Selective Installation of Apple iTunes

Posted: October 6, 2008 in software

In my last post I wrote about some of the unwanted "extras" Apple bestowed upon me and many other unsuspecting users with the last iTunes update. A number of sites have carried stories about this issue. For additional reading, see these:

Apple pushes MobileMe surprise to XP, Vista via iTunes update
Apple "sneaks" MobileMe prefs into Windows via iTunes update
Apple Adds, Then Pulls, MobileMe from iTunes 8
An inside look at Apple’s sneaky iTunes 8 upgrade

Now these extras were not system crashing, virus spreading, life threatening pieces of malware that will bring the Internet to its knees. To me though, they were junkware – pure and simple. For the record, my junkware criteria is very basic. When I’m installing software, any unrelated software simultaneously installed on my system without my knowledge is junkware. I don’t care whether it comes from Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo, if it’s not essential don’t foist it on me. If it IS essential, let people know!

As I said, these extras didn’t crash my system, but my XP machine is getting older and really doesn’t need any additional overhead. Once I discovered them, I removed them. However, there is a way to selectively install only the components you want! To find simple yet detailed instructions, give this article a read:

Slimming down the bloated iTunes 8 installer

(Special thanks to Sachi Wilson for finding these instructions and sharing them with me.) The first page gives a nice description of all components to help you decide which ones you want. The second page gives the instructions. I followed the steps listed, and they worked like a charm. They were very straightforward, and the custom installation was very quick. As simple as these instructions are though, there are still some users for whom the command prompt is foreign territory, and they just won’t feel comfortable with them.

So only one question remains. Why didn’t Apple just show the choices and let us opt-out on the installation screen?



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