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iTunes keeps asking to allow or deny incoming connections

iTunes keeps asking to allow or deny incoming connections

There is a bug that causes some Mac users who have Leopard’s firewall enabled to continuously get popups asking whether “iTunes.app” should accept incoming network connections.

When Macs running 10.5 Leopard have “Set access for specific services and applications” selected in the Firewall section of System Preferences, programs that access the internet can be configured to allow or block incoming connections. This normally works well, but iTunes might be susceptible to a glitch that causes undesirable behavior. Every time the program is launched, the following message is displayed: “Do you want the application “iTunes.app” to accept incoming network connections?” No matter which of the two options – Allow or Deny – the user chooses, the prompt keeps coming up when iTunes is opened.

I’m not sure how widespread this bug is, but I have experienced it myself on two separate Macs after upgrading iTunes through OS X’s Software Update mechanism. Although it’s not a serious issue, it certainly gets old real fast. The constant nuisance may even drive some Mac owners to disable Leopard’s firewall altogether. Needless to say, that’s not a good thing. Luckily, there is a solution.

If you are experiencing this problem on your Mac, follow these simple steps to get rid of the Allow or Deny popups:

  1. Go to the Applications folder and drag iTunes to the Trash. Don’t worry, your music, videos, and entire media library are not affected and will still be there. Only the iTunes software will be uninstalled.
  2. Reboot or log out of your Mac. This step may or may not be necessary, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
  3. When you are logged back in, go to Apple’s website to download the latest version of iTunes.
  4. Install iTunes. Do not import any songs or videos if it prompts you to do so.

All of your media should be right where you left it the first time your fresh installation of iTunes is opened. If you get another firewall popup asking to Allow or Deny incoming network connections, make your choice and that should be the last time you see it. Future iTunes launches won’t pester you anymore.

43 Comments Have Been Posted (Leave Your Response)

I was plagued by this problem and was surprised it hasn’t yet been addressed by Apple (to my knowledge). It was very obnoxious, and I admit I was one person who turned my firewall off to prevent the pop up from happening.

Your fix seemed to work on my MBP. Thanks!

that isn’t a bug, I had the same problem for sometime looking arround apple’s website I found an article saying that the registered softwares like apple’s (itcan happen with other programs too) make an integrity check of the app before being allowed throug the firewall… if something is different, the system ask the user to allow the connections or not,
some times changing the icon with candybar can cause this

If you have the firewall enabled and change the icon (or probably any other file) within the iTues application package, you’ll get the “incoming connections” message every time you open iTunes.

Re-installing iTunes as described will fix the problem, until you try changing the icon.

It’s probably some package-signing security thing, but annoying for those who want both the firewall and a custom icon.

Finally! I’ve been trying to stop this popup for months! I eventually turned off my firewall because I couldn’t stand it anymore. I turned it back on now and everything is fine. I didn’t change any icons either. So I don’t know what caused it in the first place.

To the comment “that isn’t a bug,” I say “Bollocks”

If Apple simply provided the “Always Allow” option when it detected a change and displayed this warning dialog then it could be said to be ‘not a bug’.

The incompetence and user-contempt that the current implementation displays can only be described as a bug and one Apple could fix very simply as I described above.

Lazy and dumb Apple.

Please fix this.

I’ve had this bug for about one year and figured out that turning the library sharing off would “fix” it.
What Frank said about package-signing could probably be the issue on my iTunes, I’ve added some extra genre pictures.

Well, I can forsake on sharing but not on the genre pictures, so I would keep it off. But it is good to now what the problem is.

i have this problem ,but when i try this method, it only works once, then when i load up itunes again, same problem. ive looked all around forums etc, to no avail!

This box pops up so fast that it cant be read on my computer. It only happens when i turn on my computer so im not sure if its related to the itunes problem.

I have also had this problem. There is no need to delete ITunes, just download and reinstall, this will fix it.
I have done this on my Macbook Pro and Mac Pro and they are now both free of this annoying popup message.

This doesn’t really work – what helped me was to disable Home Sharing from the Advanced menu

Disabling Home Sharing from Advanced menu didn’t solved this problem on my MacBook. But I can remember that this problem appeared on my MacBook when I enabled Home Sharing on both my MacBook and iMac. This problem appears only on my MacBook, I guess because I use it to sync my iPhone 3GS with it? This is the only difference between my MacBook and iMac.

Disabling Home Sharing did it for me. Thanks!

I have this problem with adium. Thinking about turning off the firewall but still resisting.

Drag to trash and reinstall seems to have worked on my MBP.

Duncan was apparently molested by apple as a child and still harbors bad feelings about it. ITunes settings and Mac settings have the options to “always allow” incoming network connections but changing itunes’ stock program files apparently compromises security. If you’ve done this then iTunes will always prompt you before allowing network connections.

I had this inconvenient alert for about a month, probably caused by a program i used to customize my icons. Reinstalling iTunes fixed the problem right away, it takes a few minutes.

this worked for me flawless (without reboot)

This has been going on for a few months and it’s not that hard to click allow but I knew something was wrong which worried me. This was exactly what I needed to do to fix it, thanks! :D

Disabling library sharing fixed it for me. kind of makes sense when you think about it…

I’m having the same problem, and not only for iTunes: Coda, MusicBrainz Picard, and other programs continue to bug me with this. No matter what I do (removing, reinstalling, etc), nothing seems to help, so I turned the firewall off completely. Definitely a bug. OS X 10.6.4

GREAT! THANK YOU! I have had this problem only after the update to 9.2… Now it’s gone ;-)

I have this problem – on three Macs, running either 10.5 or 10.6. I have tried reinstalling, clearing caches, rebuilding my library from the XML file, and deleting iTunes from the list of applications allowed to make connections in OS X’s Firewall, all without success. It’s not Home Sharing either because that wasn’t turned on until a couple of weeks ago and I’ve had this problem for months. It’s not because I’ve customised iTunes, because the only one I’ve ever made is to move the media library to Users/Shared/Music on one Mac and edit the ACL so that my wife and I can access the same library (and I did that years ago). Aaand… it even happened with iTunes 9.2 downloaded and reinstalled from scratch on a clean install of 10.6 on a reformatted HD.

