Installing 32-bit iTunes on Chromebook: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Installing 32-bit iTunes on Chromebook: A Step-by-Step Guide

Chromebooks, with their simplicity, speed, and value, have emerged as a popular choice for users across the globe. While they excel at web-based tasks, running traditional Windows or Mac applications like iTunes can seem challenging due to the Chromebook’s Linux-based Chrome OS. However, with the advent of Linux (Beta) on Chromebooks and the evolution of software compatibility layers like Wine, it’s become possible to run 32-bit Windows applications, such as iTunes, on a Chromebook.

This guide will walk you through the process of installing the 32-bit version of iTunes on your Chromebook. It’s worth noting that this workaround is aimed at users who need to access iTunes for purposes not served by alternative software available on Chrome OS. The method involves several steps, from enabling Linux to installing Wine and configuring it to run iTunes. Let’s begin.


  1. A Chromebook that supports Linux (Beta).
  2. An active internet connection.
  3. Basic knowledge of Linux commands.

Step 1: Enable Linux (Beta) on Your Chromebook

To start, you’ll need to enable Linux (Beta), which is available on many newer models of Chromebooks. To do this:

  1. Open the Settings on your Chromebook.
  2. Click on “Advanced” to expand more options, then click on “Developers”.
  3. In the “Linux development environment (Beta)” section, click on the “Turn on” button.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the Linux container, which may take some time.

Once installed, you will see a Linux terminal in your app drawer, indicating you can now proceed to install software within the Linux container.

Step 2: Installing Wine

Wine is a compatibility layer that allows you to run Windows applications on Linux. For iTunes, you’ll need to install the specific version of Wine that supports 32-bit applications:

  1. Open the Linux terminal from your app drawer.
  2. Update your system’s package list by typing: sudo apt-get update and pressing Enter.
  3. Type: sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 and press Enter to add support for 32-bit applications.
  4. Again, update your system’s package list with: sudo apt-get update.
  5. Install Wine by typing: sudo apt-get install wine32 and pressing Enter. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.

This process may take some time, depending on your internet speed and your Chromebook’s processing power.

Step 3: Downloading iTunes

Before proceeding, you need to download the 32-bit iTunes setup file:

  • Visit the official Apple iTunes download page from a browser.
  • Look for a link to download the 32-bit version of iTunes for older video cards. This version tends to be more compatible with Wine.
  • Download the installer to your Chromebook.

Step 4: Installing iTunes with Wine

After downloading the iTunes installer, you’re ready to install it using Wine:

  1. In your Linux terminal, navigate to the folder where the iTunes installer was downloaded. Usually, it is in the ~/Downloads directory.
  2. Type the following command to install iTunes, replacing [Your-iTunes-Installer-Name].exe with the actual name of the file you downloaded: wine [Your-iTunes-Installer-Name].exe.
  3. Follow the prompts in the iTunes installer, accepting the license agreement, and continue with the installation process.

Once the installation is complete, you may find that the iTunes desktop shortcut does not work directly due to the nature of the Linux environment. You can launch iTunes from the Linux terminal by navigating to the iTunes installation directory and using the wine command to run iTunes.exe.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Running iTunes on Chromebook using Wine might not be flawless. You may encounter issues such as problems with audio playback or iTunes not recognizing connected devices. Often, these issues can be resolved by installing additional libraries through Wine or adjusting settings within the Linux container to allow access to hardware resources. Searching for specific error messages or symptoms in online forums can yield solutions from users who have faced similar challenges.


Can I sync my iPhone or iPad with iTunes installed on a Chromebook?

While you can install and run iTunes on a Chromebook using the method described, syncing devices may not work as expected. Wine’s compatibility with Apple’s mobile devices varies, and users often report difficulties in getting iTunes to recognize or sync with iPhones or iPads. For syncing purposes, it’s recommended to rely on iCloud or other cloud services.

Is it legal to install iTunes on a Chromebook using Wine?

Yes, it is legal to install iTunes on a Chromebook using Wine, as long as you use legitimate software downloaded from Apple’s official website. Wine is a compatibility layer that enables running Windows applications on Linux-based systems, including Chrome OS, and it does not circumvent any digital rights management (DRM) features.

Will installing iTunes on a Chromebook void my warranty?

Installing iTunes on your Chromebook through Linux (Beta) and Wine should not void your warranty. However, it’s important to proceed with care, as any modifications or configurations to system settings carry a risk of causing software issues. Always ensure you understand each step and consider the implications of installing unofficially supported software.

How can I remove iTunes from my Chromebook if I no longer need it?

To remove iTunes installed via Wine, you can use the Wine uninstaller program. Simply open your Linux terminal and type wine uninstaller, which will open a window displaying installed applications. Select iTunes from the list and click on the “Remove” button to uninstall it. Additionally, you may want to remove Wine and the Linux container if you’re not using them for other purposes.

Are there alternatives to using iTunes on a Chromebook?

For many users, the primary functions of iTunes, such as music and video playback, device synchronization, and backup, can be achieved through alternatives available on Chrome OS. For music, services like Google Play Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music offer extensive libraries and the ability to upload your own music. For video, Google Play Movies & TV and various streaming services are available. Device backup and synchronization can often be accomplished through cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox, as well as through direct transfers using USB connections or SD cards.

In conclusion, while installing 32-bit iTunes on a Chromebook involves a few technical steps, it’s a viable option for users who need access to iTunes-specific features. With careful installation and troubleshooting, you can extend the functionality of your Chromebook to include running iTunes, though some limitations, primarily around device synchronization, will likely persist.


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