Undo Quicktime 7
Saturday October 08th 2005, 9:58 pm
Filed under: OS X

In the fall of 2005, I first tried to use Quicktime 7 with OS X Panther (10.3). I ran into subtle but serious problems with sound and video apps. I became convinced that Quicktime 7 is strictly for Tiger (10.4) users.

Apple recognizes that there are issues with QT7 and Panther, and they provide Panther users with a set of uninstall utilities, allowing people who’re unhappy to go back to QT6. The procedure for using them is fairly complicated, and so I pieced this tutorial together after a solid week of investigation, gathering clues from Andy Drabble, Ableton tech support, and a couple of helpful forums at Mac Observer and bannister.org.

Unfortunately, as Quicktime versions change and files are moved around on Apple’s site, this tutorial has to be rewritten fairly frequently. Here’s the latest version, which I hope will be simpler to use. However, unlike any of the previous incarnations, I have not tested it myself–I don’t have Panther any more. People’s feedback so far has been positive, but use at your own risk. You’ll want to update to Panther 10.3.9, and please remember that it’s not for use with any other OS X version. (Just read the comments below–it will almost certainly break a Tiger installation!) So:

Step 1. Here is the original process for getting rid of Quicktime 7.0.1. If you have a version newer than 7.0.1–which you probably do–then skip to the end for instructions on how to downgrade. Once you’re ready to go with 7.0.1, download and run the 7.0.1 to 6.5.2 Reinstaller. Reboot.

Step 2. Download the original full install of 6.5.2. Open it up, but don’t run it yet.

Step 3. Download and launch CharlesSoft’s Pacifist installer utility. This little lifesaver will clean out the rest of Quicktime 7’s garbage. The normal backup warning applies, though–you’re about to turn a powerful third-party utility loose on the guts of your system.

Step 4. Using Pacifist, open the 6.5.2 installer file.

Step 5. Click “Install.” Each time it asks whether you want to “Replace” or “Update,” say Replace.

Step 6. Reboot. You’re done! You should have a healthy Quicktime 6.5.2 system again.

SPECIAL STEPS for Newer Quicktime 7 Users: sorry, but you have four extra steps ahead of you before you can follow the above procedure. You’ll need to perform the Pacifist trick I just described, so I wanted to explain that first.

Extra Step 1. Go to your boot drive, open the Library, and find a folder called Receipts. Delete anything you find named “Quicktime.” Reboot.

Extra Step 2. Download the original full install of 7.0.2. Open it up, but don’t run it yet.

Extra Step 3. Using Pacifist, install 7.0.2 using the special process described above in Step 5. Be sure to say Replace each times it gives you the option. Reboot and check your Quicktime version. Is it 7.0.2? You may need to do this several times before it “takes.”

Extra Step 4. Download and run the 7.0.2 to 7.0.1 Reinstaller. Reboot.

After the four extra steps are complete, you should have downgraded your newer installation into a working installation of 7.0.1. You can now return to Step 1 at the beginning of the tutorial and finish the job.

67 Comments so far
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Techwhack.com still links to the hard-to-find Mac and Windows upgrades to iTunes 4.9, which work with Quicktime 6.

Comment by Nick 12.22.05 @ 2:05 pm

Thank you for the info. I’m sure many, many people have found this useful, even if they do not leave a comment. People like you are what make the web such a great place to be.

Again, thank you.

Comment by keith 02.01.06 @ 7:28 am

THANK YOU SO MUCH! I was in Quicktime 7 Hell and your instructions and Pacifist have got my system working again! I went right from 7.0.4 to 6.5.2 without any trouble.

Comment by Dave 03.30.06 @ 2:29 pm

I have downgraded from 7.1.2 to 7.0.4 successfully (as far as I can see) and am waiting to see whether it solves my iDVD not burning problem: if it does I shall stick there. If doing so I recommend running the Apple installer after using Pacifist, since Pacifist does not install a receipt.

Comment by Roger Wilmut 08.13.06 @ 2:39 am

Further to the above, I still can’t burn a DVD, though I was able to before with QT7.0.4. I wonder whether 7.1.2 introduced additional files which the downgrade process hasn’t removed, and thesse are the problem? – there doesn’t seem to be any possible solutions (since I am not prepared to do a complete reinstall or upgrade to Tiger). However thanks for your efforts in researching the downgrading process, it was worth a try.

