4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 24, 2008 8:27 PM by Katrina S.
tambo100 Level 1 (0 points)
I moved all my music files, including all of my iTunes library files to an external hard drive. I then deleted everything from the previous hard drive. I opened up iTunes to play music, but it looked for the music in the old location. I changed the music folder location to the new hard drive location in the 'Preferences' tab of iTunes; however, my iTunes does not show any music when the screen opens up. I then copied the music files back to the original drive/location thinking that would at least get me to my original starting point. I changed the music folder location back to the original drive/folder but no luck.

Can anyone help? Thank you.

Dell XPS, Windows 2000
  • Katrina S. Level 7 (24,095 points)
    iTunes can't handle files being moved around outside of iTunes on a Windows PC.
    The paths to the actual music files are stored in the ITL file:

    Do you say you moved everything back to the original location on the C: drive, but iTunes still won't "see" them?
    You can check to see if a Previous Itunes Library file works OK.

    Press *and hold* the shift button while opening itunes, and choose an ITL file in the Previous iTunes Library folder.

    What you need to do in the long run, is consolidate your library onto the external drive. Changing the location of the itunes music folder only affects future additions to the library.
  • tambo100 Level 1 (0 points)
    I checked the .itl files, but none exist. I still have all of my music files in MP4 format, though.


    Also, have I lost the music I purchased from the iTunes store? I am almost afraid to hear the answer to that one.

    Thanks for the help.
  • catservants Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't know anything about Windows computers, so I don't know if this will help, but I throw it out there in case it does. When I moved my iTunes library to an external hard drive, it said it couldn't find my songs, even after setting Preferences for the new location. Each time I wanted to play a song, I had to manually tell iTunes where the song was located. I didn't want to do that for 12,000 songs, so I asked someone at the Apple store what to do. They suggested I first delete the list of songs in the iTunes application. Then, drag the folder that contains all my music on the external drive into the open iTunes window. It worked for me. Well, sort of...I got 8000 songs. The rest somehow got lost when I was trying to move from one drive to the next too many times. But at least all the ones that were in my iTunes Preferences location are now recognized by iTunes. (The other 4000 are still on some external drive of mine....)
  • Katrina S. Level 7 (24,095 points)
    Well - at least one ITL file exists if you are opening itunes, even if it is to a blank library.

    Maybe you need to set your Windows Explorer options to show file entensions and hidden files.

    Anyway - you can just drag your top-level music folder back into the itunes screen. Or use the add folder method described here
    It's in the section named +*Adding content on your computer to iTunes*+