I've tried completely removing iTunes from my computer (not just reinstalling) using these instructions here: http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/13/delete-itunes-in-mac-os-x-10-7-lion/ I will let you all know if it works...
Never say never, but I doubt it will work.
The fact that this affects multiple versions of iTunes (10.5+), more than one version of OS X, as well as crossing platforms to Windows, suggests that it's rooted in how the iTMS interacts with iTunes.
I've found that making store transactions generally gets the nagging to go away...and resetting Safari is a sure way to get it to return.
I don't have monitoring software installed to sniff the packets and analyze them, but have observed that iTunes makes connections to the store after it is launched, and the store tells the app to ask for the password.
The rapid pace of development and intense competition have taken their toll on Apple's QA. There were bouts of slippage before, but fire drill "v1.1" revisions to botched updates have now become part of the norm. Snow Leopard users were the latest victims with the last security update.
The company that used to position itself as the counterculture choice is now the establishment, and quality has suffered.
@TeiwsMany Thanks! Removing the .plist file fixed the problem for me (I'm using Lion 10.7.3 and iTunes 10.5.3).
I've had this issue once before and I used the same solution, but had forgotten exactly which file it was (I found your solution in the newgroup on that occasion too).
This time the problem was much worse : The popup dialog "Sign in to check for automatic downloads" kept reappearing, irrespective of how many times the password was entered. If I tried to kill iTunes it automatically restarted. Attempting to log in with a different account caused iTunes to crash and it was not even possible to reboot the machine safely as iTunes cancelled the reboot request, displayed the popup and then crashed/repeatedly restarted. Starting in safe-mode also did nothing to help.
I've made a note of the ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.WebFoundation.plist this time, so will know what to do if this irritating problem comes up again.
I have been keeping in touch with this thread since Skiziks launched it several moons ago, and I have tried all suggestions with no firm solution reached.
Around mid-December I filed a bug report on the Apple ADC Developer site, followed by a nudge in late-January to advise that iTunes 10.5.3 had not corrected the issue. I have seen no sign of activity since the original report but I'm conscious that this is not a life-threatening issue!
This evening I filed the following update:
25-Feb-2012 07:05 PM:
Title: Repeating password requests when opening iTunes.
A number of users continue to report frustrations regarding this issue through the Apple community forum.
I have delved again into the issue and wish to append with the following:
1) Clear Safari of 'Cookies and other website data'.
2) Open iTunes. Will request for password at least twice.
3) Filename: Cookies.binarycookies at User/YourName/Library/Cookies will have been modified and Safari will now show the 'apple.com' cookie in the 'Cookies and other website data' list.
NB. Cookies.binarycookies will have increased in file size however the document content viewed with TextEdit will remain the same; just the word 'cook'.
4) iTunes can now be opened and closed repeatedly without any further request for password.
5) Close iTunes.
6) Clear Safari of 'Cookies and other website data'.
7) Open iTunes. Will request for password at least twice.
8) Anomaly is 100% replicable as previously stated.
Resolve: Is it possible for iTunes to store the 'apple.com' cookie elsewhere?
I would be grateful if other Mac users would check this out on their machines and report back. It would also be interesting if the Windows users who are following this thread could test this with their counterpart cookie files.
I dont have safari on my windows 7 laptop and I still get this issue.
I tried deleting all the apple cookies from my two web browsers, firefox 10 and internet explorer 9, but that did not help.
The plist file that people report has helped if it is deleted, does anyone know if and where that is located on a windows machine?
Latest version of iTunes running on Win 7 Ultimate
I had this problem today for the first time after attempting to download my iTunes library from iCloud using iTunes Match. I no longer had a local copy of the library, and wanted to download all songs and playlists to maintain a local copy. After hours of downloading, iTunes popped up an error message that said it wasn't functioning and to close the program. When I reopened it, I received the annoying log in screen and something about automatic downloads. The songs that didn't download were greyed out.
Here is how I resolved the problem:
I quit iTunes, held down the shift key,restarted iTunes, and opened an old (different) library (I suppose creating a new one is cool too). The old library functioned fine. I closed iTunes, restarted using the shift key, and selected the original library that had the problems and it functioned fine - no popup window and no greyed out songs. The remainder of the songs are now downloading and things are back to normal.
Livebox, thank you, I think you have found the problem for Mac users at least.
I'm in the habit of deleting cookies, history and so on after using Safari (mainly because I only use Safari for banking, tax and similar activities, using Firefox as my main browser). So it appears that I have been inadvertently removing a cookie set by iTunes.
I've tried out what you detailed, and providing I don't reset Safari, I can start iTunes as often as I like without having to re-enter my password. I can restart, shutdown and boot, log out and log back in again, and none of those make any difference to iTunes, but as soon as I reset Safari iTunes will ask for my password at the next launch.
So it seems clear to me that iTunes is setting a cookie that is deleted by resetting Safari.
I think you are right about the resolution as well, iTunes should not store its cookie in a way that Safari can delete, unless there is some critical reason for entangling the two applications.
Good work on finding the problem, it has been bugging me for months.
I have confirmed to two macs what you are seeing. I wonder why Apple changed this as I haven't has this password bug until one of the recent updates. But, it would see Safari and iTunes are interacting enough that resetting Safari erases whatever iTunes is storing. Again, Livebox, thanks for at least figuring this out.