Comment by Roger Wilmut 08.13.06 @ 7:05 am

I took QT down to 6.5.2 and now Final Cut Pro is saying there isn’t a valid QT version on the system, so I tried to upgrade back to 7.0.1 and installer is saying no drive is valid for the install, even HD

Comment by Daniel Haffner 08.20.06 @ 12:49 am

Great. It worked for me! I followed the instructions above, including Pacifist, and downgraded QT 7.1.2 to 6.5.2. Result: I can burn my dvd’s with iDVD (v. 3) again! Thanks a lot for the help on this site! Specs: eMac, OS 10.3.9. Regards from The Hague, Holland

Comment by Ge Konings 08.31.06 @ 9:21 am

Thank you!!!
Your advice for getting rid of Quicktime 7.1.2 worked like a charm. I only had to suffer for two days, wondering what I was going to do withoutbeing able to ever access Quicktime and ITunes in Panther. I spent a lot of time looking on the web (Apple.com and everywhere else). Foortunately for me, I finally found YOU!!

Comment by D Williams 09.04.06 @ 9:59 am

OMG, you are a genius. Thanks so much – now I can use MacMame again! It was a long process that I wouldn’t have figured out without your guidance. Thanks.

Comment by Chronophobe 09.04.06 @ 11:08 pm

I’m on a G3 i-Mac running Panther 10.3.9. Prior to this 7.1.2 upgrade of Quicktime everything was hunkydory, but since the upgrade I’ve had problems with playing avi’s, flash content in webpages etc; Have performed your downgrade to 7.0.4 and it has improved some aspects (particularly after removing the stuff from the receipts folder)but avi’s still don’t function as they used to previously in 7.0.4. Have solved this by using Div Doctor II to convert to mpeg’s but i note Roger’s comment about the downgrade maybe missing something? Anyway good on you for attempting to solve this problem which I suspect is more widespread and more serious than we realise. I also just found that I couldn’t access your page using Safari (unknown server response)coming from Apple discussions, but it worked fine in Camino. Am I imagining things? Conspiracy?!!!

Comment by Mike 09.07.06 @ 9:04 pm

Further to my last comment. I found some discussion about Norton Anti-virus and it’s incompatability with OSX. After using the uninstaller at the bottom of this page:
which incidently removes some ‘hidden’ files on my computer, everything is working brilliantly, including ‘bad server responses’ coming from some websites. Media/video files on sites seem to be working fine, and this is with Quicktime 7.1.2 with the latest flash players/ plug-ins/codecs etc; Anyway this has worked for me,and I’d certainly recommend trying this uninstaller if you’ve ever had anything Norton/Symantic on your computer.

Comment by Mike 09.11.06 @ 8:57 pm

Thankyou thankyou thankyou. You rock, thankyou.

Comment by Caley 09.13.06 @ 3:17 pm

BEWARE!!! is you have tons of audio plugins, components, vsti’s etc… running the Pacifist method, and choosing ‘replace’ each and every time it comes up, overwrites you Audio folders in the Library.. I lost ALL my Audio plugins

Comment by brian 09.17.06 @ 11:40 pm

Regarding audio plugin loss…I wonder if it depends whether you keep your plugins in the main Library, or in your own home-directory Library? I don’t know which I did (and that system has since been wiped)…but I know that all my plugins were left intact after the Pacifist reinstall.

Comment by Nick 09.17.06 @ 11:48 pm

I’m sorry bout that post – actually: my root – Library – Audio Plugins were erased, but not my user Library

Comment by brian 09.18.06 @ 12:43 am

I followed these steps exactly, went form 7.0.4 down, and I cant run Quicktime. If I double click a quicktime (movie, aiff) file in the Finder, it’ll open up, but then hangs for a few seconds, then unexpectedly quits. If I get info on the app, its version 6.5.2 wow.. totally stuck now. Hopefully someone else had a similar experience they overcame!? whats the trick at this point?
Any files/versions I should check, replace.. ?