Unlike Jake, though, I’m not having this problem with any other application. I’d say it’s definitely either iTunes or OS X at fault, but I’m not holding my breath for a fix any more…

I have an even better solution for you. No uninstalling or re-downloading.

In security (located in system preferences) Click the firewall tab followed by the advanced button down the bottom. Check all the applications you want are set to allow incoming connections. Close security preferences. Then open a finder window Navigate to -> Macintosh HD -> Library -> there will be a file called, com.apple.alf.plist delete it, reboot and your done. Deleting this small file re-builds the Firewall preferences and you will no longer be asked to accept incoming network connection every time you open an app. As long as the app your opening is on the list in the firewall tab your good to go :D [Rest of comment removed by moderator due to security concerns]

Just tried the method described by Shane, it works! Thanks!

Just to clarify that the file “com.apple.alf.plist” should be in Macintosh HD/Library/Preferences/
After deleted it and reboot stops the annoying dialog window to pop up!

Fantastic work around by Shane Cook! You are a genius. Just tried it and it works! Thanks for the painless trick!

Shane, your solution didn’t work for me. Deleting the file disabled the Firewall. After activiting it again there were no rules anymore.

please help.

we have the same problem but as of me.
everytime i open an application which connected to an internet the firewall pop up.
i don’t what to do. like it’s freaking me out.
i did the itunes uninstall and the reinstall it work but after a minute the window pops up again. :( please help.

-xian

PList fix works in 10.6, too THANKS!

@Shane Cook is snooping. That plist is indeed the plist for the OS X Firewall. If you delete it, it disables the OS X Firewall (hence why it no longer asks you upon launch). He’s then asking you to email him so he can get your IP address and see what services you have open which he can exploit. Please disregard his post.

For anyone who is having this problem, your copy of iTunes has been modified somehow and the app no longer matches the checksum. Perhaps you have changed the icon. Perhaps you have stripped the non-native code out of the Universal Binary. Regardless, you just need to reinstall iTunes from http://www.apple.com/itunes. While it shouldn’t hurt anything, there should be no need to trash iTunes or it’s preferences unless the iTunes.app package or one of its components has become locked.

Shane Cook got it spot on trash the com.apple.alf.plist – thanks SO much.

Re-installing works!

Shane Cook solution was right on the money. Being new to Mac, I probably would have given up on finding file if it was not for “tdled” further clarifying file location. Thank you to both.

Thanks for this! That window has been an annoyance, but the re-install (without reboot) fixed it quick.

Never saw this problem in iTunes, but on many other apps such as Numbers. I removed the com.apple.alf.plist file and rebooted (new one was rebuilt by startup) and it seems to have fixed the problem. The file definitely had some strange stuff in it – two elements in the section with hex data in them. The file was well-formed, however.

It’s worth repeating that when you remove com.apple.alf.plist *your* *firewall* *is* *disabled*. Whilst this may be a solution to the allow/deny problem (!) it certainly isn’t safe. If you do follow these instructions, make sure you go back into Security settings and re-enable the firewall before doing anything else.

For what it’s worth, this did fix the problem with iTunes asking me each and every time it started if I wanted to allow or deny access.

So this solution wasn’t completely malicious or wrong.

Thanks!!! I deleted the iTunes.app, re-startet and installed iTunes freshly. It solved the problem!! The main point is to remove the iTunes.app completely which, I think, forces the system to clean also something related and that solved the issue.

BTW: if you remove the firewall-prefs as mentioned before, do first this: DIS-CONNECT from the Internet, restart, open up Systempreferences=>Security=Firewall and ENABLE the firewall !!! Note: the Firewall asks only for “Allow/Deny Incoming Connections when an application tries to reach out into a network, for example, a software update function or “Private Sharing” or anything that goes outside. That triggers the firewall. They are no incoming connections at this point, it’s just triggered by the application who tries to connect to “something”. If you disable “Private Sharing” and other similar stuff, iTunes does not connect to anything and thats why the Firewall has no reason to ask you for permission-rules.

The method above didn’t seem to work for me, this problem has plagued me for months and I’ve been meaning to work on it. But after I turned home sharing off it doesn’t do this anymore :)

Great, Ant! Issue solved, nice work!
thx

Brasil

Shane Cook: Navigate to -> Macintosh HD -> Library -> there will be a file called, com.apple.alf.plist delete it, reboot and your done. IT WORKS!

Thank you SO MUCH Pablo Kagioglu. This seems to have worked after many failed attempts..I couldn’t put iTunes in the trash…the latest OS apparently wouldn’t let me do that so I reinstalled the latest version anyway..which still didn’t help..Your advice did..but to be clear; you should mention in the link there “Preferences”…some people may not be aware of that being where they find the plist you mentioned.. Thank you very very much!

Well, NEVER MIND!!! Didn’t fix it afterall! It simply turned the firewall off. When I went back to the security preferences in System Prefs..I found it turned off and all the apps missing from the list of ones I had authorized. I added iTunes again as before and when I opened iTunes, it again asked me to allow it….I tried opening and closing it several times. It’s back to it’s old behaviour. I guess it is screwed up for good. Sometimes Apple makes me furious. Why not just make a patch and fix it?

I just reported this to apple..we’ll see if they give a sh*t!

Disabling home sharing worked for me.

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