Tackle problems with the iTunes 11.3 upgrade

iTunesIconXYesterday Apple released iTunes 11.3, which brings a few stability and compatibility issues with the program, along with improving the iTunes Extras feature and Apple TV support for Extras. While new features are always welcomed, as with any update you might find yourself encountering a problem or two once you have installed this latest version.

Problems may stem from iTunes hanging on launch, to features not working properly, to the program crashing unexpectedly when used. If you are encountering any of these with iTunes, then consider the following options to hopefully fix the problem.

1. Relaunch and restart
Try force-quitting iTunes if it is hung, and also restart your computer. Consider booting to Safe Mode by holding the Shift key at the boot chimes when you start your Mac, and then see if iTunes will run in that mode. If so, then try restarting normally to see if the problem persists.

2. Disable Bluetooth and WiFi temporarily
iTunes will sync with your iDevices and send information about your iTunes library to Apple’s servers when launched, and you can disable this temporarily by disabling Bluetooth and WiFi from their respective menus in the OS X menu bar before launching iTunes. In this configuration, allow iTunes to fully launch, and then enable these connectivity services. Then ensure everything is working and try quitting and relaunching iTunes with these services enabled.

3. Launch iTunes in Safe Mode
iTunes supports third-party plugins and other add-ons, which if incompatible with the latest version of iTunes can cause the program to hang or crash, or otherwise show unwanted behavior. To disable these globally, quit iTunes and then re-launch it in Safe Mode by opening it and then immediately hold the Option and Command keys together. When you do this you will see a warning pop up that indicates you are in Safe Mode.

If the problems go away, quit and relaunch iTunes normally; however, if they reappear when opened in normal mode, then check for and remove (or update) any third-party plug-ins or other add-ons for iTunes. These will be located in the following folders:

/Users/username/Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/
/Library/iTunes/iTunes Plug-ins/

You can uninstall them by removing any from these folders, or by using developer-supplied uninstallers or uninstallation instructions.

4. Reinstall the iTunes update
Apple makes iTunes available on its Web site, and you can always download it and reinstall the program on your Mac. Doing this may correct an odd problem or two that may have occurred with the recent update.

5. Restore from backup
Finally, if any problems continue to persist, or if you wish to simply downgrade to your prior version for now, then you can only do so by restoring your computer from backup. Hopefully you created a full backup of your Mac before installing iTunes, and if so, then you can use the backup utility or service you used for backing up to restore your system and be back where you were before installing.