Comment by brian 09.18.06 @ 12:49 am

i went through the process on my 10.4.7 intel machine in order to try to fix a AU problem in Logic. unfortunately now every program except for firefox and thunderbird crash when you open them. did everything by the book, and it appears my install is ruined. not sure where to go from here.

Comment by tom 09.26.06 @ 5:40 am

The tutorial says it’s not for use with Tiger, which doesn’t work with a version of Quicktime earlier than 7.

Also, an Intel Mac will require an Intel version of Quicktime–I’d guess that using Pacifist to install any of the PPC versions I link to here would cause problems.

Comment by Nick 09.26.06 @ 8:13 am

Terrific. It worked the first time.

Comment by Warren 10.10.06 @ 5:31 pm

I’m in 10.3.9 and I’ve just followed all the steps and got back to
OT 6.5.2 from 7.1.3 – seemed to work very easily. But I still can’t successfully burn using idvd4 (buffer underrun is the message I get). I can burn data dvd’s/Cd’s.
Any suggestions?
Thanks for putting this online – it’s worked for most people here. Apple don’t seem to offer anything?

Comment by Ashley Starkey 10.17.06 @ 2:16 am

This was a very helpful tutorial – while it lasted.
Unfortunately, all of the above links to Apple downloads are now dead, except for the “7.0.1 to 6.5.2 reinstaller”. Why Apple has removed these from its support area. I haven’t a clue.

I did save a copy of the 7.0.4 to 7.0.1 reinstaller, (but not the 7.0.3 or 7.0.2 versions) and I will gladly email it to anyone or post it on this site if someone will tell me how to do that.

Comment by Frank Flynn 10.26.06 @ 3:42 pm

I would love to follow the instructions you have so eloquently and painstakingly provided, but…ALL versions of QT 7.0.1 reinstallers have been removed from Apple’s website!!! I have been searching for 3 days trying to find them and all links (even from Apple’s own search engine lead to broken links. If anyone has a copy PLEASE post it or get Apple to re-post these reinstallers.

Comment by Lisa Holt 10.27.06 @ 3:32 am

If Frank could send me a link to the reinstaller (which is the exact one I am looking for) it would be GREATLY appreciated. My email is lholt@reynoldsdewalt.com

Comment by Lisa Holt 10.27.06 @ 5:35 am

This process has rendered my QT non operational in every version. While I can successfully downgrade at will, the end result leaves something to be desired.

Comment by Evan BEnjamin 10.29.06 @ 3:41 pm

Hi. Frank, I’d like to take you up on your offer to post the Quicktime 7.0.4 installer. Could you set up an FTP link? Or perhaps go on over to box.net, setup a free account, upload the file, and then send me the public URL to it? If you have another idea for getting a ~40MB file to me, I’m open to it. Once I have it, I’ll make it available via the aforementioned box.net for others in need. Thanks.

Comment by M. Carlson 11.02.06 @ 6:28 pm

I had to downgrade my QT to 6.5.2 in order to keep ProTools LE 6.2.3 happy on my old Quicksilver 733 machine. I followed your directions and downgraded QT to 6.5.2 using Pacifist. All fine for ProTools but now, Reason 3 won’t start up. Nor Live 5. Cubase 3 is loading as is Logic Pro 7.
I’ve moved any VST plugins away to test if it’s them but it makes no difference.
Anyone else suffered this?
One step forwards, two back. Ho hum.

Comment by K. Townsend 11.08.06 @ 3:47 am

Sorry should have added I’m on 10.3.9

Comment by K. Townsend 11.08.06 @ 3:49 am

i definately agree with one of the first posts:
this kind of pages make the internet the invaluable library it is!

but i’d like to add this regarding OS-updates and software compatibility:

upgrading a system should always be done with care!
and for myself, i have 3 rules of thumb:

– read the ‘Readmes’ that come with an OS update!
– know the ‘System Requirements’ that the vendors of the software you use state in their ‘Readmes’ !
– see if there are confilcts between the above rules.
if YES, don’t update/upgrade!
if NO, or you don’t know, don’t update/upgrade!

there’s absolutely no need to update everytime apple presents you the software-update-dialog, maybe unless you’re a server-admin (or thelike), but in music or for instance film/video, the only reason to update should be because ‘you know’ this update will improve you’re working environment,

personally i’d like to keep-up with all system-updates, and on my powerbook i usually update all the time,

but i’m also a software developer, and know that although regular updates will not hurt my osx-user-experience, they CAN ruin the project i’m working on…or at least cost valuable time to fix all the inconsistencies..

bottomline: only update if you’re a regular user, that just mails, edits .doc files and uses iPhoto.
but if you’re a professional, only update when you know it improves you’re work-flow!

