10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2014 8:25 PM by phatav8r
shernik Level 1 (0 points)

Hi all,



I turned off my computer and when I turned it back on and went into my Itunes, I found that my Itunes had changed and I had lost all 900 of my songs and my playlists. I am freakin out. Does anyone know how this happened and how do I get my songs and playlists back.


Someone must know the answer.


Thanks for your help.

Windows XP
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)

    Then make sure you have a current backup (and maintian a current backup) of your computer hard drive.

  • Juice27 Level 1 (0 points)

    I did exactly this but it didn't change anything when I opened iTunes. Are there any steps I may be missing or any alternatives that might work instead?



  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,886 points)

    Empty/corrupt library after upgrade/crash

    Hopefully it's not been too long since you last upgraded iTunes, in fact if you get an empty/incomplete library immediately after upgrading then with the following steps you shouldn't lose a thing or need to do any further housekeeping.  Note that in iTunes 11 an "empty" library may show your past purchases with links to stream or download them.


    In the Previous iTunes Libraries folder should be a number of dated iTunes Library files. Take the most recent of these and copy it into the iTunes folder. Rename iTunes Library.itl as iTunes Library (Corrupt).itl and then rename the restored file as iTunes Library.itl. Start iTunes. Should all be good, bar any recent additions to or deletions from your library.




    Alternatively, depending on exactly when and why the library went missing, there may be a more recent .tmp file in the main iTunes folder that can be renamed as iTunes Library.itl to restore the library to a recent state.


    See iTunes Folder Watch for a tool to catch up with any changes since the backup file was created.


    When you get it all working make a backup!


    Should you be in the unfortunate position where you are no longer able to access your original library, or a backup of it, then see Recover your iTunes library from your iPod or iOS device.


    I've noticed more of these missing library posts of late and a common factor to most since I started asking is AVG Anti-Virus. It seems in some cases it might be at least part of the reason why the library file disappears. Try excluding the iTunes folder from any AV scanning process.



  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)
  • Juice27 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just to follow up, I was able to get it to work according to the instructions posted by Chris CA. Originally it didn't work because I dragged the entire iTunes folder onto the desktop instead of just the current iTunes Library file.


    Once i realized this, I just followed the rest of the instructions and then dragged the iTunes folder back to its original location.


    Hopefully this helps clarify for anyone who may have made my same mistake.

  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,695 points)

    Glad you got it sorted!

  • FunkyMuzak Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi turingtest2.  You helped me with a similar issue a few months ago and  ... I'm in need again.  I opened iTunes this a.m. and it sent me to the license agreement.  When I accepted I was led to a clean iTunes window -- i.e., with none of my music or songlists. So, I can't access any of my music, obviously.  I'm unable to follow your steps here because I do not have a "Previous iTunes Library"  folder (or if I do, I can't find it --- it's defintely not in the folder you've illustrated.


    Any advice?  Thanks ...

  • turingtest2 Level 9 (68,886 points)

    The normal location for the library is <User's Music>\iTunes and the Previous iTunes Libraries folder would be inside that. If you've set your library up in a different location, the folder will be inside that. Normally iTunes will use the same location after an update as before, but just occasionaly something can cause it to revert to the default paths. You can't read the library path directly from iTunes but the media folder can be read from Edit > Preferences > Advanced. Normally the library files will be in the parent folder of the media folder. What value do you have? Do you have any external drives? Is the libray supposed to be on one of those? Have any changed drive letters?



  • phatav8r Level 1 (0 points)

    This is what worked for me. I the most recent dated file and renamed it (after renaming the other as 'corrupt') and then restarted itunes and everything was back... don't know why it has to be so damned difficult to us apple products sometimes.


    Everything I have seen is that this is a result of the update to the new version of itunes... a note here, I use an external HD for my itunes library, I only plug it in when I use itunes... but I updated my itunes without it plugged in not knowing it would create a new library reference.


    So for other Ex-HD users, you might verify if this isn't your problem... when I want to the itunes lib on my mac, I found that the library dated file was there, but since I don't have any library or music on my mac, of course everything was gone or showed 'in the cloud'