iTunes 7 Error – iTunes Unable to Browse Album Covers On This Computer

Update –  If you are having this issue, please read the rest of this post plus the comments at the bottom of the post.

I just upgraded to itunes 7. I’m on Windows XP by the way.  I was really excited to try out the new feature, Cover Flow which according to Apple "With Cover Flow, you can flip through your digital music and video collection just as you would CDs."

The update seemed to go fine. I then selected "Music" in my Library and hit the
Cover Flow button. Much to my surprise, I got the error listed below "iTunes is unable to browse album covers on this computer."


I googled, searched blogs, searched Apples support and found nothing. Then I remembered I had set my video card to disable hardware acceleration. Sure enough, when I cranked up my hardware acceleration, iTunes worked fine. I’m blogging this here because I know tons of you musicians out there use iTunes and this post could save you hours of chasing your tail – especially since the error is not very clear that the issue is related to your video settings.

Possible remedies:

  • Enable hardware acceleration
  • Use 32-bit True Color

These settings can be accessed by , Right clicking on your desktop, select the "Settings Tab". Select 32-bit.  To turn on hardware acceleration, click advanced.


Then click the "Troubleshoot" tab and slide  the Hardware acceleration slider to the right.


Update to my original post:

According to, two other issues might cause this:

Possibility 1: QuickTime is out of date…

Possibility 2: Video Driver is out of date…

CompletelyGeek also sites this forum on Apple.

See comments link below for even more discussion about this issue.

Mark Mosher

Copyright 2006, Newecho Productions, LLC

95 thoughts on “iTunes 7 Error – iTunes Unable to Browse Album Covers On This Computer

  1. I want to comment that 6 years later this helped me.
    I had forgotten that a program I ran the previous day to do a screen capture video had adjusted this setting for me. So as soon as I followed the directions to edit my Display settings, it worked like it had been all along. Thanks. Keep the post alive. 🙂

  2. A simpler solution? :
    I just experienced the same problem. It happened when using Google Earth (in direct X mode) at the same time as iTunes. After closing Google Earth, and restarting iTunes, everything is fine again!
    Maybe something happens when Google Earth makes use of the 3D acceleration, when iTunes at the same time tries to use those resourcers.
    Best regards, Patrik

  3. is there a solution for the same problem on a windows vista computer? Because I’ve had the same problem for about 5 months now.

  4. I tried all the h/w acceleration settings and checked out dxdiag but the same problem remained.
    I then reduced the display settings to a lower resolution and checked back with itunes and the music artwork was back!
    i then went back to the settings, returned the resolution back to what it was before and then back to itunes and everything was still ok!
    all very strange but now working ok. thanks to all for suggestions on this post.

  5. Even though this is a bit old, but still very useful. I have the cover flow problem in iTunes after installed the Stardock ObjectDocks, which changed my display settings to 16-bits. After changed back to 32-bits, problem resolved. Thanks.

  6. you are indeed god like! something so simple has taken a few hours to sort – new S3 drivers and umpteen reboots -the machine was not in full colour mode -once changed robert was indeed your farthers brother “Bobs your uncle”

  7. I was having this problem.
    Then I realised I was remote Desktopped to the Itunes machine, the remote desktop video driver knocks the hardware acceleration on the head.
    When I browse iTunes on the actual machine all is well.
    Just in case anybody else out there is running their iTunes on a hidden pc with no attached monitor and accessing it via remote devices…

  8. Just wanted to thank you very much for your kind help,I tried to get the help from apple and it was impossible.
    The proble I had was that itunes could not browse through album covers.
    But now everything with your hint of acceleration tip.
    Once again thanks very much

  9. Thank you! Sliding the graphics accelerator to the right solved my problem; I thought I was going to die without cover flow. You saved me.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this!!
    It really saved a lot of time. iTunes doesn’t have anything in their “help” menu for this problem
    Your a real sport!!! Again, Thanks so much!

  11. – – – – –
    I have a setup with a Matrox G450 and a P650 (three screens, one on the G450 and two on the P650). For me coverflow worked and suddenly stopped. After some fiddling around I found it:
    I had changed my primary screen to be the one on the G450 (for which dxdiag says AGP texture acceleration is not available). Because iTunes was running when I changed this, I did not notice until I rebooted.
    Apparently iTunes only determines whether to use coverflow by checking the properties of the primary display. Make sure the primary one is configured to be on a card that supports texture acceleration.
    Curiously enough once it is started, coverflow will work on any of the three screens….
    Posted by: Daniel Schneller
    – – – – –
    Thanks! This did the trick for me (only ONE of my two video cards was able to do 3-D and it was NOT set as my ‘primary’ monitor video card. I switched it around and now it works great…. THANKS!