Comment by arri 11.10.06 @ 7:21 pm

Re my above problems. It does help if one remembers to download and install soundcard current drivers for the relevant OS! Have done this and ProTools and most of my other music software is once more happy.

Comment by K. Townsend 11.11.06 @ 1:09 pm

Quicktime wasn’t working well on my IMac since I had updated to 7.1.3, I could hear the audio but the image wasn’t playing. I searched on Apple’s website for help and couldn’t find anything. After more research I found your site, WOW, I was able to go back to QT 7.0.2 and everything works fine. You are a geneous. How come Apple isn’t doing anything fos us people who are still under OS 10.3.9 when they come up with an update of a software that is not compatible with older machines.

Anyway, thanks for the help and I will be looking through your whole website because it looks loaded with helpfull things.

Comment by M. Lizee 11.20.06 @ 12:17 pm

You´re a STAR !!! Thank you so much…….!!!!

Comment by Alberto 11.25.06 @ 1:37 pm

I have OS 10.3.9 and am trying to down grade my Quicktime as its conflicting with other software but i cant get past step one as the installer says “You cannot install this software on this volume. This disk is demmed because there is a newer version of Quicktime present” Anyone have a solution so i can get back to QT 6.5.2??? HELP

Comment by Suzanne 12.19.06 @ 2:02 am

I have OS 10.3.9 and am trying to down grade my Quicktime as its conflicting with other software but i cant get past step one as the installer says “You cannot install this software on this volume. This disk is demmed because there is a newer version of Quicktime present” Anyone have a solution so i can get back to QT 6.5.2?

Comment by grant 12.23.06 @ 11:20 pm

This is amazing. Went back from Quicktime 7.1.3 to 6.5.2 on osx 10.3.9 without a hitch. Many thanks for providing a work-around for the built-in obsolescence kindly provided by Apple and Digidesign!

Comment by ed 01.04.07 @ 1:15 pm

uuuurrrggghhhh – massive sigh of relief, thank you so much, worked perfectly.

Comment by russ 01.08.07 @ 11:23 am

I followed the instructions but after all of that QT 652 doesn’t appear in the apps folder or in the finder window. What happened?

Comment by Hank McCartin 01.13.07 @ 1:49 pm


Comment by Michael 01.23.07 @ 7:08 pm

Quicksilver G4 10.3.9 QT7.1.3-6.5.2
Did this on 29-1-07
All links to downloads worked fine. My son installed QT7 because he was prompted to by software update. There was no warning that his pro key would would not work. The previous comments about upgrading only if neccessary should be heeded. Thanks Nick for the fantastic walkthrough and thanks to Google for finding you. Trevor.

Comment by trevor 01.29.07 @ 11:12 am

This ‘solution’ completely fucked my computer. I attempted it using Tiger and that might be the problem. Right now, I can’t open QT, itunes or ichat. Sherlock has disappeared off my menu bar. I’m hoping complete reinstall of Tigar will fix the problem.

Comment by Kris 02.14.07 @ 12:30 am


Comment by Angelo Bruschini 02.16.07 @ 7:50 am

Worked like a charm. iDVD 4.0.1 can now write to DVDs again!

Comment by Chuck 02.22.07 @ 10:56 pm

You rock you do. 7 was donkey with 10.3.9, and all I wanted to do was get back to v6. Never have I run into so much trouble getting rid of a program, but your steps worked like a charm. They were clear (ahem, quite clear), and I am really greatful that you took the time to put it together.

– j

Comment by Justin K 03.03.07 @ 7:15 pm

I’m on 10.3.9 and have had the same problems as the others with QT7.1.2. I did your fix but still have the same problem with QT which is that it shows up as a black box with code running thru it. Any help would be appreciated. I’m at my wits end. Thanks

Comment by Bridget M 04.19.07 @ 1:03 pm

Oh, I should add that I am just trying to get to get back to 6.5.2 and did not do the “four extra steps” (that’s just to get back to 7.0.2, right?). Thanks

Comment by Bridget M 04.19.07 @ 1:06 pm

For newer versions of Quicktime 7, you have to do the extra steps. The 6.5.2 reinstaller won’t work properly otherwise.

Comment by Nick 04.19.07 @ 4:42 pm

Ok I found this site after I had already followed the same steps on another site only there it did not mention that tiger will break with pacifist. How do I fix this now? Is it fixable?

Comment by thomas 04.24.07 @ 7:42 am

I would download the latest version of Quicktime 7 and install that. It should give you a working system again. As far as I know, if you really need to use a version of Quicktime 6, you have to go back to Panther.

Comment by Nick 04.24.07 @ 8:28 am

I went from Panther to Tiger and after to 10.4.9.
I upgraded from Pro tools LE 6.4 to 7.0 and upgraded to Quicktime 7.1.5 and I tunes 7.2.
Now when I open I tunes the sound doesn’t come through the M-box any more and my Dual g4 1.25 keeps crashing and the message you need to restart your computer appears.
Any ideas or help?

Comment by ulla 06.21.07 @ 12:31 am

Have you checked that your M-box drivers and ProTools 7 both work with Tiger?

I don’t think Quicktime 7 itself is to blame here–it causes problems on Panther, but should work fine on Tiger.

Comment by Nick 06.21.07 @ 3:43 am

Ulla, How are you making out?

Comment by Luis Cosme 07.31.07 @ 6:39 am

Thanks for the tutorial – I had no problem running QT 7 under 10.3.9, except that MacMAME would not run (anything but that!), so I only did the first 3 Extra Steps (since I had 7.2), taking me down to 7.0.2, and this did the trick! Now I can run MacMAME and QT 7.0.2 all happily under 10.3.9! By the way, I tried upgrading to Tiger, and it caused more problems than it solved.

Comment by Jim 08.15.07 @ 6:28 am

Upon further testing, I found that MacMAME does run smoother with QT 6.5.2 than with QT 7.x (I would assume this is also true of other apps). So, I completed the procedure above, with the addition of running the QT 6.5.2 installer the regular way after all the other steps are performed. This installs a receipt in your library folder, along with some added stability it seems.

Comment by Jim 08.15.07 @ 8:32 pm

I have OS 10.3.9 and Quicktime 7.1.5 and am having all the problems others described. Before I follow all the steps, I wanted to check that they were the same to downgrade 7.1.5 to 6.5.2 since noone mentioned 7.1.5 I need reassurance!! Thanks.

Comment by Libby 08.18.07 @ 2:18 pm

Even though no-one replied, I went ahead and followed your directions and it worked. Well, partially. Yes, exporting no longer burps and freezes but I do have a sound synchronization problem that I didn’t have before. Any suggestions?

Comment by Libby 08.20.07 @ 8:07 pm


Comment by A 09.05.07 @ 12:55 pm

Shoot, it didn’t work for me.

I’m running G4 (w/agp) 10.3.9 and Quicktime 7.2. I followed the extra steps to bust QT down to 7.0.2 with Pacifier (is the destination directory really “” ?) but QT in System Preferences stills shows as 7.2 despite _seven_ attempts.

Anyone have any ideas? Thank you!

Comment by Chris D 10.21.07 @ 7:48 pm

Thank you so much for that tip.

Comment by Julien C 11.03.07 @ 9:44 am

Your tutorial scared me, because I was going to have to complete all 10 steps so I spent an entire day looking for a different solution. Nothing worked. I went ahead and completed your method. It worked! Thank you thank you thank you for your site. Truly a lifesaver. My Avid software can now output DVDs again.

Comment by SezWho 01.11.08 @ 1:07 pm

hey! Kris This solution is for Panther. Can’t you read?

Comment by A 02.07.08 @ 7:39 am

Thank you Nick!
See my comment on Apple’s forum:

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