How to Install iTunes in macOS Catalina

This guide will take you step by step through the process of getting iTunes to work on a Mac running macOS Catalina (10.15).

While plenty of people are glad iTunes is gone, that doesn’t mean everyone is happy about it. Using the free and open source app Retroactive, getting iTunes back on your Mac is a breeze. Note: this amazing app also allows you to install Aperture and iPhoto in macOS Catalina.

  1. Head over to the Retroactive home page and click the large Click to download the Retroactive app link.
  2. After you’ve opened and extracted the contents of the .zip file, instead of double-clicking the app to run it, right-click (or ctrl + click) it.
  3. Select Open from the context menu.
  4. In all likelihood, an error message will appear. Don’t fret, just click OK

  5. Right-click the app again and select Open
  6. This time the error message should include an Open button – click it.
  7. Select iTunes – you can re-run the app and install Aperture or iPhoto later if you’d like.
  8. Choose the version of iTunes you’d like to install and then click Continue
  9. Before the installation can start you’ll need to authenticate, so click the Authenticate button.
  10. Enter the same username and password you use to sign into your Mac and click OK
  11. Now you may want to go grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee – this is probably going to take a while.
  12. Before the installation can finish you’ll need to authenticate yet again.
  13. Finally! Click the Launch iTunes button.
  14. Ta-da! Now you have iTunes up and running on your Mac again :)
  15. Going forward you can launch iTunes from your Applications folder the same way you used to.

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7 thoughts on “How to Install iTunes in macOS Catalina”

  1. iTunes loaded without issue. Thank-you.
    I plugged my iPhone 10 in, and was able to sync my contacts and calender with MS Outlook but…there is no shared folder. I had been using the shared folder to transfer password protect documents to my phone that I use frequently.
    Is there a work around for this?
    I certainly owe you a coffee.

  2. I did reinstalled successfully the only issue is that when i’ve tried to open the library with the option key and choose library everything was loaded but until June 28th 2020, every song that i’ve added on Music app iTunes can’t see. If i open Music and Itunes i clearly see that iTunes is missing a lot of songs. In Music i can see all playlists and songs updated to this morning. if i remember well i’ve updated to Catalina June 2020. Is there a way to fix that, so itunes can show exactly the same songs and playlists as Music?


  3. Help! When attempting to launch iTunes on iMac running Catalina the following message appears “The folder “iTunes” is on a locked disc or you do not have write permissions for this folder.”
    I am not sufficiently IT savvy to resolve without help.

  4. Thanks for this guide! However, when I connect my iPod Nano (5G), iTunes says that it’s already used by another library and can’t connect to it. I can see it in the Finder, as usual for Catalina, but not in iTunes.

  5. Hello, If I use the Retroactive app to install iTunes on my iMac running Catalina will I be able to re-organise my audiobook collection that Catalina and Books has destroyed?
    Will I be able to bring up the ‘get info’ window in order to change the sorting etc?
    Will iTunes just work as it used to before Catalina or do you think that I should dump Catalina and revert to Mojave from a Time Machine back-up? Thank’s.

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