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Can I Use Apple Devices On My Windows XP Computer?

September 23rd, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

While Apple computers were quite popular in schools during the 1990s, many districts switched to Windows as the years went by. This meant that many current consumers grew up familiar with Microsoft products rather than Apple. However, the emergence of popular devices like the original iPod and the iPhone meant that the tech giants had to work together in some way. This allows anyone with a Windows XP computer to connect a device made by Apple and use it properly for years to come. You can have the best of both worlds when it comes to personal electronics by mixing and matching thanks to the power of appropriate drivers.


What Kind of Apple Devices Will Work?


If you are really a fan of Apple products but want to keep your Windows XP system for now, you can utilize a wide range of accessories. All of the most popular hand held devices feature some kind of cross-platform support. The Apple support system offers numerous ways to locate the right drivers, keep them updated, and find new ones. No matter your level of comfort with modifying your computer system and its essential files, you can quickly get your iPhone communicating clearly with your computer.


Age Matters


When it comes to syncing products from Apple with Windows XP computers, the age of the device plays a big part in determining how you can do it. For example, older classic or nano versions of the iPod may not be running the current iOS program. This means they can’t work with the automated programs that sync appropriate drivers based on the connected device. However, you can still manually installed even the oldest Apple devices by retrieving the correct driver files from their database.


Manual Apple Device Driver Installation On A Windows XP Computer


This process varies for newer products, but will work well on a Windows XP system with original iPods. Have iTunes installed first and log in to your account to ensure the process runs smoothly.


  1. First, attach the iPod via the USB cable and see if your ITunes account will detect the device.
  2. If this fails, visit the Apple Support website and search for the Troubleshooting Assistant for your specific iPod version. This program will scan for missing drivers and other similar problems.
  3. Check if Windows is recognizing the device even if iTunes isn’t. Open the My Computer folder from your Desktop to see if it appears as a connected storage device among your CD-ROM drive and hard drive.
  4. Open the Device Manager through the Control Panel and System icon to discover if it is appearing there as well. If Windows XP recognizes the iPod, you may need to reinstall iTunes completely after uninstalling it.
  5. The oldest iPod models may require you to download and install the Apple Mobile Device USB Driver. You can find it through the Support website. This should remedy the problem if your computer isn’t properly recognizing the connected device at all.


Automatic Updates Are Easier


All computer users can utilize Apple’s built in support for driver and software updates, even if they aren’t comfortable with manual driver installation. This program is known as the Apple Software Update. If you have installed iTunes, Quicktime, or Safari you should have a functioning copy on your computer. You may have blocked it from running or accidentally uninstalled it, so a fresh install of iTunes is usually the easiest and fastest way to restore it. There is also a freestanding installer available through the Support site. Running this program will allow your computer to check for drivers when you connect a new iPhone or iPad. It will also let you know if the software itself needs updates, or if an older device has bugfixes available. You can run the updater manually at any time by selecting it from the Start Menu.


No Windows XP Support For iCloud


iCloud is one of Apple’s latest consumer ventures, but it’s not available for Windows XP users. This cloud-based service allows you to access files on Windows computers from an iPad or iPhone, and vice-versa. However, only Vista and up are supported. You can still transfer files through a USB connection or over the Internet, but not over iCloud.


Avoiding iTunes


There is a way to remove the driver files from the iTunes installation file and manually install them, but this takes registry editing and is best left to advanced users. For the average computer owner, iTunes is the easiest way to get the drivers properly installed and updated throughout the lifespan of the device. If you are comfortable with the process, you can try:


  1. Downloading the iTunes Setup file offered by Apple Support for Windows XP.
  2. Rather than opening the file with a double-click, try opening it with the program known as WinRAR. This will allow you to see the files within the executable. Copying out “AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi” and “QuickTimes.msi”will provide you with the specific driver files needed for installation.
  3. Follow your preferred method for manual .msi file installation on your system.


Following this process will allow your computer to detect the device properly and display it in your My Computer folder. However, this may not allow you to actually access the storage for removing and adding content. You may still need a secondary program, from the manufactuer or a third party, to access your library and edit it.


Backup Your Collection


Using iTunes is also recommended because it allows you to create a backup of your entire music collection. If something happens to your iPod or your Windows XP computer, you won’t have to deal with the long process of purchasing new copies of every song you wanted to hear. Many people keep their favorite material on their iPhone as a backup for their home computer, but this will only work if the content syncs on a regular basis. Keep your Apple devices working with PCs by updating your drivers and software as soon as new releases come out.

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