Bonjour by Apple: Do I really need it on Windows?

When you install iTunes on your Windows computer, there is always an application called Bonjour accompanying it. Bonjour then runs silently in the background, automating various low-level tasks to maintain network efficiency and speed.

What is Bonjour? What exactly does it do? What happens if we uninstall this application? I will explain all these things in this post.

What is Bonjour and What does it do?

Bonjour is a software program that helps applications utilize network easier. If you didn’t install Bonjour manually, the most likely reason you find it on your computer is that it was installed during an installation of iTunes – the media and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc.

Bonjour is not a program to open and use directly. Instead, it runs in the background, and other programs use it for communication on the network. For example, the iTunes app uses Bonjour to find shared music library from other computers running iTunes on your network, to find AirPort Express devices for streaming music to, and to find Apple TVs – According to Apple Support.

On Windows, Bonjour may also accompany other software programs such as:

  • 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.

Should I remove Bonjour?

Bonjour Service runs all the time in the background, therefore it consumes the resources of the computer constantly. If you want to uninstall it, here are some benefits and issues to consider.

If you merely use iTunes on your Windows PC as the media player, and none of the programs relies on Bonjour functionality as I mentioned above, then you can remove it without any hesitation.

On the other hand, if you usually need to connect iOS devices and your Windows computer, or use Apple TV at work, the Bonjour System Service will discover and build caches for these services or devices on the network. This lessens the setup hassles and maintains network efficiency. However, removing Bonjour, in this case, shouldn’t cause you any trouble either.

How to remove Bonjour from Windows

You can uninstall Bonjour like other software programs on Windows via the Control Panel. On your PC, open Control Panel and select “Program and Features”. You will find Bonjour in the list of programs installed on the computer, just right-click on it and select “Uninstall”.

Uninstall Bonjour on Windows

In some cases, a process named mDNSResponder.exe residing in the Bonjour folder may be still running and cause the system fail to remove the program. If you cannot uninstall Bonjour the usualy way, here’s the method to remove it complelely from Windows.

1. Press Windows + R to bring up the Run dialog box. Then type the following command, hit Enter. This command will remove the mDNSResponder.exe file.

"%PROGRAMFILES%\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe" -remove

2. You must have logged in as an administrator, open a Command Prompt window, type the following command, hit Enter. This will unregister the dll file used for Bonjour.

regsvr32 /u "%PROGRAMFILES%\Bonjour\mdnsNSP.dll"

Restart your computer, go to C:\Program Files\ then delete the Bonjour folder. Note that if you update iTunes in the future, the process of updating will also reinstall Bonjour on your Windows PC.

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