Can you downgrade iTunes to earlier than 12.7 in High Sierra?

bradl

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 16, 2008
4,037
11,951
Subject says it all.

High Sierra has some huge advantages for me to warrant doing the upgrade/clean install on my MBA.

Except one: iTunes.

I don't like the idea of having the apps removed from iTunes, and being stuck having to download everything directly to your phone or iPad. This not only kills anyone without a huge data plan (some apps are pushing 1GB!), and WiFi speeds are not fast enough to carry that type of download without taking a considerable amount of time. If you have a Mac hardwired (read: ethernet) to your router, you'd get much faster speeds (1Gbps to even 10Gbps, depending on the router and pipe coming in)! Plus, you lose a centralized place to manage your apps, backups of your iDevices, and redundancy of those backups (Time Machine). This is not a good move that Apple has made.

So with that, if one upgrades or clean installs High Sierra, can you downgrade only the iTunes component? Has anyone with the public Betas or the GM tried that? And if so, what were the results?

BL.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lpfish and H2SO4

ShikiSuen

macrumors newbie
Sep 18, 2017
2
1
MIDIFAN
You have no way to downgrade it if using macOS High Sierra builds since GM.
I know you could simply replace the application bundle, but I am pretty sure that this could lead to iOS device synchronization issues (according to what I tested with macOS High Sierra Dev Beta 1 which ships a prototype version of iOS 12.7).
 

v1597psh

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2014
238
386
London
The latest GM Candidate installer still comes with 12.6.2. If you update now you can hide iTunes update in App Store and it won't be updated until Apple drops a major update to High Sierra that could include new iTunes
 

x34

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2014
562
334
The latest GM Candidate installer still comes with 12.6.2. If you update now you can hide iTunes update in App Store and it won't be updated until Apple drops a major update to High Sierra that could include new iTunes

thanks.

and apple will ship it this way in the official release?
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,663
7,509
I updated my iMac to High Sierra and iTunes remained version 12.6.2. Not sure if this will be true for the final release version as well, but as others have mentioned it will remain possible to downgrade.

However, there is an alt method of downloading apps on your Mac and syncing them to your device: Apple Configurator. Don't think Configurator will make backups of apps already on your device, so you will have to research and find another application to do that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: msephton

driveparty

macrumors member
Apr 19, 2008
82
16
Russia / USA
1st, you will need the 12.6.2 copy of ~/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library.itl from TM (or whatever) backup. If you won't replace the library, 12.6.2 will say it's been created by higher version of iTunes and will not start.

If you have such a copy, open Terminal and paste following* (assuming you successfully disabled System Integrity Protection from recovery Terminal by csrutil disable – otherwise it may not work).

Code:
rm -rf /Library/Documentation/Applications/iTunes/Acknowledgements.rtf /Library/Documentation/iPod/Acknowledgements.rtf /Library/Frameworks/iTunesLibrary.framework/ /Applications/iTunes.app/ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/iTunesAccess.framework/ /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.fpsd.plist /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreFP.framework/ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreADI.framework/ /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.adid.plist /System/Library/CoreServices/UAUPlugins/ADIUserAccountUpdater.bundle/ /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Library/MobileDevices.bundle/ /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.usbmuxd.plist /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/AirTrafficHost.framework/ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DeviceLink.framework/ /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/MobileDevice.framework/ /System/Library/Extensions/AppleMobileDevice.kext/ /System/Library/Extensions/AppleUsbEthernetHost

After doing that you must replace the iTumes library file from backup and just reinstall 12.6.2 downloaded from Apple iTunes support page.

* I've digged it from 12.7 install pkg with Pacifist
 

MacGarage

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2017
154
71
Ohio
FYI: You need 12.7 to sync ios 11 devices.
I was able to upgrade an iPad Air 2 to iOS 11 with iTunes 12.6.

I too am waiting to see if the public release of HS will have the forced upgrade to iTunes 12.7. If so, will probably hold off.
 

jbachandouris

macrumors 603
Aug 18, 2009
5,162
2,160
Upstate NY
Doing a clean install of my new iPhone tomorrow is going to be a total pain in the rear. Even downloading apps on my home wifi is slow. I'm sure the Apple Store's wifi is going to take a beating tomorrow because of this. Sigh.
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,038
6,419
I was able to upgrade an iPad Air 2 to iOS 11 with iTunes 12.6.
Yeah but now that you're on iOS 11, can you sync properly with iOS 11? Cuz it's not officially supported with 12.6.

I too am waiting to see if the public release of HS will have the forced upgrade to iTunes 12.7. If so, will probably hold off.
Well the GM of HS has 12.6. I'd be surprised if they change this but who knows.

BTW, iTunes 12.7 requires Yosemite 10.10.5, basically obsoleting any Mac with Mavericks 10.9 or below.

Here are the downgrade instructions:

http://osxdaily.com/2017/09/17/downgrade-itunes-12-7-to-itunes-12-6/
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,038
6,419
If iOS 11 syncing works, then it is unofficial, with no support. Either that or perhaps it is because it adds iPhone 8/8+/X support.

https://support.apple.com/kb/dl1814?locale=en_US

Mac:
The new iTunes focuses on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks. It adds support for syncing iOS 11 devices and includes new features for—

Apple Music. Now discover music with friends. Members can create profiles and follow each other to see music they are listening to and any playlists they’ve shared.

