How to Make iTunes Songs Download Faster

By Anne Hirsh

Your computer or mobile device's hardware, software and Internet connection all affect how quickly your songs download from iTunes. With each update to the iTunes software, Apple lists the minimum system requirements for storage and RAM. Check the iTunes download page (see Resources) to see if your hardware is compatible and update your iTunes software. Using the current iTunes software release may or may not improve your download speed by itself, depending on your previous version.

Step 1

Download iTunes songs over your home network instead of public networks unless you only have a dial up connection. Public connections share bandwidth among all users, so your download speed will be slow if others are also using the same connection. If you must use public networks, choose library or school networks whenever possible. These tend to have higher bandwidth and faster speeds than coffee shop or restaurant hotspots.

Step 2

Connect your computer to your broadband modem using an Ethernet cable rather than downloading over the wireless connection. Data transfer over cabled connections is faster than wireless connections.

Step 3

Move your computer or device as close to the router as possible if you must use a wireless connection, such as on an iPod, iPad or iPhone.

Step 4

Connect to the Internet using your service provider's domain name server (DNS) rather than a public DNS. If you have not changed your connection from the default your provider set up, this will happen automatically each time you connect to the Internet. However, if you have specifically configured your home network to use a public DNS such as Google DNS, the company that iTunes uses for file delivery may route your downloads through a busy public data stream. This makes your downloads take longer than they would on a private ISP-provided server. Contact your ISP about switching back to its server.

Step 5

Close any browser windows and other programs running on your computer before you shop for your iTunes songs. On a mobile device like the iPhone or iPad, open the multitasking pane, hold your finger over one of your open app icons, and then tap the "X" to close all open programs except the iTunes store. This lets your computer's processers and RAM direct most of their resources to iTunes.

Step 6

Launch iTunes on your computer and select the "Downloads" link from the menu as your songs are downloading. De-select the box that says "Allow simultaneous downloads." This may increase your overall download time, but each individual song will download more quickly because they are not competing with each other as they download.