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If you’re an Apple aficionado, you know iTunes like the back of your hand, but that isn’t the case for people that use Android or have a Windows-based PC. If you fall into that category, our guide will show you how to use iTunes on Windows.

What is iTunes?

iTunes is an entertainment hub for content purchased through Apple. The software launched on January 9, 2001, but didn’t arrive on Windows until 2003. From that time, users have been able to download music, play media, and import songs from their favorite CDs into iTunes.

Importing music was and still is one of the biggest features of iTunes, and the company has expanded the software considerably since its initial release.  While it’s still a media player at its core, features like Home Sharing and Playlists have only increased this program’s popularity.

Setting up iTunes on Windows

Downloading and setting up iTunes is the first step unless you already have iTunes installed on your computer. If you already have an Apple ID and simply want to learn how to use the software, skip ahead to our section on how to use iTunes on a Windows PC.

You can download iTunes from Apple or use the Microsoft Store on your computer to download the application. The Windows 32-bit and 64-bit installers can be downloaded from here if you want to do a direct installation. The app is also available through the Windows Store. With either version, download the file, and follow the instructions until it’s installed.

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Downloading iTunes on Windows.

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Step 1: Create an Apple ID

If you’re new to iTunes, you’ll need to set up an account with Apple before you can sync your iOS device or purchase any content. You can do this through iTunes, and they don’t require much information for you to get started.

To create a new Apple ID, open iTunes and select Sign In from the Account tab on the screen. When the new window appears, choose Create New Apple ID. From here, you’ll need to enter some personal information, set a password, and create security questions.

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Entering personal information.

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When you get to the part with billing, you don’t have to set up a payment method to proceed if you aren’t ready. If this case, select None next to the option before proceeding and finalizing your Apple ID. Once you’ve created an Apple ID, you’ll need to verify your email, and then it’s time to authorize your PC.

Step 2: Authorize your PC

With your Apple ID set up, you need to go into iTunes and authorize the PC you plan to use. At this time, you can authorize up to five computers to play your iTunes content. You only need to authorize a PC once, and only if you have access to the system – you can’t do it remotely.

To do this, go into iTunes and select Account, Authorizations, and then choose Authorize this Computer. You’ll need to enter your Apple ID and password, but will see this message when successful.

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Choosing the Authorize this Computer option.

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You can deauthorize a PC in the same fashion or check through iTunes to see how many authorizations you’ve used on your account. When you no longer have access to a PC or decide to lend someone your computer, it’s always a good idea to deauthorize iTunes beforehand.

How to use iTunes on Windows PC

The Windows 10 version of iTunes we’re using will look a bit different than the classic app. While there is a noticeable difference in style, the functionality remains the same whether you’re browsing for music or listening to a podcast.

Step 1: Navigating iTunes

Apple has always produced UIs that are easy on the eyes and simple to navigate. iTunes is no exception, even if the store sections can feel overwhelming at times.

There are five main sections in iTunes: Movies, Music, TV Shows, Podcasts, and Audiobooks. You can access these through the tab on the top left-hand side of the screen as shown in the screenshot below.

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Accessing the sections in iTunes.

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From within each of these sections, you can check out your personal library of content or browse the store. The options for these sections change slightly depending on which section you’re in. For Music, there is a tab for Radio and Browsing, while Movies and TV have an Unwatched section.

Above those sections are menus for File, Edit, View, Controls, Account, and Help. You can make your way through the app quickly thanks to this streamlined system, and the iTunes store is also easy to navigate.

Step 2: Making a Purchase in the iTunes Store

iTunes has an amazing amount of content whether you want to read a comic on your iPad or buy the full season of House of the Dragon. The Store section is where you can purchase content through iTunes and shop for sales.

To make a purchase through iTunes, go to filter towards the top and click to open up different sections of the iTunes store. If you want to purchase an episode of your favorite TV show, select that section, and iTunes will load the corresponding content. From within these sections, you can purchase content, redeem iTunes codes or check off items on your Wish List.

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Selecting the category to make a purchase from.

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There are also a variety of options outside of purchasing movies or music. You can add things to lists with a few clicks from almost anywhere on iTunes. There’s also the option to Gift almost anything in the store to another iTunes user and each section has its own perks, like Spatial Audio through Apple Music or rentals with movies and TV.

The layout makes things easy to navigate and you’ll notice some of the options change with the store section. Two tabs remain the same regardless of which section you’re in, however. There are always tabs for the Store and Library, which is where you’ll find any purchases tied to your Apple ID and iTunes account.

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Locating the Store tab.

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Step 3: Browsing the iTunes Library

To find the content you’ve purchased through iTunes, open the section and select Library. All of these sections are incredibly easy to navigate with plenty of options to sort and filter your content.

It’s a handy feature if you own a lot of music or movies on iTunes. For films and TV shows, you can sort by genre while music allows you to filter by artist, album, song, and more.

This is also where you can download things from iTunes if you need to take content out of the cloud and onto your hard drive. Want to watch a film on iTunes on your PC or listen to a playlist?

You can do both of those actions in a variety of ways. There are also media controls built into the player and menus, which makes viewing content a breeze.

Whether you want to search through the store for a song you heard on the radio or rent a movie to watch with the family, iTunes has an incredible amount of content. You can set up playlists for any occasion, view lyrics to your favorite song, or import music from your old CD collection into iTunes.

Step 5: Importing Music into iTunes   

iTunes has grown over the years to include 4K movies and other types of content, but it began life as a music-oriented program. That’s still where you’ll find some of the best features, including the ability to import music or even burn a CD.

CDs were the best way to listen to your favorite albums on the go for years, until the MP3s arrived along with iPod and other mobile devices. While smartphones essentially killed the iPod, digital music is alive and well on iTunes. Before you think about purchasing an older album you used to listen to, consider importing it if you still own the CD.

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Importing music into iTunes from a CD.

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Importing music from a CD into iTunes can seem complicated, but Apple made things easy. You can select the tracks you want to import when you pop in a CD.

That’s because iTunes can pull album art and other information from the web in seconds. You can also import music folders into the program and tell iTunes what to do anytime you put a CD into the drive of your PC.

The time it takes to import music varies but you can rip and save most albums in 10 minutes or less. Just remember to clean the disks before inserting them into your computer. You can also turn on Error Checking if any tracks you ripped don’t sound right, although it can slow down the process considerably.

Wrap Up

iTunes may have been designed for Apple’s ecosystem, but it’s a program PC users have enjoyed on Windows for more than a decade. iTunes for Windows 10 helped bring the Windows version closer to what users enjoy on a Mac cosmetically, although you can appreciate the same features on either platform.

How to Use iTunes on Windows FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Did Apple discontinue iTunes?

When they released Catalina in 2019, iTunes was split into several apps for Macs but remains an all-in-one program on Windows.

Can you share an iTunes account with someone?

You can set up Family Sharing through iTunes to share content with your family.

Can you use iTunes on any computer?

Yes, as long as the software is compatible with your operating system and your PC has the system requirements to run iTunes.

Do you have to authorize a PC to use iTunes?

While you can still access some of the features of iTunes, you won’t be able to access most of the content until you authorize your PC.

What’s the monthly fee for using iTunes?

iTunes is free for anyone to download and use.

Why am I missing purchased content when I log into iTunes?

Make sure you are logged in with the Apple ID you made the purchases with. Any iTunes purchase is tied to your Apple ID.

Is there an iTunes library limit?

You can store up to 100,000 songs in a music library through iTunes, excluding songs purchased through iTunes.

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More from History-Computer

  • Apple Support Available here: https://support.apple.com/guide/itunes/import-songs-from-cds-itns2935/12.12/windows/10
  • Wikipedia Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_iTunes
  • Apple Support Available here: https://support.apple.com/en-mk/guide/itunes/welcome/windows