Windows Defender Does Not Play Nice With iTunes

I recently had to reformat my Windows PC and do a fresh install of Windows 10. One of the primary uses for this PC is to run my home iTunes server, but soon after the reformat, it became clear that something was not right with iTunes.

The first problem that caught my attention was that sharing did not work at all, local network or Home Sharing. My iTunes share appeared on other devices initially, but I was never able to connect. After two or three attempts, the iTunes share disappeared.

As I began trying to troubleshoot the sharing problem, I then realized that almost every time that I closed and re-opened iTunes, some of my settings had been removed. It reset all dialog warnings, so I was repeatedly be asked to agree to the license and the welcome screen re-appeared. It also signed out of my Apple account.

The most frustrating part of this problem was that when I uninstalled and reinstalled iTunes or deleted my library and started from scratch, sharing started working, making me believe that I had fixed it. But within 5 or 10 minutes, things would reset again, and sharing stopped working.

At this point it was obvious that something was altering my iTunes configuration, so I began to disable other software running on my computer. Finally, after disabling Windows Defender, things seemed to get better. With some trial and error, I was able to figure out that there was one specific iTunes configuration directory being altered, causing the issues. By excluding this directory from Windows Defender, everything seems to be working perfectly for me.

The Solution

If you are having similar issues, here are the steps that helped me fix the problem:

  1. Open the Windows Defender settings:
    1. Open the Start menu
    2. Click “Settings”
    3. Go to “Update & security”
    4. Select “Windows Defender” on the left
  2. Find the “Exclusions” section, and click “Add and exclusion”
  3. Click the plus icon next to “Exclude a folder” and add the following directory as an exclusion, replacing <username> with your current username:
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer