Windows XP and Vista Lose iTunes Store Access

John Lister's picture

Windows XP and Vista users won't be able to buy music or movies from Apple after May, 2018. That's because Apple is ditching support for the operating systems on iTunes, as they are no longer supported by Microsoft and do not receive patches for vulnerabilities.

The move also affects the original Apple TV device, which has already lost hardware support from the company. In both cases, Apple says it's withdrawing the support for security reasons.

Once the change takes effect on May 25, 2018, PCs running Windows XP and Vista will no longer be able to update to the latest edition of iTunes. That means they will be unable to get security or feature updates for iTunes.

Previous Purchases Can't Be Downloaded

Perhaps more significantly, these users will no longer be able to purchase content from the iTunes store.

They will also be unable to re-download previously purchased music, for example, if they lose the files on their computer. This is important as, unlike most digital music services, it's only possible to view the iTunes store catalog on a web browser: buying and downloading on a PC is only possible through the standalone iTunes software. (Source:

The current version of iTunes will continue to run on XP and Vista, meaning users can continue playing back content they've already downloaded.

XP Use Finally Near End

The change will likely also affect Apple Music, a monthly or annual subscription service that allows streaming of music and downloads for offline listening. However, that also requires iTunes to be installed on a PC, which Apple says is necessary for copyright protection measured.

While it took much longer than Microsoft hoped or expected, these older versions of Windows do appear to be on the wane these days. The company StatCounter estimates that 3.36 percent of people running Windows are still on XP while 0.74 percent are on Vista. One theory is that the holdouts are largely businesses that don't have particularly extensive computer needs and thus don't see the need to deal with the hassle of an upgrade. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Is Apple right to make this move? Should it allow buyers to re-download content even if their PC is no longer supported? Should Apple make iTunes optional and let users make purchases through a website instead?

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