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One of my least favorite things that Apple does to every Windows computer during an installation of iTunes is that it installs Bonjour. On almost every Windows machine I've installed iTunes on, Bonjour has caused an error of some sort.

As far as I can remember, I've removed Bonjour by deleting the folder it's in. Most of the time, this has not caused any major problems. However, I have a new installation of iTunes and I'm wondering if once again I should delete Bonjour.

Are there any issues caused by deleting Bonjour? Would I lose any functionality?

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Why the downvote? I'd like to correct whatever aspect of this question you find unsatisfactory. –  JavaAndCSharp Mar 28 '12 at 21:16
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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

From Apple's knowledge base article about Bonjour on Windows (my emphasis):

  • iTunes uses Bonjour to find shared music libraries, to find AirPort Express devices for streaming music to, and to find Apple TVs.
  • Safari uses Bonjour to find devices advertising web pages on your network. Many of today's network printers, network cameras, and wireless gateways provide a web interface for status and configuration, and many of these devices (especially network printers) now advertise those web pages using Bonjour, to make them easily discoverable in Safari.
  • Internet Explorer, via the Bonjour toolbar plugin, also provides easy discovery of Bonjour-advertised web pages.
  • The Bonjour Printer Setup Wizard uses Bonjour to discover and set up Bonjour-advertised network printers.
  • Adobe's Creative Suite 3 applications use Bonjour to discover digital asset management services.

If you don't use any features, then removing Bonjour won't cause you any trouble (except perhaps Apple Software Update might offer to install it again...)

Furthermore, this page has some instructions for more throughly uninstalling Bonjour.

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Okay. Do you have any idea what "digital asset management services" might be? Sounds like file saving... but I don't really know. –  JavaAndCSharp Mar 24 '12 at 21:22
    
According to Adobe, it's for Version Cue services. –  jtbandes Mar 24 '12 at 21:25
    
OK. I guess I'm safe to remove it then. –  JavaAndCSharp Mar 24 '12 at 21:38
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You don't need it, about the only thing I have ever actually used it for in a Windows machine is to enable printing to a printer attached to my Airport Extreme. In fact because of the unusual port range it uses, I have actually encountered issues with VPNs that have refused to work properly until it is uninstalled, so I actually remove is as a matter of course.

Of course if you do magically require it later down the line, you can always install it as an individual package.

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You are able to use "[computer name].local" domains all over your network. This also applies to Apple mobile devices and other hardware (I have: Mac Mini, Western Digital NAS, HP printer and Linux laptop -- it has its own Bonjour called Avahi).

Please support adoption of the Zeroconf protocol and report bugs to Apple, because they give us an opportonity to drop the horrible NetBIOS technology and to connect across different platforms.

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This right here is a great reason to have it. Many Linux distributions also work with this out of the box, so it's a great cross-platform way to work with computers and devices on your network without having to rely on addresses or (as @Soergener said) other discovery protocols. –  zigg Feb 19 at 14:04
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