Mixed into all the hype about the new iPhone X, the Apple TV 4K, FaceID, and everything else coming out of Cupertino these days; the changes made to iTunes recently kind of flew under the radar. However, those changes have had an effect on some people and has many users wanting to go back to the way iTunes used to be. Luckily, Apple has made it so you can downgrade to iTunes 12.6.3 is you wish.
First, some backstory… Apple decided to go ahead and try to streamline iTunes. Basically, they wanted iTunes to mainly focus on media like music and videos. A lot of the extra “clutter” in iTunes was done away with. This basically means that users have to manage some things like apps on their device rather than backing them up to iTunes like they used to be able to do prior to iTunes 12.7. For most people this isn’t a big deal. Apple keeps app information stored in the cloud now and it’s easy enough to install apps back onto your device if you upgrade or get a replacement device. Still, losing features doesn’t always sit well with people which is why Apple is allowing people to downgrade to iTunes 12.6.3.
Now, I guess I should point out that this isn’t a downgrade. iTunes 12.6.3 is actually a new release that keeps all of the old features of iTunes 12.6.2 but disables prompts to update to newer versions. Apple has said they will not be supporting this version of iTunes at all in the future. Basically, if you do downgrade to iTunes 12.6.3 then you will be installing a version of iTunes that will be frozen in time forever. However, you will have access to all of the “old” features from iTunes and it will look the way it did before Apple implemented the big changes.
You’ll notice that the download page is specifically geared to business or enterprise users. Clearly Apple had received some feedback that deploying and managing apps on enterprise devices was going to be hampered due to the changes to iTunes. The compromise was a downgrade to iTunes 12.6.3 and a version of iTunes that would never be updated or changed. It’s a band aid solution but it should keep some users happy for now.
It should be noted that you can run iTunes 12.7 and iTunes 12.3.6 on the same PC but there are some issues allowing them to play on the same hardware. For example, you cannot use the same iTunes library in both versions of the software. For simplicity sake, it is probably best to just use one version or the other.
What do you think about Apple’s decision to allow users to downgrade to iTunes 12.6.3? Removing features is never nice but at least they provided some support for users who felt left behind. I guess that’s good, right?