iTunes for Windows: Background processes installed on Windows XP, Vista, and 7

iTunes for Windows (XP, Vista, and 7) installs some processes that run in the background. Below is a brief explanation of what each process does.

AppleMobileBackup.exe Backs up the data on your iPhone or iPod touch
AppleMobileDeviceHelper.exe Listens for commands to help iTunes communicate with devices
AppleMobileDeviceService.exe Allows iTunes to recognize iPhone and iPod touch
AppleMobileSync.exe Synchronizes iPhone or iPod touch data with your computer
distnoted.exe Allows iTunes to sync with iPhone and iPod touch
iPodService.exe Allows iTunes to access devices.
iTunesHelper.exe "Listens" for commands to help iTunes communicate with devices (such as iPod).
iTunesPhotoProcessor.exe Transcodes photos and artwork for devices
MDCrashReportTool.exe Extracts log reports from the device and submits them to Apple (if selected)
mDNSResponder.exe Allows iTunes to discover services on the local network (music sharing, Apple TV, AirTunes). Also known as Bonjour for Windows.
SyncServer.exe Coordinates the synchronization processes
qttask.exe Provides a QuickTime icon in the Notification area (system tray) of the Windows Task bar. This process might or might not appear depending on your configuration of QuickTime and whether the QuickTime icon is enabled in the Notification area.
dotmacsyncclient.exe* Syncs the device with iCloud* Google contact syncing Syncs the device with Internet Explorer Syncs the device with Outlook Syncs the device with Safari Syncs the device with Windows Address Book / Windows Contacts Syncs with Windows Mail* Syncs with Yahoo


 *These processes will require internet access to sync. You must allow these processes internet access through your firewall in order to complete their functions. For more details, see iTunes for Windows: Troubleshooting security software issues.

Note: Depending on your configuration, some of these background processes may not appear. iTunes can start other background processes to perform various tasks like syncing and diagnostics. New functions may be added to these background processes in the future. Please note that you should not disable these processes even when iTunes is not open on the computer.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Apr 10, 2014
  • Last Modified: Apr 10, 2014
  • Article: HT3960
  • Views:


Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion
in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked