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When I open iTunes it transferrs music library to recycle bin

1761 Views 24 Replies Latest reply: Mar 25, 2013 1:44 AM by EZ_Rock RSS
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jamm1032 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 13, 2012 10:18 AM

I have a PC Computer. When I open iTunes it automatically transfers my music library to recycle bin. Why does it do this?

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    That's an odd thing for it to do.

    • What is the location of the media folder given under Edit > Preferences > Advanced?
    • Where is your iTunes library located?
    • Have you tried to use any features such as symlinks or junctions to relocate part of your library?



  • billyfromwilliamsport Calculating status...

    I have this same problem.  Every time I download new music or add new music from a CD, the next time I open iTunes, my music library gets dumped into the recycle bin and I have reload all my songs back in.  I recently uninstalled iTunes and reinstalled it to see if that would help, but it's the same.  And it isn't every time I add new music either.  It'll be fine for a while, then after a few days or so, I'll open it up and the library gets trashed.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    Could you be more specific? Do you mean the media files are actually transferred to the recycle bin, or is it just that the library is empty? The user tip Backup your iTunes for Windows library with SyncToy shows how to backup your library so that it can be restored if necessary, but ideally we want to stop the regular corruption. Sony VIAO computers, for example, have a media management tool that is known to interfere with iTunes, or it may be an anti-virus application. In the first case it may help to upgrade or disable the software, for AV the iTunes folder can be excluded from real-time scans.



  • billyfromwilliamsport Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a Dell Inspiron PC.  When I open iTunes, 2 files get deleted; one is a library file (I can't recall the exact name at this time) and the other is the library genius file, I believe.  The songs stay in their folders, just deleted from the library.  I restore the 2 files, but the library doesn't reappear on iTunes.


    I notice, too, that tons of files called "iT (a number).tmp" are made in the iTunes folder.  Should these be deleted to free up space?

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    The problem may be being caused by Dell MusicStage. This probably has a background scanner that detects when new media is added to the library. Whenever the iTunes library is updated iTunes writes out a new temporary file, deletes the original and then renames the temporary version to replace the original. If this process is disturbed you end up with lost library files and/or orphaned temp files in the iTunes folder.


    It may help to update MusicStage to the latest version. I don't know what options it has, but if possible either exclude the iTunes folder from scans or edit the watched folders so that it looks at ...Music\iTunes\iTunes Media instead of ...Music.


    It may also help to check the real-time scanning options of your AV software and exclude ..Music\iTunes.


    You should delete all the tmp files from the iTunes folder.



  • billyfromwilliamsport Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't believe I have anything called MusicStage on my Dell PC.  Can't find it in any search. 


    I went into my anti-virus software to stop the scans on my iTunes folder, but I don't see where I can single it out for non-scanning.  Saw something about "removable media files" and turned it to OFF.  Reloading all my music files again now to see if that works. 


    Any other things I could look for to find out what is happening if my library is deleted again?

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    What AV package do you have? There is usually an advanced settings panel to control exclusions.



  • billyfromwilliamsport Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, here's what I have done.  I have reloaded all my songs onto iTunes.  I closed the program, shut down my comp and waited a day.  After turning on my comp the next day, I opened iTunes, and my library was immeadiately sent to the recycle bin and my iTunes was "reset" to the orignal settings that I had deleted: Set just for music, NO MusicMatch, NO playlists for 90s songs, classical music, etc.


    The two files in my recycle bin were: iTunes Library Extras and iTunes Library Genius.  Upon looking at the properties, these files were made in June 2011.  I restored them to their original location, but nothing happened to my iTunes screen, so I closed it.  Upon opening it again, they were again sent to the recycle bin and new files were put into their place....along with more .tmp files.


    I have no idea where to look for any scans of these files...I have Norton 360 to do my scanning.  I don't know what settings I should have in my iTunes preferences so that this doesn't keep happening. 


    It used to never do this.  It basically started in the summer of 2011 when I upgraded iTunes to the newer version.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    OK, let's start over. Click the icon to start iTunes and immediately press and hold down the shift key. Keep holding until prompted to create or choose a library. Click Create and browse to C:\ or the root of another drive. If necessary change the folder name to iTunes and click Save. Try importing a test album, then close and reopen to see what happens.


    Reboot your computer, still OK? If so I suggest you review my post on  Getting iTunes & Windows Media Player to play nicely, move all your media into C:\iTunes\iTunes Media and import it into the library. If not I'd suspect Norton 360 of causing the problem. See this page for folder exclusion instructions.



  • billyfromwilliamsport Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    To update you on my status:


    I tried what you suggested of hitting SHIFT as I open iTunes and created a new library on an external drive.  After reloading all my songs onto it, shutting down my computer and then restarting it, everything seems to back to normal...for now.  I'll let you if there's a reoccurance of my library being deleted once I add more songs from either the iTunes STore or from CDs.  But, as of now, all is well.  Thank you.

  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,985 points)

    Sounds promising.



  • field studies Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)


    Has your library remained stable since you fixed it? And in fixing it, did you have to manually recreate the library (playlists, etc) or, after moving your media files, where you able to copy the deleted library files back into the iTunes root folder and have them stick?


    I've just suddenly encountered the same problem out of the blue. The same two library files deleted whenever I open iTunes. The new (essentially empty) library files it creates are stable and aren't themselves deleted when I close and reopen the program, but all attempts to restore my old library have failed.


    More than playlists even, I'm terrified of having to reconstruct ten years of podcast archives, ratings, etc.


    I haven't installed any new software that should be competing with iTunes. My computer's a custom-built desktop PC, one year old, no packaged media players (save Windows'). Is iTunes reacting to some kind of corruption in my old library files? (and if so, why doesn't it say anything about it before deleting them??)


    Can anyone help?

  • field studies Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I'm just writing to bump this particular thread. It seems there are a number of us having the same problem with missing/deleted iTunes library files all of a sudden, and this thread is the most developed of the bunch. Maybe we can consilidate the discussion here?

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