  12. Thanks. I had hardware acceleration enabled but I only had 16-bit color. Changed to 32-bit and worked like a charm!

  13. Thank you! I had been frustrated by being unable to view the album cover flow, and thanks to your suggestion about the graphics accellerator, I can now see them. Thanks!

  14. This may have been mentioned but:
    All settings described above were already my default prefs.
    In Itunes I changed the view from CoverFlow View to List View to Album View then back to CoverFlow view and it worked… go fig.

  15. Thanks for this brilliant solution. The color quality of my laptop was downgraded to “Medium” by a crappy game without me knowing it. Putting it back to “High” fixed the problem. Again… Many Thanks!

  16. I was actually able to get the Cover Flow working again after exhausting all remedies offered with the exception of one not offered here. I back-rev’d my graphics card driver to it’s original 03 version. All is working just fine.

  17. I don’t have Direct 3D Functionality.
    When I type in “dxdiag” it runs like a scan, then in the second tab(display)it says: “Direct3D functionality not available. You should verify that the driver is a final version from the hardware manufacturer.”
    Does this mean that I can’t use cover float? pls help thnx

  18. Hi.
    I have almost the same problem when i turn on itunes. the thing is that when cowerflow is turned on it looks like crap. Its lines of black and white colors instead of nice do i fix that?? i finally got cowerflow running but still the graphics doesnt seem to work..

  19. I read a lot of info for the Windows platform.
    But I am having this problem on a Mac Mini, with the LATEST iTunes 7.4.2 and QT 7.2.0
    There no settings I can see on my Mac for this HW accel/ or video color depth…
    Anyone can help? Or confirm it is a problem on Macs as well?

  20. Google Earth was the culprit here too. Closed Google Earth, changed libraries in iTunes, all is well. Thanks!

  21. Excellent worked a treat! Had reinstalled all software on my computer and Windows had defaulted to 16 bit colour. Many thanks!

  22. If you have an integrated graphics card after buying a computer from Dell, HP, etc then I recommend going straight to the website of the manufacturer of the chipset (most probably Intel) and downloading the latest driver from there.
    The reason I say this is because there have been cases where Dell’s website do not have the latest driver available. You are much more likely to get the latest driver if you visit the manufacturers website.

  23. Hi I am running Parallels Desktop and Itunes on a macbook pro.
    I have tried all the fixes above but to no avail.
    Why not run itunes on the OSX partition I hear you say, because I have a lot of my music stuff running on Windows and need to run Itunes on that Partition.
    Is anyone else in a similar position to me that can help where I can browse Album Covers in Itunes on my Windows XP running on Paralles desktop?

  24. Thank you so much. This totally worked for me by increasing my color quality to 32 bit. Now I can browse album covers again. There was a step that was left out. Go to desktop, right click, click on properties, then click on settings. The color quality and advanced tab are there.

  25. I have a setup with a Matrox G450 and a P650 (three screens, one on the G450 and two on the P650). For me coverflow worked and suddenly stopped. After some fiddling around I found it:
    I had changed my primary screen to be the one on the G450 (for which dxdiag says AGP texture acceleration is not available). Because iTunes was running when I changed this, I did not notice until I rebooted.
    Apparently iTunes only determines whether to use coverflow by checking the properties of the primary display. Make sure the primary one is configured to be on a card that supports texture acceleration.
    Curiously enough once it is started, coverflow will work on any of the three screens….

  26. Please note for you Microsoft Office users experiencing this problem – If you max out your acceleration, you may and most likely will experience image and graphic viewing problems in Word 2003. Google the following if you would like to understand the issue “pictures in Word 2003 disapper”

  27. Just an FYI, I am suddenly receiving this error on my MacBook Pro under OS X. Everything was just fine until 2 days ago. Hoped this link would help me find the answer, but no avail. Onward with my search.

  28. I got mine to show by closing all other programs that required high graphics (for me, that was GoogleEarth)…then it worked!!! yey

  29. Ditto to Peter Miller, just setting it to 32-bit solved the problem!!
    Thank You Much!

  30. If you have read this much you probably had the same problem I had.
    dxdiag was telling me I only had directx 9b installed, and any attempt to upgrade to 9c failed.
    Here is how I fixed it.
    I uninstalled XP SP2.
    Installed Directx 9c (from download).
    Had to reinstall my latest graphics card driver as I believe SP2 removal x’d it.
    Reinstalled SP2.
    Hope this helps

  31. Tried all of the above. Latest iTunes, latest Quicktime, Latest Video drivers (Matrox G550 Duel Head), 32 Bit Colour, full hardware acceleration. dxdiag shows DirectDraw Acceleration enabled on both screen, Direct3 Acceleration enabled on both screens, AGP Texture acceleration enabled on screen 1 but not available on screen 2. (Running iTunes on Screen 1 BTW).
    This still doesn’t work for me. Anyone got any further suggestions?

