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Apple Updates iTunes to Re-enable Apps and Tones Downloads


Apple has quietly released a new version of iTunes that reintroduces the iOS App Store and ringtones that were previously removed from the desktop software.

The company said it released the version, iTunes 12.6.3, due to “certain business partners” that might need the ability to install apps via the software, according to an Apple enterprise support page. But despite its target of users in a “business environment,” the version of iTunes to available to everyone.

The iTunes App Store and ringtones marketplace was removed with the release of iTunes 12.7 in September. The update revamped software and shifted the desktop client to focus solely on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts and audiobooks. Following the change, apps and ringtones could only be dowloaded using an iOS device.

For enterprise clients, Apple offers various Volume Purchase Programs and Apple Configurators for mass-deployment of apps in a business environment. But iTunes 12.6.3 suggests that certain business partners still need the ability to push out apps via Apple’s desktop client.

Essentially, iTunes 12.6.3 is the older version of iTunes — pre-App Store removal — but with support for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and other devices running iOS 11. Once it’s installed, however, users will no longer be prompted to update to future versions of iTunes.

It’s worth noting that iTunes 12.6.3 doesn’t include any technical support or documentation. It’s also currently unclear how long Apple will support the business-focused version of iTunes. In the interim, the release of iTunes 12.6.3 is good news for users who still want to use the desktop client to purchase apps and ringtones.

How to Install iTunes 12.6.3

To install iTunes 12.6.3, you can download the appropriate installation package from the company’s enterprise support page or from the links below. Once it’s downloaded, run the installer and follow the provided instructions.

  • iTunes 12.6.3 for Mac
  • iTunes 12.6.3 for PC (32-bit)
  • iTunes 12.6.3 for PC (64-bit)

On another note, most users will need to rebuild their iTunes library after downloading the new version. You can do so by following the steps below.

  1. Launch iTunes 12.6.3
  2. Hold down the Option key.
  3. Click “Create Library…” from the dialog window.
  4. Name the Library.
  5. Migrate your music and content using the “Add to Library” option under Files.

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