1 Reply Latest reply: Dec 15, 2005 12:46 PM by Buegie
itunes disappeared Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I am sooo worried, I turned on Itunes and all of my music is gone, there are no song names or playlists at all. Earlier today my computer got a virus, does it have anything to do with that?? How can i get my music back?? (it is all still on my ipod mini just not on my computer)

Dell, Windows XP
  • Buegie Level 6 Level 6 (13,330 points)
    Perhaps you may still have the music files on your PC -- but not seen in iTunes or the PC. Buegie

    Do a thorough search of your PC PC using the tips below:

    First - Make sure that you enable your Windows Explorer to view 'Hidden' files:
    - Open Windows Explorer
    - Select 'My Computer'
    - On the main Windows Explorer menu: Tools=>Folder Options=>'View' tab
    - In 'Advanced Setting' --> Files and Folders --> Hidden files and folders:
    -- Select 'Show hidden files and folders’
    - Click 'Apply to All Folders'
    - Click 'OK'

    Then check using Windows Explorer in 'My Music\iTunes\iTunes Music\...' for folders containing your music (or wherever you keep your music folders).

    Also check in your Recycle Bin to see if you accidentally deleted it. If so, ‘Restore’ it back to it’s original spot.

    Then try running a search using Windows Explorer (or similar) for files with the extensions of: m4a, m4p, MP3, OR with the partial names of the songs you are missing.

    Do all the above before you decide that your music files have been completely erased from your hard drive.


    IF you can locate the music files/folders, we can get iTunes to recognize it. Try one of these:

    If you have a backup iTunes database file available....
    1. --- Close iTunes. If you have a backup (or previous version) of the ‘iTunes Library’itl’ database file, then place a copy of that file in the ‘...\My Music\iTunes’ folder (or wherever the current, incomplete file resides).

    If no backup ITL file exists….
    2a. --- In iTunes choose: Edit==>Preferences==>Advanced tab. Select 'Change' and browse to the music folder in your PC drive (if it isn’t already). Click OK to save that setting.
    Then....
    2b. --- In iTunes choose: File==>’Add Folder to Library’ & browse to the music folder in your PC drive. Click OK.
    Without the ITL file, re-‘Adding’ the music files to the Library will lose you the Ratings, Play Counts, Date Added and Last Played attributes, as well as your Playlists. No real way to recover them if you haven’t made prior backups. Something to consider for the future....


    IF your music files are truly gone, and you have some or all of your music files on your iPod, these links will give you several methods of recovering whatever songs remain on your iPod; some free, some third-party software, some more comprehensive for restoring playlists, ratings, playcounts, etc. Read them and their associated links before deciding on a strategy that works for you. There are many various third-party software programs that will offer a more robust process, or an easier GUI. Do a Google search for them if the links below leave you wanting…
    Don King Resurrected: Deleted files from hard drive (free user steps – music recovery only)
    MacMuse: Computer Crashed (free user steps – music recovery only)
    Copying music from iPod to computer (a primer on various methods and software)
    Copying Songs from Your iPod to a Mac or PC (resource for 3rd party software)
    Senuti (Mac OS X v10.3 or higher Recovery Utility)
    iPodRip Software
    PodUtil Software
    XPlay (Software For Cross-Platform Functionality & Music Recovery)
    XPlay Photo Browser (For recovering Photos)

    AFTER recovering your song files, strongly consider developing a thorough backup strategy for just this type of situation.
    You need at least three sets of your music:
    -- One full set on the PC within iTunes (on internal HD or ExHD)
    -- One full set on an separate external backup medium (CD/DVD/ExHD/other)
    -- One (full or partial) set on the iPod
    Music files on just the iPod and the computer is not considered having any backup. If you cannot store your complete music files on the computer, then create and maintain two external sets.
    Backup both the music files and the Library database file (iTunes Library.itl). What are the iTunes Library files?

    Here is a post on developing a thorough backup strategy: http://discussions.apple.com/click.jspa?searchID=394618&messageID=1263275