  32. i am having the same problem and i followed the steps to solve it when i noticed that my highest color quality was 24 bit, not 32. does this mean i cannot get album covers? is there a way to fix this?? help me please!!

  33. I am having this problem, but when i went to follow the steps to solve it, i noticed that my computer only has 24 bit as high color quality and i don’t have the option of 32. does this mean that i cannot get the album covers? is there a way to fix this? help me please!

  34. I have gone through just about every method to fix this problem that i’ve seen, but none are working, and i have run into a roadblock. In one post it said to run the “dxdiag” and make sure my direct3d drivers are enabled. I tried this but it says the directdraw, direct3d, and agp texture acceleration are unavailable. Does this mean i need a new video card?

  35. Any other ideas anyone? My directX, vid drivers, itunes, quicktime, and everything else mentioned are up to date. Cover Flow worked perfectly for me when I first installed iTunes, now about 3 weeks later it just suddenly stopped working. Doesn’t coincide with any change in my system that I can recall.

  36. Dan Tepper: Thank you very much. I tried and it works. I thought I might had to buy a new video card. I just save a lot of money.

  37. It might also just take closing some other programs. I get this error in Itunes with Google Earth open but it works after I close it.

  38. I’m running at a higher resolution than that. I wonder if there is an update to your video driver that might allow you to go higher.

  39. None of the remedies I could find on the Internet worked except turning down the screen resolution down to 1024 x 768. Then cover flow worked fine

  40. It seems there is another place where 3D can be disabled. here’s what fixed it for me (Win 2003 srvr – all latest stuff):
    1. Need all latest Drivers, DirectX and 3D Accel enabled (see posts above)
    2. From Start Menu, click RUN then type “dxdiag” (no quotes)
    3. click the “Display” tab.
    4. Make sure “DirectDraw Acceleration”, “Direct3D Acceleration” and “AGP Texture Acceleration” are ENABLED
    I did this and Cover Flow works beautifully.
    As a developer, would be nice if Apple caught this more gracefully and provided some kind of user feedback.
    -Dan Tepper

  41. Thanks so much for this blog. I just reinstalled WinXP on my wife’s computer and put iTunes 7 on it and got the same error message. For me hardware acceleration is set to Full after a new install. But Color depth is 16-bit by default and sure enough, just setting it to 32-bit solved the problem!!

  42. the easiest and most pain free way is to uninstall itunes, then reinstall it. sounds simple but it worked for me after i tried all the mensa candidate techniques i have seen posted.

  43. ok, i had this problem, drivers were updated, quicktime updated, yada yada, still same problem – when i’d click “tv shows” i got the same crash splash as everyone. i checked my graphics accelerator and it was on high, but i noticed my “color quality” was for some reason set only to 16 bit. i changed this to 32 bit and voila! works great, and honestly looks very cool. i hope this might help someone!

  44. Thank. I’m fixed this problem. My case is Possibility 2: Video Driver is out of date… I have ThinkPad T40 with ATI Mobility Radeon 7500.

  45. In the last post, someone asked how they update their video driver? Typically, you’d visit the web site of the vendor in question, find you model and grabethe new driver.
    Many lower cost systems implement drivers on their motherboards. If that’s the case, then visit your pc manufacturer’s site (like, or…), find the support page, find your model. They should have a downloads sections for driver updates.
    For those who have add-on video cards in PCI slots, visit your video card manufacters web site (like,
    Once you download the driver, follow the instructions from the manufacturer on installing.

  46. I have tried all recommended fixes with no success. I am running XP and video is limited to 24 bits. How do I update video driver? Tks

  47. Doesn’t work for me either. I had the album covers working when I first downloaded 7 but now nothing works and all the settings are as suggested above.

  48. Maybe to fine tune this, add an extra step to change to 32 bit.
    exit iTunes then:
    1. Start – Settings – Control Panels – Display
    2. Click Settings tab
    3. Select 32 Bit
    4. Click Advanced button. A dialog pops up.
    5. Click Troubleshoot tab
    6. There should be a slider for hardware acceleration. Select Full
    Click OK buttons to close and save your changes.
    Good luck. This worked for me.

  49. This does not work for me. I still get this error message even though my hardware acceleration has always been on full. I am running the latest version of Windows and so I do not know what to do. I need this feature. Can you please help?

  50. brill! been searching for something to correct this all day. pity my PC is a little to slow to make the best of this feature, it looks great on my mac.

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