Podcasts. iTunes U collections are now part of the Apple Podcasts family. Search and explore free educational content produced by leading schools, universities, museums, and cultural institutions all in one place.

If you previously used iTunes to sync apps or ringtones to your iOS device, use the new App Store or Sounds Settings on iOS to redownload them without your Mac.
 

MacGarage

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2017
154
71
Ohio
Yeah but now that you're on iOS 11, can you sync properly with iOS 11? Cuz it's not officially supported with 12.6.

So far, I was able to upgrade to iOS 11, update all of my apps in my library, move stuff around, sync, all just like before. The app store works as normal too. I still have not updated my iPhone 7 just in case they suddenly stop supporting 12.6 in iOS 11 as 12.7 is just a no-go for me.
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
9,038
6,419
So far, I was able to upgrade to iOS 11, update all of my apps in my library, move stuff around, sync, all just like before. The app store works as normal too. I still have not updated my iPhone 7 just in case they suddenly stop supporting 12.6 in iOS 11 as 12.7 is just a no-go for me.
OK that's good.

FWIW though, in the past with major OS updates, if you didn't update iTunes you'd sometimes run into weird behaviour IIRC. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case here. Maybe it all just works fine despite what Apple says.

Either way though, make sure you have archived backups.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jun 16, 2008
4,037
11,951
Thanks for this, everyone. Definitely bookmarking this, plus making sure that my backups (both to the Mac and TM) are current. I definitely don't like the fact that you can only pull down apps for iOS directly to the iDevice. That completely decentralizes the ecosystem, and skews the concept of multi-layered backups (in terms of location).

BL.
 

x34

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2014
562
334
does the official release - out now - still include iTunes 12.6.2?
thanks checking!
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,663
7,509
I was able to upgrade an iPad Air 2 to iOS 11 with iTunes 12.6.
Are you still able to sync the iPad following the update to iOS 11?
does the official release - out now - still include iTunes 12.6.2?
thanks checking!
After installing the official release of High Sierra, it was still version 12.6.2.20 for me. A couple others have now confirmed the same.
 

Killerbob

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2008
1,097
118
After upgrading to 10.13 (from Beta) my iTunes is now 12.7.0.166 (also upgraded from 12.6.2). I tried getting rid of 12.7 using AppZap and AppCleaner, but they both leave the main application in the Applications folder. I then tried using terminal, but it seems to be prohibited, as Apple has protected iTunes in some way.

Is there a way around this? I really want 12.6.2 back...
 

hideous cheese

macrumors regular
Feb 8, 2012
145
25
Are you still able to sync the iPad following the update to iOS 11?

After installing the official release of High Sierra, it was still version 12.6.2.20 for me. A couple others have now confirmed the same.

I have iTunes 12.6.2 after a clean install of the GM then upgrade to Release. I did it this way as I was concerned a clean install of Release might land me with 12.7.

It is possible to look inside the HS installer to see what iTunes will install (taken from elsewhere):

Right-click on the installer and select "Show package contents" Find the SharedSupport folder and open it. Find the InstallESD.dmg and open it. Open Packages. Open Core.pkg using Pacifist from Charlessoft.com. This will show you the internal components of the installation. Open the arrow next to Applications and find iTunes at the bottom of the apps list. Open iTunes and find the Info.plist. Use the "View Files" icon on the toolbar of Pacifist. It will unarchive and show you the contents of the plist. In there you will find the version number of iTunes. Next, in Pacifist, go open System -> Library -> CoreServices folders. Near the bottom of that folder is SystemVersion.plist. Use "View Files" to view the plist. It will tell you the macOS version.


As to sync with iOS devices, I have my phone and ipad both on iOS11 and can backup and sync through 12.6.2 just fine. I think iPhone 8 requires 12.7, but earlier models are good to go
 

redheeler

macrumors 604
Oct 17, 2014
7,663
7,509
I have iTunes 12.6.2 after a clean install of the GM then upgrade to Release. I did it this way as I was concerned a clean install of Release might land me with 12.7.

It is possible to look inside the HS installer to see what iTunes will install (taken from elsewhere):

Right-click on the installer and select "Show package contents" Find the SharedSupport folder and open it. Find the InstallESD.dmg and open it. Open Packages. Open Core.pkg using Pacifist from Charlessoft.com. This will show you the internal components of the installation. Open the arrow next to Applications and find iTunes at the bottom of the apps list. Open iTunes and find the Info.plist. Use the "View Files" icon on the toolbar of Pacifist. It will unarchive and show you the contents of the plist. In there you will find the version number of iTunes. Next, in Pacifist, go open System -> Library -> CoreServices folders. Near the bottom of that folder is SystemVersion.plist. Use "View Files" to view the plist. It will tell you the macOS version.


As to sync with iOS devices, I have my phone and ipad both on iOS11 and can backup and sync through 12.6.2 just fine. I think iPhone 8 requires 12.7, but earlier models are good to go
Check using Pacifist, good idea. I've done that before but for some reason didn't think of it this time.

The bundled iTunes is version 12.6.2.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.