your Facebook page & website yesterday, I would have asked you to send me a CD in payment instead. So much more fulfilling than cash! Lasts longer too! :)

        2. Hi Joe,

          Thanks for listening to my music and for the kind words. It’s nice to know when your work is being appreciated and has an effect on people. FYI I have an album coming out in the spring with more of my compositions, this time recorded in NYC with Kevin Hays (p) and Scott Colley (b). I’ll keep everyone posted through my website and Facebook – hope you’ll like that one as well :-)
          Thanks again.

  85. FYI:
    It worked for me too!
    However, I did not have recent backups of these files:
    Tunes Library
    iTunes Library.xml
    Music Library.xml
    So I just left the files there, hoping that they had not been altered by the install of iTunes 11 in a way that iTunes 10.7 wouldn’t recognize. Like I said, It worked!

  86. Joe, thank you for this help.  I have become very Apple update phobic over the last few years and am in fact still running 10.6.8.  I was just about to finally upgrade to Mountain LIon when itunes 11 landed.
    Now wondering if current version of M.L. 10.8.2 includes itunes 11 or not. Maybe it still includes iTunes 10 and would then try to update after installing, in which case I could simply thwart that update and be good to go….  Do you know if 10.8.2 includes iTunes 11? of if their may be some link to an ealier version of 10.8 that still includes iTunes 10.    
    Many thanks

    1. Jody … looking at the 10.8.2 version of Mountain Lion on the Mac App Store it’s dated 10/12/12. I’d say it’s safe to say that iTunes 11 is not installed with that version of Mountain Lion, though if you wait much longer, 10.8.3 will probably include iTunes 11. Even if iTunes 11 did get installed you could still remove it and downgrade to iTunes 10.7.
      Seeing how the App Store is now responsible for all system updates, you have to be careful once you do install Mountain Lion that you don’t ‘slip up’ and let the App Store install iTunes 11 after the fact. Just a word of caution.
      Make sure you have a backup of your data before you do the 10.8 upgrade, just in case you need to revert for any reason.

      1. Thank you so much Joe. I idd the update over the weekend and was able to avoid the later iTunes 11 update. So far so very good!  Many thanks.   Now I guess we’ll all have to wait and see how long we can keep this up.  The next big OS update will presumably include iTunes 11 and pretty soon iphones and ipads will require it too.   UGGG.    I am still figuring out how to restore all the bits to Lion that I’m missing, especially Spaces which I use obsessively.  How could they…?

  87. i’m a total amateur and not technical at all. having said that, why can’t i just uninstall the iTunes 11 app and reinstall 10.7? my biggest reason for wanting to downgrade is i lost functionality on my 1st generation shuffle. before the blind upgrade i could pick and choose playlists and charge perfectly. now my imac won’t even recognize it. can anyone help me?

    1. When software is installed under OS X, the application may be installed in the Applications folder on you Mac but many other files are installed in locations you may not know, or see. But these files are essential to making that application work.
      In the case of Apple applications that are heavily tied into the operating system like iTunes, iPhoto, iCloud etc, it gets harder and harder to just delete an newly installed Apple application and reinstall the old. So many other files are tied into making the app function, it’s now a complicated task. I’m not justifying Apple’s behavior, just explaining the facts.
      As with newer Apple OS’s they stop supporting older machines. It’s the nature of software and hardware. To introduce new functionality, features or hardware, sometime older hardware is obsoleted. It’s the nature of the computer industry. I know that doesn’t fix your problem … again … just stating the facts.
      I looked on the Apple Support website and could NOT find anything saying iTunes 11 is not supported. You cal always go to the Apple iPod Shuffle Support Page and look around, or search the support forums for answers.
      Let’s start with, do you have a TimeMachine backup of your computer, including your iTunes library? If so you can always do a restore of your entire HD. Here’s a tutorial on TimeMachine from MacWorld Magazine 
      Sorry to say, if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can always bring your machine and iPod to an Apple Store, or hire a Mac consultant to fix the problem.
      I hope something I’ve given you here does help you out. Good luck.

  88. You’re not really my type, but I could totally kiss you. Thanks for posting this. It was at a level higher than my usual ability (I’m scared of Terminal), but I now have my iTunes back from the wave of problems that iTunes11 was creating.

    1. No kiss necessary, though the thought is appreciated.
      Terminal not bad. Terminal good! Terminal your friend.
      With 1600+ Albums @ 19,500+ songs I was going to lose my mind if I couldn’t figure out how to get back to 10.7. I REALLY didn’t like iTunes 11! Happy I figured it out for myself, and glad to share the info.
      From the traffic this post is getting I think there were a LOT of unhappy people looking to downgrade to iTunes 10.7 too. Now …  if each person left me the price of a cup of coffee … I’d be a happy man! ;)

      1. Thank You Thank You Thank You. 11 is way to fussy and slow. Plus you can’t open new windows to drag and drop, easily making new playlists. That’s the core idea behind DESKTOP/WINDOWS style computing.(DJ of 20 years with WAY too much music to manage)
        – Jesse in Utah

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